Volume 112, No.10
October 2016 Edition
They Said It...
"A fundamental change in the training system is required to further address the needs of female physicians." Laila Muallem, fourth year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, calling for changes in those aspects of medical school that may help cause infertility in female med students. You can find Muallem's article on the subject, in the current issue of the magazine version of Philadelphia Medicine.  

Nurse Practitioner Bill Appears to be Dead for this SessionA1

The executive director of the Pa. House Professional Licensure Committee has told Philadelphia Medicine that Senate Bill 717, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently of physicians, will not be voted out of committee this session. That means the bill is dead for this legislative session, which ends on November 30.

The bill is expected to be reintroduced in the 2017-18 legislative session. PCMS and PAMED have opposed the bill, arguing that the best scenario for patients, is for nurse practitioners to continue to work as a team with physicians.

What to Say to a Friend Who Challenges You to a 5-K Run...A2

"I'm going to pace myself," which is exactly what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are urging you to do in the face of the new Quality Payment Program. The program is designed to help you get paid for your services to Medicare and Medicaid patients while you adjust to the new goals of the program. CMS has created four options that allow you to pick your own pace.
  • First Option - Test the Quality Payment Program. You would have to submit only some of the data for 2017 in order to avoid a negative payment adjustment.
  • Second Option - Participate for part of the calendar year. Your first performance period could begin after January 1, and your practice could still qualify for a small positive payment adjustment.
  • Third Option - Participate for the full calendar year and qualify for a modest payment adjustment.
  • Fourth Option - Participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model such as Medicare Shared Savings Track 2 or 3. If you receive enough Medicare payments or see enough Medicare patients through the Model you would qualify for a 5% incentive payment in 2019.
The CMS hopes the program will enhance the delivery of high-quality patient care by increasing its focus on patient outcomes, and reducing the obstacles that make it harder for physicians to practice good care. CMS will release its final rule for the Medicare Access and Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) on November 1.

That rule is the result of feedback from thousands of doctors and other clinicians, who said the system must begin and end with what's right for the patient. Physicians told CMS how technology can help with patient care and how excessive reporting can distract from patient care.

You can find much more information on this program by going to cms.gov.

The AMA has also created a number of resources to help:
  • A MACRA website that includes a checklist of steps you can take now, an action kit and slideshow on the proposed rule, and a "guide to physician focused payment models."

When "I'll Do It Later" Needs to Get Bumped up to "I'll Do It Now..." A3

You have to renew your Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine license by December 31 of this year. In order to renew your license, you must complete two hours of Board-approved child abuse reporting and recognition training. You're required to take the training even if you're exempt from other education requirements.

For information on how you can take the training course contact stat@philamedsoc.org.

A Strong Start for the Pa. Prescription Drug Monitoring ProgramA4

The Pa. Dept. of Health says the first day of the Pa. PDMP, August 25, broke records when compared to similar launches in other states. PDMP is the new tool in the battle against opioid addiction in the state. If you haven't registered yet, go to pennsylvania.pmpaware.net.

The Pa. Dept. of Health has added important suggestions on how to speak to your patients about addiction. The information also includes prescribing guidelines and screening tools. You can find this material by clicking onto Clinical Resources at   www.doh.pa.gov/PDMP . The site also has valuable resources for prescribers, dispensers and patients.

The Dept. of Health has also set up Single County Authorities (SCAs), drug and alcohol service hubs that coordinate, manage, and implement the delivery of drug and alcohol prevention, intervention, treatment and treatment-related services at the local level. To locate an SCA, visit https://apps.ddap.pa.gov/GetHelpNow/CountyServices.aspx.

And you can get answers to technical questions regarding registration and data submission, by calling 855-572-4767, anytime, day or night, seven days a week.
How to Answer a Colleague Who Tells You "We Need to Pump Up Our Volunteer Muscles..."A5

Tell that friend about the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps. It's looking for volunteers with or without medical backgrounds who are willing to help during a public health emergency in the city. The work includes conducting medical screenings and evaluations, giving vaccines or medicine, answering questions in a hotline call center, and helping with mass patient care in shelters, clinics or hospitals.

If you're interested, contact https://serv.pa.gov.

Public Health's Top 100...A6

In honor of its 100th birthday, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has drawn up a list of 100 objects that have had an impact on public health, for good and for ill.

The list includes:
  • Birth certificates - They have been crucial to our ability to look at the health of large groups of people.
  • The Corvair - Ralph Nader pointed out its many safety flaws, and helped spur the creation of the National Highway Safety Bureau which became the National Highway traffic Safety Administration.
  • Window screens - "Not an abstract public health construct to the people within the Zika box in Miami."
  • American cheese - Such processed foods have contributed significantly to obesity and obesity-related diseases, especially in poorer parts of the country.
  • The toilet - It's hard to think of a more important invention. Toilets channel human waste into the sewer systems instead of the water supply.
You can find the complete list on our website at www.philamedsoc.org.

Dating ServiceA7

13 - Making Hepatitis B History

Date: Thursday, October 13  
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Place: College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Dr. Michael Sofia, inventor of the Hepatitis C Cure will be speaking on Hepatitis B as the next viral cure at the College of Physicians. Come hear Dr. Sofia as he helps us envision a cure for Hepatitis B. 
For more information, please contact Joan.Block@hepb.org or call (215) 489-4946.

19 - Public Health Grand Rounds: Tobacco, Retail Stores and the Marketing of Disease

Date: Wednesday, October 19 
Time: 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tobacco is heavily marketed in retail spaces, particularly in urban communities. Combined with ready availability, advertising can increase consumption of unhealthy products and contribute to poor health. In particular, outdoor and point-of-sale tobacco advertising has been shown to increase smoking initiation among adolescents, undermine smokers' quit attempts, and promote relapse among former smokers. In this Grand Rounds, panelists will discuss retail tobacco advertising in Philadelphia, its role in Philadelphia smoking rates and disease, and solutions for addressing the problem.
Click Here to Register

19 - A Healthcare Town Hall - Patients and Physicians Working Together

Date: Wednesday, October 19 
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
We seek to start a dialogue between patients and doctors together in an open town hall-style forum so that together we can begin to formulate ideas and advocate for high quality and truly affordable medical care. This event will give patients an opportunity to express what a better system would look like from the patient perspective, while physicians can explain the current obstructions from the doctor perspective. The hope is that patients and doctors can become better advocates for better choices in healthcare and help to build a sustainable quality system.
Click Here to Register

21 - PAMED House of Delegates & Annual Education Conference

Date: Friday, October 21 - Sunday, October 23   
Place: Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA
Join your colleagues for a lively, informative weekend of continuing education, leadership development, advocacy, and networking at the Pennsylvania Medical Society's (PAMED's) 2016 House of Delegates Meeting and Annual Education Conference. 

25 - Community Conversations Health Care Series (CCHC) on Alzheimer's Disease

Date: Tuesday, October 25 
Time: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
Place: Cozen O'Connor University Science Center, One Liberty Place, 1650 Market Street, Suite 2800, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
RSVP contact information and title to Claire Day, cday@alz.org by October 19.

3 - Type 2 Diabetes Education Program

Date: Thursday, November 3
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130 
The Philadelphia County Medical Society invites you to join your colleagues and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to learn more about Invokana®, an individualized approach to the treatment of adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

Click Here to Register  

Be sure to let us know, so we can update our system to better serve you. When your patients call us, we will be able to help them find you. Call 215-563-5343, ext. 102 to give us any updates.

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