Volume 113, No.1
January 2017 Edition
They Said It...
"Reign in the wild spending. Stop turning staff into millionaires; get salaries in line with the market. Eliminate the retreats, the resorts, and the plush accommodations. Close the ABIM-Foundation. Ban real estate ventures. End mission creep and return to the original role of the ABIM." Dr. Charles Cutler, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, made these comments on the ABIM, in the winter issue of the PCMS quarterly magazine, Philadelphia Medicine. The remarks are his, alone, not those of PAMED.    

AMA to Congress: Don't Cut off Anyone's Health InsuranceA1

The AMA has sent an open letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, urging them to not allow changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would cut health insurance to anyone who already has it - including the 20 million Americans who have gained health coverage through the ACA.

On January 10, President-Elect Donald Trump called on Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it quickly. The leadership in the new Republican-controlled Congress supports legislation that would repeal and replace the ACA, but there is debate within GOP ranks, over how quickly the process should take place. Many want a consensus on replacement legislation, befo re repeal, or a repeal bill that would keep the ACA alive for two to three years, while replacement legislation is worked out.

The AMA letter says "patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform."

The AMA emphasizes in the letter that any changes must "make coverage more affordable, provide greater choice, and increase the number of those insured."

Flu Cases Soar in Philadelphia and Across PennsylvaniaA2

The Phila. Dept. of Public Health reports that during January, local hospital labs have reported large increases of influenza A positive specimens. The Pa. Dept. of Health found a similar spike in flu cases throughout the state.

The flu vaccine remains the best way to prevent getting the bug. It's not too late to get the vaccine. The CDC says the flu season usually peaks between December and March.

A Hopeful Sign on the Opioid FrontA3

PAMED President Charles Cutler is encouraged by Highmark's announcement that prescription reimbursements in Pennsylvania dropped significantly during the last three months of 2016, from 118,000 to 108,000.

Dr. Cutler gave a lot of the credit to the state's new prescription drug monitoring program. "I have no doubt that the PDMP played a role in Highmark's data," he wrote. "We hope similar data from other insurers will show the same positive progress being made."

Dr. Cutler believes that the continuing medical education now available on the epidemic, including opioid prescribing guidelines developed by PAMED and the Pa. Dept. of Health, have also had an impact.

Pa.'s Teen Health Week Gets a Booster Shot from PCMSA4

The second annual Pa. Teen Health Week, running until January 13, is focusing on key challenges to adolescent health - diet and exercise, violence, mental health, sexual development and health, and substance use and abuse. A toolkit given to schools explains how Teen Health Week can help educators meet state academic standards.

Michael DellaVecchia, MD, PhD, immediate past president of PCMS, has taken a leading role in the event. He said Pa. Teen Health Week could have a big payoff for teens, because they are at an age when they can avoid health problems, not just ameliorate them. "They can avoid drug abuse, avoid smoking, avoid poor nutrition and all the future problems such behaviors bring."
When Your Boss Says You Need More Experience...A5

Forty-two physicians under the age of 40 were singled out by PAMED as the state's most accomplished young doctors. Nine of them work in Philadelphia. Four of them attended the recent PCMS Board of Directors meeting, where they were honored for their outstanding work.

PAMED President Charles Cutler handed out the awards to the following - David Frankel, MD, with Penn Heart and Vascular at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine; Priya Mitra, MD, with the Einstein Healthcare Network Department of Radiation Oncology; Richard Month, MD, obstetric anesthesiologist with the University of Pennsylvania Health System; John Vasudevan, MD, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, board certified in physical medicine, rehabilitation and sports medicine. The award winners who were unable to make the presentation are Carlo Bartoli, MD, PhD, Amanda Hu, MD, Jason Neustadter, MD, Dane Scantling, DO, and Alexandra Tuluca, MD.

Time to get in Those Nominations for this Year's PCMS AwardsA6

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:
  • Practitioner of the Year - Presented to a PCMS member for excellence in patient care and community service.
  • 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.

Dating ServiceA7

12 - MedTalks @Drexel

Date: Thursday, January 12
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Place: Drexel University's Queen Lane Campus
2900 West Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19129
MedTalks @Drexel is a TED Talk-style mini conference featuring seven experts, as well as several students presenting their cutting-edge research. This year's theme is Innovation in Medicine. Admission is free, but space is limited.

Speakers include Rachel Levine, MD, Pennsylvania Physician General, and Charles Cutler, MD, President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
15 - Philadelphia Childhood Asthma: Clinical and Community Based Approaches to Prevention in Philadelphia

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

This is a joint CME program between PCMS and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits has been awarded.

This program is FREE but you must 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:

22 - 6th Annual Clinical Update in Gastroenterology  

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

Topics to include: The Changing Face of Celiac Disease; Approach to the Patient with Liver Disease; Update in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Nutrition and the Bowel.

This program is FREE but you must register:

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