Volume 113, No.2
February 2017 Edition
They Said It...
"We all want our doctors to prescribe appropriately and prevent abuse. ...Some doctors need help understanding the guidelines and others need remediation when they are inappropriately prescribing." Marcia Lammando, RN, BSN, MHSA, program director of LifeGuard, talking about opioid prescriptions.
In the News... Top 



Phila. Community Legal Services: Federal Block Grants for Medicaid Would be a Bad Prescription for Pennsylvania

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Phila. Sees Alarming Spike in Overdose Deaths A1

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health reports that 35 people died of unintentional drug overdoses in the city, in just the first five days of December.
The 12 apparently unintentional overdoses on December 1, is the highest number of overdose deaths for one day ever reported in Philadelphia. Most of those who died were white men. Thirty-one of the 35 deaths were positive for heroin, fentanyl or both. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Extremely small amounts can cause overdoses.
A Call for Widespread HIV Testing in Phila. A2

The Phila. Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) wants an intensive city-wide effort made to test patients for HIV. PDPH wants the test routinely offered to patients between the ages of 13 and 64.

The PDPH is calling for such testing so that people with HIV get the life-saving treatments that are available, and that people who do not have the disease, learn how to prevent it.

In 2015, the rates of new HIV diagnoses were highest among Non-Hispanic Blacks in Philadelphia. The overall number of reported HIV cases among Non-Hispanic Blacks is twice as high as reported cases for Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics combined. The risk of HIV for Black men who have sex with Black men is one in two.

You can read the entire PDPH health care advisory on HIV testing, by going to https://hip.phila.gov.
Feds Up the Penalties for Not Complying with Federal RegulationsA3

It's all part of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. The act allows civil penalties adjusted with inflation to ensure they dent the wallet of organizations that fail to follow federal regulations. The Department of Labor recently published the final rule to adjust civil penalties to inflation.
Penalties include for example, failure to file form 5500, which produces a fine of up to $2,097 a day. For detailed information on other specific penalties, Click Here .
PAMED Sides with Doctor in Medical Malpractice Case A4

The current issue in the case of Wentzel v. Cammarano, is whether it should undergo a change of venue. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New ruled that it should, and ordered the case transferred from Philadelphia County to Berks County.
The plaintiff, Dr. Dominic Cammarano III, has appealed the change of venue. The Pa. Superior Court has agreed to review the venue decision. The Pa. Medical Society (PAMED) has filed an amicus brief in support of Dr. Cammarano. The venue issue centers on whether the transmittal of an echocardiogram rises to the level of rendering health care services. Judge New ruled that it did not, and ordered the case moved to Berks County.
They're in the (E)Mail - This Year's Medical Record Copying FeesA5

The Pa. Dept of Health (DOH) has released copying fees for 2017, and PAMED is offering a chart of the fees to its members.
Philadelphia Drug Task Force Reviewing Educational Initiative for School StudentsA6

The program, "Operation Prevention," is designed for middle and high school students, educators, and parents. It describes the science of drug addiction, warning signs of substance abuse disorder, and a guide to prevention and intervention.
"Operation Prevention" is the result of the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Initiative. For more information, go to www.operationprevention.com .
Phila. Community Legal Services: Federal Block Grants for Medicaid Would be a Bad Prescription for PennsylvaniaA7

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia says one of the Republican proposals connected to the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act - block grants for Medicaid - would end up giving the state fewer federal dollars to help fund health insurance for low income individuals and families.
"A Medicaid block grant would only give Pennsylvania one type of flexibility," the organization's statement on the subject read, "the 'flexibility' to cut benefits or limit enrollment, in response to less federal funding."
Philadelphia Legal Services says Pennsylvania, by signing on with the federal government to expand Medicaid in the state through the ACA, has added about 700,000 residents to Medicaid. The organization added that the move has also saved the state more than $500 million, by shifting residents from state-funded coverage to federal coverage.
PCMS Backs "Cutting Edge" Symposium on SurgeryA8

The Philadelphia County Medical Society is lending its support to the Seventh Annual Philadelphia Surgery Symposium.
Hundreds of area medical students interested in surgery are expected to attend the event, which takes place on Friday, March 31, from 5 to 9 p.m., at the Dorence H. Hamilton building on the Sidney Kimmel Medical College campus, 1001 Locust Street, Philadelphia.
This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Amy Goldberg, chair and professor of surgery, and surgeon-in-chief of Temple University Health System. Details on how to sign up will soon follow. 
Time to get in Those Nominations for this Year's PCMS AwardsA9

You have only until February 15 to submit your PCMS award nominations. Time's running out on your chance to make sure that friends or colleagues get what they deserve this year. Here are the list of awards:
  • The Vanitha Appadorai Vaidya, MD Award for Humaneness in Medicine - Presented to a PCMS resident/fellow physician for working with people, patients, and their families, with an understanding of their human as well as clinical needs.
  • Cristol Award - Presented to a PCMS physician member who has made a significant contribution to the society, and has enhanced the educational, scientific and charitable goals, purposes and functions of organized medicine.
  • Strittmatter Award - Since 1923, this award has honored a PCMS physician who has demonstrated the most valuable contributions to the healing art, surgical or medical.
Submit your nominating letters to eryan@Philamedsoc.org , or by fax - 215-563-3627. The letters should describe in detail why you think the nominee deserves the award. For more information on the awards, you can call 215-563-5343, ext. 113.
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15 - PCMS Joint CME Program at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Childhood Asthma: Clinical & Community Based Approaches to Prevention in Philadelphia

Date: Wednesday, February 15  
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM; Reception to follow
Place: College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

This activity is designated for a maximum of
2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™ through the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
NO Fee to attend but you should pre-register.
15 - The Role of Genetic Testing in Psychiatry 
Date: Wednesday, February 15 
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Place: Maggiano's Little Italy
1201 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hosted by SILAMP, this event will teach you about:
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Genes' testing and pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics
  • How to interpret genetic testing and the relevance when prescribing psychotropics
  • The clinical trials supporting the use of genetic testing in Psychiatry
14 - Contract Review Program 

Date: Tuesday, March 14
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM 
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society 
2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Information will include Basic Principles of the Employment Contract; Negotiating Tips; Your Duties and Obligations; Representation and Legal Review; Contract Duties; Restrictive Covenant; Malpractice Insurance; Dispute Resolution.

This program is FREE but you must register:


18 - Scope of Pain CME Program  

Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM 
Place: Room 1154AB, Community Behavioral Health 
801 Market Street, Philadelphia PA  

PCMS has partnered with Prevention Point and several other agencies to present the "SCOPE of Pain" education program, provided by Boston University School of Medicine. SCOPE of Pain is a nationally recognized CME program that discusses safer opioid prescribing. 

21 - PCMS Block Captain Health Care Advisory Council Community Meeting
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Ambassador Program - Connecting the Community With Services

Date: Tuesday, March 21
Time: Dinner - 5:30 PM | Program - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM 
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society 
2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

There will be a free dinner. Please RSVP to Eileen Ryan at eryan@philamedsoc.org or call (215) 563-5343 x 113.
22 - 6th Annual Clinical Update in Gastroenterology  

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: Registration - 7:30 AM | Program: 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon  
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! 
The Medical Society membership dues deadline is fast approaching. To physicians that are newly retired, we offer reduced rates, so please don't delay. Renew today! Please contact any PCMS staff member; credit cards welcome! 
Call (215) 563-5343.

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