Top 10 Health Care Stories of the Year


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What an incredible year 2012 was! The news media were inundated with stories from every portion of the health care sphere – from dramatic , once-in-a-lifetime court decisions to some of “the usual suspects.”

What were the top 10 health care stories of 2012? The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians has selected its biggest news stories of the year. Click through the following slides to relive 2012: a banner year for health care!

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Top 10 Health Care Stories of the Year

  1. 1. What an incredible year 2012was! The news media were the top 10 health careinundated with stories fromevery portion of the health care stories of 2012sphere – from dramatic , once-in-a-lifetime court decisions tosome of “the usual suspects.”What were the top 10 healthcare stories of 2012? ThePennsylvania Academy ofFamily Physicians has selectedits biggest news stories of theyear. Click through thefollowing slides to relive 2012: abanner year for health care!
  2. 2. Tobacco use is still very much aproblem in America and 10. the war on tobacco.worldwide. In fact, it’s rising insome demographics: A newstate study out of Californiashows rates increasing there in18-to-24-year-olds. Smokingresearch and statistics wereprevalent among the healthnews headlines in 2012.Click here to see PAFP 2012-13Board Chair Dennis Gingrich,MD talk to WITF about thehistory of smoking. And clickhere to read about Tar Wars, thePAFP’s program to get fourth-and fifth-graders to say “no” totobacco, in the York DailyRecord’s Cram Session blog.
  3. 3. The safety of certain energydrinks has come under scrutiny 9. the energy drink healthin 2012, with The New YorkTimes reporting 13 deaths scare.linked to one brand. The Foodand Drug Administration (FDA)is planning an investigation,which means this story willlikely stretch well into 2013.Click here to see PAFP memberMatthew Silvis, MD talk toabc27 News about caffeine usein children and teenagers.
  4. 4. In July and August of 2012,cases of a variant form of the 8. influenza epidemics.H3N2 virus, also known as“swine flu”, increased quicklyand significantly. And, at thebeginning of December, theCenters for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) said this fluseason could be particularlysevere.Click here to watch PAFP 2012-13 Board Chair Dennis Gingrich,MD talk to abc27 News aboutinfluenza outbreaks.Additionally, click here to readabout how family physiciansprepare for widespreadoutbreaks of disease.
  5. 5. Conversations about thechanging nature of the 7. the evolving physician-physician-patient relationshiptook place across the media patient relationship.spectrum in 2012. Physiciansand patients working togetheris an absolute necessity forquality health care, a threadthat wove its way throughmedia coverage this year.Click here to see PAFP membersWanda Filer, MD; DennisGingrich, MD; and Peter Lewis,MD on the HealthSmartprogram on WITF.
  6. 6. “Preventive care” has neverbeen more of a buzz term than 6. the importance ofit was in 2012, especially giventhe rapidly changing health preventive environment. From newsabout vaccinations topreventable hospitalizations,the media in 2012 did a greatjob making the connectionbetween quality preventivecare and a cost-efficient healthsystem.Click here to listen to PAFPPresident Kevin Wong, MDdiscuss about the importance ofback-to-school vaccinations onKDKA. Also, click here to readMolly Talley, PAFP Director ofResident and StudentInitiatives, talk to ThePennsylvania Independentabout preventable hospitalstays.
  7. 7. “Patient-centered medicalhome” may have been a 5. the rise of the patient-confusing new term to themedia, patients, and even some centered medical home.physicians at the beginning ofthe year. That’s likely not thecase anymore. The health caremodel of the future, whichemphasizes coordinated careand quality improvement, isvery much one of the hot newstopics of the moment in 2012.Click here to read 2012-13President Kevin Wong, MD andPAFP Vice President and CEOJohn Jordan talk about theimportance of the patient-centered medical home in ThePenn-Trafford Star (part of thePittsburgh Tribune-Review).
  8. 8. Electronic health records (EHR)systems are an important part 4. the growing necessity ofof the transforming health carelandscape. In 2012, the Centers electronic health records.for Medicare and MedicaidServices (CMS) released a finalrule for Stage 2 of its EHRincentive programs, one of thebiggest health care stories ofthe year.Click here to read PAFP healthinformation technology expertsTracy Koval and Pam Wilsherediscuss electronic health recordimplementation in The CentralPenn Business Journal.
  9. 9. The influx of a newly insuredpopulation into the patient pool 3. the looming primary carehas led to speculation thatAmerica’s primary care shortage.workforce may not be able tohandle the burden. Concernsover a primary care shortagehave led to other questionsabout topics like medicaleducation and scope-of-practice, providing plenty offodder for health care sectionsand segments of newspapers,websites and broadcast outlets.Click here to read PAFP memberMarjorie A. Bowman and otherstalk to The New York Timesabout the looming primary careshortage and how to compelmedical students to seekcareers in family medicine.
  10. 10. States had until Dec. 14 todecide whether or not they’d 2. health insuranceimplement a health insuranceexchange – where those exchanges.without work-based insurancecan shop for coverage – or havethe federal government operateit. Policy, politics, and costapprehension made for a huge(and often confusing) healthcare story in 2012.Click here to hear the PAFPrespond to Pa. Gov. TomCorbett’s announcement thatPennsylvania will not set up itsown health insurance exchangeon abc27 News.
  11. 11. Months of speculation andanalysis – rivaled only by the 1. the patient protectionpresidential election in fervorand intensity – ended on June and affordable care act.28, 2012 when the UnitedStates Supreme Court upheldthe constitutionality of themajority of the PatientProtection and Affordable CareAct (PPACA), the health careoverhaul law often called“Obamacare” by supporters andcritics alike. The rare story thateveryone seemed to have apassionate opinion on, theAffordable Care Act absolutelydominated the news cycle in2012.Click here to view PAFP BoardChair Dennis Gingrich, MDdiscuss the implications of thehealth care law on abc27 News.