Top 10 newsmakers for physicians in 2015

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This year was an eventful one for the physician community, seeing the end of an era for Medicare, the launch of one of the most complex practice changes in recent decades and the continued advancement of patient care. Take a look at some of the biggest news in medicine from 2015.

That’s right. Thanks to the steadfast efforts of physicians, the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula was repealed in April. The failed budgetary gimmick had plagued physicians and threatened patients’ access to care since 1997. Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, the SGR formula was eliminated, and a number of significant Medicare changes were adopted to help reform the program for physicians and patients alike.

With the pressures of practice putting an ever-increasing number of physicians in survival mode, it’s more important than ever to understand the signs of physician burnout. An expert explained the signals to look for and why they can be preludes to burnout.

The long-anticipated ICD-10 code set was fully implemented Oct. 1. And while the transition entailed a heavy investment of time and resources for physicians, the AMA secured provisions from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) so physicians could continue to provide high-quality patient care without risking their livelihood.

Blood pressure measurement is a routine task in most practices, but it’s easy to get skewed results if clinicians and patients aren’t on the same page about how to take accurate blood pressure measurements. Physicians, care teams and patients started using this popular infographic as a simple way to help get the most accurate results.

As the nation observed American Heart Month in February, physicians made sure their practices’ work flows included three important questions to better measure and control patients’ blood pressure and help improve their overall health.

About one-half of physicians think they are behind where they should be in retirement savings. But with smart planning, it is possible to be secure in your personal finances. Physicians over the age of 60 offered six financial planning lessons to help younger physicians avoid mistakes.

Nearly 40 percent of physicians are likely to marry another physician or health care professional. This story took a look at some of the benefits of medical marriages as well as challenges to consider.

Everyone knows that physicians generally work long hours. But just how many hours are in the typical physician workweek? Find out how your workweek compares to your peers.

Among other important cases in the nation’s courts this year is a case before the Washington Supreme Court that would threaten the integrity of the patient-physician relationship, potentially raising new obstacles to communication and trust. The Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies joined in an amicus brief calling for continued protection of the patient-physician relationship.

In November, a panel of medical education leaders selected 21 new members of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium to transform the way future physicians will be trained. Find out which schools were selected and what these transformations will look like in the next few years.

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