News in Brief: Week of March 11-15

March 13, 2013 05:15 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

[News in Brief]

Scope of Practice Is Focus of Politico Pro Event

AAFP Director Wanda Filer, M.D., of York, Pa., has been invited to participate in a Politico Pro Health Care Breakfast Briefing on Defining the Scope of Practice( on March 19. The briefing, which will be held at the Newseum in Washington beginning at 8 a.m. EDT, will focus who should do what in health care.

The moderator for the event will be Joanne Kenen, Politico health care editor. In addition to Filer, panelists will include

  • Angela Golden, D.N.P., president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners;
  • Dan Hawkins, senior vice president of public policy and research at the National Association of Community Health Centers;
  • Terie Norelli, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives; and
  • Donna Shalala, former secretary of HHS.

The event will be livestreamed( and archived for future viewing.

Academy Endorses Type 2 Diabetes Guideline

The AAFP has endorsed the American College of Physicians (ACP) guideline on oral pharmacologic treatment of type 2 diabetes that was released last spring.

The ACP guideline( specifically addresses the pharmacologic management of patients with type 2 diabetes using agents from any of 11 unique classes of drugs available to treat hyperglycemia in these patients, and recommends that clinicians

  • add oral pharmacologic therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes in whom lifestyle modifications fail to adequately improve hyperglycemia;
  • prescribe monotherapy with metformin for initial pharmacologic therapy to treat most patients; and
  • add a second agent to manage patients with persistent hyperglycemia when lifestyle modifications and metformin fail to control hyperglycemia.

NCQA Paper Focuses on Integrated Care for Dual-Eligible Enrollees

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently released a white paper with recommendations on how to measure efforts to integrate care for patients who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

According to a March 6 news release( from the NCQA, effective integration of care is critical to the financial stability of both programs because dual-eligible enrollees account for a disproportionate share of the programs' spending. The NCQA's recommendations aim to support care integration between the two programs and improve the quality of care.

The white paper, "Integrated Care for People With Medicare and Medicaid: A Roadmap for Quality," is available at no charge, but those who want to download a copy must sign in or take a moment to register at the NCQA site( A link to the 46-page report then will be e-mailed to the requestor.

Proposed Regulations Define Terms of Individual Insurance Mandate

HHS( (94-page PDF; About PDFs) and the Internal Revenue Service( (74-page PDF) have each issued a set of proposed regulations that define the individual mandate requirements for the health care reform law, including the process for requesting an exemption from the individual insurance mandate.

Most individuals are required to carry minimum essential coverage beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty. Some individuals may qualify for exemptions, however, excusing them from the coverage requirements and the resulting financial penalty called for by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The proposed regulations explain what qualifies as minimum essential coverage, how penalties will be determined and paid, who is exempt from paying the penalty, and when individuals can apply for an exemption.