AOA and boards conspire

See below for AOA and licensure boards conspiring on OCC/MOL:
Paragraph 3 “Teamwork Among MOL/OCC Leaders”

IN THIS ISSUE of AOA Daily Report

Advocacy for Patient Safety

AOA Comments on HIT Plan

Teamwork Among MOL/OCC Leaders

AOF Elects New President

Loan Repayment Opportunity

Health Policy Notes

AOA Fact of the Day

Did you know…that, as of Feb. 8, the AOA has reached a total of 44,749 members? This is an increase of only 67 since last week but is 2,446 more members than we had at this time last year. This represents a market share of 54.4% of all DOs. Thank you for your loyalty and support!

ARTICLES

Advocacy for Patient Safety
AOA President Ray E. Stowers, DO, wrote to the Chair of the Montana Senate Committee on Business, Labor and Economic Affairs on Feb. 11 in opposition to HB 94 and asking for an amendment in committee. As written, this bill recognizes “naturopathic physician” as a “licensed and practicing health care provider” for unemployment insurance purposes. Ambiguous practitioner titles and terminology confuse the public about the distinctions between different types of health care practitioners—a recent survey found that only 51% of patients can easily identify a licensed physician by reading their title and the services they offer. Therefore, we asked the Committee to amend HB 94 to recognize naturopathic practitioners by their degree, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, rather than by a professional title that includes the word “physician.”

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AOA Comments on HIT Plan
On Feb. 4, the AOA submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) on the proposed HIT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan. Our comments concur with the ONC that safety of HIT systems could be improved by collecting more and better data about HIT-related risks; targeting resources and corrective actions to improve HIT safety; and promoting a culture of HIT safety at federal and state levels. AOA comments also included details on challenges our members face in adopting and using HIT, including medication errors, extra time, and burdensome pathways to information. All comments received will be reviewed before the ONC publishes its final plan later this year.

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Teamwork Among MOL/OCC Leaders
I represented the AOA yesterday on a conference call of a multi-stakeholder “CEO Advisory Group” to oversee development and implementation of Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) programs in the states. The Group is composed of leadership from the Federation of State Medical Boards, National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the AOA, and other educational bodies. Our call discussed MOL programs, how they will affect Maintenance of Certification and Osteopathic Continuous Certification, and avenues for collaboration in the advancement of MOL pilot projects and communication efforts.

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AOF Elects New President
The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) recently concluded one of its best years ever, with nearly $1 million raised through annual fundraising efforts led by 2012 AOF President Philip L. Shettle, DO, a past AOA president. To keep this great momentum going, the AOF Board of Directors has elected John H. Windsor, DO, as 2013 President. The AOF relies primarily on the annual generosity of individual members of the osteopathic medical profession to sustain its many programs, which you can help support by donating online. Loyal supporters are commended for their generosity and commitment to giving back and helping to advance the mission of the AOF. Keep involved with the latest AOF news and events online.

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Loan Repayment Opportunity
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) has opened its 2013 application cycle, which runs through April 16. The program offers primary care medical, dental, mental and behavioral health providers the opportunity to have their student loans repaid while serving in communities with limited access to care. To help ensure that the communities with the greatest need are supported, qualified applicants working in Health Professional Shortage Area with the highest scores as of Jan. 1 will be given funding preference. With continued service, NHSC providers may be able to pay off all of their student loans. If you have questions about the FY 2013 LRP application process, call the NHSC Customer Care Center at (800) 221-9393, email gethelp@hrsa.gov, or visit the NHSC website.

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Health Policy Notes
A Jan. 28 Wall Street Journal article examined the increasing trend for physicians to become employees, rather than self-employed, and its potential to be a “radical factor in the transformation of health care—the doctor as union worker.”

Kaiser Health News reported on Jan. 30 that as much as one-third of the $2.7 trillion spent on health care each year may be due to wasteful practices of physicians and hospitals that could be eliminated without hurting patients, based on decades of research showing regional variations in Medicare spending.

The Feb. 7 USA Today reported that the number of people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease will almost triple by 2050, from 5 million now to 13.8 million in 2050, straining the health care system and taxing the health of caregivers.

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AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION
142 East Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60611 | Toll-free phone: (800) 621-1773 | General phone: (312) 202-8000

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