March 11, 2018 - In This Issue:
MCMS Physicians' House Call on the  Maryland State Legislature 
White Coats & Stethoscopes
White coats were out in force in Annapolis on Wednesday. Nearly 20 MCMS physician leaders made their way to the state capitol for MCMS Lobby Day to advocate on behalf patients, physicians and public health. It was a strategic day of divide and conquer as physician teams made the rounds to meet with Maryland Delegates and Senators, and their legislative aides. 

Key Issues
The two key legislative  issues discussed were increasing Medicaid funding and tort reform, particularly rejecting an effort to repeal the 20% rule for expert witnesses. Visit MedChi's Legislative Center online to learn more about our Legislative Agenda or to contact your legislator directly. Your colleagues closed the day with more discussion with legislators and legislative aides over lunch at Harry Browne's Restaurant.

Thank You to Our Lobbying Team!
Many thanks to the following MCMS physician members for taking time to advance all physicians' legislative issues:  Bailey Cannon, M.D., Mindi Cohen, D.O., Audrey Corson, M.D., Lynne Diggs, M.D., Brent Faulkner, M.D., Larry Green, M.D., Natasha Herz, M.D., Robert Karp, M.D., Julia Korenman, M.D., Angela Marshall, M.D., Carolyn O'Conor, M.D., Annette Pham, M.D., Naeem Poursharif, M.D., Jerome Schwartz, M.D., Peter Sherer, M.D., and Joseph Snyder, M.D.

The day was deemed a resounding success by those involved! There were several newcomers to the process, and all agreed it was time well spent and of great benefit to practicing physicians. Physicians can never be over-represented on this important day. Please consider participating next year! 
Near Silver Spring?  Join Us This Wednesday for a Physician Collegiality 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! According to our member and recent attendee, Dr. Ng-Wagner the 
dinner "added great value to her membership" and helped her to "reconnect with colleagues".

The practice of medicine has changed, and how, when, and where physicians have the opportunity to connect with one another has changed with it. Meet colleagues you refer to but have never met in person, discuss your greatest day-to-day challenges, and provide mutual support and inspiration to one another. Attend to get your #ProudToBeAPhysician coffee cup!

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 .

Visit us on  Facebook  or  Twitter  to learn more about our #ProudToBeAPhysician campaign.

Cigna Agrees to Buy Express Scripts for More Than $50 Billion
3.8.18   I   Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal
  • Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the U.S.
  • Like the attempted CVS Health and Aetna merger, the deal would facilitate pharmaceutical cost controls for an insurer.
  • The deal is part of the overall consolidation trend among large healthcare companies.

Opioid Overdose ED Visits Continued to Rise from 2016 - 2017
3.6.18   I   Read the full article in the CDC's Newsroom

From July 2016 - September 2017, opioid overdoses increased for:
  • Men (↑30%) and women (↑24%)
  • People ages 25-34 (↑ 31%), 35-54 (↑36%), and 55 and over (↑32%)
  • Most states (↑ 30% average), especially in the Midwest (↑70% average)
In the Northeast, large increases were seen in Delaware (105%) & Pennsylvania (81%). Data for Maryland is not yet available.

UnitedHealthcare Says It Will Pass On Rebates From Drug Companies to Consumers
3.6.18   I   Read the full article in The New York Times
  • The new policy will apply to more than 7 million customers, starting next year.
  • UnitedHealthcare belongs to a parent company that also owns a large pharmacy benefit manager, OptumRx.
  • UnitedHealthcare previously argued that it uses the rebates it receives to lower the cost of premiums.

Uber Wants to Get Your Patient to Their Next Appointment with You!
3.1.18   I   Read the full article in Axios
  • 4 million people skip or delay a doctor's appointment each year in the U.S. due to a lack of reliable transportation.
  • Other services, like Lyft, have already begun a service like Uber's "Uber Health"
  • Uber does not charge fees for providing the service; practices and hospitals participating in the program only pay for rides patients use.
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