Volume 112, No.6
June 2016 Edition

They Said It...

"Repeal is not going to happen, but some pretty big changes should start happening...clean up legislation, to fix mistakes." Gail Wilensky, head of Medicare under the first President Bush, commenting on the future of the Affordable Care Act, during her Dr. Raymond C. Grandon lecture at Jefferson University Hospital in May. 

ChickenLittle When Chicken Little Again Tells You the Sky is Falling        

Remind that bird that he's still flat out wrong. You could argue that our fine feathered friend in this case is CMS. It has now issued a new "small practice" fact sheet on MACRA regulations for doctors who work in small practices. The new fact sheet is in response to objections from the AMA and others over the alarming table CMS had first issued. That table projected a severe impact on small practices. The new CMS document explains that the initial impact table was based on misleading information.

The AMA is working on more refinements to the regulations to give additional relief to small practices. They will be included in formal comments that the AMA plans to submit to CMS later this month.

For details, go to: http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/macra-summary-05052016.pdf
DoctorHouse They Don't Want a Doctor in the House

The Pa. Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee has moved SB 717 one step closer to passage, by sending the bill to the full Senate. SB 717 would allow certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP's) to become a separate profession that would be allowed to test, diagnose and treat patients, without consulting physicians.

The Philadelphia County Medical Society along with the Pa. Medical Society are strongly opposed to SB 717. We think nurse practitioners do fine work, but are not qualified to treat patients without physician oversight. Nurse practitioner training involves several hundred hours, compared to 17,000 hours for physicians.

CLICK HERE to learn more about voicing your opposition to SB 717, to your state senator.

Congress Still Buggy Over Zika Funding  

The U.S. House and Senate are still struggling to reach a deal on emergency funding to fight the Zika virus. Some leading lawmakers are concerned that the battle will drag into the summer, during the very months when the funding is needed to prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus.

The Senate bill would spend $1.1 billion on efforts to exterminate the mosquito that can carry the virus, and fund testing and vaccine research. The House version provides $626 million, and redirects money from other programs to pay for it, including some funds earmarked to fight Ebola.

Both bills are well below President Obama's request for $1.9 billion.

On May 26, the AMA sent a letter to Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress, calling on them to take immediate action.

You can find more information by visiting the AMA Zika Virus Resource Center .

AnotherBug Another Bug, Another Serious Concern      

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) has issued a health advisory to physicians and other health care providers on a city visitor every bit as unwelcome as the Zika-carrying mosquito - the tick. The warm weather that brings mosquitoes is also just right for ticks.

The department cited a study by the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection that found that about 40% of ticks in Philadelphia carry Lyme disease. Ticks also carry other diseases. Nearly 12% of the bugs studied, tested positive for more than one pathogen.

For this reason, PDPH is urging physicians to test patients for other possible tickborne illnesses, if Lyme disease is suspected. Physicians should report all confirmed or suspected cases of babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease, within five days, to PDPH, by calling 215-685-6748, or by fax at 215-238-6947.

How to Deal With Ticks...

Walk in the center of trails, and stay clear of wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.

Wear insect repellent that contains DEET or an EPA-approved natural repellent, and reapply as directed.

Wear clothing and gear treated with permethrin.

Conduct a full-body tick check and shower within two days of returning indoors.
Remove attached ticks with fine-tipped tweezers.

Place clothes in a dryer on high heat for 5-to-10 minutes to kill ticks.

Check pets for ticks daily, and use tick repellent products on them.

You can get free CME credit by watching the CDC webinar "Little Bite, Big Disease: Recognizing and Managing Tickborne Illnesses" by going to: http://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/calls/2016/callinfo_052416.asp.

Dating Service

28 - HIV/AIDS Awareness Reception 
5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 
The Philadelphia County Medical Society is hosting a reception in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of Public Health efforts headed by the late U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD (1916-2013) in the centennial year of his birth. Dr. Koop is renowned for his work as surgeon general in efforts with HIV/AIDS.
The reception will take place on Tuesday, June 28th, from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

PCMS People Wanted
Your colleagues would like to know what you have been up to! Email news about academic or other appointments, achievements, awards and promotion, etc., to stat@philamedsoc.org

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