Volume 114, No. 5Top
May 2018 Edition

They Said It...

"It's a myth to think you can have it all. You have to be able to compromise. You have to choose your priorities." A female doctor who spoke about the complications involved with having a family while trying to be the best doctor she could be. Her comments and those of other female doctors are part of an article in our Spring issue of the magazine version of Philadelphia Medicine, on the challenges women face in the medical profession.

In the News... 
Overdose Deaths Jump in Philadelphia A1

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) reports that 1,217 people died from drug-related overdoses in the city, in 2017. That's a staggering 34% increase over the previous year. Fentanyl surpassed heroin as the leading cause of opioid-related deaths. It was found in 846 of the victims. That's a 95% increase over 2016.

The highest density of opioid-related overdose deaths was in the Port Richmond and Kensington neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, but new hot spots emerged in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia.

Drug deaths declined in the city during the third and fourth quarters of the year. Officials are not sure what caused the drop, but believe it may be the result of arrests for drug sales and large-scale drug seizures by federal law enforcement; disruption of drug markets caused by closure of the railroad track encampment in Kensington in July of last year; increased distribution of naloxone by the city and community agencies.

For more information, go to the PDPH website at http://www.phila.gov/health.

Phila. Nonprofit Fighting Bill that would Kill City Soda Tax A2

Philadelphians for a Fair Future, a nonprofit that worked to get the city's beverage tax passed by City Council, says there's a new threat to kill the tax. The group says House Bill 2241 would prevent any municipality or local government in Pennsylvania from levying a tax on food or beverages. The bill's sponsored by Rep. Mark Mustio of Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania. It's facing a vote in the full House by as early as May 22.

If the bill became law it would ban Philadelphia from collecting the $80 million it gets from the beverage tax. The money is being used for expanded pre-K, community schools, and neighborhood revitalization.

Philadelphians for a Fair Future says "after ignoring the city's requests for additional education funding for years, Rep. Mustio and friends now want to override Philadelphia City Council's decision to enact the tax to raise the funds on its own." The group says it's a classic case of government overreach.

Philadelphians for a Fair Future is urging doctors and other health care advocates to contact their local representatives and urge them to vote against HB 2241.

Prior Authorization Bill Needs a Push from Medical Community A3

The Pa. Medical Society (PAMED) says HB 1293 needs your help to gain passage. PAMED says the bill would increase transparency and standardization and improve response times with prior authorization.

Right now, the bill is stalled in the House Insurance Committee. PAMED said a significant grassroots effort is needed with your local representatives to get the bill out of committee and approved by the full House. PAMED urges you to contact your representative and make clear the damage caused by the current prior authorization process.

You can follow this link to take action: https://www.votervoice.net/PAMED/Campaigns/51066/Respond.

When Your Friend Says He Has an Easier Way to Understand the Big Bang Theory A4

Tell him to first look at this -- Novitasphere, the free, secure internet portal for the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) has made some changes that it hopes will make billing services and other items easier for you.

Immediate Recoupment Requests - If you have received an overpayment demand letter from Medicare, you may now elect to avoid paying by check or waiting for the standard recoupment that begins 41 days from the date of the initial demand letter. Instead, this payment can now be made through the immediate recoupment process.

Appeals Requests for Redeterminations - This feature is used to submit Redetermination and Clerical Error Reopening requests for finalized payments.

General Inquiry Requests - This feature may be used to submit a general question to Medicare related to coverage guidelines, policy issues, or how to bill Medicare.

Medical Review Claims - This feature can be used to perform a search of medically reviewed claims to obtain additional documentation request dates, letter copies, review status and educational information.

Novitasphere has also simplified Part B Claims Status and Claim Correction searches.

MAC is also offering monthly series of educational webinars to review the features in Novitashpere.

For providers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C. or Maryland, you can register for any of these Educational Events by going to the Novitas Medicare Part B Educational Events Calendar. You may also visit MAC's website for more information on Novitasphere.

For providers in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, or in Indian Health and Veteran Affairs, please visit this link for the Events Calendar and click here for information on Novitasphere.

Measles Case Confirmed in Central Pennsylvania A5

A person from another country visiting Central Pennsylvania was confirmed to have measles on May 4th. The Pa. Dept of Health (DOH) reports that the person was in Williamsport and Port Trevorton on May 2nd.

People at risk are those who have not been vaccinated, including babies who are less than 12 months of age, pregnant women without evidence of immunity, and people who are severely immunocompromised.

For more details go to https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6204a1.htm.

Mumps Cases Increasing in our Area A6

DOH reports that the mumps virus continues to be a problem in several communities in Pa. including Chester County.

Mumps has also been confirmed in other states and countries. DOH is sharing information about mumps with providers to encourage continued awareness of the potential of infection, review specimen collection and recommend 5-day isolation for patients who present with parotitis for which there is no other likely diagnosis.

DOH reminds providers to report suspected cases of mumps to local public health authorities, or to call DOH at 877-724-3258.

For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/health-care-providers-parotitis.htm.

Dating ServiceDatingService

16 - 38th Annual Michael G. Wohl Memorial Lecture: Why is it so Difficult to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?

Date: Wednesday, May 16
Time: 12:00 PM
Place: Erny Auditorium, Rock Pavilion, 1st Floor, Temple University Hospital, 3401 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19140

This CME program will teach you how to describe the physiological adaptations that resist weight loss and promote weight regain, how to identify the relative importance of feedback control of calorie intake versus expenditure in body weight regulation, and how to describe whether low carbohydrate or low fat diets are better for weight loss.

8 - Philadelphia's 2nd Annual Conference on Hoarding Intervention

Date: Friday, June 8
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Place: Community Behavioral Health, 801 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Join the Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force for a variety of local and national experts on Hoarding Disorder and related issues.

16 - President's Installation and Awards Night

Date: Saturday, June 16
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 Max E. Mercado, MD, as the 157th President of The Philadelphia County Medical Society.

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