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ACNM Policy Update - 10/22/2015

Federal Issues
 
1.  Increasing Membership to Strengthen Advocacy
2.  FTC Issues Guidance on State Supervision of Regulatory Boards
3.  HRSA to Hold 10/27 Webinar on Career Development and Leadership Opportunities in Primary Care
4.  Data Available on Price Variation for Women’s Services in Major Metropolitan Areas
5.  KFF Releases Report on Medicaid Budgets
6.  KFF Asks Experts Whether ACOs are Successful – Answers are Mixed
7.  USPSTF to Research Menopausal Hormone Therapy for Prevention of Chronic Conditions
8.  AHRQ Opens up Medical Office Survey to Any Interested Practices


 
Federal Issues


1.  Increasing Membership to Strengthen Advocacy


By now you should have received a note from ACNM’s President, Ginger Breedlove, introducing ACNM’s new “Member get a Member” campaign.  This is a fantastic way to win a great prize and strengthen ACNM.  But of course, the REAL reason it’s important is because if we have more midwives, then our advocacy efforts are going to be more successful!  So grab your midwifery colleagues and friends and sign ‘em up! Then tell them to use ACNM’s Action Center to write their legislators about issues important to midwives.


2.  FTC Issues Guidance on State Supervision of Regulatory Boards

After winning their
case against the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners at the Supreme Court, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance on how states can supply active supervision of regulatory boards controlled by market participants.  The North Carolina case was brought because the state’s dental board, composed entirely of dentists, acted in an economically self-interested and non-competitive fashion to prevent non-dentists from offering teeth whitening.  The Court held that when a controlling number of decisionmakers on a regulatory board are active market participants, the state must actively supervise them in order to avoid accusations of antitrust behavior.  The guidance gives states instructions on when such supervision is required and what factors are relevant to determining whether the active supervision requirement is satisfied.  For those of you interested in understanding the limits of what a regulatory board can do to suppress competition, the guidance is worth reading.



3.  HRSA to Hold 10/27 Webinar on Career Development and Leadership Opportunities in Primary Care


On Tuesday, October 27 from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will hold a webinar to share practical tips and suggestions to advance your career and leverage your primary care experience, as panelists share stories about their primary career path.

During the webinar, our panelists will discuss:

•  Courses to consider while in school & clinical rotations
•  Finding a mentor
•  Professional development opportunities
•  Taking on new responsibilities at your site
•  Importance of community involvement


Students and early career clinicians are encouraged to participate! Login using this access link and enter your name in the guest field. Dial in using the phone number: 1-888-566-6151 and passcode: 4221465.



4.  Data Available on Price Variation for Women’s Services in Major Metropolitan Areas

A new tool by Castlight Health shows variation in the cost of several women’s services in major metropolitan areas of the country.  The data reveal some striking contrasts in amounts paid for the same service.  For example, women in New York City pay between $130 and $1,898 for a mammogram, with the average being $371.  The site also provides data on OB/GYN follow up visits, preventive gynecologic and primary care visits, lipid panels, HPV tests, head/brain CT scans and lower back MRIs.



5.  KFF Releases Report on Medicaid Budgets


According to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study of Medicaid enrollment and spending growth, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created a record increase of 13.9 percent in Medicaid enrollment in 2015.  There were 29 states implementing the ACA Medicaid expansion in FY 2015, and in those states enrollment increased on average by 18 percent and total spending by 17.7 percent. For the 22 non-expansion states, enrollment only grew by 5.1 percent, and total Medicaid spending by 6.1 percent.  The Kaiser report also found that total Medicaid enrollment and spending growth is expected to slow in FY 2016.



6.  KFF Asks Experts Whether ACOs are Successful – Answers are Mixed


Given that we are several years into the operation of Accountable Care Organizations, a model of care under which a group of providers take responsibility for the overall cost and quality of care rendered to a defined population of beneficiaries and are rewarded or potentially penalized financially if they succeed, it is appropriate to start asking whether the movement is experiencing any success.  The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) did just that, consulting with a number of experts on the topic.  Their responses are very interesting and worth taking a look at if you have been caught up in ACO fever.  I will reveal my own bias by sharing my favorite quote, “The ACO model for these groups [large health systems or multi-specialty groups] is akin to asking an overweight patient to eat his or her own flesh to become thinner.”



7.  USPSTF to Research Menopausal Hormone Therapy for Prevention of Chronic Conditions

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has made available a final research plan on menopausal hormone therapy for the primary prevention of chronic conditions. The draft research plan for this topic was posted for public comment from June 25, 2015 to July 22, 2015. The Task Force reviewed all of the comments that were submitted and took them into consideration as it finalized the research plan. To view the final research plan, please here. 



8.  AHRQ Opens up Medical Office Survey to Any Interested Practices


Medical offices that have administered the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture can submit their data to the Comparative Database October 1-21. Medical offices that submit to the database will receive individual medical office and health system feedback reports comparing their results to the overall comparative results. Medical offices must be in the U.S. or U.S. territories in order to submit. Each medical office location, including those from a health care system, is considered a separate medical office for submission purposes.  To submit data, please go here.


The results of this database, a Medical Office Comparative Database Report, will provide average scores and percentiles on the survey items and composites to help medical offices assess their own results to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Comparative results are reported in the aggregate and do not include any information identifying participating medical offices.


Please feel free to email [email protected] with questions.





 
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