Impact of CMS 2019 Final Rule on Family Physicians
On November 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2019 Physician Fee Schedule final rule, which included several changes that may significantly impact how family physicians practice. The final rule delayed any changes to E/M payment until 2021. Until then, the codes and payment for Levels 1-5 for new and existing patients will remain the same as in 2018.

CMS Final Rule for Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System
On November 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2019 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule. The relevant changes will impact family physicians employed by hospitals or practicing in offices owned by hospitals. CMS will see that the payment rates for outpatient clinic visits and comparable E/M services are equalized at the PFS reimbursement rate. CMS also finalized changes to its 340B Program-acquired drugs policy. 

FDA Plan to Restrict e-Cigarette Sales
The FDA is planning to severely restrict e-cigarette products across the country, the Washington Post reports. In the coming weeks, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores across the country. The FDA could also establish age verification requirements for online e-cigarette retailers.

Advanced Care Survey
ACOFP is requesting help from members in filling out a short survey being conducted by Audrey Oakley, a third-year family medicine resident at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. As part of her senior research project to identify barriers physicians face when assisting their patients with advanced care planning, she is conducting a survey of family medicine physicians. The 14-question survey takes about ten minutes to complete and seeks information about when physicians discuss advanced care planning with their patients and what triggers those conversations.

Health Is Primary: Focus on Diabetes
In November, Health is Primary  focuses on diabetes and highlights the role of primary care physicians in preventing and managing chronic conditions. Join in and share the facts about the prevalence of chronic conditions in the United States and how primary care-integrated teams can provide better care, and better outcomes at lower costs. Download the November toolkit to share with patients today.     

How Women Choose Prenatal Providers
In the November/December issue of Osteopathic Family Physician, the authors of the research article How Women Choose Prenatal Providers in the Twin Tiers present research findings on a study conducted to determine what factors guide their choice, if they repeat the choice and if they know family medicine physicians can provide prenatal care. 

ACOFP Future Leaders Conference Deadline Approaching
The deadline to submit completed nominations for the 2019 Future Leaders Conference is fast approaching! Nomination forms are due November 15, 2018. The conference is designed for outstanding new physicians (in practice five years or less) and residents who are interested in achieving a greater awareness of their leadership style and its impact on their professional performance.