Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare
On October 3, 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors. The EO is a direct response to proposed Medicare for All legislation and is intended to bolster current Medicare programs and initiatives by focusing on market-based approaches like Medicare Advantage (MA). Of concern to ACOFP members is a directive to review policies that “create disparities” in reimbursement between physicians and non-physicians and then promulgate a rule to ensure that items and services provided by both physicians and mid-level practitioners (i.e., physician assistants and nurse practitioners) are appropriately reimbursed according to work performed rather than the “clinician’s occupation.ACOFP is developing a response to this specific directive that likely will include federal advocacy. In the meantime, ACOFP will continue to monitor agency activity and will provide members with updates.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Be Sight Threatening
The authors of Ocular Manifestations of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the September/October 2019 issue of Osteopathic Family Physician discuss the less known association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and ophthalmic disease. With the effects of increasing obesity, aging and more effective screening and testing methods, the prevalence of OSA is now considered a global public health issue. 

Estimated Levels of Waste: US Health Care System Update

Shank, et al. provide a 2019 update to the IOM and Berwick and Hackbarth estimated levels of waste in Waste in the US Health Care System Estimated Costs and Potential for SavingsThe authors’ 2019 review of the current literature estimates that the total cost of waste is 25% of total health care expenditures in the US; lower than previous estimates. Read the full article for more data and to find out what measures are proposed as an opportunity to reduce the continued increases in US health care expenditures.

Namey/Burnett Preventive Medicine Blog Entry
Read about oral supplements for iron deficiency and more in the latest ACOFP Namey/Burnett Preventive Medicine Award blog post by Anna Augustin, DO titled What's New in Iron Supplementation: Your Patient's Gut May Thank You.

Minority/LGBTQI+ Health Disparity & Wellness Poster Competition Open for Entries

The ACOFP Minority/LGBTQI Health and Wellness Committee invites all osteopathic students and family medicine residents to participate in the 2020 Jeffrey Grove, DO, FACOFP dist. Minority/LGBTQI+ Health Disparity & Wellness Poster CompetitionAll posters should highlight the activities and issues related to eliminating health disparities with the emphasis on LGBTQI+ and minority populations (including African American, Latinx, Asian Americans, Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Native Alaskans) by providing education, resources and awareness to colleagues and patients.