The Pulse is the bi-weekly e-newsletter from The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan's largest physician organizations serving more than 2,200 primary care and specialty physicians.
The Pulse of The Physician Alliance
Friday, December 8, 2017
New CDC campaign raises awareness of antibiotic use

At least 80 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While antibiotics certainly save lives, it's important for healthcare providers and patients to keep in mind that continued use of antibiotics lead to side effects and risk of antibiotic resistance.  
In an effort to raise awareness about safe use of antibiotics, the CDC launched the Be Antibiotics Aware campaign. This national effort works to help fight antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic prescribing and use. As part of the campaign, the CDC created a variety of materials for healthcare providers and patients to be educated on when to prescribe antibiotics, associated risks and statistics. Learn more about the Be Antibiotics Aware campaign here

The Physician Alliance created a poster as part of the goal to decrease antibiotic use for adults with bronchitis through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Resource Stewardship Initiative. The poster lists helpful tips for talking to patients about not taking an antibiotic and alternatives for viral infections. Download the poster.

Templates available to promote Service Excellence Award

This year, The Physician Alliance developed two new awards to recognize the commitment and hard work of specialty practices in implementing and maintaining specific Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Patient Centered Medical Home - Neighborhood (PCMH-N) capabilities that support neighborhood development and quality improvement. The Service Excellence Award in Care Coordination was given to 140 practices and the Service Excellence Award in Quality Improvement recognized  24 practices.

Practices receiving these awards can promote their achievements through customized templates, including letters to patients and colleagues, press release and social media posts. Templates are available on the Specialist Service Excellence Award Program page of TPA's website under the Incentive Programs tab.

Quarterly newsletter ready to be read

 The Physician Alliance's latest quarterly newsletter is available! The Fall 2017 edition is full of news on improving diagnostic codes, importance of closing gaps for improved quality metrics (and improved payments), easy tips for marketing your practice and more. The print edition should be arriving at practices soon....while you wait, the electronic version is available for immediate reading. Find this issue and previous issues of the bi-weekly e-newsletter and quarterly newsletters on TPA's website.
Michigan health department responds to hepatitis A outbreak

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) to coordinate responses to the continued outbreak of hepatitis A. The center will support local health departments, hospitals, EMS, healthcare coalitions and other healthcare providers through responding to requests for health related resources, developing and distributing guidelines and educational materials to meet the needs of this outbreak.

There have been 555 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, primarily in southeast Michigan, since Aug. 1, 2016, although there are indications the outbreak could soon spread outside of this region.

The hepatitis A vaccine is 90 percent effective in protecting someone who has been exposed. The MDHHS recommends healthcare providers encourage high risk patients to get the hepatitis A vaccination. These people include:
  • Persons with a history of substance use­­
  • Persons currently homeless or in transient living
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Persons incarcerated in correctional facilities
  • Food handlers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Persons with underlying liver disease
  • Persons who are in close contact with any of the above risk groups
  • Persons wishing to be immune to hepatitis A
For more information on this coordination center and the hepatitis A outbreak, click here.
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