Volume 113, No. 12Top
December 2017 Edition

They Said It...

"I was told to stay away from him...He had a reputation...He put his hand on the small of my back and, like, was just weird about it, creepy." A woman, now a first-year medical student in Philadelphia, talking about an attending physician inappropriately touching her while she worked at a local hospital lab. She said nothing to the authorities because the physician had a say in whether she would get a match for residency at the hospital. The winter edition of the magazine version of Philadelphia Medicine, will have a report on sexual harassment in Philadelphia medical schools. The issue will arrive in your mail box in January.

In the News... 
CMS Releases 2018 CLFS Rates A1

The new clinical laboratory fee schedule (CLFS) goes into effect on January 1, 2018. The rates were calculated based on private payer data that was reported to CMS by applicable laboratories. CMS initiated the process so it could more closely align Medicare payment rates with rates of private payers.

CMS offers a spreadsheet that lists HCPCS codes, weighted median data, and payment data for 2018-2020. You can find this information by going to https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ClinicalLabFeeSched/PAMA-Regulations.html.

You can find more details on the CMS webpage: https://www.cms.gov/.

Pa. Transitioning to a New Online Licensure System A2

The Pa. Dept. of State's Bureau of Professional Occupational Affairs (BPOA) will soon offer a new online licensing system. It's called the Pa. Licensing System (PALS). It will replace MyLicense, the current online licensing system. The State Board of Medicine is in the process of transitioning to PALS, but it has not yet indicated when the move will be completed.

BPOA says PALS will make the online application and renewal process more user-friendly. PALS will also provide other licensing services, that include: checking the status of applications; online certification and verification of licenses; self-reporting of disciplinary actions; complaint filing.

For more information, go to http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/Pages/default.aspx.

No Surprise Here...The Flu's on the Rise in Philadelphia and Across the Country A3

It's that time of the year when cases of influenza start to rise. Dozens of cases have been reported in the city of influenza A and B, RSV, the rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, parainfluenza viruses and adenoviruses. The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) is calling on all health care providers to promptly report to PDPH all flu and flu-related cases.

The CDC reports that influenza has already killed seven children this year. A study of fatal influenza cases among children between 2010 and 2014 found that three out of every four victims had not been vaccinated.

Each year there are between 140,000 and 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S., and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths. Those at highest risk are the very young, the very old, and people with coexisting medical conditions.

PDPH says that the best way to avoid the flu is to get the vaccine, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs and toys.

If you contract the virus you should stay home, cough or sneeze into a tissue or an upper sleeve, and wash hands after coughing or sneezing.

For more information on influenza cases in Philadelphia, go to www.phila.gov/health.

As More Hurricane Victims Arrive from Puerto Rico, a Call to Help and Monitor A4

Puerto Rican citizens coming to Philadelphia may have brought with them a wide range of diseases caused by the natural disaster on the island.

PDPH says extensive flooding and prolonged power outages have disrupted clean water and food supplies and sewage treatment. Diseases caused by the disaster include gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, salmonella, and a variety of mosquito-bearing diseases.

PDPH urges clinicians to become familiar with Puerto Rican-related diseases stemming from the hurricane, and take a travel history of all patients, especially those with fever, rash, GI or severe respiratory illness.

Clinicians are encouraged to call the PDPH Division of Disease Control to report suspected cases in order to help coordinate responses.

CMS is exercising its waiver authority to allow suppliers or other practitioners who are not currently enrolled to initiate temporary billing privileges. Medicare has a toll-free hotline to help practitioners: 1-855-247-8424. The hotline is available from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Harrisburg Makes Its First House Call A5

The first edition of a new 30-minute TV show on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) tackled the opioid epidemic in the state.

"Harrisburg House Call" premiered on PCN on Sunday, December 10. The show featured PAMED president, Dr. Theodore Christopher; Dr. John Gallagher, chair of both PAMED's Board of Trustees and its Opioid Task Force, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

You can watch the show online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M6_m4gjSTk.

HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Provider Assessment A6

The AIDS Activities Coordinating Office at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is continuing their survey on your experience with prescribing PrEP. If you have prescribed PrEP and have not yet participated, start the survey by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PhilaPrEP.

The Phila Dept of Public Health is also offering to provide an educational program at your clinical site about how to prescribe PrEP. If you are interested please contact the PrEP Clinical Advisor, Erika Aaron, MSN, CRNP at erika.aaron@phila.gov.

Awards Season A7

Now is the time to take stock of your friends and colleagues and decide who should be nominated for one of the Philadelphia County Medical Society's annual awards. Here's the list:
  • Strittmatter Award - Honors a PCMS physician who has demonstrated the most valuable contributions to the healing art, surgical or medical. A physician colleague should submit a nominating letter that includes the candidate's current c.v.
  • Practitioner of the Year Award - Honors a PCMS member for excellence in patient care and community service. Nominating letters from physician colleagues, medical students or staff, should include examples of community service.
  • The Vanitha Appadorai Vaidya, MD Award for Humaneness in Medicine - Honors a PCMS resident/fellow physician who demonstrates exceptional skills in working with patients and their families, and understanding human as well as clinical needs. Nominating letters from physicians, professional staff or medical students, should include examples of nominee's humaneness.
  • The Cristol Award - Honors a PCMS member who enhances the educational, scientific and charitable goals of organized medicine. Physician colleagues should submit a nominating letter.
Nominating letters should be emailed to eryan@Philamedsoc.org, or FAX'd to 215-563-3627. For more information, call 215-563-5343, ext. 113.

The awards will be presented during the PCMS President's Installation, on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

Dating ServiceDatingService

30 - Child Abuse Reporting Training Program

Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society
2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

This program will cover the topics of child abuse recognition, what you need to know in order to report it, and the penalties for failing to report. This program is free and open to all physicians. Stay tuned for more information.

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