Friday, December 30, 2011

Breast Cancer - Patients Prefer It When Specialists Share Care Management

Breast Cancer - Patients Prefer It When Specialists Share Care Management

Acid Reflux 50% More Common Than Ten Years Ago

Acid Reflux 50% More Common Than Ten Years Ago

: Med schools promote training that lets students follow individual patients :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Med schools promote training that lets students follow individual patients :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

Obesity-Induced Brain Changes May Be Reason Weight Control Is So Hard

Obesity-Induced Brain Changes May Be Reason Weight Control Is So Hard

Thursday, December 29, 2011

States lax in regulating cosmetic surgery – USATODAY.com

States lax in regulating cosmetic surgery – USATODAY.com

A real medical emergency | The Augusta Chronicle

A real medical emergency | The Augusta Chronicle

amednews: Physicians earn nearly perfect ratings from most patients :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Physicians earn nearly perfect ratings from most patients :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

Residency Match revamps placement of students not selected initially :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Residency Match revamps placement of students not selected initially :: Dec. 26, 2011 ... American Medical News

27% Medicare pay cut to return March 1 unless Congress makes new deal :: Dec. 27, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: 27% Medicare pay cut to return March 1 unless Congress makes new deal :: Dec. 27, 2011 ... American Medical News

General Surgery News - Dilatation After Gastric Banding Often Requires Conversion

General Surgery News - Dilatation After Gastric Banding Often Requires Conversion

General Surgery News - Endoscopic Bariatrics: New Techniques Need Shaping Up

General Surgery News - Endoscopic Bariatrics: New Techniques Need Shaping Up

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Important Message from the ACS

With just six working days until physicians face a 27.4 percent cut in their Medicare reimbursement rate, Congress left Washington without providing a solution.  With no resolution in sight, Medicare reimbursement rates will be cut 27.4 percent on January 1, 2012.  We know how frustrating and challenging this situation is for you, we are working as hard as we can on a daily basis to move Congress in the right direction.  Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a statement detailing how they will handle claims starting on January 1st.  On Wednesday, the American College of Surgeons issued a statement detailing our frustration with Congress’ lack of attention to this critical issue for patients.

For those interested in the background as to how this all came about in the past few weeks, we have included the details at the end of this email.

The ACS remains committed to advocating for a full and comprehensive repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula used to determine Medicare physician payment and for an equitable, long-term solution to the problem. The ACS maintains that continued short-term fixes only exacerbate the problem and increase the long-term deficit. For more information on the College’s views on Medicare payment, CLICK HERE.

At this time, it is unclear when Congress will resolve its political differences. We will continue to stay in touch with you in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Patricia J. Numann, MD, FACS
President  

J. David Richardson, MD, FACS
Chair, Board of Regents  

Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS
Chair, Health Policy and Advocacy Group  

David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS
Executive Director    


Background Information

Over the past two weeks, the deep partisan divide in Washington has been on display with both sides talking past each other and little effort to bridge the differences.  The physician payment issue, along with the payroll tax cut and unemployment compensation, were used as political footballs between Democrats and Republicans as well as the House and Senate.  First, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which included a two-year short-term fix with a one percent increase in 2012 and another one percent increase in 2013. That two percent total increase would be nullified by the two percent cut that physicians are facing via sequestration beginning January 1, 2013, because the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction—the congressional “Super Committee”—failed to craft a plan that would cut the nation’s debt by the required $1.2 trillion. 

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) did not support or oppose the legislation as it simply exacerbated the problem on many levels.  The House bill “kicked the can down the road,” creating a 37 percent cut in 2014 and increasing the cost to fully fix the problem to a staggering $370 billion.  The more it costs to fully fix the problem, the less likely it is that Congress will ever be able to pass comprehensive repeal legislation.  Congress could have fixed this problem six years ago for a total cost of $48 billion. 

Senate Democrats and the White House immediately denounced the House bill as politically divisive because of the offsets used to pay for the legislation.  Indeed, it was known before the House voted on the bill that it would not pass the Senate. 

In response, Senate Democratic and Republican leadership spent most of last week in negotiations for a short-term legislative package including physician payment, the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. This past Saturday, the Senate passed a bill that would stop the 27.4 percent cut for 60 days. The negotiators attempted to reach a deal for one year, but the cost offsets again proved to be a major roadblock. Upon passage, the Senate immediately adjourned with no plans to return to Washington until January 24, 2012.

In the circular logic that only makes sense to Congress, the House was called back in to session; rejected the 60 day extension on Tuesday and passed a bill to appoint conferees that would work to bridge the gap between the House and Senate bills.  The major problem – the Senate is no longer in Washington and will not appoint conferees. 



amednews: Medicare opens physician claims to researchers :: Dec. 19, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Medicare opens physician claims to researchers :: Dec. 19, 2011 ... American Medical News

Doc-nurse teamwork cuts down on surgical complications, deaths - FierceHealthcare

Doc-nurse teamwork cuts down on surgical complications, deaths - FierceHealthcare

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hospitals ask OMB to intervene in new tax form - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Hospitals ask OMB to intervene in new tax form - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Senate, House Remain At Odds Over 'Doc Fix' Dilemma - Kaiser Health News

Senate, House Remain At Odds Over 'Doc Fix' Dilemma - Kaiser Health News

Message from AMA via MAG concerning SGR.

Today, the House of Representatives held a series of votes regarding H.R. 3630, legislation that would extend an expiring payroll tax reduction and unemployment insurance benefits, as well as stop a 27.4 percent Medicare physician payment cut that is scheduled to take effect on January 1.  The net result was to leave the status of 2012 payment rates in limbo.

Votes on H.R. 3690.  As originally passed by the House on December 13 by a vote of 234-193, the legislation would have provided Medicare physician payment updates of 1 percent a year for two years, followed by a return to the current negative trend line produced by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.  But, due to disagreements over financial offsets and other policy issues unrelated to the SGR, the legislation could not attract a sufficient number of votes to pass the Senate.

On December 17, the Senate voted 89-10 to pass an amended version of the bill that would extend all the expiring policies, including current Medicare physician payment rates, for two months.  The rationale for the short-term extension was to avoid disruptions on January 1 and provide time for further negotiations on financing longer-term extensions.

House action on December 20.  Following the Senate’s action, a significant number of House Republicans expressed strong opposition to the two-month extension, and several relevant votes were scheduled for today.  Most important of these, the House approved a resolution by a vote of 229-193 to disagree with the Senate and appoint members to a House-Senate conference committee, which would be charged with working out differences between the two versions of the bill. 

Prior to the House votes today, the Senate leadership announced that the Senate would not reconvene over the holidays to engage in further negotiations and votes.  In addition, members of the House are departing this evening for the holidays, after being informed that they could be called back to Washington on short notice.  At this time, it does not appear likely that the outstanding issues will be resolved before January 1. 

Outlook for January.  On December 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would hold claims for 2012 physician services for 10 business days, until January 17, to avoid processing payments at the lower rate.  After that date claims will be processed on a first in, first paid basis at the reduced rates until the situation is resolved. 

The House is currently scheduled to return to Washington on January 17, while the Senate is scheduled to return on January 23.   However, there are reports that the House, at least, may move up the date of its return to January 3.

AMA views.  The AMA issued strong statements following the House and Senate votes reaffirming its opposition to any short-term patches to the SGR formula, denouncing the political brinkmanship that left the issue unresolved until Congress was adjourning, and calling for a bipartisan effort to repeal flawed and disruptive formula once and for all.

Throughout the year, the AMA has been pursuing a strategy for repealing the SGR that was developed in consultation with state medical societies and national medical specialty societies.  We continued to oppose short-term remedies that serve to make future cuts deeper and the cost of permanent payment reform increasingly steep.  And, throughout the year, bicameral and bipartisan support has been expressed in Congress for permanently addressing the Medicare physician payment crisis.  Nonetheless, physicians and their patients once again find themselves confronting uncertainty and instability.   It is long past time for Congress to act decisively and protect access to care for senior citizens and military families that rely on TRICARE—they and their physicians deserve better.

The AMA will provide additional updates on the status of the 2012 payment rates as events unfold.  With the expectation that Congress will be in recess, we will defer any new grassroots messaging between now and the New Year.  New grassroots messages will be available after January 1 or if Congress decides to return to Washington between the holidays.  The AMA’s latest grassroots messages can always be viewed at www.ama-assn.org/go/grassroots, and physicians can reach their federal legislators by telephone using our toll-free physicians grassroots hotline number:  1-800-833-6354.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Reduces Rate Of Complications Following Deep Vein Thrombosis

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Reduces Rate Of Complications Following Deep Vein Thrombosis

A Bandage That Spurs, Guides Blood Vessel Growth

A Bandage That Spurs, Guides Blood Vessel Growth

Vaccine Developed That Successfully Attacks Breast Cancer In Mice

Vaccine Developed That Successfully Attacks Breast Cancer In Mice

Breast Cancer Patients More Satisfied When Specialists Share Care Management

Breast Cancer Patients More Satisfied When Specialists Share Care Management

Smartphones blamed for increasing risk of health data breaches :: Dec. 19, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Smartphones blamed for increasing risk of health data breaches :: Dec. 19, 2011 ... American Medical News

Lawmakers raise prospect of stand-alone SGR bill - Healthcare business news and research | Modern Healthcare

Lawmakers raise prospect of stand-alone SGR bill - Healthcare business news and research | Modern Healthcare

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Albany Herald | Palmyra acquisition completed

Albany Herald | Palmyra acquisition completed

‘Doc fix’ debate a symptom of deeper Medicare ailment  | ajc.com

‘Doc fix’ debate a symptom of deeper Medicare ailment | ajc.com

General Surgery News - Walking Speed a Good Marker for Surgical Recovery

General Surgery News - Walking Speed a Good Marker for Surgical Recovery

General Surgery News - Lawsuits for Surgeons: Common, Often Preventable, Almost Always Winnable

General Surgery News - Lawsuits for Surgeons: Common, Often Preventable, Almost Always Winnable

Identification Of Major Cause Of Chronic Kidney Disease-Related Inflammation

Identification Of Major Cause Of Chronic Kidney Disease-Related Inflammation

Increase In Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Spurred By Obesity And Diabetes Epidemics

Increase In Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Spurred By Obesity And Diabetes Epidemics

Hospital employment a losing proposition in the short-term - FierceHealthcare

Hospital employment a losing proposition in the short-term - FierceHealthcare

Highest paid exec is in healthcare, earns $145M - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Highest paid exec is in healthcare, earns $145M - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

A message from ACS Dvision of Advocacy and Health Policy

ACS Leaders

Informal Sunday email from the ACS Washington Office …. Things are not looking good….. Bottom line, in the past 24 hours, the odds of the 27.4% cut going into effect on January 1st appear to be increasing.  Below is a quick summary of where things stand.

First, earlier this past week, the House passed legislation (almost all Republicans voted in favor and almost all Democrats opposed) that would stop the 27.4 percent cut for two years.  It would create a 37% cut and $370 billion debt in 2014.  The opposition was about how the bill was paid for.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, the Senate passed legislation that would stop the 27.4 percent cut for 2 months. The legislation also extends the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance for 2 months.

The problem in getting a longer fix is that Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to pay for a bill that would have stopped the cut for longer.

The ACS continues to not support or oppose these short term deals -- they make the problem much worse on many levels.  The ACS continues to urge Congress to fully fix the SGR.

In the past 24 hours, it has become clear that the House Republicans will not accept the Senate deal that was passed yesterday. It is unclear at this point as to whether the House will attempt to modify the Senate bill or push for a conference committee with the Senate.  The problem is that the Senate has adjourned and is not scheduled back until Jan 24th.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesperson has said Senator Reid has no plans to bring the Senate back to Washington.

In my humble opinion, the blame seems to be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.

I will stay in touch and at some point when things become clearer, there will be an email sent to all Fellows from Drs. Richardson, Numann, Warshaw and Hoyt.

Any questions, let me know

Christian

Christian Shalgian
Director
Division of Advocacy and Health Policy
American College of Surgeons
20 F St, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20001
Phone:  202-672-1504

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New rule keeps docs in the dark about National Practitioner Data Bank queries - FiercePracticeManagement

New rule keeps docs in the dark about National Practitioner Data Bank queries - FiercePracticeManagement

Physician-owned hospital rules relax with House bill - FierceHealthcare

Physician-owned hospital rules relax with House bill - FierceHealthcare

Coaches to help discharged patients stay out of hospital | Georgia Health News

Coaches to help discharged patients stay out of hospital | Georgia Health News

Hospitals Adopt Drug Industry Sales Strategy - Kaiser Health News

Hospitals Adopt Drug Industry Sales Strategy - Kaiser Health News

UGA vaccine could be big anti-cancer agent | Online Athens

UGA vaccine could be big anti-cancer agent | Online Athens

Medicare 'Doc Fix' Debate Shifts to Senate - Kaiser Health News

Medicare 'Doc Fix' Debate Shifts to Senate - Kaiser Health News

Congress likely gridlocked on SGR fix - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Congress likely gridlocked on SGR fix - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Berwick blasts limited hospital stays, healthcare rationing - FierceHealthcare

Berwick blasts limited hospital stays, healthcare rationing - FierceHealthcare

Hospital CEOs defend their million-dollar compensation - FierceHealthcare

Hospital CEOs defend their million-dollar compensation - FierceHealthcare

Republican Tax and Unemployment Bill Would Help Hospitals Owned by Doctors - NYTimes.com

Republican Tax and Unemployment Bill Would Help Hospitals Owned by Doctors - NYTimes.com

Coverage Of Bariatric Surgery Is Spotty For Obese Kids - Kaiser Health News

Coverage Of Bariatric Surgery Is Spotty For Obese Kids - Kaiser Health News

Hospitals Clash With House Republicans On Medicare CutsCapsules - The KHN Blog

Capsules - The KHN Blog

Berwick: Don’t Blame Medicare, Medicaid. It’s The Delivery System - Kaiser Health News

Berwick: Don’t Blame Medicare, Medicaid. It’s The Delivery System - Kaiser Health News

Using time as currency can help practices care for the uninsured :: Dec. 12, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Using time as currency can help practices care for the uninsured :: Dec. 12, 2011 ... American Medical News

Doctors' legal remedies can defeat online attacks :: Dec. 12, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Doctors' legal remedies can defeat online attacks :: Dec. 12, 2011 ... American Medical News

Georgia fares worse in doctor supply | The Augusta Chronicle

Georgia fares worse in doctor supply | The Augusta Chronicle

WABE: Georgia House Health Committee Chair Promises to Look for Ways to Send More Tobacco Settlement Money to Stop Smoking Efforts. But She's Not Optimistic (2011-12-12)

WABE: Georgia House Health Committee Chair Promises to Look for Ways to Send More Tobacco Settlement Money to Stop Smoking Efforts. But She's Not Optimistic (2011-12-12)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Judge rules against FTC for Phoebe Putney merger to proceed - FierceHealthcare

Judge rules against FTC for Phoebe Putney merger to proceed - FierceHealthcare

Medicare may penalize hospitals that readmit too many patients - The Washington Post

Medicare may penalize hospitals that readmit too many patients - The Washington Post

Free clinic continues to flourish  | ajc.com

Free clinic continues to flourish | ajc.com

Access to taxpayer funds made easier for Grady  | ajc.com

Access to taxpayer funds made easier for Grady | ajc.com

House GOP unveils fix to looming Medicare cuts for doctors and other service providers - The Washington Post

House GOP unveils fix to looming Medicare cuts for doctors and other service providers - The Washington Post

A message from ACS Dvision of Advocacy and Health Policy

To: ACS Leaders…..

It is December 9th …. 27.4% cut is scheduled to go into effect in 22 days.  Here is where we stand….

The House Republicans introduced a large bill today that includes a number of things.  One section of the bill deals with Medicare physician payment.  The bill would stop the cut for 2 years and provide a 1% positive update (which would likely disappear in 2013 because of the failure of the Super Committee – sequestration).  The bill includes a number of provisions un-related to Medicare.  There are a number of “pay fors” in the bill including some substantial cuts to hospitals (the hospital groups are very upset).  While essentially freezing physician payments for two years, the bill would leave a 37% cut in physician payments in 2014 and would increase the debt on this program from $300 billion to close to $370 billion.  We met with House Republican leadership staff this morning and they told us that the plan is to have the House vote on this bill early next week (possibly Tues?).

The concept of fully eliminating the current SGR debt ($300 billion) by using unspent war funds is still alive in the Senate.  Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), John Kyl (R-AZ) , Max Baucus (D-MT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) continue to lead this effort.

Congress is scheduled to leave for the year next Friday.  We shall see if that happens……

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Christian


Christian Shalgian
Director
Dvision of Advocacy and Health Policy
American College of Surgeons
20 F St, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20001
Phone:  202-672-1504

Congress Hindered by Cost in Effort to Pass Year-End Legislation - NYTimes.com

Congress Hindered by Cost in Effort to Pass Year-End Legislation - NYTimes.com

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hospital Infection Rates Drop, CDC Says - Maggie Fox - NationalJournal.com

Hospital Infection Rates Drop, CDC Says - Maggie Fox - NationalJournal.com

State hospital reporting to become obsolete? - FierceHealthcare

State hospital reporting to become obsolete? - FierceHealthcare

Pay cut averted for Medicaid, PeachCare | Georgia Health News

Pay cut averted for Medicaid, PeachCare | Georgia Health News

Health report: Americans getting fatter; Ga. ranked 37th  | ajc.com

Health report: Americans getting fatter; Ga. ranked 37th | ajc.com

Mortality From Bariatric Surgery Found Lower at Accredited Centers

General Surgery News - Mortality From Bariatric Surgery Found Lower at Accredited Centers

More medical schools face LCME sanctions after deviating from standards :: Dec. 5, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: More medical schools face LCME sanctions after deviating from standards :: Dec. 5, 2011 ... American Medical News

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Community hospitals call for AG review of Steward-doc contracts - FierceHealthcare

Community hospitals call for AG review of Steward-doc contracts - FierceHealthcare

Half of docs unprepared for more financial risk with ACOs - FiercePracticeManagement

Half of docs unprepared for more financial risk with ACOs - FiercePracticeManagement

Important news related to Medicare physician payment - ACS Div Advocacy & Health Policy

To: ACS leaders…..

Yesterday, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) came out in favor of using the overseas contingency operations money (war drawdown savings) to pay for a full fix to the SGR (eliminating the $300 billion debt).  This is significant because Senator Kyl is the second ranking Republican in the Senate.  Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have made recent statements supporting using the funds to pay for the SGR fix.  The public opposition to using these funds to eliminate the SGR debt have mostly come from House Republican leadership.  We have also not seen any public statements of support for this effort from the physician members of the House.

There is some expectation that the House Republicans will come out today with a piece of legislation that includes a number of things including a two year temporary fix to the Medicare physician payment crisis.  A two year fix will obviously stop the 27.4 percent cut scheduled for January 1st  but will lead to a 37% cut on January 1, 2014.  The cost to truly fix this problem will also rise from approximately $300 billion to close to $400 billion at that point.

We continue to urge all Members of Congress to fully fix the Medicare physician payment crisis and not create a larger fiscal debt for the Medicare program.

I will stay in touch with you in the coming days as this critical issue is debated in Congress.  If you have any questions, please let me know.


Christian Shalgian
Director
Division of Advocacy and Health Policy
American College of Surgeons
20 F St, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20001
Phone:  202-672-1504

Florida Grappling With Questions About Taxes For Indigent Care - Kaiser Health News

Florida Grappling With Questions About Taxes For Indigent Care - Kaiser Health News

How Doctors Get More From Insurers: Introduction

How Doctors Get More From Insurers: Introduction

Judge rules hospital merger anticompetitive - FierceHealthcare

Judge rules hospital merger anticompetitive - FierceHealthcare

CMS opens up Medicare claims data for provider quality reports - FierceHealthcare

CMS opens up Medicare claims data for provider quality reports - FierceHealthcare

Monday, December 5, 2011

Medical News: DHC: EHR Upgrades More Likely to Lead to Errors - in Practice Management, Information Technology from MedPage Today

Medical News: DHC: EHR Upgrades More Likely to Lead to Errors - in Practice Management, Information Technology from MedPage Today

ACTION NEEDED TO STOP SGR CUT

ACTION NEEDED  

Contact Congress TODAY to urge them to stop the 27.4 percent cut to Medicare physician payments scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2012, and permanently fix this broken system, by logging into the ACS Legislative Action Center at http://www.capitolconnect.com/acspa/actionalerts.aspx.

Dear Dr. Harris:  

We are writing because we need your active involvement today. The American College of Surgeons has been advocating that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the "Congressional Super Committee," permanently fix the broken Medicare payment system as part of its larger effort.  The Super Committee failed to reach its goal of saving $1.2 trillion and will not be addressing the physician payment issue.   

Congress is scheduled to be in Washington until mid-December. There is a 27.4 percent cut in Medicare physician payment scheduled for January 1.  The grim financial environment in Washington makes the likelihood of a cut to Medicare physician payments greater this year than in recent years.  

The American College of Surgeons continues to strongly advocate for Congress to stop these cuts and repeal the SGR. However, Congress also needs to hear from the surgeons whose ability to practice and care for patients in their states and districts is being threatened by the failure to enact permanent reform of Medicare’s broken payment system. As a result, it is critical that ALL FELLOWS contact Congress TODAY and tell them to stop the cut.  

Please follow the instructions below in order to send an email to your Senators and Representative.  These emails are critical.  If you have any questions, please contact your ACS staff in Washington, DC, at 202-337-2701 or ahp@facs.org.  

Sincerely,  

Patricia Numann, MD, FACS, President, American College of Surgeons
J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, Chair, Board of Regents
Andrew Warshaw, MD, FACS, Chair, Health Policy and Advocacy Group
David Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director, American College of Surgeons  

INSTRUCTIONS

Log in to http://www.capitolconnect.com/acspa/actionalerts.aspx with your ACS ID number and password. You will be directed to a pre-drafted email that you can edit and send to your Senators and Representative asking them to stop the 27.4 percent cut to Medicare physician payments before it goes into effect on January 1, 2012.   

Hospital jobs slowing down - FierceHealthcare

Hospital jobs slowing down - FierceHealthcare

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Providers cheer Tavenner as new CMS administrator - FierceHealthcare

Providers cheer Tavenner as new CMS administrator - FierceHealthcare

HHS extends Meaningful Use deadline by one year - FierceHealthcare

HHS extends Meaningful Use deadline by one year - FierceHealthcare

Make sure the way you use an EMR doesn't unwittingly look like fraud :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Make sure the way you use an EMR doesn't unwittingly look like fraud :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

An idea to tackle tort reform, defensive medicine in Georgia | Kyle Wingfield

An idea to tackle tort reform, defensive medicine in Georgia | Kyle Wingfield

Medicare Offers Expanded Coverage To Battle Expanding Waistlines – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Medicare Offers Expanded Coverage To Battle Expanding Waistlines – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HIPAA 5010 grace period doesn't let practices off the hook - FiercePracticeManagement

HIPAA 5010 grace period doesn't let practices off the hook - FiercePracticeManagement

Partner with patients to avoid gaps with test results - FiercePracticeManagement

Partner with patients to avoid gaps with test results - FiercePracticeManagement

Addicted surgeons, non-surgeons equally likely to return to practice - FiercePracticeManagement

Addicted surgeons, non-surgeons equally likely to return to practice - FiercePracticeManagement

Addicted surgeons, non-surgeons equally likely to return to practice - FiercePracticeManagement

Addicted surgeons, non-surgeons equally likely to return to practice - FiercePracticeManagement

Emory Healthcare teams up with CVS walk-in clinics  | ajc.com

Emory Healthcare teams up with CVS walk-in clinics | ajc.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Increased doc employment at hospitals a 'building block' for coordinated care - FierceHealthcare

Increased doc employment at hospitals a 'building block' for coordinated care - FierceHealthcare

Overhauls Are Urged by Governor’s Panel to Fix Brooklyn Hospitals - NYTimes.com

Overhauls Are Urged by Governor’s Panel to Fix Brooklyn Hospitals - NYTimes.com

State wants control over struggling hospitals, ability to fire execs - FierceHealthcare

State wants control over struggling hospitals, ability to fire execs - FierceHealthcare

General Surgery News - Oxaliplatin May Cause Nerve Damage

General Surgery News - Oxaliplatin May Cause Nerve Damage

amednews: Medicare RACs to conduct prepayment reviews for doctors, hospitals :: Nov. 28, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Medicare RACs to conduct prepayment reviews for doctors, hospitals :: Nov. 28, 2011 ... American Medical News

Back on the brink: Doctors again face steep Medicare cuts unless Congress acts before Jan. 1 - The Washington Post

Back on the brink: Doctors again face steep Medicare cuts unless Congress acts before Jan. 1 - The Washington Post

Back on the ‘Doc Fix’ Watch as Medicare Cuts Loom - Health Blog - WSJ

Back on the ‘Doc Fix’ Watch as Medicare Cuts Loom - Health Blog - WSJ

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Medicaid cuts costing hospitals more jobs - FierceHealthcare

Medicaid cuts costing hospitals more jobs - FierceHealthcare

FTC Commissioner blasts ACOs - FierceHealthcare

FTC Commissioner blasts ACOs - FierceHealthcare

bizjournals mobile: Atlanta: Emory MD's to oversee MinuteClinics

bizjournals mobile: Atlanta: Emory MD's to oversee MinuteClinics

Last chance for Medicare, Medicaid reform? Nope - David Nather - POLITICO.com

Last chance for Medicare, Medicaid reform? Nope - David Nather - POLITICO.com

Top-earning CEO receives $10M at Northwestern Memorial - FierceHealthcare

Top-earning CEO receives $10M at Northwestern Memorial - FierceHealthcare

Blame-free culture means more error reporting - FierceHealthcare

Blame-free culture means more error reporting - FierceHealthcare

Hospitals use more NPs, PAs amid doc shortage - FierceHealthcare

Hospitals use more NPs, PAs amid doc shortage - FierceHealthcare

FTC challenges hospital merger, cites reduced competition - FierceHealthcare

FTC challenges hospital merger, cites reduced competition - FierceHealthcare

Breast Cancer Genetic Profiling Has Not Achieved Personalized Medicine Yet

Breast Cancer Genetic Profiling Has Not Achieved Personalized Medicine Yet

amednews: Costs prompting sicker patients to avoid medical care :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Costs prompting sicker patients to avoid medical care :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Super committee failure leaves Medicare pay cuts in place :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Super committee failure leaves Medicare pay cuts in place :: Nov. 21, 2011 ... American Medical News

Monday, November 21, 2011

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

As Panel Admits Defeat, Battle Shifts to Automatic Cuts - NYTimes.com

General Surgery News - The So-called “Sportsman’s Hernia”

General Surgery News - The So-called “Sportsman’s Hernia”

General Surgery News - Over-retraction May Be a Common Cause of Sleeve Stenosis

General Surgery News - Over-retraction May Be a Common Cause of Sleeve Stenosis

General Surgery News - Bougie Size, Reinforcement Tied to Reduced Bariatric Leaks

General Surgery News - Bougie Size, Reinforcement Tied to Reduced Bariatric Leaks

Low BMI Linked To Higher Mortality After Surgery Than High BMI

Low BMI Linked To Higher Mortality After Surgery Than High BMI

Georgia trying to control pill mills  | ajc.com

Georgia trying to control pill mills | ajc.com

Hospital mistakes kept secret  | ajc.com

Hospital mistakes kept secret | ajc.com

Exploring The Role Of Endoscopy In Treating Obesity

Exploring The Role Of Endoscopy In Treating Obesity

Four New Lawmakers Support ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011

Four New Lawmakers Support ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why treating patients like customers means reimbursement dollars - FierceHealthcare

Why treating patients like customers means reimbursement dollars - FierceHealthcare

Medical News: FDA Yanks Avastin Breast Cancer Indication - in Oncology/Hematology, Breast Cancer from MedPage Today

Medical News: FDA Yanks Avastin Breast Cancer Indication - in Oncology/Hematology, Breast Cancer from MedPage Today

Albany Herald | Lawsuit filed to halt hospital acquisition

Albany Herald | Lawsuit filed to halt hospital acquisition

Top patient care performers are most profitable hospitals - FierceHealthcare

Top patient care performers are most profitable hospitals - FierceHealthcare

Congressional Deficit Panel Still at Loggerheads - NYTimes.com

Congressional Deficit Panel Still at Loggerheads - NYTimes.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Patient compensation could reduce malpractice costs, defensive medicine - FierceHealthcare

Patient compensation could reduce malpractice costs, defensive medicine - FierceHealthcare

Georgia Medicaid doesn't help smokers quit | The Augusta Chronicle

Georgia Medicaid doesn't help smokers quit | The Augusta Chronicle

Surgery patient readmissions cost $300M, Johns Hopkins says - FierceHealthcare

Surgery patient readmissions cost $300M, Johns Hopkins says - FierceHealthcare

Surgery patient readmissions cost $300M, Johns Hopkins says - FierceHealthcare

Surgery patient readmissions cost $300M, Johns Hopkins says - FierceHealthcare

A Little Electronic Help for Doctors Helps Hospitals, Study Shows - Health Blog - WSJ

A Little Electronic Help for Doctors Helps Hospitals, Study Shows - Health Blog - WSJ

General Surgery News - Surgeons Taking the Leap: Dropping Insurance

General Surgery News - Surgeons Taking the Leap: Dropping Insurance

General Surgery News - Preventing Nosocomial Infections Saves Lives, Money

General Surgery News - Preventing Nosocomial Infections Saves Lives, Money

General Surgery News - Increased Alcoholism Rates Seen in Gastric Bypass Patients

General Surgery News - Increased Alcoholism Rates Seen in Gastric Bypass Patients

Massive pill mill raid spans 7 metro counties  | ajc.com

Massive pill mill raid spans 7 metro counties | ajc.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be clear about doc compensation-formula expectations - FiercePracticeManagement

Be clear about doc compensation-formula expectations - FiercePracticeManagement

AMA aims to halt 'massive, expensive' ICD-10 - FiercePracticeManagement

AMA aims to halt 'massive, expensive' ICD-10 - FiercePracticeManagement

Report identifies facility safety concerns at Grady Memorial Hospital  | ajc.com

Report identifies facility safety concerns at Grady Memorial Hospital | ajc.com

amednews: Communication failures over diagnostic tests prompting more lawsuits :: Nov. 15, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Communication failures over diagnostic tests prompting more lawsuits :: Nov. 15, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: CMS pushes back Medicare revalidation deadline to 2015 :: Nov. 14, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: CMS pushes back Medicare revalidation deadline to 2015 :: Nov. 14, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Medicare 27.4% doctor pay cut set for 2012 unless Congress acts :: Nov. 14, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Medicare 27.4% doctor pay cut set for 2012 unless Congress acts :: Nov. 14, 2011 ... American Medical News

Gwinnett | Georgia AG pleased by high court's health law review

Gwinnett | Georgia AG pleased by high court's health law review

Super Committee Clock | Jamie Dupree Washington Insider

Super Committee Clock | Jamie Dupree Washington Insider

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Study: Medicare Coverage of Weight Loss Surgery Lowered Price, Risk

Study: Medicare Coverage of Weight Loss Surgery Lowered Price, Risk

7 Goals for ICD-10 Preparation for the Next Six Months

7 Goals for ICD-10 Preparation for the Next Six Months

Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery in ASCs: 5 Thoughts From Dr. Huy Nguyen

Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery in ASCs: 5 Thoughts From Dr. Huy Nguyen

amednews: House passes bill to stop 3% withholding rule on Medicare pay :: Nov. 7, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: House passes bill to stop 3% withholding rule on Medicare pay :: Nov. 7, 2011 ... American Medical News

Computer Trained To Evaluate Breast Cancer

Computer Trained To Evaluate Breast Cancer

Reopened National Practitioner Data Bank restrictions 'protect' disciplined docs - FierceHealthcare

Reopened National Practitioner Data Bank restrictions 'protect' disciplined docs - FierceHealthcare

Friday, November 11, 2011

To reduce malpractice risk, explain risks of skipping care - FiercePracticeManagement

To reduce malpractice risk, explain risks of skipping care - FiercePracticeManagement

Physician social media users say ROI is real - FiercePracticeManagement

Physician social media users say ROI is real - FiercePracticeManagement

Metastatic Breast And Ovarian Cancer Vaccine - Promising Results

Metastatic Breast And Ovarian Cancer Vaccine - Promising Results

Medical testing companies under scrutiny – USATODAY.com

Medical testing companies under scrutiny – USATODAY.com

Senate GOP questions healthcare law’s $10B innovation center - The Hill's Healthwatch

Senate GOP questions healthcare law’s $10B innovation center - The Hill's Healthwatch

Gallup: Uninsured adults rising - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com

Gallup: Uninsured adults rising - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com

Decision on Health Care Cases Could Come Monday - Law Blog - WSJ

Decision on Health Care Cases Could Come Monday - Law Blog - WSJ

Health Of Gums Improves With Weight Loss

Health Of Gums Improves With Weight Loss

Thursday, November 10, 2011

8 Things to Know About the ACO Final Rule | Hospital-Physician Relationships

8 Things to Know About the ACO Final Rule | Hospital-Physician Relationships

Financial Advantages Under ACO Model Only Possible With Reduced Payments to Providers? | Hospital-Physician Relationships

Financial Advantages Under ACO Model Only Possible With Reduced Payments to Providers? | Hospital-Physician Relationships

Hospitals sue gov't over 20% state Medicaid cuts - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Hospitals sue gov't over 20% state Medicaid cuts - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Health system pilots see lackluster bundled payment results - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Health system pilots see lackluster bundled payment results - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Congress grills IRS on hospital tax-exemptions - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Congress grills IRS on hospital tax-exemptions - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Senate to probe Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Quest, LabCorp for alleged billion-dollar fraud - FierceHealthcare

Senate to probe Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Quest, LabCorp for alleged billion-dollar fraud - FierceHealthcare

Docs sue Kaiser, Sutter over peer review process - FierceHealthcare

Docs sue Kaiser, Sutter over peer review process - FierceHealthcare

Hospital to pay $52M to former radiology group partner - FierceHealthcare

Hospital to pay $52M to former radiology group partner - FierceHealthcare

Patients use fewer care services when asked to pay more - FierceHealthcare

Patients use fewer care services when asked to pay more - FierceHealthcare

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Surgery to Prevent Strokes Is Found Ineffective - NYTimes.com

Surgery to Prevent Strokes Is Found Ineffective - NYTimes.com

General Surgery News - "Surgeon" Ranked Second Most Overrated Job in Survey

General Surgery News - "Surgeon" Ranked Second Most Overrated Job in Survey

Hospitals with best patient satisfaction to draw in reimbursements - FierceHealthcare

Hospitals with best patient satisfaction to draw in reimbursements - FierceHealthcare

Academic hospitals have better cancer patient outcomes - FierceHealthcare

Academic hospitals have better cancer patient outcomes - FierceHealthcare

Appeals Court Rules Health Law's Individual Mandate Constitutional - Kaiser Health News

Appeals Court Rules Health Law's Individual Mandate Constitutional - Kaiser Health News

Feds give Georgia insurers more time to comply with health care law  | ajc.com

Feds give Georgia insurers more time to comply with health care law | ajc.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Doctor Groups Seem Less Wary of Medicare Changes - NYTimes.com

Doctor Groups Seem Less Wary of Medicare Changes - NYTimes.com

Hospital employment climbing in October - FierceHealthcare

Hospital employment climbing in October - FierceHealthcare

Add NPs to reduce emergency visits in half, coordinate care - FierceHealthcare

Add NPs to reduce emergency visits in half, coordinate care - FierceHealthcare

Medicare patients sue HHS over outpatient status - FierceHealthcare

Medicare patients sue HHS over outpatient status - FierceHealthcare

Study Raises Questions About ‘Bundling’ To Pay Doctors - Health Blog - WSJ

Study Raises Questions About ‘Bundling’ To Pay Doctors - Health Blog - WSJ

Study Finds Potential, Challenges For Bundled Payments – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Study Finds Potential, Challenges For Bundled Payments – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Kennestone becomes Level 2 trauma center | Georgia Health News

Kennestone becomes Level 2 trauma center | Georgia Health News

Increasing Medicare Age Could Lead To Higher Costs : NPR

Increasing Medicare Age Could Lead To Higher Costs : NPR

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hospital Chief On Apology To James Woods For Brother’s ER Death | CommonHealth

Hospital Chief On Apology To James Woods For Brother’s ER Death | CommonHealth

Cancer drug shortages are tied to economics, experts say - latimes.com

Cancer drug shortages are tied to economics, experts say - latimes.com

Price (Bill) Is Right For Cain’s Health Fix – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Price (Bill) Is Right For Cain’s Health Fix – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Hospital Care: How Smart Phones and Tablets Are Helping Patients - US News and World Report

Hospital Care: How Smart Phones and Tablets Are Helping Patients - US News and World Report

Aetna and Emory announce new partnership for patient care  | ajc.com

Aetna and Emory announce new partnership for patient care | ajc.com

Medical News: ASCO Calls for New Approaches in Cancer Research - in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today

Medical News: ASCO Calls for New Approaches in Cancer Research - in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today

Interest Groups Try to Catch Debt Committee’s Ear - NYTimes.com

Interest Groups Try to Catch Debt Committee’s Ear - NYTimes.com

Discovery Whilst Studying Why Measles Spreads So Quickly Has Implications For Ovarian, Breast And Lung Cancers

Discovery Whilst Studying Why Measles Spreads So Quickly Has Implications For Ovarian, Breast And Lung Cancers

amednews: AMA launches online group for e-claims :: Oct 31, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: AMA launches online group for e-claims :: Oct 31, 2011 ... American Medical News

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Georgia drug monitoring program gets $400,000 grant  | ajc.com

Georgia drug monitoring program gets $400,000 grant | ajc.com

amednews: Physician practice purchases already surpass 2010 levels :: Nov. 2, 2011 ... American Medical News

amednews: Physician practice purchases already surpass 2010 levels :: Nov. 2, 2011 ... American Medical News

IRS to review nonprofit hospitals in tax-exempt ACOs - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

IRS to review nonprofit hospitals in tax-exempt ACOs - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

Hospitals to See 1.9% Jump in Medicare Outpatient Fees in 2012 - Bloomberg

Hospitals to See 1.9% Jump in Medicare Outpatient Fees in 2012 - Bloomberg

CMS Extends the Deadline to Tuesday November 8th to Apply for a Significant Hardship Exemption to Avoid the 2012 Electronic Prescribing Payment Penalty

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline to apply for the significant hardship exemption to Tuesday, November 8th, 2011.  If you missed the previous November 1st deadline, CMS has extended the deadline by one week, so it is still not too late to apply for the 2012 Medicare Electronic Prescribing hardship exemption.  If you are an eligible professional who was unable to report at least 10 electronic prescriptions from January 1st to June 30th in order to qualify for the 2011 Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program, you may still receive a 1% penalty for the 2012 electronic prescribing payment adjustment.  To avoid this penalty, eligible professionals and group practices participating in the group practice reporting option (GPRO) must apply by, Tuesday, November 8, 2011 for the 2012 Medicare Electronic Prescribing hardship exemption.   

On September 6, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule: Medicare Program—Changes to the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program.  The final rule made several key changes to the e-Prescribing program.  The ACS was actively involved responding to the proposed changes to the eRx Incentive Program in order to reflect the concerns of surgeons attempting to comply with the program. We are pleased that CMS took into account many concerns raised by ACS, along with other organizations.  While we continue to believe additional changes should be made to the program, we are encouraged that the current changes will help some surgeons to avoid the eRx penalty.      

In order to assist you with the hardship exemption request process, we are providing a step-by-step guidance document that explains how to apply to for the hardship exemption http://www.facs.org/ahp/erx-exemption.pdf.
   
For more information on the Medicare e-Prescribing program and whether you are an eligible professional, please see the e-Prescribing article from the June issue of the American College of Surgeons Bulletin at: http://www.facs.org/ahp/pubs/whatsurg0611.pdf  or contact the ACS Washington Office at 202-337-2701 or ahp@facs.org.

For additional information from CMS on the e-Prescribing program, please see http://www.cms.gov/erxincentive/.    

For a copy of the Final Rule, please visit:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-09-06/pdf/2011-22629.pdf

Back on the brink: Doctors again face steep Medicare cuts unless Congress acts before Jan. 1 - The Washington Post

Back on the brink: Doctors again face steep Medicare cuts unless Congress acts before Jan. 1 - The Washington Post

Docs plagued by little patient time, misinformation - FiercePracticeManagement

Docs plagued by little patient time, misinformation - FiercePracticeManagement

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

IRS to review nonprofit hospitals in tax-exempt ACOs - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

IRS to review nonprofit hospitals in tax-exempt ACOs - FierceHealthFinance - Health Finance, Healthcare Finance

CMS final rule to slash Medicare payments by 27.4% - FiercePracticeManagement

CMS final rule to slash Medicare payments by 27.4% - FiercePracticeManagement

Cancer Research May Advance With Fast New Method For Mapping Blood Vessels

Cancer Research May Advance With Fast New Method For Mapping Blood Vessels

Albany Herald | High court considers Rehberg suit

Albany Herald | High court considers Rehberg suit

NPR- US Supreme Court hears case invoving GA Surgeons & Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany

Supreme Court To Weigh Case Of False Testimony : NPR