Volume 115, No. 7: July 2019 EditionTop

They Said It...

"The closing is a tragedy for the city that's very personal for the patients the hospital serves, and those of us who have worked hard to serve them." Dr. Robert Kucejko, fourth year general surgery resident, Hahnemann University Hospital, on the impending September closing of the facility. He has much more to say about the closing in the summer issue of our magazine, Philadelphia Medicine. The issue will soon be available on the PCMS website and in your mailbox.

In the News... 
Call for Resolutions - Giving Direction to Organized Medicine A1

Are there any major issues, concerns or problems that are affecting your ability to practice medicine? One of the most direct ways for you to get involved is to submit a resolution to the Pennsylvania Medical Society's 2019 House of Delegates that will be held Oct. 25-27 in Hershey, PA.

It's important that the Pennsylvania Medical Society knows the difficulties PCMS physicians face in our daily practice of medicine, such as cumbersome regulations and issues that affect the doctor-patient relationship. Deadline to submit is Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Resolutions must be submitted through PAMED's online form. Please include key information, including fiscal note and reference materials with your resolution. For additional questions or assistance, please contact PCMS staff at 215-563-5343 x 101.

For Pennsylvanians in Need of Health Insurance - Help is on the Way A2

Governor Tom Wolf has signed a bipartisan plan to move Pa. out of the federal insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, and into its own online marketplace. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers say the plan will save money and improve access to affordable health insurance.

Sponsors of the bill say the state-based exchange and new reinsurance fund, which helps insurers cover their most expensive members, could reduce premiums by up to 10%.

It is scheduled to be open for enrollment in January 2021, if the federal Department of Health and Human Services approves the plan. Pa. joins New Jersey and several other states in creating state-based exchanges and reinsurance programs.

After signing the bill, Gov. Wolf said "It's my goal to have no Pennsylvanian worried about affording the care that they or their loved ones need. This bill is a huge step forward for making health insurance affordable and effective for all Pennsylvanians."

For more information on the plan go to www.insurance.pa.gov.

Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus Detected in Philadelphia A3

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health has released a health advisory on the West Nile Virus after infected mosquitoes were found in the city. Mosquitoes with WNV have also been detected in neighboring Pa. counties and New Jersey. The widespread nature of the infection has clearly increased the risk for human infection.

PDPH is calling on health care providers to look for WNV in patients with other arboviral infections such as Powassan virus, and in neuroinvasive and non-neurovinvasive WNV, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, dengue and unspecified encephalitis cases. These diseases can cause serious illnesses and death. Such cases should be reported to PDPH immediately, by calling 215-685-6740 during business hours, or 215-686-4514, after-hours.

Promptly notifying PDPH helps officials implement mosquito-control measures in a timely manner.

For more information, go to https://hip.phila.gov.

The Middle Isn't Always the Best Place to Meet A4

The AMA has sent a letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, voicing its opposition to HR 3630, the "No Surprises Act."

The AMA says in principle it supports patient protections in this bill, but cannot support the provisions that would resolve payment disputes between physicians and insurers by setting rates at the median in-network amount.

The AMA is recommending instead, that any surprise billing legislation establish benchmark rates that are fair to all stakeholders in the private market. They should include actual local charges as determined through an independent claims database.

They also recommend that the legislation establish a fair and independent dispute resolution process for disputes involving insurers and unaffiliated providers for out-of-network services to their beneficiaries.

The full Committee on Energy and Commerce is expected to take up the bill before the end of July. For more information go to www.ama-assn.org.

More Ways to Help Your Patients Quit A5

To help Pennsylvania smokers quit, the PA Free Quitline is expanding their coverage of tobacco treatment medications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that a key component to helping smokers give up the habit, is expanding and promoting Quitline services. In light of the CDC findings, PA Quitline will do the following:
  • Eligible PA Free Quitline callers enrolled in phone counseling will now be offered twice as many weeks of combination nicotine replacement therapy, from four to eight weeks.
  • A 3-month supply of Chantix will be offered to newly enrolled Quitline enrollees who are covered by Medical Assistance.
  • Eligible Pa Free Quitline users enrolled in online counseling will now be offered two weeks of combination nicotine replacement.
For more information visit quitlogix.org or smokefreephilly.org.

PCMS Holds Hahnemann/Drexel Physician's Town Hall Meeting A6

On Tuesday, July 16, PCMS/PAMED held a townhall meeting at PCMS headquarters to assist those physicians working in and out of the Hahnemann/Drexel health system. Issues discussed at the meeting included: medical malpractice tail coverage, credentialing at other hospitals, employment contracting, a job posting site and resident training funding. A webpage of resources has been dedicated to this effort and linked here by the PAMED: https://www.pamedsoc.org/home/pamed-news/articles/hahnemann-university-hospital-closure?SSO=true.

Calendar of EventsCalendar

24 - CareerMD Network Night

Date: Wednesday, July 24
Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Residents, Fellows, and Physicians: Meet with hiring representatives from leading hospitals and healthcare systems across the country-all gathered for this one-night-only event to recruit physicians.

Enjoy a complimentary buffet and drinks. Attire is casual, and your spouse or significant other is welcome to accompany you.

RSVP by calling 1-800-355-2626 or emailing

25 - House of Delegates

Date: October 25-27
Place: The Hershey Lodge, 325 University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033

Join your colleagues for a lively, informative weekend of continuing education, leadership development, advocacy, and networking at the Pennsylvania Medical Society's House of Delegates Meeting and Annual Education Conference.

28 - Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition Statewide Conference

Date: October 28-29
Place: Sheraton Harrisburg, 4650 Lindle Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17111

Advocates, clinicians, professionals, and community leaders will be coming together for a 2-day statewide conference on October 28th and 29th in Harrisburg to discuss cutting edge research and evidence-based solutions to the opioid epidemic.

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