Physician Practice Roundup—Family physicians oppose proposed Title X changes, plus more news

Female-Patient-Doctor-Women's-Health-Credit:Getty/monkeybusinessimages
The AAFP says proposed Title X changes will threaten women's health and doctors' ethics. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Family physicians oppose proposed Title X changes

The Trump administration’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program would threaten evidence-based patient care, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The AAFP said the proposed changes would "force family physicians to omit important and accurate medical information necessary for our patients to make timely, fully informed decisions.” The proposed changes to Title X, released in early June, would block family planning providers that receive federal Title X funding from making abortion referrals or sharing facilities or staff with an abortion provider.

The AAFP sent a letter (PDF) raising key issues to HHS Secretary Alex Azar ahead of a July 31 deadline for public comments on the proposed rule. "This encroaches on physicians' codes of ethics and responsibilities to our patients," AAFP President Michael Munger, M.D., of Overland Park, Kansas, said in a July 26 statement. (AAFP article)

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AARP: 3 in 4 older adults support opioid prescription limits

A majority of older Americans support limits on the opioids their physician would be able to prescribe for them in their efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, according to a new AARP and Michigan Medicine National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the poll of more than 2,000 adults between the ages of 50 and 80 found nearly 30% had a prescription for an opioid filled within the last two years. (FierceHealthcare)

CMS proposes nixing pain-management questions from HCAHPS in response to opioid epidemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is planning to eliminate a set of questions on pain management from its nationwide patient experience survey, just months after rolling out updates to the questions. 

The changes to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) are part of its proposed Outpatient Prospective Payment System update (PDF) for this year. CMS said that it's looking to cut the questions as part of its response to the opioid epidemic, following recommendations from the White House's commission on the matter. (FierceHealthcare)

ACOs skittish over MSSP rule delay as CMS silence creates mounting uncertainty

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are growing increasingly worried about an extended delay of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and a lack of communication from the Trump administration.

A proposed rule that would outline regulatory changes to the ACO program has been under review by the Office of Management and Budget since the beginning of May. Meanwhile, ACOs still don’t have applications for the 2019 participation year, and they’ve received no guidance on the application process, which typically kicks off in early spring.

“Here we stand on the 27th of July and we don’t have a clear statement about the program, let alone an application,” Jeff Micklos, executive director of the Health Care Transformation Task Force, told FierceHealthcare. (FierceHealthcare)

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