A bi-weekly newsletter from your physician organization


Friday, September 23, 2022

Help fight childhood cancer 

September is recognized as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help increase awareness of cancer’s impact on children and their families. It also reinforces the need for funding for treatment research, care and support for patients.

Consider these statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI):

  • Every year, an estimated 15,780 children under 18 years old will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States.
  • Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease for children.
  • The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is 8. 

How you can support childhood cancer survivors:

Be aware of a patient’s health history.

There are over 500,000 childhood cancer survivors, and addressing their unique needs and challenges remains critical. We know a child's journey with cancer doesn't usually end with their last treatment. Approximately 95 percent of adult childhood cancer survivors suffer from at least one long-term late effect as a result of their cancer or its therapy.


Share resources.

The National Cancer Institute provides a variety of resources for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, their caregivers and families.

Take action.

Through 2020, only six new drugs have been approved by the FDA that were specifically developed for childhood cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill in history. Signed into law in 2018, the legislation authorized $30 million every year for five years to fund STAR Act programs. As the original STAR Act nears its expiration, you can ask your legislators to support continued funding through the STAR Reauthorization Act (H.R.7630 / S.4120).

How to conduct a compliance risk assessment

While most healthcare providers have a compliance program in place, many providers have let their compliance risk assessments lapse or become outdated.

It is essential for medical practices to stay on top of compliance risk assessments to avoid costly fines and lawsuits. The healthcare compliance world is constantly changing and evolving, and an ongoing risk assessment will help to protect a practice.

To complete or update a compliance risk assessment:

  • Determine what risks exist to the practice, then evaluate those risks.
  • Finally, a practice should use available resources to address the most significant risks. 

Compliance risk assessments will help find blind spots, show employees that management cares about their concerns and are proactive, and reduce potential governmental fines and penalties. Healthcare entities should prioritize these risk assessments, as they are now required by the government. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that periodic risk assessments are the starting point of a well-designed compliance program.

Compliance plans must be updated routinely and regularly. Staff should be aware of and engaged with the practice’s compliance program.

So how do you perform a compliance risk assessment? Work with a healthcare attorney to: 

  • identify risks
  • assess risks for potential likelihood and impact
  • create a workplan which will likely include audits, monitoring, education, updates to policies and procedures, and implementation of any necessary technology 
  • have an established process in place to continue monitoring risks and compliance
  • make sure that staff is thoroughly trained


It is essential that a compliance plan is well-used, familiar to all staff, and involves the entire office. Leaders should ask: if a government official were to come to the practice, would all of the employees be able to comprehensively discuss the compliance plan and risk assessment? 

If not, now is the time to act. When it comes to compliance, a proactive approach is essential to protect the healthcare practice.

Source: Rickard & Associatesan Affiliate Partner of TPA, provides members with a broad range of business legal services at preferred pricing. Contact them for help with compliance and HIPAA readiness, employment issues, contract negotiation and more. 

Education series focuses on health equity in cancer care

The Michigan Cancer Consortium (MCC) Health Equity and Policy Committee is hosting a webinar series, Putting Health Equity into Practice, focused on health equity best practices that can be implemented in a variety of organizations working towards eliminating cancer health disparities. 

The next webinar is Monday, Sept. 26 from 12-1pm. The free program will share how payors can put health equity into practice and how healthcare providers can navigate this area to help patients. Panelists include speakers from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross and Meridian Health Plan. Register for the program here

The first webinar, “Health Systems Putting Health Equity into Practice,” provided examples of work already being done in Michigan health systems that can be replicated across the state. To watch the previous webinar, click this link.

Register today for important education programs

Fall is upon Michigan and the calendar is winding down on the year. Don't be left unprepared for a great business outcome in 2023! The Physician Alliance is offering several important education programs to help members improve quality metrics, coding and more. 

These cost-free programs are available only to The Physician Alliance members

Population health and quality webinar

October 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (Register)

November 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (Register)

These webinars are open to primary care and specialty care member practices participating in the Physician Group Incentive Program (PGIP) through TPA. Join this webinar to better understand:

  • quality metrics related to chronic conditions
  • updates related to BCBSM quality programs and/or initiatives

Lunch with the Coder: 2023 CPT coding updates

December 28 @ 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Register for this webinar.

Get ready for the annual current procedural terminology (CPT) code set updates that take effect Jan. 1 by attending this informative webinar. Learn the latest updates to keep your practices’ coding accurate in 2023 including:

  • understand why codes have been updated
  • important new additions
  • support documentation needed
  • applying new codes

Missed a previous education program? Members can view on-demand videos in TPA's member portal

The latest healthcare news

Depressive symptoms among caregivers increase substantially before the onset of dementia in partners, News-Medical

Heart disease exposes disparities, so medicine goes mobile in Detroit, Bridge Michigan

Doctors rush to use Supreme Court ruling to escape opioid charges, CBS News

US adults should get routine anxiety screening, panel says, AP News

Genetic Tests Create Treatment Opportunities and Confusion for Breast Cancer Patients, Kaiser Health News

Pediatricians worry about end of federal COVID emergency declaration, NPR

Ways you can save

Featured Affiliate Partner: MEDICAL DEBT COLLECTION: Transworld Systems, Inc. (TSI) helps members with past due accounts and debt collections services. TPA members get exclusive pricing with profit recovery, insurance resolution and more. 

Learn more about this partner.

Visit TPA's Website