December 13, 2011

Congress likely to approve one-year SGR extension
Just a few weeks remain for Congress to prevent a 27.4 percent cut in Medicare physician payment from going into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. According to AAFP, Congress will likely pass a single-year extension of the SGR with a small increase, but it all depends on whether lawmakers can agree on how to fund another “doc fix.” more...

Texas gets approval for waiver to expand Medicaid managed care
Federal officials have granted Texas’ request to expand Medicaid managed care to border and rural areas without having to give up vital hospital funding intended to mitigate the cost of providing uncompensated care. more...

AHRQ campaign encourages Hispanic patients to “take the reins” in health decisions
A new campaign encourages Hispanic patients to take control of their health, explore treatment options, and work with their health care team to make the best possible treatment decisions. Called Toma Las Riendas, it promotes health information to help Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients and doctors work together to make informed health care decisions. Read more and access the resources here. more...

AAFP News Now: Family medicine residencies battle ailing economies, state cutbacks to produce residents
An AAFP News Now article details the plight of family medicine residency programs to invest in the production and recruitment of their family physician workforce while facing drastic cuts in federal and state funding. Texas’ recent experience, in which lawmakers cut important workforce initiatives just when the state was making progress toward improving its chronic shortage of primary care physicians, is becoming a “common occurrence” throughout the country. Read more in the Nov. 30 News Now article.

ABFM: 2012 MC-FP exam application now open, new dates in 2012
Registration for the 2012 MC-FP certification and recertification examinations is now open, according to the American Board of Family Medicine. Beginning in 2012, this exam will be held in April instead of July. The dates for the April 2012 exam are April 6-7, 9-13, 16-19, and 21. It will also be offered in November for candidates who fail the spring exam, or for residents in good standing who are off-cycle and are expected to complete training on or around Dec. 31, 2012. The dates for the November 2012 exam are Nov. 7- 10. For more information, go to www.theabfm.org.

Pay your AAFP/TAFP dues online for 2012
There is still time to pay your dues for 2012. You can sign up for installment payments or pay the whole amount by credit card or check. Go online to www.aafp.org/checkmydues to maintain your membership. If you have any questions, call AAFP at (800) 274-2237 or call TAFP’s membership coordinator, Juleah Williams, at (512) 329-8666, ext 35.

EDUCATION UPDATE

Still have 2011 education dollars available? Register today for the 2012 C. Frank Webber Lectureship on March 2
Make sure you secure your spot in one of the year’s most anticipated CME conferences for primary care physicians: the 2012 C. Frank Webber Lectureship in Austin, Texas. The 2012 conference will be held March 2 at the Austin Omni Hotel at Southpark. Use your remaining 2011 CME funds before the end of the year by registering for this 2012 symposium today! For more information, go to the C. Frank Webber section of www.tafp.org.