Volume 113, No. 6Top
June 2017 Edition

They Said It...

"He was always working, always on call. He'd see patients in the middle of the night in the emergency room. They were everything to him. He just loved his job." The next PCMS president, Dr. Cadence Kim, on how her father, a general surgeon, inspired her to become a surgeon. Dr. Kim, a urologist, takes office on June 17.

In the News... 
Appeals Court Sides with Phila. on Soda Tax A1

In a victory for the city, the Commonwealth Court of Pa. has upheld a Common Pleas Court decision to deny an injunction against the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. The ruling means the tax will continue to be collected.

Several local businesses, including soft drink distributors, sued the city over the tax, claiming it was an illegal double tax on the beverages.

The appeals court upheld the lower court ruling that the 1.5 cent per fluid ounce tax on distributors was legal because it was not a direct tax at the retail level.

The businesses that sued have not yet said if they plan to appeal the June 14 decision.

The ruling comes on the heels of a disappointing revenue report on the first few months of the new tax. Since January, the tax has raised $25.6 million, well below city predictions of $46.2 million.

A Real "Signature" Moment A2

If your EDI provider forms are getting rejected, chances are it's because the wrong person signed them.

Since September 1, 2016, Novitas Solutions EDI has required an authorized official or delegated official who is listed on the CMS-855, to sign the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) enrollment form, the Novitasphere Portal enrollment form, and other EDI provider forms.

These forms are being rejected if the wrong signatures are on them. When the forms are rejected, you must submit a corrected form. If you aren't sure who your authorized or delegated officials are, go to Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). You can find the information in the Managing Control section. More information is available on the CMS PECOS Info site.

City Goes After Candy-Flavored Tobacco Products A3

Philadelphia Health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, is pushing a rap song that he hopes will help persuade minority teens in the city, that smoking bright-colored, candy-flavored cigarillos is a very uncool thing to do.

It's part of the city's "Break the Cycle" program, a new front opened up in the tobacco wars, that aims to get teens to turn away from these sweet-tasting, but deadly tobacco products. Black teens appear to be targets of the menthol smokes. 85% of black smokers use menthol cigarettes, as opposed to 29% of white smokers.

One of the city's many community leaders who backs the campaign is Imam Mikal Shabazx of the Masjidullah Mosque. "Big tobacco companies profit from the sale of products that are as dangerous as loaded guns," he said. "These products are a form of violence against our children.

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health says tobacco kills more than 3,500 city residents a year - far more than drug overdoses, gun homicides, alcohol, and physical activity, combined.

You can find a lot more information on the Break the Cycle campaign by going to: www.smokefreephilly.org/breakthecycle.

A Novel Way for a Doctor to Earn 40 Years in Prison A4

The Pa. Attorney General's Office is warning physicians to become even more careful in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. The office recently stated that if a doctor is found guilty of inappropriately prescribing opioids or other controlled substances to patients, and those prescribing patterns lead to a patient's death, that doctor could end up spending 40 years in prison.

The news release by the AG's office concluded that, "the solution seems simple - stop overprescribing potentially addictive medications - but the problem is far more complex."

The office went on to state that tragedies are often caused by patients who lie to their doctors in order to get opioids. The AG's office added that education for physicians is the best first step in learning how to deal with patients who want opioids. It recommends that physicians go to LifeGuardProgram.com, for more details on how to combat the epidemic.

Slamming the Medicine Cabinet Door Shut A5

A recent survey of Pennsylvania students who misuse opioids and other controlled substances, found that almost half of them first found the drugs in their home. The state's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has devised a plan to help cut off that supply. DDAP, in partnership with the Pa. Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pa. District Attorneys Association, has initiated a prescription drug take-back program.

The program has set up permanent prescription drug take-back boxes in communities throughout the state. Click here to find a permanent Drug-Take Back Location.

You can place in the box over-the-counter solid medications, tablets, capsules and pet medicines.

It's Back... A6

The Pa. Senate has once again approved a bill that would allow certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP's) to treat patients without being affiliated with a physician. Nurse practitioners have lobbied for several years for the bill, arguing that they have enough education to practice independently, and that they could be the answer to the shortage of providers in rural communities.

The Pa. Medical Society (PAMED) has countered that CRNPs undergo far fewer hours of education and experience than a physician, and for that reason should continue to work collaboratively with physicians.

The bill now goes to the House Professional Licensure Committee, where it's expected to face a difficult road. A version of the bill in the last legislative session passed the Senate but stalled in the House.

Dating ServiceDatingService

17 - President's Installation and Awards Night

Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: Reception: 6:00 PM | Program and Dinner: 7:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia Country Club, 1601 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035

Celebrating the Inauguration of Cadence A. Kim, MD, FACS as the 156th President of The Philadelphia County Medical Society.

22 - Healthy Blocks: Summer Wellness Trainings

Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: Buffet: 5:30 PM | Program: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

We invite all Philadelphia Block Captains to attend this important informational dinner meeting that will cover issues including the Zika Virus, heat emergencies, and chronic disease prevention. To RSVP, contact Eileen Ryan at (215) 563-5343 x 113 or eryan@philamedsoc.org.

19 - EMR Physician Listening Session

Date: Wednesday, July 19
Time: 6:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

CMS recently announced a new initiative to increase physician engagement. The initial goal will be to engage with physicians to learn about burdens placed upon physicians through regulatory and CMS program requirements. We are looking for 25 physicians to participate so that CMS can learn about the burdens placed upon you regarding EMR and documentation requirements and the barrier to achieving success because of those requirements.

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