51 Cases of Measles in Washington; County Public Health Director Discusses Importance of Vaccination


As of Feb. 6, the state of Washington has confirmed 51 cases of measles(www.doh.wa.gov) during what has become another vaccine-preventable outbreak in the United States. Forty-nine of the 50 cases of measles occurred in Clark County, Wash., and of these 49 cases, 42 of the patients were unimmunized and 34 were age 10 or younger. Of course, these outbreaks could be curbed if parents vaccinated their children with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), or measles, mumps, rubella and varicella/chickenpox (MMRV) vaccines.

AAFP interviews Public Health Director for Clark County Alan Melnick, MD, MPH., CPH. about the measles outbreak in Washington. Dr. Melnick said he really hopes family physicians across the country, and the AAFP, use the Washington measles outbreak to combat misinformation about vaccines, including MMR, that has been shared on social media. He also encouraged the AAFP to advocate for policy change to lead to higher vaccination rates and for adequate funding of the public health system to support public health departments in situations like the current measles outbreak. Finally, Dr. Melnick suggested family physicians take leadership roles in their communities, such as on the school board or as a team physician, advocating to improve immunization rates in student populations.

The full story with Dr. Melnick’s health advisory and immunization recommendations for patients during a measles outbreak is on the AAFP website.

FP Essentials™ Call for Authors


Soliciting authors for FP Essentials™, a clinical monograph that is one of the AAFP’s largest educational activities. This is an opportunity to contribute to an important continuing medical education (CME) and Board Review publication with thousands of subscribers.

Manuscripts must be evidence based and case oriented. Medical editors will review all proposals, select one or more for further consideration, and contact a prospective author before the final selection. Authors are awarded a $4,000 honorarium to prepare a manuscript and see it through to publication.

FP Essentials is currently seeking authors for these topics:

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Shoulder Disorders
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune Disorders

Find out more details by visiting the AAFP website.


Ohio AFP’s “Wellness Wednesdays” Series Kicks off February 20


The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians announces its 2019 “Wellness Wednesdays” series and invites you to join.

Wellness Wednesdays is a structured, bi-monthly webinar series focused on enhancing professional and personal wellness through the joy of medicine. Sessions are scheduled on a Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. – noon, and are free to join. Check out the 2019 schedule.

February 20, 2019 | 11:15 a.m. – noon
Precepting: Finding Joy in Teaching the Next Generation
Speaker: Christina Kelly, MD

Read more

Please complete AAFP Member Census


Tell the AAFP how they can better support you in this quick, 12-question survey.

A little information can create a lot of influence.  Your responses will allow AAFP  and KAFP to gain a better understanding of who you are and how you practice.
Why is the member census so important? Your information is used to:

  • Define resources and benefits for AAFP members
  • Help your member organization better serve you and your fellow members
  • Advance the specialty of family medicine while trying to save members time and money

Your answers are essential to helping AAFP understand you and how to best support you and our specialty.

Join AAFP in Las Vegas this spring | Emergency and Urgent Care live course


Attend the Emergency and Urgent Care course in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 1–4. Know the latest treatment options in emergency and urgent care settings, gain hands-on skills, and recognize when to treat and when to refer. At the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Prepare treatment plans for patients who present to emergency departments and/or urgent care clinics.
• Evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with acute health needs affecting any number of body systems, including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, maternity, psychological, or musculoskeletal conditions.
• Incorporate emergency plans into practice, including written protocols and necessary equipment/tools for treatment.

Earn up to 26 AAFP Prescribed credits—20 credits for attending the course and another 6 for participating in optional procedural skills workshops (additional fees apply). AAFP members: $995/Nonmembers: $1,295

Optional Workshop Sessions: Participate in the clinical procedural workshops on Mindfulness, ECG Interpretation, Point-of-Care Ultrasound, or Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®) to enhance your learning and hands-on experience.

Save $100 when you register by April 1. Register now or call (800) 274-2237.

2019 Medicare Opioid Changes


Effective January 1, 2019, CMS announced new strategies to further help Medicare Part D sponsors prevent and combat opioid overuse including additional safety alerts at the time of dispensing as a proactive step to engage both patients and prescribers about overdose risk and prevention.

The CMS advises, “As the new opioid safety alerts are implemented in 2019, on-going communication among the pharmacist, the Part D plan, and the prescriber will be critical. Physicians and other prescribers can protect their patients’ access to medically necessary drugs by responding to pharmacists’ or plan sponsors’ telephone calls or case management notices. Providers will also want to initiate coverage determinations or exceptions, when clinically appropriate. To avoid a prescription being rejected at the pharmacy, prescribers may proactively request a coverage determination in advance.  The time frame for an expedited coverage determination request applies when the prescriber indicates, or the plan decides, that applying the standard time frame may seriously jeopardize the enrollee’s life, health, or ability to regain maximum function. If the request meets the criteria for an expedited review by the plan, the plan must make its decision and notify the patient as expeditiously as their health condition requires, but no later than 24 hours after receipt of the request.”

Visit the CMS website for further information.


Understand the new ABFM Exam Pilot


You have until Jan. 3 to enroll in the new ABFM exam option. Get details about the test, and take the self-check to see if it’s a good choice for you.

MIPS Assistance for Solo Practice Doctors & Small Practices


How Medicare quality data gets reported this year affects 2020 payment. The AAFP has all the information needed to help you navigate important changes in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for 2018:

2018 MIPS Playbook (available only to AAFP members)

FPM Article: Making Sense of MACRA in 2018: Six Things You Need to Know

* Making Sense of MACRA: Navigate Changes to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in 2018

Physician Health First: Your health before all else


Physician Health First is a web portal dedicated to improving family physician well-being. Find guidance to address your workplace challenges, tools to assess your risk of physician fatigue, and inspiration to put your well-being first. Learn more.

FPM Journal Seeking New Medical Editor


The AAFP is seeking a knowledgeable, forward-thinking family physician to serve as FPM’s next medical editor. More information about the part-time, paid position (approximately 2 to 3 hours per week) are included in the job description and application instructions (2 page PDF). The application deadline is Jan. 15, 2019.