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President's column: AAGP launches eNews
AAGP is pleased to provide the membership with the first edition of a new e-publication, the AAGP eNews. Every other week, AAGP will provide you with the latest association news, legislative and regulatory updates, and stories from the general press related to aging and mental health. You will receive timely updates as well as links to in-depth pieces like those you were used to reading in Geriatric Psychiatry News. Please share relevant issues of AAGP eNews with your colleagues. And as you have news to share or comments, please let us know by writing to us here.

— Paul D.S. Kirwin, MD, AAGP President

New Hartford poll finds serious shortfalls in mental health care for older adults
The John A. Hartford Foundation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new poll from The John A. Hartford Foundation, "Silver and Blue: The Unfinished Business of Mental Health Care for Older Adults," examines attitudes, awareness and experiences of care among seniors. The bad news: many patients are not receiving important services known to improve outcomes, such as timely follow-up (46 percent), and many don't know the serious health consequences of depression, such as increasing the risk of dementia (78 percent). More positively, a large majority (77 percent) say they would feel comfortable raising the subject with their provider.

Read more at the Health AGEnda blog and explore the full results here.

Medicare physician fee cut averted for 2013
AAGP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A scheduled 26.5 percent physician pay cut under Medicare was averted early this month with passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act. The law delays for one year a reduction in reimbursements to physicians who care for Medicare patients, and keeps current reimbursement rates steady through Dec. 31 providing one more in a series of short-term patches for Medicare physician payments. The cost of the one-year patch is $25.2 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, paid for by cuts and adjustments to other provider payments with hospitals taking some of the biggest hits in savings intended to pay for the physician fix. AAGP has long advocated that Congress must eliminate the sustainable growth rate formula in order to gain stability in the Medicare program. AAGP will continue to work with other Medicare physician and health care provider organizations in advocating for a permanent solution to the Medicare payment system problem.

Annual meeting to offer four days of valuable education
AAGP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The AAGP 2013 Annual Meeting to be held March 14-17 in Los Angeles will offer more than 60 educational sessions with expert faculty, over 100 new research posters, plenary sessions focused on issues vital to the field, five intensive workshops, roundtable discussions, and much more. Don't miss this opportunity to learn, earn continuing education credits, and network with your peers. Early-bird registration rates end Jan. 25. Learn more and register at

Legislative update
AAGP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American Taxpayer Relief Act: Besides postponing the 26.5 percent cut to Medicare physician payments, passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act repeals the CLASS program and, in its place, establishes a Commission on Long Term Care. The commission is tasked with developing a plan for the establishment, implementation, and financing of a high-quality system that ensures the availability of long-term care services and supports for individuals.

Read the entire legislative update.

Study: Late-life depression may be associated with MCI and dementia
Archives of Neurology    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Archives of Neurology News Release (Dec. 31): Older people with depression may be more likely to experience mild mental impairment or dementia than their peers, Dutch researchers report. In a study of nearly 2,200 Medicare recipients aged 65 and older, researchers led by Dr. Edo Richard of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands examined the association between late-life depression and dementia and thinking/memory difficulties known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study, published online Dec. 31 in the journal Archives of Neurology, found that people with depression were 40 percent more likely to have mild mental impairment and more than twice as likely to have full-blown dementia. Although depression also was linked to greater risk for incident dementia, it was not associated with incident problems with thinking and memory. The study authors said those with both mild cognitive impairment and depression were at increased risk for developing dementia, particularly vascular dementia. They noted, however, that these patients were not at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia.

NIH plans for advancing LGBT health research
National Institutes of Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Statement by National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, on opportunities for advancing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender health research:

In March 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued its report of the NIH commissioned study on The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. At that time, I asked the NIH institutes, centers, and offices to form the NIH LGBT Research Coordinating Committee. I charged this committee to consider carefully the report's recommendations and to suggest strategies for how the ICOs can support research to increase the knowledge base for promoting the health of the LGBT community. I am pleased to say that the RCC has fulfilled their charge. I thank them for their thoughtful analysis of the NIH portfolio on LGBT research and for identifying several important opportunities for promoting research and knowledge in LGBT health. The NIH is now developing a multi-pronged plan to implement a number of these opportunities to extend and advance the knowledge base for promoting LGBT health. Key elements of this plan can be found in the Plans for Advancing LGBT Health Research document on the NIH website.

Medicare ePrescribing deadline: Jan. 31
American Medical Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The deadline to request exemption from the ePrescribing penalty is Jan.31, according to the American Medical Association. Physicians who were unable to file for a Medicare ePrescribing hardship exemption by the original deadline have until Jan. 31 to avoid the 1.5 percent payment penalty in 2013, says the AMA. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has reopened the Communications Support Web page to allow physicians who missed the June 30 deadline to file for an exemption. Physicians may request a waiver of the 2013 penalty under any of the following categories:

•The physician is unable to ePrescribe as a result of local, state or federal law or regulation.

•The physician wrote fewer than 100 prescriptions during the period of Jan. 1 – June 30, 2012.

•The physician practices in a rural area that doesn't have sufficient high-speed Internet access.

• The physician practices in an area that doesn't have enough pharmacies that can do ePrescribing.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry on caregiving
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The January 2013 AJGP ( is focused on the theme of caregiving for people with dementia under the guest editorship of Ángel Moríñigo, MD, PhD, and includes the following articles:

• A Comparison of psychosocial outcomes in elderly Alzheimer caregivers and noncaregivers. Brent T. Mausbach, PhD, Elizabeth A. Chattillion, BA, Susan K. Roepke, MS, Thomas L. Patterson, PhD, Igor Grant, MD

• Magnitude and causes of bias among family caregivers rating Alzheimer disease patients. Richard Schulz, PhD, Thomas B. Cook, MPH, Scott R. Beach, PhD, Jennifer H. Lingler, PhD, Lynn M. Martire, PhD, Joan K. Monin, PhD, Sara J. Czaja, PhD

• Influence of adherence to a systematic care program for caregivers of dementia patients. Anouk Spijker, MA, Steven Teerenstra, PhD, Hub Wollersheim, PhD, Eddy Adang, PhD, Frans Verhey, MD, PhD, Myrra Vernooij-Dassen, PhD

• The use of formal and informal care in early onset dementia: Results From the NeedYD Study. Christian Bakker, MSc, Marjolein E. de Vugt, PhD, Deliane van Vliet, MSc, Frans R.J. Verhey, MD, PhD, Yolande A. Pijnenburg, MD, PhD, Myrra J.F.J. Vernooij-Dassen, PhD, Raymond T.C.M. Koopmans, MD, PhD

• Too much of a good thing?: Positive religious coping predicts worse diurnal salivary cortisol - Patterns for overwhelmed African American female dementia family caregivers. Marcellus M. Merritt, PhD, T.J. McCallum, PhD

• Caregiver coping strategies predict cognitive and functional decline in dementia: The Cache County - Dementia progression study. JoAnn T. Tschanz, PhD, Kathleen Piercy, PhD, Chris D. Corcoran, ScD, Elizabeth Fauth, PhD, Maria C. Norton, PhD, Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Brian T. Tschanz, PhD, M. Scott Deberard, PhD, Christine Snyder, BA, Courtney Smith, BS, Lester Lee, BS, Constantine G. Lyketsos, MD, MHS

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Study says benefits of bilingualism for aging adults includes cognitive flexibility    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent study by researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine found that aging adults who grew up bilingual are able to maintain better "cognitive flexibility" and more efficient use of their brains than their monolingual peers. The study, recently featured in The Journal of Neuroscience, looked at seniors who have practiced speaking two languages since childhood. More

Passive smoking associated with dementia
Medical Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Exposure to cigarette smoke can increase your chances of being diagnosed with dementia, says a new study from China. Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 substances that can cause cancer, according to Medline Plus. Passive smoking can cause lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer, respiratory tract infections and heart disease. Although, passive smoking is considered a risk factor for dementia, studies backing up the idea were lacking. The study was conducted by researchers from King's College London and Anhui Medical University, China, along with colleagues in the U.K. and USA. More

True story: The prominent dad with dementia who refused to stop driving
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This story is based on actual facts. It reflects a dilemma faced by many families. What can you do when a strong minded elder should stop driving but refuses to do so? More

Prepare for the future (and old age) with a universal-design home
The Daily Weekly    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Good news? We're living longer. Bad news? The number of disabilities are increasing too. At a time when about 85 million baby boomers are turning 65 years old, it's time to think about universal design, a design approach inclusive of people in all life stages and circumstances. More

Campaign tackles stigma of Alzheimer's
Langley Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If a close friend told you she has dementia, would you avoid her for fear of being embarrassed by what she might say or do? According to a recent poll by Alzheimer's Disease International, 40 percent of people with dementia reported they had been avoided or treated differently after diagnosis. More


AAGP eNews
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Caleb Gremmer, Content Editor, 469.420.2648  

Kate McDuffie, AAGP Director of Communications, 301.654.7850, x113 
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