Volume 116, No. 2: February 2020 EditionTop

They Said It...

"We have a lot of providers out there who...don't create an open dialogue and a safe space for certain populations to feel free going to their doctor and discussing this type of thing." Deja Lynn Alvarez, longtime Philadelphia public health and LGBTQ activist, on why some gay men are reluctant to go to a doctor for treatment of syphilis. Her comments are part of an article on the continuing syphilis outbreak in Philadelphia that will appear in our spring magazine issue of Philadelphia Medicine.

In the News... 
Pa. Dept. of Health Releases Directions for Healthcare Personnel Exposed to Coronavirus A1

The directions, based on guidance released by the CDC, provides a framework for classifying HCP exposures as high, medium, low and no identifiable risk.

Risk is determined by duration of exposure, the patient's clinical symptoms, whether the patient was masked, whether aerosol generating procedures were done, and the type of PPE used.

Healthcare facilities must immediately report any at-risk HCP who develops symptoms to DOH at 877-PA-HEALTH or your local health department.

For the full interim risk assessment and public health management of healthcare personnel, click here.

Suicides Among Americans 16-to-64 on the Rise A2

The CDC reports that nearly 38,000 Americans in this age group killed themselves in 2017.

The CDC says there are ways to help prevent suicide. It has created a toolkit, Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs and Practices, which offers strategies that can be used by communities and employers.

You can find the toolkit here.

HHS Regional Director Defends Trump 2021 Budget A3

Matt Baker, the HHS Regional Director for our area, released a strong defense of the Trump 2021 proposed budget that calls for billions of dollars in cuts to health and human services programs.

Baker said the budget plan "aims toward a future where HHS's programs work better for the people we serve; where America's healthcare system is affordable, personalized, puts patients in control, and treats you like a human being, not a number."

But the proposal would make major changes to health care programs, including cuts to spending in Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies that equal a trillion dollars - cuts that would trigger substantial program changes.

Pa. Coalition for Civil Justice Reform Slams Proposed Change to Venue Rules A4

The Coalition finds a lot wrong with the medical liability venue rule change proposed by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC).

Curt Schroder, executive director of the Coalition writes that "the burden of proving the need for a venue rule changes falls on the parties advocating for such change and this report does nothing to further their case."

PCCJR will be asking House and Senate committees "to provide the opportunity for stakeholders to rebut the harmful and unsubstantiated aspects of this report."

You can read the report by going to: http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us/Resources/Documents/Reports/656.pdf

And you can contact Curt Schroder by going to curt@pccjr.org

CDC Reports Some Progress in Effort to Combat Opioid Overdose Deaths A5

The CDC has released an NCHS Data Brief that shows that in 2018 14 states and the District of Columbia saw a statistically significant drop in drug overdose death rates. Pennsylvania is one of the states that showed a decline.

Matt Baker, director of HHS Region 3 which includes Pennsylvania, said "while there is some good news, there is still work to be done." He indicated that while opioid overdoses overall are decreasing, synthetic opioids other than methadone (such as fentanyl) are increasing. Baker called that increase "a disturbing trend."

You can read the NCHS report on drug overdose deaths in the United States from 1999-2018, by going to: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db356-h.pdf

When Your Friend Tells You How Great it is to be Retired A6

Ask her if she's finished her checklist for closing her practice.

The Pa. Medical Society (PAMED) has two comprehensive lists on what a physician must do before turning off the office lights for the last time.

It includes a wide range of to-do's, from notifying the licensing board; terminating collaborative and supervisory agreements with CRNPs and PAs; notifying patients and employees, your malpractice insurer, Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers.

You get the idea. You can view both lists and the contacts you need to make by clicking the links below.

Checklist for Retiring Physicians

Checklist - Closing a Practice

Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers Posts "Help Wanted" Sign A7

The Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the Northern Pocono Mountain Region that's affiliated with Wayne Memorial Hospital, has positions available for OB/GYN's, family practice and outpatient pediatricians, and pediatric hospitalists. The Center offers competitive wages and generous benefit packages.

For more information, go to: www.wmchc.net

Still Time to Nominate a Colleague A8

We're still accepting nominations for two of our annual awards. If you know a physician who deserves to be recognized, consider submitting a nomination.
  • 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 faxed to 215-563-3627. Alternatively, nominations for the Vanitha Appadorai Vaidya, MD Award for Humaneness in Medicine can be submitted online by clicking here.

For more information, call 215-563-5343, ext. 113. The deadline to submit nominations has been extended to Friday, March 6, 2020.

Calendar of EventsCalendar

13 - Practice Management Meeting

Date: Friday, March 13
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Place: The Farmhouse at People's Light, Malvern, PA

Learn the strategies and tactics top performing practices use to outperform major Health Systems. Topics include Employment Law, how to draw in patients, and legislative updates. The event will include a buffet breakfast.

27 - Doctors Day Open House and Art Display

Date: Friday, March 27
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Please join us in celebration of Doctors Day as we present "Expressions of Clinician Well Being and Resilience", a special art display on loan from the National Academy of Medicine. Guest Speaker will be Lawrence John, MD, President, Pennsylvania Medical Society.

25 - The 9th Annual Clinical Update in Gastroenterology

Date: Saturday, April 25
Registration: 7:30 AM
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Save the date! The latest Update in Gastroenterology will be held on April 25. Topics include Endoscopy, Liver Disease and Liver Transplant, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. More information will be coming soon.

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