Volume 113, No. 4Top
April 2017 Edition

They Said It...

"They want to reduce spending, which doesn't seem to us to recognize that current spending is needed to get people the health care they need." Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, commenting in the spring issue of the PCMS magazine, Philadelphia Medicine, on the latest effort by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In the News... 
When Your Friend Tells You His Fiancee Wants a Pre-Nup... A1

Tell your friend to make a counter offer -- ask for a prior authorization from her insurance company. Pa. Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) will soon introduce a bill that would minimize an insurer's ability to use prior authorization (PA). PA was first used by insurance companies to reign in the overuse of expensive health care services. But the Pa. Medical Society says now insurers are demanding PA's for routine tests, generic medications and procedures that fall well within accepted standards of care.

PAMED adds that the PA process often involves far too many phone calls, emails, faxes and visits to web portals. And when an insurer denies coverage, that often leads to a long, painful appeal process. The delays sometime create risks for patients.

Rep. Quinn's bill would streamline the process and set standards that insurers would have to follow. PAMED President Charles Cutler, MD, is calling on physicians and other health care providers to write to their representatives, and encourage them to sponsor the bill. Dr. Cutler believes the bill "will go a long way toward addressing administrative waste in our health care delivery system...and ensure that patients get the care their physician recommends in a timely and cost effective manner."

For more information on the bill visit the PAMED website.

2017 Medical Record Fees Posted A2

The Pa. Dept. of Health has published the medical record fee guidelines for this year. The rates are effective as of January 1, 2017.

You can see the record fee guidelines by going to http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol46/46-49/2082.html.

Thirteenth Time's the Charm... A3

The DEA is offering Americans their 13th chance in the last seven years to safely get rid of their expired, unused, unwanted prescription drugs. The semi-annual "Take Back Day" is Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The service is a free, anonymous, no-questions-asked way to get pills and patches out of your medicine cabinet. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.)

Last October, Americans turned in 730 thousand pounds of prescription drugs to about 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its local and state law enforcement partners. Since the program began, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than seven million pounds of pills.

The program is an effort to prevent medicines at home from ending up on the street, or being misused in other ways. There are dozens of local police stations and township offices where you can drop off the pills and patches. They are listed on the DEA Diversion website -- https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/.

When Someone Tries to Force You to Eat That Second Slice of Pie A4

Just say, "No thanks, I'm opting out." Which is what Pa. residents can now do when it comes to opioid prescriptions, thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Wolf.

Pa. has joined several other states in allowing patients to join a "non-opioid directive." The directive allows patients to formally notify health care professionals that they do not want to be prescribed or administered opioid medications. The provision is designed to give recovering addicts one more tool to keep certain powerful prescription drugs from getting back into their hands.

Those April Showers Bring Complications for Asthma and Allergy Patients A5

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) has issued a timely reminder that rising tree pollen concentrations this time of year exacerbate asthma and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis in sensitive patients.

The spring pollen season usually results in increases in asthma-related visits to emergency departments from early April to early May.

PDPH is encouraging providers to make appropriate adjustments to the medications allergy patients are taking, and educate patients about ways to avoid asthma and allergy triggers such as monitoring daily pollen counts online by going to http://pollen.aaaai.org/nab/index.cfm?p=allergenreport&stationid=92.

The Environmental Protection Agency offers additional resources about asthma and environmental triggers, including printable checklists for caregivers and educational material for children. You can find them by going to https://www.epa.gov/asthma/resources-about-asthma.

Updated AMA Code of Medical Ethics Available A6

A commemorative leather-bound edition of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics is now available. The AMA House of Delegates adopted the updated code last June.

The latest edition is the result of months of work reviewing the material that accumulated in the code since the first version was released in 1847. Today, the AMA Code remains the only codification of professional conduct for all U.S. physicians regardless of their medical specialty, practice type or location.

AMA Immediate Past President Steven J. Stack, MD, said, "the modernization project ensures that the Code of Medical Ethics will remain a useful and effective resource that physicians can continue to rely on, while remaining faithful to the virtues of fidelity, humanity, loyalty, tenderness, confidentiality and integrity enshrined in the original code."

Netter Symposium Being Held on "the Science of Art and the Art of Science" A7

An extraordinary melding of science and art will take place on April 21 and 22 at Thomas Jefferson University. The free symposium is being organized by third year Jefferson medical student Chen Zhou in collaboration with the Pa. Academy of Fine Arts and Fleischer Art Memorial.

It will include talks on the ability of the arts to help develop a well-rounded humanist physician, and help prevent physician burnout. Zhou said the symposium aims to show that the arts, "not only increase empathy in clinicians, but also improve patient health."

The event will also feature an art contest involving local photography, painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture by physicians and medical students.

We have a more detailed description of the symposium in our events calendar, "Dating Service."

PCMS Foundation Now Tax Exempt

The PCMS Foundation has now received its official tax exempt status from the IRS, which means that all donations given to the foundation since its inception are tax exempt. The foundation was created to foster charitable works and fund scholarships for medical students from Philadelphia.

Please think of adding the PCMS Foundation to your list of charitable contributions. You can send cash contributions to: The Foundation, Phila. County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden St., Phila., PA 19130. For gifts of stocks, collections, property and bequeaths, please call Dr. Michael DellaVecchia, 215-563-5343, ext. 113.

Dating ServiceDatingService

19 - Upcoming Spring Practice Manager Meetings

Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Registration and breakfast at 8:00 AM)
Place: Crowne Plaza, 260 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406

The Pennsylvania Medical Society is hosting member-only programs that will help you keep up to date with MACRA, MIPS and other important updates affecting your practice.

22 - 6th Annual Clinical Update in Gastroenterology

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: Registration - 7:30 AM | Program: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society
2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

We have a fantastic line up of speakers and topics! Free continental breakfast; Free program; Free education credits! Don't miss it!

22 - Frank H. Netter Symposium on Arts and Health

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Place: Thomas Jefferson University, 1015 Walnut Street
Curtis Building, Second Floor, Foerderer Auditorium, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Thomas Jefferson University in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and Fleisher Art Memorial, and sponsored by Elsevier, is hosting the Frank H. Netter Symposium on Arts and Health, a program that explores the role of the arts in health- from observation training to burnout prevention- with healthcare students, faculty and trainees, artists and arts professionals. Registration is free.

29 - Philadelphia 8-Hour MAT Waiver Trainings

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Place: 801 Market Street, 7th Floor - Large Conference Center
Philadelphia, PA

This is a free CME program that will cover medication assisted treatment and how to effectively address opioid use disorders. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry designates this live activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

10 - Tools for Success Practice Management Conference

Date: Wednesday, May 10
Time: Registration - 7:45 AM | Program 8:30 AM (All Day)
Place: Springfield Country Club, Springfield, PA

This conference is focused on topics relevant to practice managers and physicians. Topics to be covered include:
  • From Reporting to Payment Adjustment - Understanding How MIPS will be Scored
  • Healthcare Needs of the LGBT Community
  • Creating a Trauma Informed Community
  • Helping Patients to Choose the Proper Health Insurance Plans for Their Needs
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Co-locating Behavioral Health Services Within Primary Care
  • Workplace Violence in Healthcare
  • The Art and Science of Healthcare Risk Contracting
23 - Advocacy Day

Date: Tuesday, May 23
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Place: The Pennsylvania State Capitol, 501 N 3rd St
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

Medical students, residents, and early career physicians will have the opportunity to advocate to legislators who want to hear your perspective on issues that impact you and Pennsylvania patients.

24 - Philadelphia Public Grand Rounds: Poverty and Public Health: Addressing the Causes and Consequences

Date: Wednesday, May 24
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Place: College of Physicians, 19 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Attendance at this program will give you a better understanding of the causes of poverty and the impact of poverty on growth, development, and health, as well as possible solutions to the problems.

6 - Gun Violence: An Approach to Better Understanding and Violence Prevention

Date: Tuesday, June 6
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society
2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

This program is for physicians and healthcare professionals. Topics covered include violence prevention and the critical role physicians and hospitals play in overcoming the gun violence crisis.

17 - President's Installation and Awards Night

Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: Reception: 6:00 PM | Program and Dinner: 7:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia Country Club
1601 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035

Celebrating the Inauguration of Cadence A. Kim, MD, FACS as the 156th President of The Philadelphia County Medical Society.

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