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Possible Tax Changes on Student Loans

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Possible tax code revisions are about to be taken up by the House of Representatives. The draft legislation may be revised significantly before it is brought to the House floor for a vote and many factors are in play. However, the proposal currently includes tax changes that would affect student loans.

Click the link  for additional information and  an illustration of the possible impact this legislation may have on student loans.

The legislation is expected to continue to evolve, and AMA will monitor developments closely.

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Take a Fresh Look at Healthcare Quality in Pennsylvania

Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network works with providers and stakeholders to improve the quality of healthcare for people with Medicare who live in Pennsylvania.  We offer free learning and networking opportunities, technical assistance, best practice tools and resources in the following focus areas to the following audiences.

Additional resources and information

 

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Governor Wolf to Examine Overhaul of Pennsylvania’s Professional Licensing System

PA LogoGovernor Tom Wolf has signed an executive order to begin a review of the commonwealth’s professional licenses to benchmark Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements against national and regional averages. The review will ensure that professional licenses are free from unnecessary barriers to opportunity from excessive licensing requirements, fees and policies that unnecessarily block hardworking Pennsylvanians from the career of their choice, while also protecting against public harm.

 “Requiring a license to work in certain jobs helps to keep all of us safe, but those requirements should be fair relative to other states in our region and across the country,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Overly burdensome requirements and fees can block some workers – especially minorities or spouses in military families who move frequently – from starting a career and supporting their families.”

 “With this executive order, I am tasking the Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Pennsylvania Department of State. The commissioner will work with the various licensing boards and commissions to give them the tools they need to more efficiently regulate their industry.”

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Advice for Health Care Providers Treating Patients in or Recently Returned from Hurricane-Affected Areas, Including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

CDC HEALTH ADVISORY
Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
October 24, 2017, 1330 ET (1:30 PM ET)
CDCHAN-00408
 Advice for Health Care Providers Treating Patients in or Recently Returned from Hurricane-Affected Areas, Including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
Summary
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with federal, state, territorial, and local agencies and global health partners in response to recent hurricanes. CDC is aware of media reports and anecdotal accounts of various infectious diseases in hurricane-affected areas, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (USVI). Because of compromised drinking water and decreased access to safe water, food, and shelter, the conditions for outbreaks of infectious diseases exist.
The purpose of this HAN advisory is to remind clinicians assessing patients currently in or recently returned from hurricane-affected areas to be vigilant in looking for certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza. Additionally, this Advisory provides guidance to state and territorial health departments on enhanced disease reporting.
Background
Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and USVI in September 2017, causing widespread flooding and devastation. Natural hazards associated with the storms continue to affect many areas. Infectious disease outbreaks of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses can occur when access to safe water and sewage systems are disrupted and personal hygiene is difficult to maintain. Additionally, vector borne diseases can occur due to increased mosquito breeding in standing water; both Puerto Rico and USVI are at risk for outbreaks of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.
Health care providers and public health practitioners should be aware that post-hurricane environmental conditions may pose an increased risk for the spread of infectious diseases among patients in or recently returned from hurricane-affected areas; including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza. The period of heightened risk may last through March 2018, based on current predictions of full restoration of power and safe water systems in Puerto Rico and USVI.
In addition, providers in health care facilities that have experienced water damage or contaminated water systems should be aware of the potential for increased risk of infections in those facilities due to invasive fungi, nontuberculous Mycobacterium species, Legionella species, and other Gram-negative bacteria associated with water (e.g., Pseudomonas), especially among critically ill or immunocompromised patients.
Cholera has not occurred in Puerto Rico or USVI in many decades and is not expected to occur post-hurricane.
Recommendations 
These recommendations apply to healthcare providers treating patients in Puerto Rico and USVI, as well as those treating patients in the continental US who recently traveled in hurricane-affected areas (e.g., within the past 4 weeks), during the period of September 2017 – March 2018. 

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