House/property devastated by hurricane
Nov. 14, 2012 -- Damaged homes and cars on Staten Island, N.Y., mark the path of Hurricane Sandy's flood waters.

As Hurricane Sandy Battered East Coast, FP Organized Local Relief Effort

Lessons to Be Learned in Storm's Aftermath

(1/11/2013, 3:20 p.m.)  --  No one on the East Coast was totally prepared for the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Sandy last fall, but, on Staten Island, they really got blindsided. Fortunately, one local family doctor realized that widespread flooding, massive power failures and overwhelming structural damage would put his patients and his community at risk for serious health problems, and he hit the ground running. The immense storm surge from Sandy hit New York and New Jersey on Oct. 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines in major cities, as well as cutting power up and down the eastern seaboard. To date, losses due to damage and business interruption are estimated at $65.6 billion, which ranks Sandy right behind Katrina as the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane on record. More

White House, Congress Eye Budget Cuts as Funding Deadlines Loom

Medicare Physician Payment Rate, Primary Care Programs Could Be Targeted

(1/10/2013, 3:30 p.m.)  --  Congress and the White House hope to avert looming budget reductions that are called for by the Budget Control Act. But Republicans and Democrats disagree on how to pay for averting or postponing the pending reductions, setting up a likely budget fight that could result in a decrease in the Medicare physician payment rate. Although the White House and Congress reached a budget agreement on Jan. 1 that postponed a 26.5 percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment rate called for by the sustainable growth rate for one year, the deal postponed the broader sequestration budget cuts only until March 27. The sequestration cut calls for a 2 percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment rate. More

Medicare Electronic Prescribing

Physicians Without eRx Exemption Face Penalty

(1/9/2013, 1:15 p.m.)  --  Medicare participating physicians who did not meet the requirements for Medicare's Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program in 2012 face a 1.5 percent Medicare pay cut in 2013. CMS began notifying eligible professionals of their penalty status in December via the U.S. Postal Service. Physicians who disagree with CMS' determination of a penalty assessment may submit an informal review request by e-mail. CMS will accept review requests through Feb. 28. More