Volume 114, No. 9Top
September 2018 Edition

They Said It...

"It's not about pro-gun, anti-gun. It's about saving lives." Pa. Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) talking about his bill that would temporarily take away firearms from someone deemed to be a danger to himself and others. His interview is part of an article on gun violence and the AMA's proposals to address it, in our Fall issue of Philadelphia Medicine magazine. It will soon be in your mailbox.

In the News... 
When a Friend Asks for Feedback... A1

If the friend is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that friend might want to find a comfortable chair. CMS asked for feedback on its proposed rule for the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the Quality Payment Program Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, and it's getting an earful.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has responded with a 150-page letter. ACS is calling on CMS to "consider more focused pathways in hopes of directing proper support for surgical quality, care improvement, and cost savings."

The ACS is one of a significant number of physician organizations that have responded to the CMS call for feedback with lengthy critiques.

You can read the ACS letter here.

The final CMS rule is expected to be published by November 1.

When a Friend is Less Than Friendly... A2

The Pa. Insurance Dept. and the U.S. departments of Labor and Health and Human Services are at loggerheads over the implementation of a federal rule aiming to expand association health plans.

In a letter sent to the two federal departments, Pa. Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman writes that the new rule "creates ambiguity and has the potential to undermine important consumer protections."

She said her department has made it clear what its longstanding regulatory approach is for association health plans. She adds, "once again it falls to the states to provide clarity to the marketplace following ambiguous and potentially harmful administration actions being taken by the Trump Administration."

The letter supports the arguments in a lawsuit to block the rule's implementation brought by a dozen state attorney generals, including Pennsylvania's.

Association health plans are health insurance plans for employees purchased through an association or group of small employers, usually organized around a common professional interest. The new federal government rule expands the definition of the term "employer" to allow more employers to form associations to buy insurance in the large-group market.

The federal rule also emphasizes that states are not pre-empted by the new standards and retain their authority to regulate the business of insurance and the types of association health plans addressed in the rule.

You can download the letter from the Insurance Dept. website here.

Concerns About Travelers Returning from the Middle East A3

The Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) has issued a health advisory concerning people recently returning from the Arabian Peninsula, if they have symptoms of fever and pneumonia or acute respiratory syndrome within two weeks of their return.

Also, if patients with these symptoms did not travel to the Arabian Peninsula, but had close contact with a symptomatic traveler from those countries, they should be tested for MERS-CoV. MERS-CoV is a novel coronavirus that can cause severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The patient should be isolated, and standard, contact and airborne precautions should be implemented. The patient should also be reported to PDPH at 215-688-6742.

You can download the complete health advisory here.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a health advisory on leptospirosis contracted by U.S. travelers returning from Northern Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Health has reported an outbreak of leptospirosis from natural water sources in the Golan Heights region.

The outbreak occurred after July first of this year. Three persons in the U.S. have been identified with the disease, and others with symptoms are being investigated. Early symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, conjunctival suffusion, jaundice and rash.

Click here to download the complete health advisory.

Must See TV... A4

Pennsylvania Medical Society president and PCMS member, Theodore Chrisopher, MD, recently appeared on the TV interview program, Pennsylvania Newsmakers, to discuss the opioid epidemic. During the interview he said that when it comes to treating patients, "there can't be a cookie cutter approach."

You can watch the program here.

Oak Street Health Buys CityLife Neighborhood Clinics A5

The purchase brings Oak Street Health into the Philadelphia market. It says its health care model is built around quality of care, rather than quantity of visits. Oak Street Health says its care model emphasizes a preventive approach. It adds that its physicians spend twice as much time with patients than the national average, "contributing to a 40 percent reduction in hospital admissions."

Oak Street Health is now serving patients with Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans at CityLife centers in Fern Rock, Lehigh Avenue, University City and Cobbs Creek.

You can find more information on Oak Street Health at www.oakstreethealth.com.

New Accreditation Program Will Elevate Standard of Care for Adults with Congenital Heart Disease A6

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect in the United States, diagnosed in one in 100 births; and because of improved disease diagnosis and treatment, individuals with CHD are living longer. There are now an estimated 1.4 million adults living with CHD in the United States - more than the number of children with the disease. While individuals with CHD can certainly live active, productive lives, it is important to remember they require specialized heart care.

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is the only organization in the country that focuses exclusively on adults with CHD. It is the primary source of education for adults with CHD and provides a network of experts with an understanding and knowledge base about the disease. To better serve this population, ACHA is pleased to announce the ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Accreditation Program, which will standardize and enhance the quality of care for adult CHD patients throughout the country.

Visit our website to view this article in full and to learn more about the ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program.

Click here to visit the ACHA website.

Calendar of EventsCalendar

20 - All Member Social

Date: Thursday, September 20
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

All PCMS members are cordially invited to attend our "All Member Social" on Thursday, September 20, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Free food and libations are available. Guests are welcome.

25 - International Medical Graduates Event

Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM) and PCMS invite all international medical graduates to network and learn about the opportunities to bond with physician groups from around the world so that doctors can share knowledge.

29 - 2018 Regional Opioid CME and Listening Session

Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 7:30 AM - 11 AM
Place: The Inn at Villanova, 601 County Line Road, Radnor, PA 19087

The Pennsylvania Medical Society is hosting a free 2-hour opioid CME program, which will review how to appropriately and effectively manage patients suffering from chronic pain, followed by an hour listening session where you'll have the opportunity to tell PAMED trustee leadership what's on your mind.

2 - The Child Abuse Prevention Training Program

Date: Tuesday, October 2
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

All physicians renewing their license are required to submit documentation evidencing the completion of at least two hours of approved continuing education in child abuse recognition. This is a live, state approved program that meets this requirement for the 2018 licensing cycle. This program is FREE for all PCMS physician members. The fee for non-members is $125.

18 - Medical Marijuana Education Workshop

Date: Thursday, October 18
Time: 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: University of Sciences in Philadelphia, 4601 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Save the Date! Cure Pennsylvania will be hosting a free medical marijuana education workshop next month.

18 - Contract Review Program

Date: Thursday, October 18
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Save the date! Our next Contract Review Program will be held on Thursday, October 18. Details to follow shortly.

26 - House of Delegates 2018

Date: October 26-28
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 House of Delegates Meeting and Annual Education Conference.

8 - Opioid CME Training

Date: Thursday, November 8
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Save the Date! This CME program will help you better understand chronic pain, the opioid epidemic, safe prescribing and chronic pain treatment options.

14 - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Program

Date: Wednesday, November 14
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Save the Date! The Philadelphia County Medical Society will be hosting an evening program on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome followed by a movie screening of the documentary Unrest.

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