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Obamacare Under a Trump Administration
Writer Steven Pearlstein of The Washington Post provides his take on Obamacare under a Trump administration. MCMS Chairman Mark Lopatin said  Pearlstein’s explanation on a complex issue is worth the read. Read the article.

Still need CME?
PAMED has more than 50 credits of online CME to meet license renewal requirements. If you need patient safety and risk management credits, visit the 2015 and 2016 editions of CME Consult.
A Doctor's View: What Losing Obamacare Would Mean for Women's Health
by Sherry L. Blumenthal, M.D.
Before the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was passed, I remember so many times when our insured, employed private patients could not afford effective birth control. There was a good clinic at our hospital that took Medicaid and had a sliding payment scale for the uninsured.
In Pennsylvania, Medicaid did provide some coverage for contraception though many women, especially during their college years, relied upon Planned Parenthood. Many of our patients of reproductive age had insurance through their employers, who chose not to cover contraception or maternity care. Birth control pills -- even generics -- cost up to $30 a month, or $360 a year, too expensive for many. 
Read more

Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse Important Notice
​For licensed physicians in Pennsylvania, a three-hour child abuse reporting course only counts as two hours towards your 100 total hours for licensure renewal according to both state boards of medicine. CME deadline is Dec. 31 for MDs. Don't wait until the deadline to take the course. Once you complete state-approved training, it must be processed by the state before you can renew your license. Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) offers an approved online course. See more on license renewal.


Mac Issues with Medical License Renewal

PAMED was made aware that there may be issues with processing your payment if you renew your medical license using a Mac or other Mac-OS based computer, tablet, or mobile device. The Department of State recommends verifying the status of your license online to ensure that your license renewal is processed. Learn More.

Department of Veterans Affairs Issues Final Rule on Nurse Practitioners Modern Healthcare (12/13, Dickson, Subscription Publication) reports The Veteran Affairs Department on Tuesday issued a final rule to “allow advanced-practice registered nurses to practice to their full authority at VA facilities” though the rule does not include “certified registered nurse anesthetists.” The move “is opposed by the American Medical Association (AMA), which immediately slammed the rule.” Andrew Gurman, MD, President of the AMA, said, “This part of the VA’s final rule will rewind the clock to an outdated model of care delivery that is not consistent with the current direction of the healthcare system.” The VA expects the rule to “make it easier for veterans to be seen by medical professionals.” Read more.
Pa. Senate Holding Regional Telephone Town Halls on Opioid Abuse
There were 3,383 drug-related overdose deaths reported in Pennsylvania in 2015, an increase of 23 percent over 2014, according to a recent Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report. It's clear that the Commonwealth is in the midst of an opioid abuse crisis, and Pennsylvania legislators are among those taking action to address the epidemic. Sen. Gene Yaw and the Senate Republican Caucus are holding a series of Telephone Town Hall events over the coming months to offer Pennsylvania residents the opportunity to connect with and learn from local experts on the heroin and opioid crisis. The Southeast region tele-town hall is scheduled for Jan. 10, 6:30 p.m. Read more for call-in details. 
PA PDMP Registrations with a “Pending” Status: An Update for Prescribers and Dispensers
The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) has heard from members who received an email from the Pennsylvania Department of Health's (DOH's) PDMP office concerning a registration in a "pending" status. PAMED reached out to DOH and has received confirmation that email correspondence is being sent to prescribers and dispensers whose applications are still listed as pending.

While most prescribers and dispensers are registering for and using the PDMP successfully, there are some PDMP registrations that are stuck in a pending status. This status can occur if a registration is missing required information or contains inaccurate information (e.g. the application is missing a date of birth or DEA license number.)
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Physicians and Other Prescribers Can Now Get Pennsylvania Guidelines for the Safe Prescribing of Benzodiazepines
PA Physician General Rachel Levine, MD, and Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis released the voluntary guidelines on Dec. 8. The benzodiazepine recommendations are the latest in a series of opioid prescribing/dispensing guidelines developed by the commonwealth's Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force in coordination with organizations like the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED). Download the guidelines for "Safe Prescribing of Benzodiazepines for Acute Treatment of Anxiety and Insomnia" here.

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