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                      Volume 112, No.1                                                                          January 2016
They Said It

"Car accidents and suicide are the two biggest killers of teenagers, and both of those things are  highly impacted upon by chronic sleep loss."

---Judith Owens, Director of sleep medicine, Boston Children's Hospital (Phila. Inquirer Jan 11, 2016) 

What Do You Think?  - Take the PCMS monthly survey


16 - Contract review program. Addresses employment contracts, negotiating tips, duties and obligations. A must for residents and fellows and historically widely attended. 
Where:  PCMS-- 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
17 - Increasing access to long acting reversible contraception (LARC) for women in Philadelphia. CME Public Health Program with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Where: College of Physicians -- 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

26 - Opportunities for patient care coordination at emergency departments in the greater Philadelphia region. CME program with the HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pa.  
Where: PCMS -- 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM 
The Check's in the Mail, Maybe
All of that fun paperwork you filled out for Mcare should pay off by the end of the first quarter of this year. If Mcare owes you any refunds you should get a check before April, UNLESS someone paid the assessment for you, and you, in turn, failed to make payment choices on the Mcare website by December 30th for all of your claimed refunds.
But it's not too Late
If you missed that cutoff date you can still go to --  -- and make your payment choices for claimed refunds. Just don't expect to get your money by April.
We're Late, We're Late for a very Important Date
President Obama has signed into law a provision that gives doctors and hospitals a break when it comes to complying with the Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 requirements.
The problem was pretty clear - the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regs for the 2015 MU program too late for doctors and hospitals to comply with them on time. Health care professionals and facilities faced huge penalties unless the government gave them a Mulligan.
The Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act does just that. The law provides blanket hardship exemptions for health professionals and hospitals for 2015.

The Catch
But the exemptions will be granted on a case by case basis, and doctors have until March 15 and hospitals until April 1st, to file for an exemption.
Catch #2
And CMS has yet to issue the hardship exemption application. Sound familiar? For more information, you can go to the CMS link --
On the Record
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued this year's list of medical record copying fees. They're the same as last year. Here's the website where you can find them:  2016 Medical Records Fee Schedule
And if you're wondering what you can charge a patient who wants an electronic copy of those records, it's no more than what it costs you in staff time to copy and send the information. Federal law, by the way, requires health care providers to hand over a copy of electronic protected health information (PHI) if the patient requests   it.
Keeping Kids Safe at Doctors' Offices and Hospitals
We've received rave reviews for our first training session for doctors on how to detect and report child abuse. More than 50 physicians recently attended the two hour session at PCMS -- "Recognizing and Responding to Children at Risk and Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect".
The program teaches doctors what to look for when it comes to child abuse, and what the law obligates health care personnel to do when they suspect that a youngster is being abused.
Pennsylvania's newly amended Child Protective Services Act requires all practicing physicians and those who are retired but have renewed their medical licenses, to complete the two hour session by December 31.
Sign Up
PCMS will host a second session on May 11, at 6:30 pm at PCMS headquarters. Space is limited, so register soon, if you want to attend.  Register Now
PAMED is also offering the session online, at: Online Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse training
From City Hall
Mayor Jim Kenney's office has told Philadelphia Medicine that curbing gun violence is a priority with the new administration. The city's 99th mayor is working with new Police Commissioner Richard Ross to make the city safer by increasing foot patrols, incorporating more community policing measures, and expanding the ShotSpotter program.
ShotSpotter strategically places sophisticated audio-detection equipment in high crime areas in order to instantly detect and pinpoint gunshot-type sounds. Philadelphia, along with New York City and other major me tropolitan areas in the country, use it to get to shootings more quickly.

PCMS President Talks About Gun Violence on Talk Radio 
Dr. Michael DellaVecchia recently talked with Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210, WPHT, about gun violence. Dr. DellaVecchia briefly discussed President Obama's new federal regulations, and what impact they could have on doctors.

He said it's part of a physician's duty to be aware of the dangers patients face. "We don't want you to go back into an environment where you could be injured or killed by another person wielding a gun."

Philadelphia County Medical Society | | 215-563-5343 |