AAFP Annual Assembly to Be Held in Conjunction with Wonca Conference
Family physicians will have the opportunity to attend two conferences for the price of one when the American Academy of Family Physicians' (AAFP's) 2004 Annual Scientific Assembly is held in conjunction with the 17th World Conference of Family Doctors from Oct. 13–17, 2004 in Orlando, Fla. Attendees can earn continuing medical education credits by attending courses taught by experts on diagnosis, treatment, practice techniques, and clinical skills for a variety of conditions. The exhibit area will include hundreds of companies displaying the latest pharmacology, information technology, medical devices, and practice management tools. Topics of oral presentation and posters presented by family physicians at the World Conference include acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, bioterrorism, smoking cessation, infectious diseases, ethical issues, health policy, and common medical conditions. For more information on the Assembly go online tohttps://www.aafp.org/events/assembly.html and click on “2004 Orlando.” Registration opens March 1, 2004. For more information on the World Conference or to register online, go tohttp://www.wonca2004.org. The early registration deadline to receive a special rate for both meetings is July 14, 2004.
IOM Report Advocates Universal Health Care Coverage by 2010
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) urges the President and Congress to strive to achieve universal health care coverage in the United States by 2010. The report, “Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations,” does not present a specific strategy for achieving universal coverage but provides five guiding principles for judging any proposed solutions. These principles are that health care coverage should (1) be universal; (2) be continuous; (3) be affordable and sustainable to individuals and families; (4) enhance health and well-being by promoting access to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, equitable, and patient-centered; and (5) include a health insurance strategy that is affordable and sustainable to society. The committee set the target date of 2010 to allow for the development, adoption, and implementation of a comprehensive coverage strategy. This date also is consistent with the federal government's Healthy People 2010 initiative to increase Americans' quality-of-life and life spans and to eliminate disparities in health care among different groups. To read the full report, go online tohttp://www.nap.edu/books/0309091055/html. To read the AAFP's plan for achieving universal health care coverage, which incorporates public and private funding, go tohttps://www.aafp.org/x24763.xml.
Survey Reveals People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Medical Services
Results of a recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that many nonelderly adults with permanent physical or mental disabilities face difficulties paying for the necessary health care. Nearly one half (46 percent) of the 1,505 survey respondents said they go without equipment and other health care items because of cost. For the same reason, 37 percent of respondents postpone care, and 36 percent skip medication doses or split pills. In addition, 36 percent reported spending less on basics such as food, heat, and other services to pay for health care. The report also revealed that people with disabilities who do not have health insurance face the greatest challenges. Of those without health insurance, 69 percent report having no regular doctor; 67 percent go without needed equipment, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids; 66 percent postpone care because of cost; and 60 percent skip medication doses, split pills, or do not fill prescriptions. To view a copy of the report, “Understanding the Health-Care Needs and Experiences of People with Disabilities: Findings from a 2003 Survey,” go online tohttp://www.kff.org/medicare/6106.cfm.
Organizations Endorse Protocol to Prevent Surgical Errors
More than 40 professional medical associations and organizations, including the AAFP, recently endorsed the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' (JCAHO's) Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, and Wrong Person Surgery. The protocol standardizes presurgery procedures for verifying the correct patient, the correct procedure, and the correct surgical site. It focuses attention on marking the surgical site, involving the patient in the marking process, and taking a final pause in the operating room to double check information among all members of the surgical team. The universal protocol is based on the consensus of experts from the relevant clinical specialties and professional disciplines. It officially will take effect July 1, 2004, for all JCAHO-accredited hospitals, ambulatory care surgery centers, and office-based surgery sites. To read the protocol, go online tohttp://www.jcaho.org/accredited+organizations/patient+safety/universal+protocol/index.htm.
Early Registration Deadline Is Feb. 27 for National Conference and ALF
The National Conference of Special Constituencies (NCSC), April 29 to May 1, and the Annual Leadership Forum (ALF), April 30 to May 1, will be held in Kansas City, Mo. The ALF focuses on leadership training and provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges of leadership, both as individuals and as members of the AAFP. It also provides opportunities to network with other leaders from throughout the nation. The education program offers plenary and breakout sessions in these three topic areas: leadership training, personal development, and chapter development. The NCSC provides members of the AAFP the opportunity to suggest policies and programs related to constituent issues. Constituent groups include women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates, and gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders. Using processes modeled after the Congress of Delegates, members discuss ideas, write resolutions, participate in reference hearings, and vote on resolutions in business sessions. Participants can attend both meetings for the price of one and save $50 by registering by Feb. 27. To register online, go tohttps://www.aafp.org/leader.xml.