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AMA Takes Action on Proposed Aetna-CVS Merger


Wednesday, March 7
Lobbying Day in Annapolis
Wednesday, March 14
Physician Member Collegiality Dinner: Silver Spring
Wednesday, March 21
Physician Member Collegiality Dinner: Gaithersburg

Tuesday, March 27
Practice Management Update
Details TBA!

Wednesday, April 11
Physician Member Collegiality Dinner: Bethesda

Sunday, June 3
NCPF Foundation Fundraiser & MCMS Installation of Officers
Save the Date!
AMA Wire I 2.26.18

NEJM I 2.22.18

How the New Budget Deal Affects Physicians
Medical Economics I 2.17.18

Doctors, Physicians, and Protecting the Public
MedChi News I 2.26.18
The MCMS mission is to be  the foremost physician organization to advocate for and serve physicians, their medical practices, and their patients in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Will You Serve? Represent Physicians on Lobby Day in Annapolis This Wednesdaylobbyday
MCMS 2017 Lobby Day in Annapolis
Join us as MCMS members to make a "house call" on the Maryland Assembly.
  • 7:00 am Meet at MCMS HQ, if carpooling
  • 8:00 am Meet at MedChi Annapolis Headquarters for Legislative Briefing
  • 8:30 am Appointments with MC Delegation Members
  • 11:30 am Lunch - Harry Browne's Restaurant
  • 1:15 pm Depart for Montgomery County
It is worth your time to ensure that the MC Legislative Delegation knows where we stand on the issues!

Want to get involved in advocacy efforts?
AMA Takes Action on Proposed Aetna-CVS Mergercvsaetna
Last Tuesday, February 27, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held a hearing titled "Competition in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: The Proposed Merger of CVS Health and Aetna."  

The merger would have serious repercussions.  The American Medical Association submitted this statement  for the hearing record, arguing that the "proposed merger has the potential to worsen competition in three poorly performing markets:  PBM services, local health insurance, and retail pharmacy" and encouraging the Subcommittee and Congress to ensure that a rigorous review of this merger is conducted. The hearing was videotaped and can be found here.
Physician Collegiality Dinners: Don't Forget to Reserve Your Seat! dinner
In place of our usual Winter General Membership Meeting, MCMS invites you to attend one of our PHYSICIAN COLLEGIALITY DINNERS. It's a chance to congregate, commiserate, collaborate, and celebrate with each other!  We are going back to the basics of physician collegiality where sharing cases and supporting each other was the norm. When mutual respect and understanding was key to your success and professional satisfaction.

Please Note: Seats are filling fast! RSVP today to reserve your space.

3 Remaining Dates & Locations:
  • Wed., 3.14.18, 6PM Mrs. K's Tollhouse, 9201 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring
  • Wed., 3.21.18, 6PM Copper Canyon Grill, 100 Boardwalk Place, Gaithersburg
  • Wed., 4.11.18, 6PM Mon Ami Gabi, 7239 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda
You may only attend ONE dinner. There is no cost to attend for active physician members. Emeritus members and prospective members may attend for $50, and are asked to  submit this form to RSVP.
Important Compliance Updates & Deadlines: MIPS, Records Fees & Morecompliance
Quality Payment Program MIPS Deadline: March 31, 2018
The performance data your practice collected during 2017 must be submitted to CMS by March 31, 2018. The first payment adjustments, based on this data will go into effect on January 1, 2019. The payment adjustments can be positive or negative. 

If you need help navigating MIPS, the AMA has provided an online resource, Understanding Medicare's Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), that you may find helpful. Members are encouraged to contact Colleen George at MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, with questions about the deadline. She can be reached at cgeorge@medchi.org or 410.539.0872 ext. 3360.

Updated Medical Records Fees, as of January 2018
In Maryland, how much practices may charge for medical records copying fees is tied to the Consumer Price Index. Please note:  Federal HIPAA regulations do not allow a charge for a preparation fee for records provided directly to the patient.   Click here to download our update guidance regarding copying fees. 

New Medicare Cards Arrive Starting April 1, 2018
The new Medicare card is a result of MACRA's requirement that CMS issue Medicare cards that do not display Social Security Numbers to address the risk of beneficiary identity theft.  New Medicare cards will be issued beginning in April 2018 and physician offices must be prepared to accept the new Medicare identification number at that time. T he new Medicare cards will significantly impact physician practices' workflows.

Maryland's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Querying Requirements Begin July 1, 2018
For full details on querying requirements, visit MedChi's Querying Timeline (it's printable!) or access MedChi's full PDMP knowledge base: www.medchi.org/PrescriptionDrugMonitoringProgram.

Beginning July 1, 2018 a prescriber must: 
  1. request at least the prior 4 months of a patient's prescription monitoring data before initiating a course of treatment for the patient that includes prescribing or dispensing an opioid or benzodiazepine; 
  2. request a patient's prescription monitoring data at least every 90 days until the course of treatment that includes an opioid or benzodiazepine has ended; and 
  3. assess the prescription monitoring data before deciding whether to prescribe or dispense or continue to prescribe or dispense an opioid or benzodiazepine 
As of July 1, 2018 prescribers also must document in the patient's medical record that the prescription monitoring data was requested and assessed. 
Knowledge is Power: Help Patients Recognize Signs of Preterm Labor labor
Provide your patients with a refrigerator magnet that lists seven signs of preterm labor. The magnets, which are available in English, Spanish and French, instruct patients to contact their healthcare provider immediately if they experience any of these signs (listed below). To obtain magnets, call 240-777-3967 or email sheilah.o' connor@montgomerycountymd.gov.
  • Contractions that occur every 10 minutes or less
  • Leaking of fluid, a change in vaginal discharge or bleeding from your vagina
  • Menstrual cramps in your back, legs or stomach
  • The baby "balling up"
  • A low, dull backache that doesn't go away when you rest
  • A feeling of pressure like the baby is pushing down, or heaviness in your back, legs or stomach
  • Stomach cramps that feel like you are having diarrhea or gas
*This alert appears courtesy of the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services.
Montgomery County Medical Society    |   info@montgomerymedicine.org  |    301.921.4300