Archive for August, 2017

Boots & Bling: Register Now for the 2017 Annual Scientific Assembly

If you need primary care CME credits, look no further than the Georgia Academy of Family Physician’s Annual Scientific Assembly. With an earlier date, this year’s four-day conference will be held at The Westin Buckhead October 25th-28th and will offer up to 42 AAFP Prescribed credit and up to 24 AMA PRA Category 1 credits for attendees. This educational activity was developed for family physicians, and the information is appropriate for other primary care clinicians, advance practice providers, and office staff interested in improving patient care. Upon completion of the activity, participants should be able to 1) identify family medicine practices that are relevant to the well-being of their patient population, 2) recognize and describe current diseases, and offer proper diagnosis, management and treatment options to patients and their families, and 3) apply evidence-based treatments to effectively manage patient care.

This year’s meeting will cover current topics and workshops that highlight conditions and diseases that affect our communities.  We will have a lecture track devoted to medical home readiness, a domestic partner abuse track, and a workshop focused on behavioral health.  Additionally, we will offer small group learning sessions focused on physician wellness.

We will also provide four Knowledge Self-Assessment Modules (KSAs) formerly known as SAMs on Heart Failure, Well Child Care, Health Behaviors and Medical Genomics. In addition to lecture tracks and workshops, there is education on diabetes, population health, cancer screenings, and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.  There is something for everyone who attends the meeting.

Conference activities also include the all GAFP Member Party, which is open to everyone whether you are attending the Scientific Assembly or not, celebrating the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance’s (GHFA) “Your Giving is Great Medicine” Capital Campaign Kick Off. “BBQ and Boots” attire is encouraged as we kick off the Capital Campaign with a night of Country Karaoke! Don’t miss out! Click here to purchase your ticket today.

For meeting information and registration, visit the GAFP’s website at If you have any questions, call the GAFP at 1-800-392-3841.


Key Information on Georgia Newborn Screening (NBS) Program

Tenesha Wallace, MA Manager of Communications and Public Health (GAFP) and Judith Kerr, MPH Child Health Screening Program Manager (Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Section)

Georgia Newborn Screening Panel Updates:

In 1968, Georgia initiated universal newborn blood screening for phenylalanine (PKU). Today the newborn screening panel consists of 3 different components: blood screening for 29 disorders found in blood, screening for hearing loss and screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD).

According to the Newborn Screening (NBS) Program, screening for blood disorders are vital in the newborn population.  Most of the disorders included in the test panel are relatively rare (incidence = 1:3,000 to 1:300,000). However, early detection and identification as well as timely intervention and treatment can prevent morbidity and mortality.  Last year, as a result of blood screening, a total of 164 children in Georgia were identified with a metabolic disorder.

Presumptive positive results are reported to a designated follow-up entity, who then notifies the baby’s primary health care provider of the appropriate course of action (e.g., submission of a repeat specimen, confirmatory testing, or clinic visit).

Authorized providers can access unofficial copies of newborn screening results on-line through the State Electronic Notification Surveillance System (SendSS). To register for SendSS, visit and fill out the online registration form.  Official results for newborn screens can be retrieved by authorized medical providers through the eReports web portal located at  These web-based systems enable registered providers to access screening test results 24 hours a day/7 days a week. To ensure confidentiality and security, a username and password is required to access each system.

Follow-up of potential hemoglobin disorders is provided by the Augusta University Sickle Cell Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center. The Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. is responsible for follow-up of abnormal hemoglobin results that suggest carrier, or “trait” status.  Follow-up of potential metabolic disorders is provided by the Emory University School of Medicine (

The NBS Program provides medical foods for individuals diagnosed with an inherited metabolic disorder.  Patients can receive this service through the Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention Program administered through Emory Genetics.  Patients with an inherited metabolic disorder, regardless of income, who have difficulty accessing medical foods, low protein modified foods,  and treatment related supplies may complete an application for this service here.  For more information, please call (404) 778-8497 or (404) 778-8607.

CCHD screening is carried out in all Georgia birthing hospitals prior to the newborn’s discharge.  Those babies with positive tests results are further evaluated for the appropriate coarse of action.  Depending on the type of defect identified, some babies will require transfer to a level III or higher NICU for Echocardiogram (ECHO) testing and possibly surgical correction, while other babies may only require monitoring by their primary care providers and close communication with cardiology specialists. One year after compliance to Georgia’s mandate to report CCHD screening results, over 111,000 screening results were reported to the NBS Program.  The NBS Program is excited with the results and continues to work with all birthing hospitals to achieve maximum success.

Initial hearing screening is also carried out in all birthing hospitals prior to an infant’s discharge.  If an infant refers on the final screen prior to discharge, a repeat screen must be performed by one month of age.  If a child requires a repeat screen, there are Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) District Coordinators that are available to assist in making a referrral to a health center or an Audiologist.  The enclosed link can be a used to assist you in making a referral.!    The NBS Program encourages having infants screened early  and not taking a “wait and see” approach to determine if a hearing impairment is present. Early intervention can improve a baby’s language and brain development.  Preliminary data for 2016 indicates 199 babies were identified with permanent hearing loss and referred for additional services.

Additional Newborn Screening Resources:

For more information:

Newborn Screening Program

Georgia Department of Public Health

2 Peachtree Street, NW

11th Floor

Atlanta, GA 30303



“Newborn Screening (NBS).” Georgia Department of Public Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2017.

“Newborn Screening Unit.” Georgia Department of Public Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2017.

Got Transition: Bringing Health Care Transition to Your Practice

Tenesha Wallace, MA (Manager of Communications and Public Health, GAFP)

18 million U.S. adolescents, ages 18–21, are moving into adulthood and will need to transition from pediatric to adult-centered health care. According to the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, only 40% of youth with special health needs are receiving needed transition preparation. Although most providers are encouraging youth with special needs to assume responsibility for their own health, far fewer are discussing transfer to an adult provider and insurance continuity.

Improving transition from pediatric to adult health care is a national priority, a medical home standard, and a meaningful use requirement for electronic health records.  Got Transition aims to improve transition from pediatric to adult health care through the use of new and innovative strategies, clinical recommenations, and transition tools for health professionals, youth and families. The goals in supporting transitions include supporting adolescents in understanding their health care needs and how to manage them, advocating for themselves and communicating their health care needs and realizing their goals in ongoing education, career and personal life.  To achieve this goal requires an organized transition process to support youth in acquiring independent health care skills, preparing for an adult model of care, and transferring to new providers without disruption in care.

Got Transition has updated the clinical resources on transition from pediatric to adult health care.  The Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition 2.0 defines the basic components of transition support.  These core elements are consistent with 2011’s “Clinical Report on Health Care Transition,” which was jointly developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians for use by Pediatrics, Family Physicians and Med-Peds Providers.  The Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition includes the following steps:

  1. Transition Policy: Discuss Transition Policy
  2. Transition Tracking and Monitoring: Track Progress
  3. Transition Readiness: Assess Skills
  4. Transition Planning: Develop Transition Plan
  5. Transfer of Care: Transfer documents
  6. Transition Completion: Confirm completion

Janice Nodvin, Executive Director at the Adult Disability Medical Home (ADMH), started using the Got Transition “Transition Readiness” tool and found it to be supportive with their families. ADMH is a comprehensive medical practice for teens and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. ADMH revamped their readiness assessment tool and received feedback from families such as, “the tool helps us think about our young adult’s future medical needs.”  In addition, Janice found that helping families setup an Emergency Plan and repeatedly verbalizing the message helps families to move from planning to preparation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has just released a 2017 Transition Coding and Reimbursement Tip Sheet to support the delivery of health care transition services in pediatric and adult primary specialty care settings.

The tip sheet includes:

  • An updated list of transition-related CPT codes (including the new code for transition readiness assessment) with current Medicare fees and relative value units (RVUs).
  • Seven clinical vignettes with recommended CPT and ICD-10 codes.
  • Detailed CPT coding descriptions for transition-related services with selected coding tips.

Health Care Transition Resources for Georgia Providers:

Contact Information

Georgia Department of Public Health

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

2 Peachtree Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30303



The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $15,000 in Second Cycle 2017 Community Health Grants To Support GAFP Members

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded three Community Health Grant Award applicants $15,000 in second cycle 2017 grants.  Grant awards were made to GAFP member affiliated organizations that support GHFA program priorities including underserved populations and outreach programs that promote healthy practices consistent with the principles of Family Medicine. The application deadline for first cycle 2018 grants is February 1, 2018. Visit  for more information or to download the application. The 2017 second cycle Community Health Grant Recipients are:

“Hearts & Hands Referrals, Specialized & Basic Labs” Brian DeLoach, MD Statesboro 

The Hearts & Hands Clinic provides free medical and dental care to Bulloch County residents who are uninsured, ineligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and who live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.

In 2016, they provided 2,206 appointments covering primary care, dental, vision, women’s clinic, men’s clinic, specialty referrals, lab draws, blood pressure checks, mammograms, and educational consultations. They accepted and cared for 80 new medical and 84 new dental patients. Each new patient required basic lab tests and the majority of  patients require quarterly or bi-annual follow up lab tests. Because of this, lab fees comprise a considerable percentage of the clinic budget.  Funds from GHFA will be used to provide 75 new patients with three or four lab tests (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Complete Blood Count, Lipid Panel, and Hemoglobin A1C if a patient is diabetic).

Morehouse Heal Clinic’s Community Health Project” Folashade Omole, MD Atlanta

The Morehouse School of Medicine Health Equity for All Lives (MSM HEAL) Student-Run Free Clinic (SRFC) is a full-service clinic, providing quality, comprehensive healthcare for underserved and uninsured populations at two primary care clinics in the Underwood Hills and Bankhead neighborhoods in Atlanta. Funding from GHFA will support the expansion of clinic programs and increase the impact in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with an emphasis on Fulton and DeKalb counties. The clinic offer a diverse range of services, including sick and well visits, adult immunizations, health screenings and physicals, women’s wellness, physical exams and patient education.  During clinic sessions, students address preventive measures as well as acute medical concerns of patients. Physician consultations and pamphlets are used to help ensure patients understand the risk factors associated with disease processes, expected outcomes, and treatment recommendations.

“Get Fit and Be Healthy Project for Adults With Developmental Disabilities”                                        Andrea Videlefsky, MD Marietta

In the past year the Adult Disability Medical Home has expanded their patient population to include multiple complex developmental disabilities including Autism, Fragile X, Microcephaly, and Cerebral Palsy.  In 2016-2017, they held a pilot program called GET FIT AND BE HEALTHY, which included group visits, nutrition, exercise and health education. The program was successful in providing health and nutrition information. 78% of patients lost weight during the 3 month period. In concert with ADMH medical and team services, they now wish to expand this piloted program focusing on issues of health and wellness.  Led by the medical team, dietitian and a personal trainer, the next group of eligible participants of GET FIT AND BE HEALTHY will have interactive and regularly scheduled workshops focusing on nutrition, exercise and health education monthly over the course of 6 months. They will collect and analyze data on personal and group results and the effects on their health outcomes.

These are only a few of the important programs your colleagues are lending their talents and time to statewide! Please consider making a contribution so that the Alliance can continue to support important projects like these. All donations are tax deductible. Make your Alliance contribution easily online at or contact Alliance staff at or calling (800) 392-3841.

Want help interpreting your Quality Resource Use Report (QRUR)?

For every physician that bills Medicare Part B, CMS has created a performance report called the Quality Resource Use Report (QRUR).  This report shows their interpretation of your relative cost of all care compared with your peers for the patients you see and bill Medicare Part B.  The most recently available data is the 2015 QRUR.  This report was used to calculate the 2017 Value Modifier that is currently impacting your Medicare reimbursements this year.

We are exciting to announce a free web based education opportunity for you on the evening of Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 7- 8 pm. This educational session will be a presentation on interpreting your Quality Resource Use Report (QRUR).   As the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization, we are contacted by CMS to provide this free technical assistance.

In preparation for the session, we suggest that you log into the CMS portal and download your report to have on hand during the call.  If you have not previously set up the specific EIDM account to access this report you can follow this guide at  This guide will walk you through how to set up and EIDM account (page 3) and how to download the report.  Please allow 2 weeks to go through this process prior to the call.   It will be very helpful for you to have your report with you when you attend the presentation as we walk you through each of the tables in the report.

Click here to register

Donna Cohen, RN, BSN, CCM ~ Task Manager Population Health O 678.527.3681    C 912-665–0279