Physician Practice Roundup—Family physicians can help when kids are bullied and more news

Family physicians can help when kids are bullied

Family physicians have a role to play when it comes to helping patients and families confront bullying, says the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Family physicians can help identify and address the harmful effects of bullying including physical injury, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

“My job as a family physician is to advocate for my patients. Sometimes this means meeting with school administrators, coordinating counseling and developing an individualized plan involving school and home support systems,” said Kathleen Eubanks-Meng, D.O., a family physician in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, who has cared for high school students with symptoms of depression related to online and face-to-face bullying. (AAFP announcement)

House passes sweeping opioid measure

The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a sweeping piece of legislation aimed at addressing the opioid crisis by funding prevention and treatment initiatives and efforts to combat illicit drugs like fentanyl.

The legislation, which passed 396 to 14, contained dozens of measures to address responses to opioid misuse and was among multiple measures passed by the House related to opioids in the last two weeks.

“This package is not Congress’ first legislative response to this crisis, nor will it be our last. But it does include meaningful solutions that will update archaic policies, better equip our communities to respond to this evolving epidemic and save lives,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., R-Texas, in a statement. (Fierce Healthcare)

Nearly 400 people used medical aid-in-dying law in California in 2017

While California’s physician aid-in-dying law faces an uncertain future, state officials reported that 374 terminally ill people took prescription drugs to end their lives in 2017, the first full year after the law took effect. Some 241 physicians prescribed the drugs under the state law.

The California Department of Public Health said 577 people received a prescription for the life-ending drugs last year, but not everyone decided to use them. Of those patients who took the drugs, 90.4% were 60 years of age or older and 83.4% were receiving hospice and/or palliative care. Most patients (68.5%) had cancer. (CDPH report)