Archive for the ‘Medical News’ Category

MACRA Bytes: Two in a Series of Educational Messages – CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative – Why Join QualityImpact PTN Now?

In the first article of our series, we provided an overview of The Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPI) launched by CMS and its role in transitioning volume-driven clinical practices to value-based, patient-centered health care practices. QualityImpact, the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control’s (COSEHC) Practice Transformation Network is one of 29 other practice transformation networks receiving TCPI funding to facilitate this transformation.

QualityImpact is CMS’ conduit and agent to work locally with provider groups to assist them in preparation and readiness for alternative payment models and MACRA. QualityImpact covers nine states across the Southeast including Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The goal is to recruit 3,400 providers (physicians, NPs and PAs) into the TCPI (Transformation Clinical Practices Initiative); a four year program aimed to transform healthcare delivery. The QualityImpact PTN presents a tremendous opportunity for practices to receive support and resources to enable their success in transitioning to value-based reimbursement. Participation in the PTN will give you access to a comprehensive transformation “package” at no cost, including:

  • MDinsight – A sophisticated, interoperable population health management platform
  • Care Delivery Consulting – Process improvement facilitation enabling improved efficiency, quality, and proactive patient management
  • Clinical Quality Improvement – Expert-led guidance and CME tailored to care gaps/opportunities

QualityImpact’s transformation package is tailored to each practice, is minimally disruptive and is practical in nature. It offers an opportunity to break down the siloes that exist in the market between public and private payers by aligning clinical metrics and payment incentives and creating a full population health approach across all populations.

QualityImpact also has a strong foundation of a robust clinical advisory board with a number of subject experts across key chronic disease areas that drive specific clinical areas around chronic disease management from an operational and clinical delivery standpoint.

QualityImpact fosters shared learnings among practices to share best practices and key learnings. Lastly, QualityImpact will give your practice a chance to be a part of a national platform and demonstrate to CMS the great outcomes that your practice is achieving. QualityImpact is enrolling providers on a first-come, first-serve basis. The inevitable transition to value-based care will present significant challenges to our members. QualityImpact presents a tremendous opportunity for your practice to receive CMS-funded support and resources free of cost to help you be successful in this new environment.

To join or learn more about QualityImpact, (the Georgia Academy endorsed PTN) contact Debra Simmons at or visit our website,

For more information on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, please visit:


Oral Health Assessment and Fluoride Varnish Application Training for Academy of Family Physicians

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), Maternal and Child Health Section, Oral Health Program would like to offer the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians oral health assessment training and fluoride varnish workshops around the state. We have already launched this initiative. The DPH Oral Health Program provided a short half hour oral health assessment and fluoride varnish application overview during the Conclave Meeting at Callaway Gardens in March. The presentation evaluations demonstrated a strong interest by the attendees to include oral health assessments, anticipatory guidance, and fluoride varnish applications as part of their practice protocols.

 Research has demonstrated inclusion of oral health in the family practice for non-dental health care providers complements the comprehensive care model of family medicine and has the potential of improving the overall health of your patients. This is not a substitute for the dental home, but a collaborative opportunity to offer comprehensive care for your patients and determine when early dental practice referrals are needed.

The DPH Oral Health Program will have an oral health staff member, Jorge Bernal, DDS, at the Annual Session in Hilton Head in June. If you are interested in a regional meeting next year, either in Columbus, Savannah, or another region of the state please let Dr. Bernal know at the meeting. He will have a sign-up sheet so we can contact you to schedule presentations beginning in September. Dr. Bernal will also have samples of single-application fluoride varnish for member, as well as copies of handouts for Academy members and educational materials for families. Stop by and visit the Maternal and Child Health exhibit table.

Additional workshops are planned around the state and will continue with hands-on practice training.

Question you may have: How is fluoride varnish different from other professionally applied fluorides?

Fluoride varnish offers several advantages over other professionally applied fluorides:

  • The higher concentration of fluoride and greater viscosity make it less likely to be ingested and only a small amount needed
  •  Varnish comes in child-friendly flavors and is easily tolerated, especially by infants, toddlers, and developmentally disabled people.
  •  Providers find it easy to use and fast to apply.
  •  Fluoride varnish is swabbed onto the teeth in less than two minutes and sets within a minute of contact with saliva.
  •  Fluoride varnish is safe.
  •  It can be applied in any setting and does not require dental equipment.
  • Medicaid will reimburse the practice for this service.

Not all members of the Academy were able to attend the Conclave meeting in March. Due to the positive response to the presentation we would like to offer a slightly longer and more detailed workshop presentation in locations convenient to the members of the Academy. If you have a group of members interested in a workshop please contact Carol Smith at:

What would be recommended after hands on training? The Oral Health staff recommends the medical practice pilot a few test cases to assess office flow, billing, patient satisfaction, and staff satisfaction. Have a meeting to get input from all employees. Have handouts to explain to families the value of the fluoride varnish. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that physicians refer patients to the dentist at eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age. The medical practice should have a dental referral list; if you need assistance finding a dentist in your community please contact the state oral health office for assistance.

Additionally, online training can be found on a few sites:

The Smiles for Life, a National Oral Health Program (endorsed by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine) One CME credit is available through the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) upon completion.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Oral Health Risk Assessment Training for Pediatricians and Other Child Health Professionals. One CME credit available upon completion.

The DPH Oral Health staff are available to assist you. Please feel free to contact Carol Smith, Director of Oral Health, at if you need assistance with your oral health training.

Take Advantage of TWO Webinars this May and Earn Free CME!

Join GAFP for a DPH Webinar on May 20th at 12pm!

DPH Webinar: Developmental Screening

May 20, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This program will be presented by Jennifer Zubler, MD. Dr. Zubler is board certified in pediatrics and worked for 10 years in a private pediatric practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a special interest in developmental delays and works as a pediatric consultant to the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” team. In addition, she helps run a developmental and behavioral pediatric clinic in Atlanta.

Reserve your seat now at:

CME Information:

AMA Credit: The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is accredited by the Medical Association of Georgia to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The GAFP designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Registration is now open for the Georgia Clinical

Transformation Team’s May webinar:

Incorporating Behavioral Health into the Primary Care Practice

Registration: Please follow this link to register.

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 25 – 12:30-1pm ET – Incorporating Behavioral Health into the Primary Care Practice

Webinar Objectives:

Incorporating Behavioral Health into the Primary Care Practice


  • Identify which screening tools are practical to use in primary care
  • Learn how to interpret screening results
  • Identify successful workflows to accomplish screening and accurate coding for reimbursement

This webinar is part of a monthly series of 30-minute webinars focused on quality improvement in your practice brought to you by the Georgia Clinical Transformation Team (GCT2). GCT2 partners include Alliant Quality, American Cancer Society, DCH Medicaid, GA-HITEC, GAFP, GAPHC, Georgia Chapter of ACP, Georgia DPH, GHA, GPHA, HomeTown Health, and MAG.


Adrienne Mims, MD, MPH, FAAFP, AGSF

Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, MedicareQuality Improvement

Alliant Quality

All interested stakeholders are welcome, so please feel free to share this information. If you have any questions, please contact Angela Flanigan at or 404-321-7445.

CME Information:

AMA Credit: The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is accredited by the Medical Association of Georgia to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The GAFP designates this live educational activity for a maximum of .50 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Bibb County Medical Society, Inc. – Medical Society Presents Awards

The Bibb County Medical Society has named the recipients of its 2015 awards.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Lynn T. Denny, M.D.  Dr. Denny is a graduate of Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. She is board certified in Family Medicine. She served as Medical Director of the Macon Volunteer Clinic from its opening in 2003 until December 2015. She was recognized for her dedication to providing care for patients and for her work in helping organize and coordinate other free clinics across the state.

The Physician of the Year Award was presented to William F. Bina III, M.D., MPH. Dr. Bina earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska and his Master of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins University. He has served as the Dean of the Mercer University School of Medicine since 2009. A Family Physician who is board certified in Family Medicine and in Preventive Medicine, Dr. Bina has been an advocate for medical care in rural areas of the state as well as a leader of medical mission trips to countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. For his dedication to educating students as well as to providing care around the world, Dr. Bina was named 2015 Physician of the Year.



The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Mrs. Gayle Bina, M.S.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Health and Physician Education at the University of Hawaii and her Master’s degree in Community Health Education from Towson State University, Towson, Maryland. Mrs. Bina is the Assistant Director for Mercer University’s International Medical Programs. She enthusiastically volunteers in many community activities, such as Rooms from the Heart. Additionally she has coordinated and participated in medical mission trips to China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.  For her wide-ranging volunteer and professional activities, Mrs. Bina was named the 2015 Citizen of the Year.

Prevention of Medical Errors Webinar, March 30, 2016 5:30PM (2 CME Credits Available)

This webinar, hosted by MedMal Direct Insurance Company, will examine the most common areas for medical errors, review strategies to minimize risk in a medical office and explore communication techniques to manage the physician-patient relationship. MedMal Direct is the endorsed Medical Professional Liability Insurance Carrier of the GAFP, they are an admitted carrier in Georgia and exclusively offer their policies directly to healthcare providers. Direct access means significant savings for the same level of coverage, direct lines of communication with the experts, and a better strategy of defense, all from a financially strong company. If you are interested in a quote contact Paul Burnthall at 404.219.8589.

Click here to register.

Listen in on the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care Call on April 28th!

National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care Call
Thursday, April 28, 2016
1:30 – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

This call will focus on infection control, highlighting Antibiotic Stewardship and community-wide efforts, including a presentation from a nursing home administrator. Common concerns related to the clash between individualized, person-centered care and the medical model of controlling infections will also be addressed. This is critical for residents with dementia, who often struggle to complete complex tasks and may have issues with continence. Additionally, CMS subject matter experts will share information about the upcoming Infection Control Pilot Project, as well as updates on the progress of the National Partnership and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI). A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

CMS will host the following free educational call, registration is required:

Developmental Coordination Disorder and Sensory Processing Issues in Children


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common diagnosis for children with motor skill and sensory processing difficulties in the absence of other conditions and learning issues. This disorder affects 5-6 percent of school-aged children and is more commonly diagnosed in boys.1

Children with DCD have trouble with both fine and gross motor movements. Very often, parents may describe their child having these motor difficulties:

• Clumsiness-child frequently bumps into other objects or people, trips, and drops things
• Difficulty walking, standing or balancing
• Problems playing sports or riding a bicycle
• Difficulty with daily living activities-getting dressed, feeding themselves, tying shoes
• Poor posture
• Messy handwriting
• Difficulty learning and applying new motor skills2

Sometimes, there is a sensory component to the disorder. Children with sensory processing/integration differences can have trouble integrating all the information received from their senses to produce coordinated motor movements and perform everyday activities.3 If a child is over reactive to sensory information, they are more sensitive to sensory stimuli than their typically developing peers. Warning signs for over reactive children may include:

•Avoids sensory environments with loud noises and too many bright colors
• Seems fearful or very distracted
• Avoids being touched or engaging in activities with lots of tactile input4

Children who are under reactive to sensory information have difficulty perceiving sensory stimuli, which can also affect their behavior and ability to perform daily activities. Warning signs for under reactive children may include:

• Difficulty discriminating odors and tastes
• Using too much force when picking up objects
• Being unaware to pain caused by cuts and bruises
• Engages in sensory seeking behaviors-rough housing or activities with lots of motion such as swinging4

Studies show children who have DCD with a sensory component can have difficulty receiving, processing and integrating visual and vestibular feedback, which contribute to our sense of balance. In one study, children with DCD and typically developing children were asked to stand on their non-preferred leg so researchers could evaluate their balance abilities. The children with DCD showed poorer postural control and were less able to adjust to changes in posture due to slower hamstring muscle contraction and differences in processing sensory information. Balancing requires the use of multiple sensory systems, as well as proper muscle responses and movement strategies. As a way of compensating for differences in muscle contraction, visual, and vestibular feedback, the DCD group swayed their hips to maintain their balance instead of using their legs and ankles to stabilize themselves.3

Differences in sensory processing and motor skill difficulties can extend to children’s everyday activities and affect their ability to learn new motor movements needed for playing on a playground, participating in sports, or daily self care.5 Activities that require making multiple movements at once and using different senses to coordinate movements can be difficult for children with DCD. To view a checklist to help identify sensory areas of concern, see our Sensory Motor Checklist. Parents can use this to track their concerns and discuss them with their healthcare professional.

Physical and occupational therapy are two common forms of treatment used to help children improve their motor skills. Treatment approaches vary depending on the child’s motor abilities and whether there is a sensory component to their diagnosis. Physical therapists may work with children to build muscle strength needed for improving balance and motor movements. One study found that a strength training program also helped a young child process their proprioceptive sense, body position sense, which improved their motor skills and confidence. Common occupational therapy treatments for DCD include taking more of a task specific and cognitive approach to focus on the child’s motor learning.1 Cognitive approaches to therapy may provide children opportunities to practice holding their attention and using working memory to improve their problem solving and motor task strategy. A child’s treatment plan varies depending on their needs, and therapists can decide which approach would be the most beneficial.6

Medical professionals can ask parents or caregivers additional questions about a child’s everyday behaviors and activities to help diagnose DCD. If parents have concerns about their child’s sensory processing/integration, most pediatric physical and occupational therapy clinics offer free screenings. An early referral and early intervention can help children reach their fullest potential.

About is a national not-for-profit dedicated to maximizing children’s development by providing free tools and resources for medical professionals and families. Medical professionals can contact to receive free supplemental materials to give away at well child visits and parent classes.
View our Sensory Integration/Processing Brochure to provide parents with information on how children use their senses and warning signs of a sensory processing/integration issue. For a free package of brochure to give away to families, please email
[1] Kaufman L, Schilling D. Implementation of a Strength Training Program for a 5-Year-Old Child With Poor Body Awareness and Developmental Coordination Disorder. 2007; 87(4): 455-467.
[2] Causes and Identification: Causes of Developmental Coordination Disorder. CanChild. McMaster University.
[3] Fong S., Ng S., Yiu B. Slowed muscle force production and sensory organization deficits contribute to altered postural control strategies in children with developmental coordination disorder. 2013; 34: 3040-3048.
[4] Red Flags. Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.
[5] Jelsma D, Et al. Short-term learning of dynamic balance control in children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 2015; 38: 213-222.
[6] Barnhart R, Et al. Developmental Coordination Disorder. Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. 2003; 83:722-731.