LAST CHANCE TO RSVP!
HCMA Installation Dinner
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The Westshore Grand
6:30pm - Social Hour
7:30pm - Dinner & Program
HCMA members - complimentary
Guests - $40 per person
Dr. Thomas Bernasek will be installed as the 115th HCMA President. Election results will also be announced.
Featured speaker: Rich Castellano, M.D.
"Curing the Healthcare Conundrum"
Click here to RSVP or call the HCMA office: 813.253.0471.
Sponsors: The Bank of Tampa, Florida Blue, Precision Diagnostics, and ProAssurance.
The deadline to remit 2018 HCMA dues has been extended from April 30th to May 15th. Members who have not paid 2018 dues by May 15th will be removed from the HCMA roster and membership benefits will be discontinued, including a complimentary listing in the HCMA Membership Directory, admission to HCMA events, and discounts on goods and services you may receive through the HCMA Benefit Provider Program.
Don't let your membership lapse - help the HCMA continue its efforts in serving as advocates for the physicians and patients in our community.
Please call the HCMA today to confirm your membership or to renew! 813.253.0471 or
HCMA's Gone Social
We have been improving, updating, becoming more mobile optimized, and social media savvy...
HCMA Annual Membership Directory
It's not too late - our publishing partner, E&M Consulting, is wrapping up the publication of the 2018-2019 HCMA Membership Directory. In the next few weeks, they will be contacting members with advertising opportunities.
If you are interested in advertising this year, please contact a sales associate at E&M (
800.572.0011) or sign up online:
E&M is very professional and produces a high quality publication. The Annual Membership Directory is a printed publication mailed to all HCMA physician members, purchased by members of the community, and is also posted on the HCMA website.
Preparing for the FMA Annual Meeting
We are making preparations for the FMA Annual Meeting and NEED YOUR HELP!
It is with your ideas and suggestions that we go armed to the FMA to state your case.
The HCMA Delegation to the FMA will be meeting on May 16th to prepare for the FMA Annual Meeting being held in Orlando, August 3-5th. The HCMA Delegation prepares resolutions to be submitted to the FMA House of Delegates which could move forward to become FMA policy, recommendations for AMA policy, or legislative items.
Please put in writing ideas you have that will help organized medicine represent you in effecting change that will allow you to better serve your patients. This is an opportunity for you to exercise one of your most important duties as a member of the HCMA.
Forward your ideas to Elke Lubin, HCMA Executive Assistant, no later than May 7th.
You can receive a sample form for writing your resolution by clicking here. If you have any questions, or are interested in serving as an HCMA delegate, please do not hesitate to contact Elke at the HCMA office (813.253.0471).
CMS changes name of the EHR Incentive Programs & Advancing Care Information to "Promoting Interoperability"
To better reflect this focus, effective immediately CMS is renaming:
A statement from CMS on April 24th reported, "To continue our commitment to promoting and prioritizing interoperability of health care data, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is overhauling and streamlining the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs for hospitals as well as for the Advancing Care Information performance category of the
Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
, which is one track of the Quality Payment Program. This change will move the programs beyond the existing requirements of meaningful use to a new phase of EHR measurement with an increased focus on interoperability and improving patient access to health information.
Please note that this rebranding does not merge or combine the EHR Incentive Programs and MIPS. In the coming weeks, CMS will be updating its websites and educational resources to reflect this change."
- The EHR Incentive Programs to the Promoting Interoperability (PI) Programs for eligible hospitals, critical access hospitals, and Medicaid providers
- The MIPS Advancing Care Information performance category to the Promoting Interoperability performance category for MIPS eligible clinicians
CMS Proposes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden
In a press release dated Aprl 24, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to empower patients through better access to hospital price information, improve patients' access to their electronic health records, and make it easier for providers to spend time with their patients. The proposed rule issued today proposes updates to Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS).
Read the entire press release.
HCMA Leadership meets with Legislators
On April 24th, the HCMA Leadership met with members of the Hillsborough Legislative Delegation and district staff for the First Annual Post Session Legislative Reception. Throughout the great dialog, legislators offered guidance on how organized medicine can improve the language in proposed bills, to assist in better movement through the legislative process.
Many thanks to The Woman's Group for providing the beautiful location for our reception.
Pictured above: MarDee Buchman (Field Rep/Congressman Bilirakis, CD#16), Dr. Ed Homan (HCMA Past President and former HD#60 representative), Drs. Nicole Riddle (HCMA Gov't Affairs Comm. Member), Radhakrishna Rao (HCMA Gov't Affairs Comm. Member), Jayant Rao (HCMA Vice President), Thomas Bernasek (HCMA President Elect), Rep. Wingay Newton (HD#70), Bill Butler (HCMA Alliance President), Dr. Eva Crooke (HCMA Secretary), Rep. James Grant (HD#64), Debbie Zorian (HCMA Executive Director), Dr. Michael Cromer (Chm, HCMA Gov't Affairs Comm.), Coleen Shephard (HCMA Alliance), and Dr. Bruce Shephard (HCMA Past President).
Not photographed: Sen. Darryl Rouson (SD#19), Emmanuel Rouson, and Rep. Jackie Toledo (HD#60).
Pinwheels for Prevention
Ronna Kennedy, Executive Director of Voices for Children of Tampa Bay (www.vfcgal.org), "planted" a pinwheel garden on April 19th at the HCMA office to help spread the word about Child Abuse Prevention Month. Visit the HCMA's Facebook page to see our new garden. Learn more about the Pinwheels for Prevention program: www.IFight4kids.org. Voices for Children has partnered with Guardian ad Litem to support and advocate for the abused, neglected and abandoned children in Hillsborough County. For Information on the 13th Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, please visit www.galtampa.org.
The HCMA Foundation is a proud supporter of Voices for Children.
|From the Board of Medicine
New Legislation Impacting Your Profession
HB 21 - Controlled Substances
Effective Date: July 1, 2018
HB 21 (Full Text)
Creates section 456.0301, Florida Statutes, requiring practitioners to complete a specified board-approved continuing education course to prescribe controlled substances. The bill defines "acute pain" and establishes prescribing guidelines and grounds for disciplinary action if not followed. It limits opioid prescriptions for the treatment of acute pain to a specified period under certain circumstances and requires health care practitioners to check the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.
Additionally, the bill requires pain management clinics with an exemption from registration under section 458.3265 or 459.0137, Florida Statutes, to register their exemption with the Department of Health with no fee, and specifies a new certificate is required if a change of address occurs.
ALL practitioners who are registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe controlled substances will have to complete a two-hour continuing education course on the prescribing of controlled substances by January 31, 2019. The course taken by January 31, 2019 will count toward the first renewal cycle. For physicians expiring on January 31, 2020 they will not need to complete the 2-hour course again until their 2022 renewal cycle (the course will need be to taken for the second time between February 1, 2020 - January 31, 2022).
This mandated course is included within the number of continuing education hours currently required by law.
For more information, please contact Gwendolyn Bailey, Manager, Licensure Support Services Unit, Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, Bureau of Operations: 850.245.4094.
To view all 2018 bills impacting health care professions, please go to
Letter in the Tampa Bay Times
On Thursday, April 19th, the Tampa Bay Times published a letter by HCMA President, Dr. Fred Bearison, citing the HCMA's support of
CDC research into gun violence.
Common ground: Find the facts
There are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing research on all aspects of this issue. Medical leaders and organizations have long supported the kind of research that is referred to as "evidence-based medicine," not the superficial sound-bite reporting from isolated individual studies that often make headlines.
Do you need a "Stress Scan"?
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, especially if you or your spouse is a physician...There are at least seven spheres of life where normal stress can overload and become dis-stress. Failing to take care of yourself in these key areas is a surefire way to experience dis-stress. Take a few minutes to scan these seven spheres and their stress factors, and you'll get a snapshot of where you need to do some preventive maintenance.
Read the full article
is a quarterly publication created by the AMA Alliance. Articles are reprinted with permission from Donna Baver Rovito, Editor.
Physician Family/Summer 2017.
Spotlight on Savings
HCMA's Exclusive Provider for Toxicology Screenings
I have been using Precision Diagnostics as my sole source for confirmatory testing of urine drug screens in my practice since the beginning of the year. Shannon, and his colleague
are about the nicest and most reliable vendors that I have. They have gone out of their way to meet with me and my staff to find out what the specific needs of my practice are and to make sure we all understand the process. We have technical/laboratory support at all times and their
experienced team of PhDs
is able to explain potentially difficult issues in easy to understand terms.
I am overall extremely pleased with Precision Diagnostics and the service that they provide.
Michael Cromer, MD
HCMA Executive Council Member
FMA Annual Meeting
August 3-5, 2018
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal
FMA House of Delegates will meet to consider resolutions submitted by County Medical and Specialty Societies, the 142nd FMA President will be installed, multiple CME opportunities, and much more.
HCMA Membership Dinners
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
The Westshore Grand
6:30pm - Social Hour
7:30pm - Dinner & Program
HCMA members - complimentary
Guests - $40 per person
Mark your calendar.
Programs to be announced!
HCMA Foundation 22nd Charity Golf Classic
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Carrollwood Country Club
Springtime and golf - what a combination! Mark your calendar now for what will
be a beautiful day on the course.
Sponsorship opportunities are available: Click here!
The HCMA Foundation Charity Golf Classic is the primary fundraiser for our Foundation which provides medical student scholarships and provides grants to local charitable organization that have a positive impact on the health of our community.
2018 grant recipients included:
Children's Home Network, Frameworks, Judeo Christian Health Clinic, MoreHealth, The Outreach Clinic, SJH/Mobile Medical Clinic and Voices for Children. USF Medical Student Ariel Crocker was previously awarded her Foundation Scholarship at the February 13