In the News



Atlantic works with Sanofi Pasteur, Seqirus, GlaxoSmithKline, and AstraZeneca to provide the most favorable flu pricing and terms, as well as assist with the challenges you face in selecting, pre-booking, and administering flu vaccines:

Additional features of Atlantic Health Partners’ flu program include:

  • Wide range of flu products to best meet your practice’s needs
  • Excellent shipping guarantees and return policies
  • Ability to schedule shipping dates with Sanofi Pasteur
  • Overall most favorable flu pricing
  • Timely customer service and support

In addition, Atlantic has helped many of our members lower all their vaccine costs and strengthen their immunization efforts.  Atlantic has become the nation’s leading and largest vaccine buying group due its customer service and savings. We encourage you to join your colleagues already benefitting from Atlantic Health Partners.

Please call or email Atlantic Health Partners for more information:

Phone: 800-741-2044; Email:

Five changes that will affect physician payment and productivity in 2020 and beyond

As usual, the new year brings changes in how doctors code and get paid for the services they provide to Medicare patients, as described in the Medicare physician fee schedule update. There are a host of things family physicians should know for 2020, as well as some changes to look forward to in 2021. Here are a few highlights:

1. New CPT codes for exchanging messages with patients through a secure online platform, such as an electronic health record portal, which allow time-based reporting of online digital E/M services,

2. New CPT codes for reporting services to develop and support blood pressure treatment plans in which patients measure readings themselves,

3. A new HCPCS code specifically for Medicare that will cover additional 20-minute periods of chronic care management services beyond the initial 20 minutes,

4. Increased payment for transitional care management services and an expansion of the list of services that can be reported concurrently, to include prolonged services, chronic care management services, and others,

5. In 2021: Revised office/outpatient visit codes that will permit physicians to choose the level of service based on either medical decision making or time (not just face-to-face time) alone; an increase in the relative value of these services; and an add-on code for visit complexity that can be used with most primary care visits.

The new Medicare physician fee schedule rule also includes some updates to the Quality Payment Program, the incentive payment program enacted in 2015 with the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA, to replace the sustainable growth rate method of determining updates to the fee schedule. But unlike past years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services chose to keep many QPP requirements stable from 2019 to 2020.

To learn more about all of the changes, read the full FPM article, available online ahead of print: “The 2020 Medicare Documentation, Coding, and Payment Update.”





Atlantic Health Partners has always been a strong resource for our members’ immunization efforts by offering the most favorable vaccine prices, terms, and purchasing support. We are pleased to share with you that Atlantic has expanded its program with the addition of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) vaccines.  This include options for practices interested in the GSK portfolio or for those practices just interested in using Bexsero (Meningitis B vaccine). 

Atlantic now offers our members the full array of vaccine options to best meet your individual practice needs including:

  • Most favorable pricing for Sanofi, Merck, GSK, and Dynavax vaccines
  • A comprehensive flu program that includes Sanofi, GSK, and Seqirus products
  • Meningoccocal B vaccine options that include both Trumenba or Bexsero
  • No minimum quantity requirements to always receive most favorable pricing and terms
  • Excellent and timely customer service including reimbursement support and advocacy     

For information about the program please contact Jeff or Cindy at 800-741-2044 or






Be Prepared: Protecting Vaccine Supplies Before, During and After a Disaster

The old adage “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” has been used throughout history and it still rings true today.

There’s little room for failure in clinical care. Preparation is an important aspect of everyday practice management and success, and it is never more critical than when a disaster strikes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all practices have a plan in place to keep their vaccine supply safe during an emergency. Common disasters that affect vaccine supply, include national vaccine shortages, as well as severe weather and other events that cause loss of electric power.  

> Learn More






Workplace Flu Clinics: Encouraging Seasonal Health to Support Year-round Employee Wellness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that American workers miss approximately 17 million workdays due to the flu each year, costing employers $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity.

One way employers can create a healthier workplace is by hosting on-site influenza vaccination clinics in the office.

> Learn More







Vaccine Record-keeping: A Team Approach for a Healthier Tomorrow

Keeping vaccine records up to date is key to a patient’s lifelong immunity and health. Official childhood vaccination records have been adopted by every state and territory to encourage uniformity, but limited interoperability in healthcare can make recordkeeping a challenge. As a result, responsibility falls on both the patients and providers for managing records throughout the patient’s life.

> Learn More

Are you looking to stay up to date on research into patient-centered, high-quality research? Then be sure to check out this newly released supplement to the Annals of Family Medicine. The Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed research journal to meet the needs of scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and the patients and communities they serve.
The current Annals of Family Medicine supplement issue features editorials on facilitating practice transformation, and original research on a variety of topics including “A Longitudinal Study of Trends in Burnout During Primary Care Transformation”. Be sure to click the read more link for access to over a dozen research articles, editorials, and briefs in the August supplement.  Read More





The HPV Vaccine: Moving Beyond Teenage Populations

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, first introduced in the U.S. more than 10 years ago, was designed to protect young women from cervical cancer. Since that time, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that HPV cancers and genital warts have decreased by 71% among teen girls. The vaccine’s success has led to research identifying new opportunities for protection against HPV among other patient populations that can help further drive down infection rates.

> Learn More


Aging and Immunity: The Important Role of Vaccines

Many aging adults are not up to date on recommended immunizations, leaving them at risk of illnesses such as pneumococcal disease, tetanus, and shingles. By educating patients about their risks, providers can help to improve and maintain their patients’ immunity in later years.

> Learn More

For information about the program please contact Jeff or Cindy at 800-741-2044 or     

Bringing Family Medicine’s Past to Bear on Its Future

By David Mitchell (July 01, 2019)

Dennis Mychak, M.D., was only 51 when he died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but he made an impact on the small, Pennsylvania coal mining town where he grew up and to which he later returned to practice family medicine.

[headshot of Aaron George, D.O.]

He also made a lasting impression on Aaron George, D.O., who was just 11 years old when he attended his uncle’s visitation.

“Everyone knew him,” George said. “He was a community icon. Hundreds of people were lined up down the block for the viewing. I thought, ‘This is how you make an impact on people’s lives.’ It was crystal clear to me that family medicine was unparalleled in touching people’s lives.”

After completing his training at the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program in Durham, N.C., in 2015 (which included a global health rotation in Vienna, Austria), George — like his uncle — returned to his small hometown in Pennsylvania to practice family medicine. His clinic was a mile away from his boyhood home, and his patient panel included his high school principal, his priest and old friends.

“I poured my heart into the expectation that I was going to be there for a long time to serve them,” he said. “I thought I would be there for 40 years. There’s something really special about the bond you form with the community you grow up in.”


The 2019 FMAS Experience

By Ariel J. Warden-JarreF, MD, FAAFP


To advocate beyond the comfort of our exams rooms or to chart while silent, that is the question. The FMAS Experience offers a unique opportunity or family physicians from around the country to join in a bipartisan way to advocate for health care initiatives that are important to ALL Americans.

It is invigorating to gather in a room with medical professionals who are all family physicians fighting the same fight to make America strong and healthy. 

We all agree that primary care is important to this nation. We all agree that Family Physicians are well trained to meet the health care primary care needs in our nation. However, policy makers do not know the “secrets”we know. The FMAS Experience takes us to the source, and opens a door for us to cross pollinate ideas to continue the discussion with policy makers, who still, on many levels, don’t know what the average Family Physician does on a daily basis.

The FMAS Experience centers in on relationship building that should grow from year to year with policy makers. We become stronger when we are fighting in the right places. 


Atlantic Health Partners

Vaccines for All: Reaching and Serving Rural Americans

Nearly 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, where access to healthcare is often limited. This month’s Immunization Insights discusses some of the barriers that rural residents face in getting healthcare and how healthcare providers and clinicians can help bridge the gap.

> Learn More

For information about the program please contact Jeff or Cindy at 800-741-2044 or     

FP Comprehensive 2019—get the latest family medicine guidelines

With FP Comprehensive 2019 you’ll learn when and where you want with easy-to-use content compiled from five years of FP Essentials™ monographs. Whether you are reviewing the fundamentals of family medicine or preparing for the ABFM exam, FP Comprehensive can help identify knowledge gaps. FP Comprehensive includes:

  • Wide-ranging, relevant topics
  • Helpful practice tests
  • Customizable exams
  • Questions listed by body system category

You can also purchase the additional CME credit option to access up 60 AAFP Prescribed credits.

Stay up to date on the latest practice guidelines in family medicine. Order FP Comprehensive 2019 today.

> See Details

Official Release of the HPV Vaccination Report

This report highlights HPV vaccination coverage estimates for your jurisdiction from the 2017 National Immunization Survey-Teen in addition to HPV vaccine distribution data for the first two quarters of 2018.

> View Report

Informational Video on Upcoming ABFM Changes

As was recently announced the ABFM will be launching a pilot program that will assess the value and feasibility of a longitudinal assessment option to the 10-year high-stakes reaccreditation examination. The Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) will offer 25 questions answered quarterly online in lieu of the one-day exam. On December 10, AAFP Senior Vice President of Education Clif Knight, MD, FAAFP and ABFM Senior Vice President Elizabeth Baxley, MD hosted a live webinar to discuss the longitudinal assessment and answer AAFP member questions. The recorded webinar is available here

The AAFP has also published additional information on the pilot including a self-check and preparation tools.

Changes coming from the AAFP

Submitted by: Becky Wimmer, MDAFP, Executive Director

In January 2019, the ABFM will be launching a pilot program that will assess the value and feasibility of a longitudinal assessment option to the 10-year high-stakes reaccreditation examination. 

It’s a beautiful, Saturday afternoon, and 30 of your peers have gathered in a single-window, hotel conference room to complete an American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA). 

While some value this exercise, many feel that this process, as well as others required by the ABFM for board certification, is just another hoop to jump through for busy family physicians that adds little to no value when it pertains to meaningful, life-long learning, and improved patient care. The stress felt through the systematic testing of knowledge and professional mastery, in the name of maintenance of certification, is as burnout inducing to some as prior authorizations, electronic health record (EHR) documentation, and other administrative burdens. 

> Read more

ABFM Updates in October Phoenix Newsletter

The October edition of the ABFM’s Phoenix newsletter include a variety of important updates for ABFM diplomates. Click here to read the full version of the newsletter. Highlights are included below.

  • In his president’s message, James Puffer, MD explains the process ABFM undertook to move towards the new longitudinal assessment model. More information on the longitudinal assessment can be found here.
  • Outline of new alternatives to receive performance improvement credit for work you already do in practice
  • Article on differential item functioning review panel formed to detect bias in the certification exam
  • Update on ABFM strategic planning
  • Deadlines for upcoming ABFM certification & re-certification deadlines

For questions about the ABFM or their continuous certification process, please contact the ABFM directly via their website, or by calling 877-223-7437.

> Phoenix Newsletter

American Board of Family Medicine Creates Examination Alternative Option for 2019

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce a pilot program to begin in January 2019 that will assess the value and feasibility of a longitudinal assessment option to the 10-year secure examination.

> Read More

Health is Primary November Toolkit: Focus on Primary Care

The Health is Primary campaign will focus on Diabetes, highlighting the role of primary care in preventing and managing chronic conditions. Share the facts about the prevalence of chronic conditions in the United States and how primary care-integrated teams can provide better care, and better outcomes at lower costs.

> Download Toolkit

Join us and spread the word. #MakeHealthPrimary


Congratulations to our Student Member, Maya Siegel, on receiving the 2018 Pisacano Scholarship, given to an outstanding medical student who has made a commitment to enter the specialty of Family Medicine.

> Read More


On Sept. 5, the AAFP gave CMS the Academy’s official comments regarding the 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule and Quality Payment Program proposed rule. Our letter(92 page PDF) is comprehensive — 92 pages — but it is summarized in this paragraph on the second page…

> Read More


Before starting her career in medicine, MDAFP member, Dr. Tobie Smith was a world-class swimmer who raced in long-distance and open-water freestyle events.

> Read More


Employed physicians face unique stresses in practice as they often lack autonomy and influence over business decisions. Here are four ways to protect your well-being.

Read More

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