Volume 116, No. 1: January 2020 EditionTop

They Said It...

"The old Iroquois Indian principle states that our decisions today should be made in the context of sustaining our children seven generations from now. It is hard to justify the pollution that currently is having an impact on our children today." From Dr. Walter Tsou's article on the health impact of fracking in Pa. You can find the article in the Fall/Winter issue of Philadelphia Medicine magazine.

In the News... 
Hahnemann Docs Get 30 More Days of Tail Coverage A1

A side effect of the delay of the HUH bankruptcy hearing is that tail coverage for Hahnemann and Saint Christopher attendings, residents and fellows will last for another 30 days. The new end date is February 10.

The delayed hearing only buys a little more time for these physicians. A coalition of the AMA, PAMED, PCMS, ECFMG, AAMC and ACGME has been working to find a way to fund tail coverage for these men and women.

PAMED is still recommending that all former HUH/SCH trainees continue their efforts to find tail coverage.

Updates on the bankruptcy proceedings, and information on how to find a medical liability company and FAQs can be found on the PAMED website at: https://www.pamedsoc.org/hahnemann

Pa. Bans Sale of Vaping Products to Minors A2

Governor Wolf has signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to sell "electronic nicotine delivery systems" to minors. HB 97 amends the law that had made it just illegal to sell tobacco products such as cigarettes to minors. Now the law includes vaping products. The law goes into effect on January 26.

Pa. Raises Age to Buy Tobacco Products A3

Governor Wolf also signed into law a bill that raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law goes into effect on July 1.

New Law Requires Opioid Treatment Agreements A4

Physicians must now enter into an agreement with their patients to whom they prescribe opioids. The agreement is an effort to make sure the patient understands the risks of addiction and the dangers of overdose associated with such drugs.

You can get details on what this law requires of you at the PAMED website.

Time to Give the Tires a Good Kick A5

For many of you - both MDs and DOs -- it's time to renew your physician license.

Don't wait until the last minute and discover there are things you need that you haven't yet gathered.

For licensure requirements for MDs, go to: Licensure Requirements for MDs

You can find licensure requirements for DOs by going to: Licensure Requirements for DOs

You can reach the State Board of Medicine at 717-783-1400 or by email: st-medicine@pa.gov

And the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine can be reached at 717-783-4858 or at: st-osteopathic@pa.gov

PCMS will be holding a program on January 27 that will satisfy the requirement for child abuse recognition and reporting. Click here to RSVP.

Pa. Releases New Drug List for Medicaid Recipients A6

Pa.'s Medical Assistance (MA) program implemented the new statewide preferred drug list (PDL) on January 1.

The PDL is used for both fee-for-service and all MA managed care organizations in Physical Health HealthChoices and Community HealthChoices.

Click here to visit the Pa. Dept. of Human Services PDL webpage.

An Important Progress Report on Opioid Use A7

The Regional Overdose Prevention Coalition is meeting to discuss what progress it has made to address the many aspects of the opioid epidemic and broader substance-abuse issues. The meeting welcomes input on what can be done to improve care for those with substance use disorder and other behavioral health issues.

You are welcome to attend the Coalition meeting on Thursday, February 6 from 6-8 pm, at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, 200 Yale Avenue, Morton, PA 19070. If you're interested, contact Dr. Renee Cassidy at 610-344-6230.

Paperwork with a Payoff A8

The Merit-Based Inventive Payment System (MIPS) 2019 data submission period is now open. MIPS eligible clinicians who participated in the 2019 performance period of the Quality Payment Program may submit the data.

Data can be submitted until March 31. Sign in to qpp.cms.gov for your preliminary feedback on Part B claims measure data processed to date.

Pa. Lawmakers Considering a False Claims Act A9

The Pa. House Government Oversight Committee has released a report on fighting Medicaid fraud in which it recommends enacting a False Claims Act.

Such acts were designed to reduce fraud by government contractors, but PAMED says the original concept has sometimes been expanded and distorted.

PAMED says the report is mainly a one-sided effort that doesn't take into consideration the additional costs such a law would entail for the state. Damage payments may triple, for example, even if fraud is never proven. Lawyers have taken advantage of such laws by sometimes privately enforcing FCA claims, then pocketing a significant percentage of the money the state recovers.

Click here to read the Oversight Committee report.

CMS Wants Feedback on Pres. Trump's Medicare Executive Order A10

The president's executive order on "Protecting and Improving Medicare for our Nation's Seniors," has called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand the scope of practice of nurse practitioners and physician assistants by eliminating supervision requirements that the executive order states, "limit professionals from practicing at the top of their profession."

PAMED has expressed serious concerns with this proposal. "Fracturing health care delivery teams, as the president recommends, will create silos of uncoordinated care and will not be in the best interest of patients."

Send your feedback to PatientsOverPaperwork@cms.hhs.gov

PCMS Award Season Begins A11

It's time to take a good look at your friends and colleagues and decide who should be nominated for one of PCMS's annual awards.
  • 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 faxed to 215-563-3627. For more information, call 215-563-5343, ext. 113. Deadline to submit Nominations is Friday, February 28, 2020.

Calendar of EventsCalendar

22 - Fentanyl is Changing Everything

Date: Wednesday, January 22
Registration/Light Supper: 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Program: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Place: Temple University Center City, Room 222, 1515 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

This program will discuss the phenomenon of buprenorphine producing antagonist-causing precipitated withdrawal even upwards of 7 days of full-on fentanyl withdrawal among patients who have fentanyl dependence. This event will also describe the pharmacokinetics of fentanyl and how it interacts with a partial agonist such as buprenorphine and discuss ways that toxicologists have been addressing withdrawal symptoms and induction to safely and adequately treat opioid use disorder. Attend to learn more and share your experiences as best practices are being redefined as fentanyl has changed how patients respond to evidence based treatment.

27 - The Child Abuse Prevention Training Program

Date: Monday, January 27
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

All physicians renewing their license are required to submit documentation evidencing the completion of at least two hours of approved continuing education in child abuse recognition. This is a live, state approved program that meets the requirement for the 2020 licensing cycle. This program is FREE for all PCMS physician, resident, and medical student members. The fee for non-members is $125.

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