Volume 112, No.9
September 2016 Edition
They Said It...
"Don't just, you know, put on a white coat, smile, and act like you're well." Mike Tzeng, a fourth year medical student at Temple University, urging doctors and medical students to seek help if they are feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of their profession. Tzeng made the comment during the Philadelphia County Medical Society conference that marked the "Day of Solidarity to Prevent Physician Suicide." You can read much more on the conference and the crisis, in the fall issue of the PCMS quarterly magazine, Philadelphia Medicine.  

The PA PDMP is Up and RunningA1

You can now use a new tool in the battle against opioid addiction - the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PA PDMP). It was launched on August 25. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Health is offering several resources to help you use the program effectively:
  • PA PDMP tutorial - teaches you how to navigate and conduct a patient query, and how to identify "red flag" behavior.
  • PA PDMP FAQs - answers most frequently asked questions about the program.
  • PA PDMP Clinical Toolkit - helps medical professionals and their delegates use the system. It offers prescribing guidelines, screening tools and treatment resources.
You can find these resources by going to www.health.pa.gov and clicking on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Reps Push to do More to Fight Opioid AbuseA2

Pa. Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) wants to expand the use of the PA PDMP.

DiGirolamo has introduced House Bill 2314, which would require doctors and other prescribers to query the PDMP system every time a controlled substance is prescribed for every patient.

In a related issue, Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) is introducing a companion bill to Senator John Rafferty's (R-Montgomery) Senate Bill 472, which would establish an official state prescription form. Davis and Rafferty believe that the measure would be another way of preventing opioid abuse, by helping to deter the writing of fraudulent prescriptions.

PAMED is reviewing the proposals.

The Flexibility is Ending for Some Medicare and Medicaid ClaimsA3

For 11 months now, Medicare Part B and Medicaid claims were not rejected as long as the physician/practitioner used a valid ICD-10 code from the right family of codes.

That all changes on October first. From that date on, you must use the most specific codes that apply, to ensure that your claims will not be denied. There are thousands of new codes, deletions and changes to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets. They affect most specialties, but PAMED believes the greatest impact will fall on cardiology and ophthalmology practices. PAMED recommends that you and your staff become familiar with the changes.

CMS has FAQs on these issues, and offers other resources about ICD-10 that include the list of 2016 ICD-10-CM valid codes and code titles; the 2017 ICD-10-CM - that contains updated diagnosis codes set for services provided after October first.

For more information, PAMED recommends contacting its Knowledge Center at 855-726-3348.

Making it Easier for Disabled Pa. Residents to Get Care at HomeA4

The Pa. departments of Human Services (DHS) and Aging, are negotiating with three managed care organizations (MCOs) to set up physical and long-term services and supports for the commonwealth's 420,000 citizens who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Community Health Choices (CHC) will coordinate the effort. "We are committed to increasing opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes," said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas.

The eligible are 21 and older who have both Medicare and Medicaid, or who receive long-term services and support through Medicaid because they need help with everyday activities. For more information, go to www.dhs.pa.gov.
A Message from the U.S. Surgeon General: "Pledge to Fight the Opioid Epidemic"A5

You will soon get a letter in the mail from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murphy, urging you to help fight the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Murphy is calling on all doctors to pledge their commitment "to turn the tide in the opioid crisis." Dr. Murphy says it's imperative for physicians to, "educate ourselves to treat pain safely and effectively...screen our patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment...shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by talking about and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing."

Dr. Murphy urges physicians to read the CDC pocket guide, "Opioid Prescribing Guideline."

Sharp Increases in Fentanyl Use in Philadelphia Causing More Overdose DeathsA6

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health has released grim statistics on the use in the city of the powerful synthetic heroin imitator, fentanyl. Overdose deaths from fentanyl jumped a staggering 636% from 2013 through 2015. From January to April of this year, more than one-third of drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia involved fentanyl.
Unintentional drug overdose deaths in the city rose from 460 in 2013, to about 700 in 2015. And fentanyl is playing a growing role as a killer. In the first three months of this year, about four in ten overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl, compared to about one in five deaths in 2015.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Doctors are urged to steer high risk substance users to medication-assisted treatment with methadone or buprenorphine. All patients regularly using opioids should also have naloxone available for overdose reversal.

New Primary Care Model Available in Philadelphia AreaA7

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is looking for practices that would like to participate in a new primary care model, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+).

CPC+ is a five-year primary care medical home model beginning in January 2017. It will operate in the Philadelphia area and 13 other regions in the country. The goal of the model is to give primary care practices more flexibility in caring for their patients, in order to produce the best outcomes. CMS estimates that about five thousand primary care practices serving about 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, could participate in the model.

For more information, contact CPCplus@cms.hhs.gov.

Nine Philly Docs Among Those Who Will Receive PAMED's Physician 40 Under 40 AwardA8

PAMED is honoring nine Philadelphia doctors with a new award that highlights early career physician leaders.

The doctors getting the award in Philadelphia are: Carlo Bartoli, David Frankel, Amanda Hu, Priya Mitra, Richard Month, Jason Newstadter, Dane Scantling, Alexandra Tuluca, and John Vasdevan.

PAMED will announce the award winners this month. PCMS is coordinating the award presentations with the Philadelphia winners. Congratulations to our local physicians who are receiving this award.


...for your membership in the Philadelphia County Medical Society. Your membership is the key to our strength, and goes a long way in protecting the integrity of our profession, and the patients we serve. Help make PCMS even stronger by encouraging your colleagues to become members.

For information, call our membership department at 215-563-5343, ext. 113, or email us at stat@philamedsoc.org.

Dating ServiceA9

8 - Philadelphia Primary Care Career Fair

Thursday, September 8 
5:30 - 8:30 PM
You'll  meet practices and health centers looking for providers with a passion and purpose for primary care. And you'll find a wide variety of opportunities at Community Health Centers , rural health clinics, and hospitals and health systems.  Find out more about Community Health Centers and other Career Fair exhibitors at www.paprimarycarecareers.org/Career-Fairs .

13 - Gender Inequalities in Medicine

Tuesday, September 13 
7:00 - 8:30 PM
This Forum will focus on the experiences of women physicians regarding the key aspects of the culture of Medicine, where men and women are equally engaged in their work and share similar leadership aspirations, yet institutions have failed to create and sustain an environment where women are fully supported to succeed.
Click Here to Register 

20 - Buprenorphine Summit

Tuesday, September 20
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM 
The Buprenorphine Summit is targeted to all physicians and behavioral health treatment providers working with in the greater Philadelphia area who are interested in learning about the role of buprenorphine in responding to the opioid epidemic.

  Click Here to Register 

24 - President's Installation and Awards Night

Saturday, September 24 
Reception 6:00 PM 
Dinner and Program 7:00 PM

Celebrating the Inauguration of Daniel T. Dempsey, MD, MBA, FACS as the 155th President of The Philadelphia County Medical Society at the Philadelphia Country Club, 1601 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA.
Click Here For More Information

5 - The Child Abuse Reporting Training Program

Wednesday, October 5
6:30 - 8:30 PM 
Last chance to attend a live 2 hour training program as required for your medical license renewal. This program will cover the topics of child abuse recognition, what you need to know in order to report it, and the penalties for failing to report. This program is free and open to all physicians. Please RSVP by Sept 26. 

3 - Type 2 Diabetes Education Program

Thursday, November 3
7:00 PM 
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