Volume 112, No.3
March 2016
They Said It... 

"The only time they should be concerned is if we have a widespread outbreak in the United States, which we don't anticipate." Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talking to Philadelphia Medicine about whether pregnant women should be concerned about getting bitten by a Zika-carrying mosquito while living in the Philadelphia area.
    
Things You Should Know...   
 
Did you get a refund check from Mcare this week?

Mcare mailed the first round of refund checks and if you did not receive a check in the first round, you may be eligible for refunds in a second round of checks. PAMED has a variety of resources to answer your questions and help navigate the process at www.McareRefund.org.

There is a Quick Consult that explains the legal impacts and tax implications of accepting your Mcare refund. Other questions, please call PCMS headquarters at 215-563-5343 x 101. 
 

Time is Actually Running out on the Never Ending Story...
 
For the third straight month, we have an update on those CMS meaningful use payments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have issued yet another document on this matter-- FAQ #14357. Having trouble opening this link, please call PCMS headquarters at 215-563-5343 x 101. 
 
It states, in part, that applying for a hardship exception from the 2017 meaningful use payment penalty will not prevent doctors from receiving the incentive, even if they also successfully attest to meaningful use in 2015.
 
The AMA is encouraging all physicians to apply for the exceptions, because of the delay of the 2015 meaningful use modification rule. You can go to the AMA website to find step-by-step instructions (log in) on how to file for the exception. CMS must receive your filing by March 15. Hospitals have until April 1 to submit an application.
 
 
Opioid Abuse - It's an Epidemic
 
Opioid abuse in the Philadelphia area has reached epidemic proportions, and a big part of the problem stems from scammers going to doctors to get prescriptions for the powerful painkillers. Some requests for pain medication are obviously legit, but others could be from scammers who are addicted and want the pills for themselves, or are simply out to sell them on the street.
 
Doctors are urged to increase their efforts to screen such requests. PAMED has created a comprehensive online educational resource for prescribers to help them combat the problem, at: www.pamedsoc.org/opioidresources. The spring issue of our magazine, Philadelphia Medicine, offers an in-depth look at the illegal prescription crisis in the city.
 
 
Philadelphia Psychiatric Society Holds Second Annual Addictions Symposium
 
This year's symposium is very timely - "Legal Addictions with Lethal Consequences - Practical Interventions Made Straight Forward for the Practitioner." As we have mentioned in this newsletter, Philadelphia is in the throes of an illegal prescription drug epidemic.
 
Talks will cover stimulants, marijuana, tobacco, opiates, alcohol and benzodiazepines. The talks are aimed at general practitioners. Prior knowledge on the topic is not needed. The conference is designed to help psychiatrists and physicians of all specialties.
 
All PCMS members are allowed to attend at the PaPS member rate. Medical Students and Residents are free.
 
The symposium takes place on Saturday, March 12 at Thomas Jefferson University from 7:30 AM to 4:45 PM.
 
 
The program offers up to 6.0 AMA PRA Category I CME credits.™
 

The MRC Wants You...
 
The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is looking for a few good men and women to help keep the city safe during public health emergencies. Philadelphia MRC volunteers have been crucial reinforcements during those times, assisting public health, emergency, medical and behavioral science personnel.
 
The MRC can use both those who have medical backgrounds and those who don't. The corps has a wide range of jobs for volunteers, including: conducting medical screenings and evaluations, giving vaccines or medicine, answering questions at a hotline call center, helping with mass patient care in shelters, clinics or hospitals, and assisting with disease control measures.
 
If you're interested, give the MRC a call at: 215-685-6496
 
 
Enough to Make a Kid Smile...
 
Some very generous dentists in our area are offering youngsters free dental care. Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) is coordinating the dental appointments for young people from 6 months of age, to 21 years old.  
 
The appointments will be available from March 22 to 25. Dental practices in Southeast Pennsylvania have created space for more than 500 children. All youngsters are welcome, including those without dental insurance, and those who haven't seen a dentist in six months.  
 
Parents can call PCCY for an appointment at: 215-563-5848 x32. Don't miss this opportunity to fight tooth decay, the number one childhood disease.
 
 
Legal "Triage" Services Program for PCMS Members
 
PCMS is offering a legal "triage" services program. It gives members the chance to have an initial telephone consultation with a lawyer, at no charge, on legal issues involving medical practice. If additional services are needed, Karen Davidson, Esq., will offer them on a discounted fee basis. The program gives members the opportunity to assess their legal needs with guidance from attorneys with extensive knowledge in health law.
 
Interested members should contact: our Executive Director, Mark Austerberry, mausterberry@philamedsoc.org or by phone at 215-563-5343 x 101
 
 
The Nominations are in...
 
The Nominating Committee has published on the PCMS website, http://www.philamedsoc.org, the slate of candidates it will nominate for office at the PCMS Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 24. Anyone who wishes to make another nomination from the floor at that meeting, must file the nomination in writing on the appropriate documents prior to the Board meeting. Please call 215-563-5343 Ext. 101 for further information.

Dating Services
 
March
 
22 - Medical Student/ Resident Panel Discussion on Residency

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

 
The Residency application and match process can be long and stressful. Get tips from the panel and ask questions about residency programs; completing your application; acing your interview(s) and determining your rank-order list.

 
 
April
 
2 - Zoobiquity Conference 6

7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Experts in veterinary and human medicine are often confronted with similar clinical challenges and shared diagnoses. PCMS members can use the discount code "PENNMED50" to take $50 off the registration fee. Program is free for Medical Students and Residents to attend.

More information at: Zoobiquity Conference 6
 

16 - Exciting Advances in Gastroenterology
 
7:30 AM to Noon

Half day educational program, topics include: New Frontiers in the management of Barrett's Esophagus, Emerging Therapeutic in IBD, Update in Liver Disease 2016 and Functional Bowel Disease. Program is free and open to general physicians, fellows, residents and medical students.

Register Now For GI Program

PCMS People Wanted
 
Your colleagues would like to know what you have been up to! Email news about academic or other appointments, achievements, awards and promotion, etc. to stat@philamedsoc.org



Philadelphia County Medical Society |  stat@philamedsoc.org 
215-563-5343 | http://philamedsoc.org/