Archive for August of 2009

AOA Daily Report "Summer Recess"

August 21, 2009
With Congress in recess and summer vacations winding down, the AOA Daily Report will take advantage of this quieter time by recessing for the duration of August. Today’s Daily Report will be the final August edition. The Daily Report will return from its vacation relaxed, refreshed, and renewed on Tuesday, September 1. Until then, enjoy the remaining days of summer as we prepare for a busy fall!

Sign up for OMED Today

August 21, 2009
The AOA is excited to introduce OMED 2009, a newly structured, rebranded medical conference and exposition dedicated to osteopathic medicine. It will be held 11/1-5/09 in New Orleans, LA. Learn all you need to know about OMED at do-online.org/OMED, which provides one-stop shopping for everything related to OMED 2009, including detailed information on all specialty affiliate educational programming, keynote speakers, and travel to New Orleans. In addition, we’ve included easy to use guides to help make your travel planning simple. From hotels, entertainment and restaurants to the best educational programs the osteopathic medical profession has to offer, OMED 2009 in New Orleans is a can’t-miss experience.

AOA Membership Numbers Rising

August 21, 2009
The AOA has released its latest membership and dues report, showing that as of 8/21/09 we have enrolled a total of 32,662 members, an increase of 430 since last week and 1,251 more members than we had at this time last year. This number represents 83.1% of our budgeted dues revenue and 46.1% of our potential market share of all DOs. These members also continue to support branches of the AOA family: 29,002 have contributed $286,604 to the American Osteopathic Information Association; 9,754 have contributed $381,090 to the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF); 2,083 have contributed $96,162 to the Advocates for the AOA; 264 have given $21,220 to the Osteopathic Family Relief Fund; and 452 have given $21,856 to DO-CARE Intl.

Student Research Poster Competition Deadline Extended

August 21, 2009
All Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) members are invited to submit original, unpublished research for the 13th Annual National SOMA Research Poster Presentation, which will be held on 11/1/09 in conjunction with OMED.  Abstracts must be submitted online and each presenter must be present at the event with his or her poster and available for questions and discussions.  Three first-place prizes of $500 and six second-place prizes of $250 will be awarded; members of the osteopathic family will serve as reviewers and judges.  The AOA has long been a supporter of osteopathic medical students becoming involved in research, and students are encouraged to attend the AOA Research Conference.  For instructions for how to submit an abstract online and for more information, please visit DO-Online

AOF Financial Successes

August 21, 2009
The AOF has released its financial statements for the two-month fiscal period starting 6/1/09 and ending 7/31/09. During this time, cash and investments of $9,174,346 have increased by $670,329, while net assets of $9,492,850 have increased by $676,356. The market value of AOF investments as of 7/31/09 was $8,636,027, a one-month increase of 7.40% or $594,803 and a year-to-date increase of $577,126. During this same time period the S&P was up 7.78% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.31%. Learn how you can support the AOF online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 21, 2009
Did you know…that AOA member Bradford W. Landry, DO, will be on CNN this Saturday? After posting a video of his opinions on heath system reform on the CNN Web site, the news channel contacted Dr. Landry to speak with him in depth about health care reform. Watch CNN tomorrow to see a DO on TV!

Health Policy Notes

August 21, 2009
The average American’s life expectancy rose to 77.9 years this year, its highest level ever, the Centers for Disease Control announced on 8/19/09. Women live an average of five years longer than men at about 80 years vs. 75 years, Reuters/Yahoo News reported on 8/19/09.

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality will host a free 90-minute Web conference on the role of health information technology in medication management, from prescribing to adherence. The event will be held 8/27/09 and will explore what is known about e-prescribing and suggest future research topics. Learn more online.

The 8/20/09 CQ HealthBeat reported that scientists studying fish from America’s streams found mercury contamination in every fish they sampled from 291 streams across the country, and about 25% of those fish had mercury levels above the level that is safe to eat.

AOA to Host Health Reform Town Hall Meeting

August 20, 2009
When Congress returns from its summer recess, it will launch full swing back into the health care reform debate. In order to keep osteopathic physicians and students up-to-date and provide a forum to have their questions answered on the ongoing health reform debate, the AOA will host its second Web-based Town Hall Meeting, "Congress' Plans to Reform the Health Care System – Part II," on 9/8/09 at 7:30pm CDT. This event will provide an up-to-date analysis of the proposals being discussed and how they fit into the AOA's legislative and advocacy agenda. Register online today. To submit questions in advance of the Town Hall Meeting, email govt-issues@osteopathic.org.

DOs Meet with Florida Representative

August 20, 2009
AOA members William H. Stager, DO, and Anna Hayden, DO, met with Congressman Ron Klein (D-FL22) today in his office in Boca Raton, FL, on behalf of the AOA, the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, and the osteopathic medical profession at large. Drs. Hayden and Stager presented Congressman Klein with AOA handouts on health care reform, and he listened as they discussed the many points of the AOA's recommendations. They report that Congressman Klein is sincerely interested and engaged in the health care reform process and supportive of the AOA’s advocacy agenda and the osteopathic medical profession. See a photo of the three below.

Osteopathic Research Opportunity

August 20, 2009
The AOA Osteopathic Research Conference, “Translation of Genomic Science into Osteopathic Clinical Practice and Research,” will provide osteopathic physicians with a unique opportunity to gain knowledge about the current state of genomics, as well as how to integrate genomics and personalized medicine into their clinical practice and into uniquely osteopathic research. Held in conjunction with the 114th AOA Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, the research program will take place on 11/1-3/09 and feature key genomics experts from across the country. For more information about the conference speakers, please visit the Osteopathic Research Center Web site or DO-Online.

ACOS Newsletter Keeps Surgeons Informed

August 20, 2009
The American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) released its August 2009 ACOS News to keep all osteopathic surgeons up to date on recent ACOS activities and upcoming events. The newsletter covered topics including the ACOS Board Meeting in July, states’ health care reform efforts, and legislative and regulatory issues affecting physicians. Plans for the ACOS Annual Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Surgeons, which will be held 10/31-11/3/09 in Chicago, were also provided. Read a copy of the ACOS News online.

Texas DOs Receive Message from the President

August 20, 2009
In other affiliate communications, the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association (TOMA) distributed its Presidential Newsletter on 8/17/09 to all TOMA members. In the newsletter, TOMA President George Cole, DO, uses personal vignettes to illustrate how Texas osteopathic physicians can influence political actions on the state and national level. He also provides information on the upcoming “Advancing the Quality of Health Care in Texas” seminar, sponsored by the University of Texas (UT) System and Brookings Institution, which will be held on 10/1/09 in Austin, TX. To learn more about osteopathic opportunities in Texas, visit the TOMA Web site.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 20, 2009
Did you know…that the first issue of JAOA – The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association appeared in 1901? See how far the JAOA has come in its 108-year history on the JAOA Web site.

Health Policy Notes

August 20, 2009
Yahoo News reported today that the federal government, through the stimulus package, will make available almost $1.2 billion in grants to help hospitals implement electronic medical record systems.

The 8/19/09 CQ HealthBeat reported that the FDA has launched a new Center for Tobacco Products with a $5 million budget to regulate and prevent tobacco use. In related news, sales of tobacco to teens 18 and under have reached all-time lows, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports.

The 8/10/09 USA Today reported that 44% of Americans do not believe in evolution, instead believing that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.”

Health System Reform Resources Coming

August 19, 2009
Over the past few weeks the AOA along with the nation has focused on health care reform and the pending legislative proposals in the US Congress. Much of the debate is now playing out in town hall meetings and other local events. We continue to receive a large amount of questions from members across the country on the various proposals. To assist our members, over the next few weeks the AOA will be providing information and resources on DO-Online through our Health System Reform Resource Center, as well as in our electronic communications. These resources represent a bipartisan menu of information that will assist our members and other interested parties in keeping up-to-date on this issue. Please visit DO-Online, read the AOA Daily Report, and stay tuned to our other communications vehicles for the latest information on health reform.

Register for 114th OMED Conference Today!

August 19, 2009
The AOA’s 114th Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition (OMED), themed “The Road to Health Begins with Prevention,” is shaping up to be our best medical conference yet. In addition to its new title, “OMED,” chosen to better reflect our focus on osteopathic educational opportunities, will feature many new programs and benefits this year. James Carville and Mary Matalin will serve as keynote speakers for OMED’s opening session on 11/2/09. For those DOs who will be taking certification exams during OMED, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians is holding an intensive review session on 9/10-12/09 in Chicago (learn more here). OMED will be held 11/1-5/09 in New Orleans, LA. Register on DO-Online today!

Opportunity for Osteopathic Educators

August 19, 2009
Take advantage of another great educational opportunity by attending the 20th Annual Osteopathic Medical Education Leadership Conference (OME XX), which will be held 1/8-10/10 in Newport Beach, CA. The Conference is designed to give osteopathic medical educators and leaders a forum in which to exchange information and ideas. Discussions and presentations will take place to facilitate conversation so that attendees leave with new methods and techniques to take back to their training programs, hospitals, and colleges. Anyone interested in medical education is invited to participate. Learn more and register on DO-Online.

CDC Recommendations on Flu Prevention

August 19, 2009
The Federal Government today released its updated guidelines for employers in response to the upcoming influenza season. The CDC recommends actions that non-health care employers should take to decrease the spread of seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu in the workplace, including strategies to use if flu conditions become more severe and new recommendations regarding when a worker with influenza may return to work. The guidelines may change as additional information about the severity of the 2009-2010 influenza season and the impact of the 2009 H1N1 influenza become known. More information is available on the Flu.gov Web site.

NIH to Host Public Conference Call

August 19, 2009
On 8/26/09 at 2:00 pm EDT, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold its “State-of-the-Science Conference on Family History and Improving Health,” designed to assess the available evidence on family history and improving health with the goal of presenting a consensus statement to help physician and patient decision-making. Following the conference, the NIH will host a public teleconference to discuss results and actions resulting from it. Interested parties who are not affiliated with a media outlet may listen in, but will not be permitted to ask questions during the call. Further details are available online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 19, 2009
Did you know…about the AOA Media Center? Located on DO-Online, the Media Center houses many of the AOA’s media highlights, including DOs in the news, letters to the editor, news releases, the osteopathic style guide, media spokespeople, and more. Visit DO-Online to learn more about our media advocacy efforts.

Health Policy Notes

August 19, 2009
The 8/18/09 Wall Street Journal reported on a safety study of Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, which found that Gardasil recipients had higher rates of fainting and blood clots than those receiving other vaccines.

After initial clinical trials for the H1N1 vaccine did not show immediate safety concerns for adults, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) officials announced on 8/18/09 that it would begin clinical trials on children, the 8/18/09 CQ HealthBeat reported.

Health Leaders reported on 8/19/09 that all of the 10 physician groups participating in Medicare’s Physician Group Practice (PGP) demonstration project achieved benchmark performance on at least 28 of the 32 measures, earning performance payments totaling $25.3 million.

USA Today Features Primary Care DOs

August 18, 2009
Today’s USA Today featured a story about the declining primary care field. The article, “Doctor Shortage Looms as Primary Care Loses its Pull,” states that “lower pay, less prestige and more administrative headaches have turned doctors away in droves from family medicine” and interviews several physicians about how to fix this alarming trend. Bruce Bates, DO, Interim Dean at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM), describes the downward slope of graduates entering primary care at UNECOM, from 40% of all graduates 20 years ago to only 26% this year. Anne Barry, DO, a primary care resident at Concord (New Hampshire) Hospital, is pictured talking to a patient. Read the article online. What do you think about it?

BIOMEA Issues Call for International Posters

August 18, 2009
The AOA Bureau on International Osteopathic Medical Education and Affairs (BIOMEA) will hold its 11th Annual International Seminar, “Redefining Osteopathic Medicine Globally,” on 11/1/09 in conjunction with the AOA’s 114th Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition (OMED) in New Orleans, LA. During the International Seminar, BIOMEA will co-host a poster session with the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), focusing on the international experiences of osteopathic medical students and physicians. Experience can be in the form of research, training, volunteer medical work, or any other medicine-related work overseas. Poster presentation applications and abstracts must be submitted by 9/23/09. If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact Joshua Kerr, Assistant Director of International Affairs, at jkerr@osteopathic.org or 800.621.1773 ext. 8196. Download the application here.

Online 1-A CME Opportunity

August 18, 2009
In just four months, the three-year AOA CME cycle will end. On 8/24/09 at 6:30 pm EDT, AOA members will have the opportunity to earn one hour of AOA Category 1-A CME without leaving home. This live, online CME activity will focus on strategies to help treat patients afflicted with overactive bladders (OAB), including successful tactics like appropriate communication techniques, integrating assessments, identifying diagnostic approaches necessary to detect OAB, and more. Participants must complete a brief pre-test and a post-test at the conclusion of the event to receive CME credit. If you haven’t participated in an online CME event before, test your system well in advance of the event to ensure you don’t experience any compatibility issues. If you do come across technical problems, you can e-mail support@cecity.com for assistance. Learn more online.

July’s Coding Hint for AOA Members

August 18, 2009
To keep DOs’ offices running smoothly, the AOA Division of Socioeconomic Affairs issues monthly coding hints on special topics and items of interest. July’s coding hint covered the CMS transmittal-442 regarding specifications for using modifier -79 during the global period. In response to physicians misusing the modifier -79, the Office of the Inspector General is now paying close attention to this specific modifier. The AOA coding hint, which is available to members only, briefs DOs on guidelines for proper use of this code and what to do to ensure that it is not used in error. Read more on DO-Online.

Fellowship Opportunity through CDC

August 18, 2009
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and AcademyHealth are seeking applications for their 2010 Health Policy Fellowship. The fellowship aims to foster collaboration between NCHS staff and visiting scholars by allowing scholars to conduct new and innovative analyses, participate in developmental and health policy activities related to the design and content of future NCHS surveys, and have access to the data resources provided by the CDC. Applicants may be at any stage in their careers—from doctoral students to senior investigators. Learn more online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 18, 2009
Did you know…that AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, was born in and spent the first 25 years of his life in “the cradle of osteopathic medicine” – Kirksville, MO? Learn more about our 113th President on DO-Online.

Health Policy Notes

August 18, 2009
On 8/18/09, National Public Radio reported on the “staggering” price tag associated with medical fraud; although the true extent is unknown, experts estimate that medical fraud costs anywhere from $60 to $600 billion a year.

Forbes.com reported on 81/7/09 that people who live in Southern states fill more prescriptions per capita than those in other regions of the country: West Virginia, the state with the highest average, filled about 17.7 prescriptions per person last year, compared to the national average of 11.5.

PhRMA, FamiliesUSA, the American Medical Association, and others in the "Americans for Stable Quality Care" coalition have launched TV ads in support of President Obama's health care reform efforts; the ads are running in states of swing vote senators and cost a total of $12 million.

Trustee Welcomes New Osteopathic Students

August 17, 2009
AOA Trustee Barbara E. Walker, DO, represented the AOA last week at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (VCOM) Orientation Week for its 2013 class of osteopathic medical students. The new VCOM class numbers 183 students, who worked together during the week’s orientation meetings to develop their class motto, “Building on the Past, Adapting to the Present, Inspiring the Future.” Dr. Walker addressed the students, welcoming them to the profession, stressing the need to be involved, speaking of the challenges their future holds, and encouraging a spirit of collegiality and an osteopathic mindset. While in Blacksburg, VA, Dr. Walker also met with William P. King, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs; Jan Wilcox, DO, Associate Dean for Clinical Academic Affairs; and Diane Sutphin, Director of Alumni Affairs.

AOA to Host Health Reform Town Hall Meeting

August 17, 2009
When Congress returns from its summer recess, it will launch full swing back into the health care reform debate. In order to keep osteopathic physicians and students up-to-date and provide a forum to have their questions answered on the ongoing health reform debate, the AOA will host its second Web-based Town Hall Meeting, "Congress' Plans to Reform the Health Care System – Part II," on 9/8/09. This event will provide an up-to-date analysis of the proposals being discussed and how they fit into the AOA's legislative and advocacy agenda. Register online today. To submit questions in advance of the Town Hall Meeting, email govt-issues@osteopathic.org.

Call for Research Chair Proposals

August 17, 2009
The AOA Council on Research has issued a call for proposals to all parties interested in serving as Scientific Program Chair or Co-Chair for the 2010 AOA Research Conference, to be held in conjunction with the AOA Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition in San Francisco, CA, on 10/24-26/10. The Program Chair is responsible for developing a program theme that includes topics related to the tenets of osteopathic medicine. All proposals must be received by 8/31/09 and should include a letter of introduction, a synopsis of the proposed program and program themes (no more than five pages), and a current copy of the applicant’s curriculum vitae. For more information, contact Gloria Dillard, Manager of the AOA Division of Research Development, at gdillard@osteopathic.org.

Great News from the AOA Family

August 17, 2009
The Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSUCOM) announced that its faculty members Leonard Levy, DPM, MPH, and Naushira Pandya, MD, CMD, will be traveling to Slovakia in September to serve as Fulbright Specialist Scholars at Comenius University School of Medicine in Bratislava, where they will participate in developing collaborative relationships between the medical school and NSUCOM. In other news, Prime Healthcare Services (PHS), which owns and operates 13 acute care hospitals in California, has been ranked by Thomson Reuters as one of the top 10 US health systems. Its staff counts many DOs, including James M. Lally, DO, the 2008 AOA Mentor of the Year.

Conference Call on H1N1 Pandemic Preparedness

August 17, 2009
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a conference call this week to engage physicians and the health care provider community in a discussion of H1N1 preparedness and response issues. High priority will be put on a discussion of the value and contribution of the primary care provider networks. Topics will include: reducing the burden on emergency departments; early identification and intervention with high risk patients; and work force protection. Learn more about this call, including how to register and submit questions, on DO-Online

AOA Fact for the Day

August 17, 2009
Did you know…that the final versions of the resolutions acted upon at the 2009 AOA Annual Meeting have been posted on DO-Online? Click this link and read the resolutions to see what your representatives accomplished last month.

Health Policy Notes

August 17, 2009
The 8/17/09 Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama Administration may be willing to compromise on the controversial “public plan” option, after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated that it was not an “essential element” of any health system reform plan.

On 8/19/09, President Obama will participate in a conference call with a diverse group of progressive/liberal religious organizations to discuss the moral imperative of providing health insurance coverage to the uninsured.  Register and submit a question online, or listen online.

The 8/13/09 New York Times reported that elderly people who do regular physical activity and those who follow heart-healthy Mediterranean-style diets have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those more sedentary or who eat less healthily.

Past President Attends Rhode Island Conference

August 14, 2009
AOA Immediate Past President Carlo J. DiMarco, DO, traveled to the “Ocean State” today to represent the AOA at the Rhode Island Society of Osteopathic Physicians’ (RISOPS) 2009 Yankee Conference, taking place 8/14-16/09 in Newport. Dr. DiMarco provided an AOA update and greetings to RISOPS members today during the Annual Membership Meeting and will also speak at the RISOPS Reception this evening. Of the 224 active DOs licensed in Rhode Island, almost half are RISOPS members; the RISOPS expects about 70 attendees at the Conference.

AOA Flash Reports Show Growth

August 14, 2009
The AOA has released flash reports for our operating, Osteopathic Research and Development Fund (ORDF), and Dale Dodson Educational Fund (DDEF) investments for the two-month fiscal period beginning on 6/1/09 and ending 7/31/09. In summary, operating investments increased in value by $945,467 during July and by $898,685 since 6/1/09; their total market value is currently $17,089,863. ORDF investments also increased in July by $307,101 and by $288,980 since 6/1/09, bringing their current market value to $5,392,655. DDEF investments increased in value by $56,059 in July 2009 and by $54,059 since 6/1/09; their total market value is now $940,542.

Membership Numbers on the Rise

August 14, 2009
The latest AOA membership and dues revenue report shows that, as of 8/14/09, total AOA membership has reached 32,232, an increase of 688 more members since last week and 1,459 more members than we had at this time last year. This number represents 82% of our budgeted revenue and 45.5% of our potential market share of all DOs. We have retained 1,138 members through the “2,669 in FY09” membership program, meaning that 52.2% of DOs who received gift memberships last year decided to remain members this year. Thanks for your support!

Affiliate Newsletters Keep DOs Informed

August 14, 2009
To keep their members informed, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) and the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society (NYSOMS) distributed electronic newsletters this week. The ACOFP “Leading the Osteopathic Way” featured a column from ACOFP President Jan Zieren, DO, and articles on obtaining CME, advocacy, and COM campus news. Read more online. The NYSOMS Summer 2009 Newsletter provided “Empire State” DOs with an update on actions taken at the AOA Annual Meeting last month, federal health policies, NYSOMS activities, and more. Read the newsletter online.

Great News from the Osteopathic Schools

August 14, 2009
The Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM) announced today that its Board of Trustees has appointed former Kentucky Gov. Paul E. Patton as the 18th president of the college. Joshua “Chuck” Green, OMS IV at the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM), won the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians’ (ACOEP) 2009 Case Competition. This competition was initiated in 1997 to promote research among students interested in emergency medicine, and it is open to any third- or fourth-year osteopathic medical student. Student Dr. Green’s award-winning paper, “Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State in the Emergency Room,” was published in the July 2009 edition of the ACOEP’s The Pulse. Congratulations all!

AOA Fact for the Day

August 14, 2009
Did you know…that the AOA has received 1,005 pledges to the AOA Greatness Fund, totaling $1,374,380 to support the osteopathic profession’s “big, hairy, audacious goals”? Learn more online.

Health Policy Notes

August 14, 2009
Reuters reported on 8/14/09 that cancer death rates in all age groups, but especially for those aged 35-45, have steadily declined over the past thirty years, according to a new study by Eric Kort, MD, who cites cancer screening and preventive measures as reasons driving these decreases.

In order to meet the World Health Organization’s recommendation on how many doctors, nurses, and midwives each African nation should have, Africa needs to gain 800,000 more health workers by 2015; the continent currently has only 30% of the health professionals it needs according to the 8/11/09 New York Times.

Health Leaders reported on 8/14/09 the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's package on health reform includes a provision that would reward states who pass PLI reform laws with incentive payments; however, the laws could not impose caps on damages nor limit attorney fees.

AOA Trustee in the Centennial State

August 13, 2009
AOA Trustee Mark A. Baker, DO, is in the “Centennial State” today representing the AOA at the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine’s (CSOM) 2009 Annual Meeting and Summertime CME Conference, which is taking place 8/13-16/09 in Breckenridge. Dr. Baker has been asked to address the CSOM Board of Trustees at its Board Meeting & Working Dinner this evening. In addition, he will provide an AOA Update and greetings during the CSOM Annual Meeting & Election of Officers and at the President's Inaugural Dinner & Swearing-in of Officers, both of which will take place on 8/15/09. Of the 935 active DOs licensed in the state, 329 are CSOM members.

Teamwork and Recommendations on Cancer Screening

August 13, 2009
I wrote to Ned Calonge, MD, MPH, Chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), on 8/7/09 to share the AOA’s feedback on the USPSTF Recommendation Statement for Screening for Testicular Cancer. After careful review of the Recommendation Statement, the AOA Bureau on Scientific Affairs & Public Health (BSAPH) recommended that the USPSTF upgrade the recommendation from grade D to C and encourage physicians to teach patients how perform a self exam to screen for testicular cancer. The AOA often is contacted to provide input on federal rules and regulations, demonstrating our commitment to teamwork in the health care sector.

DO Featured in Washington Post Article

August 13, 2009
Susan Osborne, DO, was featured in an 8/11/09 Washington Post article, “Old-Fashioned Bartering Helps Pare Medical Bills.” The article described how some patients can reduce their medical bills by trading services or goods with their physicians. Dr. Osborne, an osteopathic family physician from Floyd, Virginia, estimates that 10% of her patients pay by alternative means at times, and she has accepted organic vegetables from a patient’s farm, a violin, and fiddle lessons as methods of payment. Read the article online.

AOA Holds Workplace Violence Seminar

August 13, 2009
In our continuing efforts to make the AOA one of the best, safest places to work, last week all AOA managers convened for a seminar on workplace violence. Led by personnel from the Security Management Investigations firm, the seminar educated AOA staff leaders on how to recognize warning signs of violence, take precautionary steps to prevent workforce violence, and manage a violent situation in progress. Staff received resources including a checklist for conducting termination meetings, workplace “Dos and Don’ts,” and guidelines on when to call for help. In the US, 2 million people are attacked at work every year and 16.1 million are harassed at work, resulting in 1,751,100 lost workdays by employees and $13.5 billion in medical costs each year.

Memo Summarizes new IPPS Rule

August 13, 2009
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule for fiscal year 2010, updating acute care hospital payment rates by 2.1% for inflation. In a change advocated by the AOA, CMS will not move forward with elimination of the indirect medical education (IME) adjustment for capital costs in FY 2010. Earlier this year, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, undoing an agency-mandated 50% reduction in capital IME for FY 2009, though it did not block full elimination the following year. Under the final rule, teaching hospitals will continue to receive the full capital IME adjustment in FY 2010. Read more information online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 13, 2009
Did you know…that Steven Kamajian, DO, was a top 10 finalist for the the prestigious J.H. Kanter Prize? As was reported here on 8/11/09, AOA member Sister Anne Brooks, DO, also was one of the four runners-up for this award.

Health Policy Notes

August 13, 2009
The 8/12/09 Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA has set new regulations that are designed to give critically ill patients who have not responded to approved treatments greater access to experimental drugs.

The 8/11/09 New York Times reported that over 65% of Americans are now overweight or obese, according to data for 2005 to 2009 gathered by the CDC and state health departments; the data show that the percentage of overweight Americans is still expanding.

J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association, will appear on CNN's Larry King Live at 9:00 pm EDT on 8/13/09 to discuss myths and facts in the current health system reform debate. Other panelists will include former Sen. Bill Frist, MD, and Michael Roizen, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic.

President Wickless Writes Open Letter on HSR

August 12, 2009
To address many members’ concerns about health system reform, AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, wrote an open letter to all osteopathic physicians, osteopathic medical students, and AOA family members today. The letter explains why the AOA has come out in support of several federal health reform proposals, demonstrating that much of the legislation is consistent with the AOA’s policy compendium, which is established by AOA membership and approved by the AOA House of Delegates. President Wickless is committed to “Leading Change” by supporting heath system reform efforts that are in concert with AOA policies. Read the letter online.

Newsletter Gives DOs Advocacy Strategies

August 12, 2009
Speaking of health system reform, the AOA Grassroots Osteopathic Advocacy Link (GOAL) distributed its DO Washington Update e-newsletter to all GOAL members on 8/11/09 urging their involvement in health system reform and other advocacy initiatives. One easy way to do this is to attend their Congress Members’ local Town Hall Meetings, and the GOAL e-newsletter provides 10 strategies for using town hall meetings to advance a legislative agenda. The e-newsletter also provides information on $200 million the US Department of Health and Human Services made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for grants, loans, loan repayment and scholarships to support and expand the training of health care professionals. Read more online.

Osteopathic Educational Conference Planning Continues

August 12, 2009
The Osteopathic Medical Education (OME) Leadership Conference Steering Committee convened via conference call today under the leadership of Michael Adelman, DO, and John Bulger, DO, Co-Chairs. The OME Conference is a collaborative effort between the AOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to provide training and best strategies to osteopathic educational leaders. Today’s conference call continued the planning process for the next OME conference, which is scheduled for January 2010 in Newport Beach, California. Discussions focused on choosing a keynote speaker, selecting a speaker on “leading change,” and appropriate titles for workshop/panel discussions.

AOF Financial Statements Show Earnings

August 12, 2009
The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) has released its financial statement for the one-month fiscal period ending 6/30/09. During June, AOF total cash and investments of $8,558,442 increased by $54,425 while net assets of $8,906,555 likewise increased by $90,060. The Market Value of the Foundation’s investments as of 6/30/09 was $8,041,224. So far this year, the AOF has given out close to $5,000 in grants & scholarships and another $15,000 to support the AOA Council of New Physicians in Practice’s Practice Enhancement Workshop at the AOA OMED Conference in New Orleans in November. Thank you, AOF, for your support!

Teamwork to Fight Chronic Disease

August 12, 2009
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), of which the AOA is a member, has released a new report comparing the chronic disease prevention provisions in key health care reform legislation. The report, Hitting the 'Bulls-eye' in Health Reform: Controlling Chronic Disease to Reduce Cost and Improve Quality, provides five recommendations to improve the bills' foci on chronic disease: evidence-based models for nationwide coordination of care in Medicare; expand types of treatments in Medicare paid on a value basis; promote chronic disease prevention in the health care system; remove barriers to avert the development and progression of chronic illness; and move to a high-tech system that helps coordinate care. AOA Past President Peter B. Ajluni, DO, is a member of the PFCD Advisory Board. The report is available online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 12, 2009
Did you know… that the 16th Annual National CME Sponsor’s Conference will be held 1/8-10/10 in Newport Beach, CA? Learn more and register to attend this great osteopathic educational provider event online.

Health Policy Notes

August 12, 2009
A study reported in the 8/10/09 New York Times found “experimental evidence” that a five-second touch can convey emotion. When study participants attempted to convey one of eight emotions by touching another, accurate understanding of the emotion ranged from 50% to 74%.

Modern Healthcare reported on 8/11/09 that US patients who do not comply with their recommended prescription drug regimens cost about $290 billion per year, according to a study of New England Healthcare Institute data showing that half to one-third of patients to not properly follow prescription orders.

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote in an 8/7/09 that “although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall,” the 8/11/09 CQ HealthBeat reported.

Trustee Featured in Ohio Newspaper

August 11, 2009
AOA Trustee Robert S. Juhasz, DO, was pictured in the Northern Ohio newspaper, The News-Herald, in an 8/11/09 article, “Health care reform: Local officials agree on key aspects.” The article addressed Ohio’s role in the health system reform movement and local leaders’ ideas on how to effectively improve health care quality while reducing costs and expanding access to care. Dr. Juhasz was pictured examining a patient at the Willoughby Hills Family Medical Center, part of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic health system, which was prominently featured in the article. Dr. Juhasz is the Medical Director of the Willoughby Hills Family Medical Center. Read the article online.

Participate in Osteopathic Research Today!

August 11, 2009
The AOA Osteopathic Research Conference, “Translation of Genomic Science into Osteopathic Clinical Practice and Research,” will provide osteopathic physicians with a unique opportunity to gain knowledge about the current state of genomics, as well as how to integrate genomics and personalized medicine into their clinical practice and into uniquely osteopathic research. Held in conjunction with the 114th AOA Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, the research program will take place on 11/1-3/09 and feature key genomics experts from across the country. For more information about the conference speakers, please visit the Osteopathic Research Center Web site or DO-Online.

International Osteopathic Leaders Convene

August 11, 2009
The Osteopathic International Alliance’s (OIA) Board of Directors (BOD) convened via conference call under the leadership of Clive M. Standen, Chair. OIA Directors heard reports from committees vested with oversight of the OIA’s governance/finance, membership/recruitment, and internal and external affairs. The BOD also continued planning for the upcoming OIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Educational Forums, which will be held 10/15-18/09 in Sydney, Australia, and future AGM locations, including California, Belgium, and France.

DO Honored as Award Runner-Up

August 11, 2009
AOA member Sister Anne Brooks, DO, the Founder and Director of the Tutwiler Medical Clinic in Tutwiler, Mississippi, has been selected as one of four runners-up to the prestigious J.H. Kanter Prize. In its inaugural year, this prize recognizes individuals who enhance health care delivery for the world’s most underserved populations. Dr. Brooks provides multi-disciplinary care to some of the nation's most impoverished and medically underserved, offering not just primary health attention but education and resource assessment. She challenges entrenched civic, political and health care entities in the Mississippi Delta region to recognize and address the cumulative effects of social disadvantages on critical health needs. Dr. Brooks was nominated by the Mississippi Osteopathic Medical Association.

COM Faculty Announcements

August 11, 2009
In other great osteopathic family news, two colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) announced personnel changes this week. The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City has formally appointed Robert Goldberg, DO, as its Dean. Dr. Goldberg previously served as the TOUROCOM Interim Dean. The Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM) announced that Tye Barber, DO, PhD, and Katerina Linley, DO, have joined the Department of Family Medicine; Bruce Peters, DO, came on board as the medical director of the NSU medical clinics; and Paul Roberts, DO, is the new program director of the Florida Department of Corrections Residency. Congratulations all!

AOA Fact for the Day

August 11, 2009
Did you know…that the 20th Annual Osteopathic Medical Education Leadership Conference (OME XX) will be held 1/8-10/10 in Newport Beach, CA? Learn more and register to attend this great osteopathic educational event online.

Health Policy Notes

August 11, 2009
Reuters reported on 8/10/09 that several religious groups, including liberal-leaning evangelicals, some mainline Protestant clergy, and some Catholic groups, will partner with President Obama to support his health system reform plan. The campaign will feature an 8/19/09 call in with the President and religious leaders, prayer meetings, and national TV ads.

A column in the 8/11/09 Washington Post addressed whether we could fight America’s obesity epidemic by shifting the economic balance between healthy and unhealthy foods, limit junk food advertisements, and tax soda, all ideas proposed by Yale University professor Kelly Brownell.

Teams of physicians and nurses who worked together to provide proactive, evidence-based care to patients with chronic conditions saved an average of $1,364 per patient and averaged 24% fewer hospital days and 15% fewer emergency department visits, according to a Johns Hopkins study reported by MedPage Today on 8/7/09.

President Wickless Welcomes New NIH Head

August 10, 2009
AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, wrote to Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, today to congratulate him on his appointment as Director of the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH). The AOA has long been a champion of the NIH’s outstanding work, advocating on Capitol Hill for increased funding for medical research and the NIH and working with Dr. Collins to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) into law. As the osteopathic profession continues to build and enhance its own research efforts, President Wickless promised that the AOA looks forward to further opportunities to work with the NIH.

BCC Chairs Attend Leadership Training Retreat

August 10, 2009
All Chairs of AOA bureaus, councils, and committees (BCCs) were invited to attend a Leadership Orientation Training Retreat this past weekend in Chicago. To commence the meeting, President Wickless thanked the Chairs in attendance for their service and vested these leaders with the responsibility to take the lessons learned at the Retreat back to their BCCs. Vicky Gordon, PhD, a nationally recognized leader in organizational change and leadership, led the first session on the necessity of change and communications strategies to keep all BCC members moving forward and leading change. Bonnie Koenig moderated the Retreat and helped the BCC Chairs define their top five priorities to help the AOA effectively lead change.

Professionalism Working Group
AOA Trustees Thomas L. Ely, DO, Suzanne K. Kelley, DO, and William S. Mayo, DO, discuss professionalism while AOA Past President Peter B. Ajluni, DO, looks on.

New Membership Report Shows Growth

August 10, 2009
The AOA has released its latest membership and dues report, showing that we have attained 31,544 members as of 8/7/09, an increase of 723 members since last week and 1,496 members over this time last year. This number represents 80.5% of our budgeted revenue and 44.5% of our potential market share of all DOs. Of these 31,544 members, 5,455 are in postdoctoral training; 2,817 are life or honorary life members; and 3,043 are in their first three years of practice. We have retained over 50% of DOs who received gift memberships last year as members this year.

Correction re: Rocky Vista OPTI

August 10, 2009
On 8/7/09, this Daily Report announced the that Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine had formed a new Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institution (OPTI), the Rocky Mountain OPTI, when in fact the RVUCOM has just entered the preliminary stages of creation. This is the first step in the creation of an OPTI, which will still need to obtain accreditation from the AOA prior to commencing operations. The goals of Rocky Mountain OPTI are to increase the OGME opportunities in the state of Colorado and the Mountain West, emphasize rural and primary care training programs, and provide continuity of educational experiences from undergraduate education through residency and beyond.

Media Corner Spotlights VCOM Dean

August 10, 2009
AOA member Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO, Dean and Executive Vice President of the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), is featured on the front page of the August issue of Valley Business Front magazine. The cover story highlights the Virginia region’s commitment to medical mission work. Dr. Tooke-Rawlins was selected to be on the cover of this publication due to her strong humanitarian efforts and her leadership in VCOM’s international program, which includes several outreach clinics in Central America and the Caribbean. VCOM’s mission program is highlighted in the article beginning on page 8. Read more online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 10, 2009
Did you know…that, so far in FY2009, over 27,800 DOs have contributed a total of $275,823 to the American Osteopathic Information Association (AOIA) via their AOA dues bill? Almost 9,500 have contributed $370,345 to the American Osteopathic Foundation and 2,030 have given $93,887 to the Advocates for the AOA. Thank you for your support!

Health Policy Notes

August 10, 2009
Many large newspapers have published articles and guides that aim to clear up misinformation and clarify the provisions of several major health system reform proposals, the 8/10/09 Kaiser Health News reported; the White House has launched its own “Reality Check” Web site for the same purpose.

The Institute of Medicine has released The US Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade, which reports that the oral health workforce fails to meet the needs of many segments of the US population, often due to geography, insurance status, and income levels. Get a copy online.

According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, health care industry stakeholders representing all positions on the health care reform spectrum have spent more than $52 million on advertisements so far this year.

New Board Members' Orientation Session

August 07, 2009
AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, welcomed the new 2009-2010 AOA Trustees to Chicago today for an Orientation Session, which began today with a working luncheon. New Trustees Cory B. Maughan, OMS IV (student representative) and Nicole Y. Ottens, DO (intern/resident representative), along with our new Vice-Speaker of the AOA House of Delegates Ray L. Morrison, DO, were briefed on their roles, responsibilities, and expectations before meeting with members of AOA Senior Staff to learn more about the AOA’s inner workings. Following these meetings, Trustees who serve as AOA Department Chairs met with their corresponding staff Department Directors to review work plans and goals for the coming year as President Wickless “Leads Change” at the AOA and in our health care delivery system.

Executive Committee Convenes in Chicago

August 07, 2009
The full AOA Executive Committee convened in Chicago today in anticipation of Saturday’s full AOA Board of Trustees meeting. President Wickless and AOA President-elect Karen J. Nichols, DO, led a full agenda of governance items, including discussions on the roles and authority of the Executive Committee. Members also reviewed and analyzed successes and areas for growth in the AOA Annual Business Meeting. The Executive Committee will convene again tomorrow to consider several budgetary issues before presenting its recommendations to the full Board tomorrow.

AOF Annual Report Released

August 07, 2009
The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) has released the second edition of its newsletter HumanTouch, mailing this report to over 16,000 current and past AOF donors. This edition highlights AOF activities undertaken in FY 2009 and serves as the Foundation’s Annual Report. In particular, HumanTouch covers the AOF’s “Year in Review: Serving the Osteopathic Profession for 60 Years,” ways the AOF gives back to the osteopathic family, the vital role donors play, an overview of AOF finances, AOF leadership, and a look forward to the year and challenges ahead. Read a copy online today!

Prominent DO in New York Times

August 07, 2009
AOA member James N. Weinstein, DO, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, was cited in the 8/6/09 New York Times article, “Studies Question Using Cement for Spine Injuries.” The article reports on two new studies on treatments for spine fractures that found the treatments to be no more effective than placebos, and asks whether and how similar comparative effectiveness studies may affect the practice of medicine. Dr. Weinstein wrote an editorial accompanying the studies, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which he suggested that doctors should let patients decide for themselves which treatment to receive, rather than abandoning one or the other.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 07, 2009
Did you know…that the AOA Convention has a new name – the Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition, or “OMED” for short? Designed to evoke the educational nature of our largest annual event, OMED will take place on 11/1-5/09 in New Orleans. Learn more and register on DO-Online.

Health Policy Notes

August 07, 2009
The FDA announced on 8/6/09 that it will now take a stronger role in enforcing violations through five procedural changes: post-inspection deadlines, speedier warning letters, closer work with regulatory partners, a priority on enforcement, and acting swiftly to protect the public, the 8/6/09 CQ HealthBeat reported.

The News-Observer reported on 8/6/09 that only 17% of Americans thought obesity to be a major problem for themselves or their families, and only 4% reported themselves as “very overweight”; CDC data, on the other hand, shows that over 25% of people in two-thirds of US states are obese.

The 8/6/09 Chicago Sun-Times reported that women are more likely than men to “bargain hunt” in health care by comparing the costs of doctors and medical procedures and by purchasing generic medicines over name brands, according to a CIGNA-commissioned survey.

President Wickless Collaborates with BCBSA

August 06, 2009
AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, is at AOA Headquarters in Chicago today for a meeting with leadership of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). Today’s discussion focused on major issues on which our organizations could potentially collaborate, including promotion of the patient-centered medical home model, the BCBSA “Blues Distinction Program, quality recognition programs like the AOA Clinical Assessment Program, the AOIA Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, and health information technology issues including e-prescribing and electronic health records. BCBSA insurance plans cover 104 million lives, or nearly one of every three Americans.

Advocacy Teamwork on Chronic Disease Prevention

August 06, 2009
The AOA, the Ohio Osteopathic Association, and more than 250 members of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 7/31/09, urging Congress to place a greater emphasis on addressing chronic disease in health care reform legislation. The PFCD recommendations call for including care coordination models in Medicare; supporting prevention of chronic disease through primary prevention programs; removing barriers to effective treatment and management of chronic illness; and streamlining administrative health care costs. Collaboration in this way strengthens our message and, hopefully, helps achieve our goals. AOA Past President Peter B. Ajluni, DO, serves on the PFCD.

AOA Trustee Quoted in Kentucky Media

August 06, 2009
AOA Trustee Boyd R. Buser, DO, was quoted in the July 2009 Lane Report, a Kentucky business magazine, in a piece regarding the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM), of which Dr. Buser is Dean and Interim President. As the article states, PCSOM has been ranked by US News & World Report as one of the top 20 medical schools in the nation for rural medicine. Dr. Buser voiced the school’s commitment to rural medicine: “We’re keeping the promise we made when we opened the medical school to help ease the physician shortage in rural Kentucky and Appalachia.” The article also provides brief information to educate the public about osteopathic medicine and DOs. Read it online.

Article Promotes Benefits of Osteopathic Medicine

August 06, 2009
In other media news, AOA member Robert S. Maurer, DO, Executive Director of the American College of Osteopathic Rheumatology, was interviewed in an article for the Summer 2009 Publix Greenwise Market magazine. Entitled “Beyond the MD,” the article explored aspects of health care about which the public may not know. Osteopathic medicine earned a large section of the article, covering the full scope of DOs’ practice rights and the history of the DO profession. Dr. Maurer was quoted extolling the power of OMT to unleash the body’s “marvelous self-curative properties.” Read more online.

Osteopathic Education Conference Planning Continues

August 06, 2009
The Osteopathic Medical Education (OME) Leadership Conference Steering Committee convened via conference call today under the leadership of Michael Adelman, DO, and John Bulger, DO, Co-Chairs. The OME Conference is a collaborative effort between the AOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to provide training and best strategies to osteopathic educational leaders. Today’s conference call continued the planning process for the next OME conference, which is scheduled for January 2010 in Newport Beach, California. Discussions focused on conference themes, format, speakers, keynote topics, and priorities.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 06, 2009
Did you know…that today is A.T. Still’s birthday? Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, was born on August 6, 1828, in Jonesboro, Virginia. Let’s celebrate the 181st anniversary of Dr. Still's birth by getting back to the basics of osteopathic medicine and remembering what makes DOs great!

Health Policy Notes

August 06, 2009
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will host a Health Insurance Reform Webcast at 1:00 PM EDT on 8/7/09 (learn more online), during which federal health officials will answer questions from the public. Email questions to hhsstudio@hhs.gov and watch the Webcast tomorrow.

The World Health Organization announced on 8/4/09 that a total of 1,154 people worldwide have died from swine flu since the virus emerged in April, including 338 deaths last week alone; US officials expect a widespread flu outbreak this fall once school systems re-open, according to the 8/5/09 Chicago Sun-Times.

The 8/5/09 USA Today reported that several medical associations, including the American Diabetes Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, are creating an Obesity Medicine Physician Certification, which they expect to be available in 2010.

Annual Business Meeting Summary Posted

August 05, 2009
The 2009 Annual Business Meeting of the AOA Board of Trustees and House of Delegates was held 7/13-19/09 in Chicago, IL. Under the leadership of the 112th AOA President Carlo J. DiMarco, DO, the 2008-2009 AOA Board of Trustees held its final meeting, considering almost 50 resolutions. Under the leadership of AOA Speaker of the House Carl M. Pesta, DO, over 650 delegates and alternates convened at the Fairmont Hotel and considered over 150 resolutions, following which they elected Larry A. Wickless, DO, as the 113th President and Karen J. Nichols, DO, as President-elect. Learn more about the important policies and actions resulting from the Annual Meeting by reading this summary document online.

AOA Membership Numbers on the Rise

August 05, 2009
The latest AOA membership and dues report shows that our total membership has reached 30,821 as of 7/31/09. This number is an increase of 882 members since last week and 1,474 more members than we had at this time last year. It represents 78.7% of our budgeted revenue and 43.5% of our potential market share of all DOs. Testifying to the AOA’s success in providing valuable member benefits, 50% of the DOs who received gift memberships in FY 2009 have been retained this year to date, adding 1,088 DOs to the AOA family. AOA members continue to support affiliate organizations through their dues bill: 27,161 members have contributed $268,666 to the American Osteopathic Information Association and 9,286 have contributed $362,490 to the American Osteopathic Foundation. Thank you for your support!

Senior Staff Holds Planning Retreat

August 05, 2009
All members of the AOA Senior Staff convened our annual Senior Staff Retreat today in Chicago. The agenda for the meeting was titled “Managing Change,” using the focus of President Wickless’ year to guide discussions on how AOA staff can best help accomplish this goal. Today’s vibrant session shared ideas for the AOA’s future, including discussions on how to create a culture of customer service, data-driven strategies, creating dialogue and engagement with DOs, the AOA’s organizational adaptability, building alliances, and our ultimate goals.

Affiliate Publications Provide Updates

August 05, 2009
The Osteopathic Research Center has released its second quarter newsletter, which will soon be posted online. This publication contains information on the AOA Research Conference Program, osteopathic research in allopathic publications, and international osteopathic research activities. In other affiliate publication news, the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP) launched the fourth edition of its E-Journal this week and is offering free access to this journal to all osteopathic physicians and students. This is a quarterly publication and features peer reviewed manuscripts and other pediatric articles of interest. Read the journal online.

CMS Announces Hospital Payment Update

August 05, 2009
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that acute care hospitals will receive an inflation update in their payment rates of 2.1% in fiscal year 2010. Earlier this year, CMS had proposed to reduce payments to account for the effect of increases in aggregate payments due to changes in hospital coding practices that do not reflect increases in patient’s severity of illness. The changes will be effective beginning with discharges on or after 10/1/09. Read the full release online.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 05, 2009
Did you know…that the Priority Issues page on DO-Online.org features health care issues on which the AOA lobbies Administration, Congress and Federal Agencies? These priorities are based on policies set by the AOA House of Delegates, the current political landscape, and the AOA’s mission. Get information on our latest priorities on DO-Online.

Health Policy Notes

August 05, 2009
Health Leaders has drafted a brief analysis that compares and contrasts the three main health system reform proposals being considered in Congress: HR 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, aka The Tri-Conference Bill; the Affordable Health Choices Act, aka the Senate HELP Committee bill; and the Senate Finance Committee bill.

USA Today reported on 8/4/09 that the number of Americans taking antidepressants has doubled from about 13 million in 1995 to 27 million in 2005, or 10% of all Americans, according to a study of 50,000 children and adults published in yesterday’s Archives of General Psychiatry.

The 7/31/09 Health Day News reported that rates of childhood obesity have tripled over the last quarter-century. From 1976-1980, 0.8% of children were “severely obese”; by 2004, that rate rose to 3.8%, or as many as 2.7 million children, according to a study in Academic Pediatrics.

US Representatives Join AOA Opposition to IMAC

August 04, 2009
Sixty members of the US House of Representatives signed on to an 8/2/09 letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) opposing the Independent Medicare Advisory Council proposal. The position outlined in the letter is consistent with concerns raised by AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, in his 7/22/09 letter to Speaker Pelosi, which is available online. The Representatives took issue with the proposal’s intent to severely limit Congressional oversight of the Medicare program, which they believe threatens to remove transparency and accountability from Medicare governance.

Trustee Appointed Pikeville College Interim President

August 04, 2009
AOA Trustee Boyd R. Buser, DO, Dean of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM), has been named the PCSOM Interim President, following the retirement of former President Michael Looney. Dr. Buser will retain his duties as PCSOM Dean as well as take on the temporary presidential position while school officials search for a permanent President. A native of Iowa, Dr. Buser graduated from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1981 and is board-certified in family practice and OMM. In addition to his duties on the AOA Board, Dr. Buser has served as President of the American Academy of Osteopathy and the Maine Osteopathic Association, as well as Chairman of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. Congratulations, Boyd!

OIA Executive Committee Convenes

August 04, 2009
Dr. Buser also represented the AOA yesterday on a conference call of the Osteopathic International Alliance’s (OIA) Executive Committee, on which he serves and of which Clive Standen is Chair. Primary topics for discussion on the call included planning for the 2009 Sydney OIA Educational Conference and Annual General Meeting, along with consideration of future venues for OIA Conferences. The OIA aims to be “the primary international organization entrusted by the osteopathic profession to work for global osteopathic unity and to advocate for high quality osteopathic health care,” according to its mission statement.

Osteopathic Society Sponsors International Medical Outreach

August 04, 2009
In other international news, the Hillsboro (Florida) County Osteopathic Medical Society (HCOMS) reaching out through medical mission trips to provide care to underserved countries. The HCOMS sponsored eleven osteopathic medical students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton to spend a week treating patients alongside DOs at a local clinic in Treasure Beach on the southern tip of Jamaica. There are no physicians or medical services available within 25 miles of the clinic, which is hosted by the Treasure Beach Women’s Club and approved by the Ministry of Health of Jamaica. The HCOMS is planning additional mission trips in November 2009, March 2010, and July 2010.

Collaboration at IOM Roundtable on Best Practices

August 04, 2009
AOA member Richard Snow, DO, represented the AOA last week at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine’s discussion on Best Practices in Health Care: Matching Practice with Opportunity. The meeting aimed to enhance understanding and insight on gaps between evidence of best care and the delivery of best care and to identify approaches to improve application of intervention. Participants discussed principal challenges and barriers to delivering best care and explored opportunities to improve effective delivery of established best practices.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 04, 2009
Did you know…that President Wickless has posted information on his AOA President’s Blog providing his and the AOA’s views on health system reform? Many AOA members are concerned about several provisions and potential changes being considered in Congress, and the AOA wants to hear your thoughts about them. Read President Wickless’ statement online.

Health Policy Notes

August 04, 2009
The 8/3/09 CQ HealthBeat reported that the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has taken a stand against HR 3200, saying the legislation will “kill jobs” and “hurt patients.”

The Washington Post reported on 7/31/09 that some physicians have started to practice “self-referrals,” often purchasing imaging and other equipment to provide such services in-house, rather than referring patients to other physicians; only Maryland bans this practice.

USA Today reported on 8/3/09 that hospitals vary widely in quality and cost data across the country, according to a Dartmouth analysis of Medicare data; this analysis show that hospitals in higher-performing regions had up to 14% fewer admissions, 17% fewer days in the hospital, and 36% fewer visits to specialists.

US House Approves HR 3200 Before Recessing

August 03, 2009
The US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee this past Friday evening, 7/31/09, approved the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act” (HR 3200) on a vote of 31-28. Five Democrats joined all 23 Republicans in voting against the bill. The House Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committee’s previously approved the legislation on 7/16/08. The Energy and Commerce Committee version of the bill is substantially amended, requiring reconciliation with the bills approved by the other two Committees prior to floor consideration. HR 3200, as amended, has been endorsed by several physician organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the America College of Surgeons. The House of Representatives is in recess until 9/8/09.

AOA Plans Health Reform Town Hall Meeting

August 03, 2009
Speaking of health system reform, federal efforts to enact meaningful, comprehensive reform continue to evolve rapidly. Every week, we hear about new health reform legislation and proposals being considered in Washington, DC. To keep AOA members up-to-date on HR 3200 and the other latest news, the AOA will host a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on 9/8/09 at 8:30 pm EDT. More details will soon be posted on DO-Online and will be provided in next month’s issue of Touch Points, along with this Daily Report. Register today!

Osteopathic Educators Convene in Chicago

August 03, 2009
The AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Medical Educators (BOME) met in Chicago on 8/1/09 under the leadership of Susan Zonia, PhD, to hear reports on a number of priority issues affecting the continuum of osteopathic medical education, including expanding primary care medicine, health reform legislation, and the AOA OGME Development Initiative. BOME members considered several new projects and directives for the coming year and discussed pending issues such as resident work hours, retention of training records, and an upcoming research project. I provided an overview of the critical education issues considered by the AOA House of Delegates at its Annual Meeting last month.

New Outreach Tool Posted on DO-Online

August 03, 2009
The AOA’s August 2009 Health for the Whole Family (HFWF) article, “Managing Migraines,” is now available for download here. This article, which was developed with input from Fred G. Freitag, DO, the Associate Director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, IL, educates patients on how to treat, manage, and ultimately prevent migraines, with the proper guidance from a physician. To sign up for the Health for the Whole Family series and receive customizable versions of health articles like this one to send to your local papers or place in practice newsletters and patient reception areas, email pr@osteopathic.org.

Media Corner Spotlights NPR Program on Medical Homes

August 03, 2009
National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country today and tomorrow will air segments on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model for care during the “All Things Considered” program. The segment will also be posted on the NPR Web site. The voices in the story include two doctors from Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, a patient, the leader of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), and an orthopedic surgeon. Together, these voices aim to show the PCMH concept from all sides. The AOA is a leader in the PCPCC, of whose Steering Committee I serve as Chair.

AOA Fact for the Day

August 03, 2009
Did you know… that, to keep health care reform advocacy momentum high, the AOA is planning grass roots activities for its members during the August recess? If you want to be kept in the loop about these upcoming events, join the AOA Grassroots Osteopathic Advocacy Link today!

Health Policy Notes

August 03, 2009
On 7/28/09 the US Department of Health and Human Services announced its plans to allocate over the next few months $200 million appropriated in the stimulus package for health professions training programs. Learn more online.


House Republicans have released the outlines of a proposal, the "Empowering Patients First Act," which contains four pillars of reform: universal access to coverage; coverage is owned by the patient; improving health care delivery structure; and reining in health care costs. They will introduce the legislation in the fall. A one-page summary is available online.

The 7/30/09 USA Today reported that President Obama stated that the costs of health care reform over ten years would be less than the Iraq War; since 2001, Congress has approved $864 billion for military operations launched after 9/11, including $642 billion for Iraq.