News in Brief: Week of Oct. 7-11

October 09, 2013 01:49 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

ACIP Asks FPs to Take Survey on Vaccine Recommendations

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is inviting family physicians to take a short survey( that will help committee members gauge general knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding immunizations within the specialty.

[News in Brief]

Designed by researchers at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, the survey aims to assess family physicians' knowledge of, attitudes toward and practices regarding discrepancies between the FDA's licensed vaccine package inserts and the ACIP's recommendations for immunization delivery for all vaccines licensed since 2000 for use in the U.S. civilian population.

The 10-question quality improvement study should take less than five minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary, and compensation will not be offered. Personal information will not be collected.

The final survey results also will be shared with the AAFP to help inform its education and member-communication efforts.

Dietary Supplement Linked to Nonviral Hepatitis, FDA Warns

The FDA has issued a safety alert( regarding the dietary supplement OxyElite Pro, which the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has identified as the common link among 24 cases of acute nonviral hepatitis in the state. The supplement is distributed by Dallas-based USPlabs LLC( and is sold nationwide through numerous distribution channels, including online suppliers and retail stores.

The FDA, along with the CDC and the Hawaii DOH, is investigating 29 separate reports of nonviral hepatitis in the state by reviewing medical records and histories of patients, analyzing the composition of product samples that have been collected from some of these patients, inspecting the facilities involved in manufacturing the product, and reviewing production and product distribution records.

As of Oct. 8, 11 of the cases required hospitalization for acute hepatitis, and, of those, two cases have received liver transplants and one person has died. The CDC is also looking at other cases of liver injury nationwide that may be related.

The FDA advises consumers to stop using any dietary supplement product labeled as OxyElite Pro. People who think they've been harmed by using a dietary supplement should contact their family physician or other health care professional.

AAFP members can report adverse events linked to drugs and biologic agents via RxEvent, an adverse drug event reporting service that has partnered with the Academy. All physicians, health care professionals and patients can report such events through MedWatch(, the FDA's Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

CMS' Physician Value-PQRS Registration System Closes Oct. 15

Time is running out for physicians to explore CMS' Physician Value-Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS; previously PQRS) registration system that opened July 15 and closes Oct. 15. Check out two reference guides created by CMS to help physicians understand and navigate the registration system.

The first guide focuses on individual eligible professional registration( and discusses reporting mechanisms available to family physicians and other professionals that can help them avoid assessment of penalties in 2015.

The second reference guide answers questions about group practice registration( and reporting mechanisms for 2013.

10 Federally Qualified Health Centers Form Safety-net ACO in Minnesota

The Commonwealth Fund has released a case study about an accountable care organization (ACO) located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that is made up of a coalition of 10 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), known as the Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network, that has assumed responsibility for the cost and quality of care provided to an assigned patient population.

The ACO was formed through a Medicaid demonstration project in the state and is thought to be unique for its efforts to pursue accountable care in a safety-net population of patients.

In the 16-page case study(, authors explore the origins of the coalition and members' motivations for joining, procedures put in place to achieve cost and quality benchmarks, and the challenges faced in meeting goals.