Volume 113, No. 11Top
November 2017 Edition

They Said It...

"It's very rare that a physician, for example, comes right in without having tried and failed many times on his/her own to fix the problem. They often have an over-reliance on self-efficacy. They have to admit at some point that they're powerless over their addiction. That's difficult, because admitting they're powerless is anathema to them." Dr. Joseph Garbely, medical director of the Caron Treatment Centers, and a psychiatrist, on one of the reasons it's so difficult for physicians to overcome addictions to drugs and/or alcohol. His comments are part of Philadelphia Medicine magazine's fall issue articles on addiction.

In the News... 
Quality Payment Program - Do You Have a Lot of Time on Your Hands? A1

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released on November 1, the final 2018 Quality Payment Program and Physician Fee Schedule rules. The regulations fill 3,000 pages. AMA staff members, lucky them, boiled those pages down to something worth your time. You can find the summaries - they run just three and five pages - by clicking onto the following files:

2018 Quality Payment Program Final Rule Highlights

House Tax Proposal Swings Its Ax at Student Loans A2

The current House Republican tax reform proposal would repeal the deduction for interest on education loans. The bill will most likely be revised before it ever reaches President Trump's desk, but the AMA has released a summary on the current proposal.

You can get a summary on those aspects of the bill that would have an impact on medical students, residents and physicians, by going to:

Talking points on student loan provisions in the House tax reform proposal


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Potential Impact on Medical Students and Residents

Might be a Good Time to Contact Your EHR Vendor A3

Here's why - CMS has announced a new attestation requirement for the MIPS advancing care information performance category. There's more - a prevention of information blocking attestation is required for you to earn a score in the advancing care information (ACI) performance category for MIPS.

Clinicians or groups participating in the ACI category must attest to acting in good faith to prevent data blocking when using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). To make sure you're doing what you have to do, the Pa. Medical Society (PAMED) encourages you to contact your EHR vendor.

For more details go to: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/ACI-Information-Blocking-fact-sheet.pdf

Medical Record Fees - The Flat Rate Might not be the Maximum Rate A4

The U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has released a fact sheet on a person's rights under HIPAA to get protected health information (PHI).

OCR says providers can charge a fee for PHI in three different ways:
  • By charging the actual costs. They must be reasonable. They would include labor, paper, CDs or USB drives and postage.
  • By charging the average costs. Providers would develop a schedule of costs for labor based on average labor costs, supplies, etc.
  • Or by charging a flat rate of not more than $6.50.
You can find the OCR fact sheet by going to: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance/access/index.html#newlyreleasedfaqs.

CHIP Provider Enrollment Past Due A5

If you are a provider of services to CHIP enrollees you should have enrolled with the Pa. Dept. of Human Services (DHS) by November 1. DHS is implementing the Affordable Care Act provision that requires all providers of CHIP enrollees, to enroll with DHS. Even if you are part of another state's Medicaid or CHIP program, or enrolled in Medicare, you must still enroll with DHS.

Only those providers who have already enrolled in the Pa. Medical Assistance Program, do not need to enroll.

If have not enrolled, click here.

Senate Bill Approved That Would put Seven-Day Limit on Opioid Prescriptions A6

The Pa. Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 472, sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw. The bill puts a seven-day limit on many opioid prescriptions. The bill's next stop is the House Health Committee.

The proposal is an extension of a measure approved last session that limited opioid prescriptions for minors.

The bill has several exemptions, including...
  • treatment for an emergency;
  • if providers determine that the restriction would not be in the best interest of the patient;
  • if the prescription is for management of pain related to cancer, or for palliative or hospice care.
Puerto Rican Residents Coming in Increasing Numbers to Philadelphia A7

The catastrophe on Puerto Rico created by Hurricane Maria has compelled thousands of the island's residents to come to the United States, many to our area.

If you come in contact with any of them, you can refer them to the Disaster Assistance Services Center located at HACE Villas del Caribe, 167 West Allegheny Avenue, in Philadelphia. The center is open from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday.

The center provides: signup for FEMA assistance; signup for state benefits, such as SNAP, Medicaid; referrals for primary care at local FQHCs; mental health counseling; referrals for clothing, employment, ID replacement, etc. The center does not offer interim or long-term housing.

CMS is exercising its waiver authority to allow suppliers or practitioners who are not currently enrolled, to initiate temporary billing privileges and suspend certain Medicare enrollment screening requirements for health care and suppliers or other practitioners who are assisting victims of Hurricane Maria.

Dating ServiceDatingService

10 - Rating Doctor and Hospital Quality: Who is the Best Judge?

Date: November 10, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: Brent Auditorium, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

A debate is taking place at Sidney Kimmel Medical College on Friday, November 10 over the topic: "Rating doctor and hospital quality: Who is the best judge?"

17 - PAMED Presidents Reception Open House

Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

The Philadelphia County Medical Society cordially invites you and your guest to attend the Presidents Reception Open House, in honor of the installation of our past President Theodore Christopher, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, as the 168th President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

18 - Patient and Provider Perspectives in IBD

Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Place: Pittsburgh Marriot City Center, Grand Ballroom 3-5, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

This Clinical ConvergenceĀ® continuing medical education symposium features concurrent clinician and patient lectures that "converge" just before lunch, when both sets of learners meet and engage in an interactive discussion with leading IBD experts and IBD patients.

29 - Understanding Your Employment Contract

Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

This program will include: Information on the basic principles of the employment contract; negotiating tips; your duties and obligations; representation and legal review; contract duties; restrictive covenant; malpractice insurance; and dispute resolution.

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