Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Compassionate care key in decreasing patient pain, boosting outcomes - FierceHealthcare

Compassionate care key in decreasing patient pain, boosting outcomes - FierceHealthcare

Medical errors traumatize doctors and nurses - FierceHealthcare

Medical errors traumatize doctors and nurses - FierceHealthcare

Free market hospitals provide up-front cost of surgery | www.wsbtv.com

Free market hospitals provide up-front cost of surgery | www.wsbtv.com

Burwell soliciting ideas for 'increased transparency' at HHS - Jennifer Haberkorn - POLITICO

Burwell soliciting ideas for 'increased transparency' at HHS - Jennifer Haberkorn - POLITICO

F.D.A. Issues Caution on Use of Uterine Surgery Device That Can Spread Cancer - NYTimes.com

F.D.A. Issues Caution on Use of Uterine Surgery Device That Can Spread Cancer - NYTimes.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

FDA Approves 'Abuse-Resistant' Narcotic Painkiller

FDA Approves 'Abuse-Resistant' Narcotic Painkiller

Some Newly Insured Under 'Obamacare' May Have Trouble Finding Doctors

Some Newly Insured Under 'Obamacare' May Have Trouble Finding Doctors

Optimize patient flow: The key to reducing readmissions - FierceHealthcare

Optimize patient flow: The key to reducing readmissions - FierceHealthcare

Grady contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to end - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Grady contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to end - Atlanta Business Chronicle

$30 million accounting oversight at St. Francis leads to layoffs | Business | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

$30 million accounting oversight at St. Francis leads to layoffs | Business | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Some Experts Dispute Claims Of Looming Doctor Shortage | Kaiser Health News

Some Experts Dispute Claims Of Looming Doctor Shortage | Kaiser Health News

CALL 1-877-996-4464 TODAY! The SGR Repeal and Medicare Payment Modernization Act


 CALL 1-877-996-4464 TODAY!  
The SGR Repeal and Medicare Payment Modernization Act 

Now is the time to put as much pressure on Congress as we can to pass The SGR Repeal and Medicare Payment Modernization Act (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) this year, as leaders in both the House and Senate have not yet committed to holding a vote on this critical legislation. We must keep the pressure on Senators and Representatives to ensure leaders in both chambers make this is a high-priority issue, and bring this legislation to the floor this yearIt is OUR job as Advocacy Leaders for the College to make sure this message is widely spread and acted upon.
 
There is a coordinated effort within the physician community to flood Capitol Hill with phone calls from all specialties pushing action. The reason we are using phone calls instead of emails through the SurgeonsVoice platform is that phone calls add a certain sense of urgency, and coordinated with many other physician societies, lends itself to a shorter term, more immediate strategy.  (There will literally be an intern in each office tallying the number of calls on this issue, and the greater the number, the more likely the Representative will quickly take positive action.) 

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED TODAY
We need your urgent help. Using the information below, please call your Representative and Senators and urge them to ensure action is taken immediately to repeal the SGR before Congress adjourns for the year.

BACKGROUND
The physician community continues to urge Congress to pass The SGR Repeal and Medicare Payment Modernization Act (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) this year, however leaders in both the House and Senate have not yet committed to holding a vote on this critical legislation. 
 
Surgeons must keep the pressure on their Senators and Representatives to ensure leaders in both chambers make this is a high-priority issue, and bring this legislation to the floor this year.

INSTRUCTIONS
Please call toll-free 1-877-996-4464 today.
 
You will be asked to enter your home zip code and will then be connected to your Representative and Senators' offices. Once you are connected, tell them you are a constituent and leave your name, phone number, and address, along with the suggested message below.
 
PHONE MESSAGE
“As a surgeon and as your constituent, I ask you to urge Congressional leaders to bring to the floor and enact H.R. 4015/S. 2000, The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, before the end of this year.”

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? CONTACT ACS ADVOCACY STAFF:
Washington Office Phone: 202-337-2701 or Email: 
ahp@facs.org
 
Thank you for taking the time to take action on this critical issue. Please encourage your peers and your contacts to do the same.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

3-D Model of Heart May Help Surgeons Fix Defects

3-D Model of Heart May Help Surgeons Fix Defects

Mastectomy Rates Rising Among Women Eligible for Lumpectomy

Mastectomy Rates Rising Among Women Eligible for Lumpectomy

Docs happier when they can do what they want to do - FierceHealthcare

Docs happier when they can do what they want to do - FierceHealthcare

Attacks on health-care workers, nurses, doctors spark alarm | The Augusta Chronicle

Attacks on health-care workers, nurses, doctors spark alarm | The Augusta Chronicle

Big doings in state’s booming health IT industry | Georgia Health News

Big doings in state’s booming health IT industry | Georgia Health News

Seniors’ Obesity-Counseling Benefit Goes Largely Unused | Kaiser Health News

Seniors’ Obesity-Counseling Benefit Goes Largely Unused | Kaiser Health News

Monday, November 17, 2014

CMS Releases 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule Final Rule - Update from ACS Washington Office


 CMS Releases 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule Final Rule - Update from ACS Washington Office 

Last Friday evening, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, which included a provision to transition all 10- and 90-day global codes to 0-day global codes.  The transition for 10-day global codes would begin in 2017 and the transition for 90-day global codes would begin in 2018.  CMS has not yet developed a methodology for making this transition. 

CMS believes a transition to 0-day global codes would:
·         Increase the accuracy of PFS payment by setting payment rates for individual services based more closely on the typical resources used;
·         Avoid potential duplicative or unwarranted payments when a patient receives post-operative care from a different practitioner;
·         Eliminate disparities between the payment for E/M services in the global periods and those furnished individually;
·         Maintain the same-day policy of including pre- and post-operative services in the 0-day global; and
·         Facilitate availability of more accurate data for new payment models and quality research.   
ACS Advocacy to Date
Prior to the release of the Final Rule, ACS submitted a detailed comment letter to CMS stressing that CMS should not move forward with this proposal without a comprehensive analysis of the effect it would have on the provision of surgical care, surgical patients, and the surgeons who care for them.  Given that this is a wide-ranging proposal affecting well over one-third of all CPT codes, we asserted that CMS should delay its implementation until stakeholders have had sufficient time to comment meaningfully.  In the interim, we described and made recommendations on a number of issues that CMS must resolve before moving forward with the proposed policy.  These include:  (1) CMS’ data accuracy concerns; (2) implementation considerations; and (3) unintended or unknown consequences.  ACS also held a conference call with CMS staff to reiterate these concerns and to share the initial results of data analyses that ACS has done to examine the impact of this policy.  Our letter and communications with CMS underscored that, above all, ACS is committed to high quality care of the surgical patient. 

ACS Advocacy Moving Forward
ACS will continue to oppose the implementation of this policy unless CMS assures that it will not negatively impact patients and can be implemented in a way that properly accounts for the care that surgeons provide.  

In the next few months, ACS will take the following steps:
·         Submit comments to the Final Rule to CMS by the December 31 deadline;
·         Develop and implement a legislative strategy;
·         Continue working with a statistician to conduct a data analysis of the impact of this policy on surgeons;
·         Meet with CMS;
·         Coordinate efforts with the surgical coalition;
·         Discuss at the December GSCRC meeting and at the January HPAG meeting;
·         Coordinate with the AMA, AAMC, MGMA, AHA, and other non-surgical groups; and
·         Update ACS Fellows using special emails, NewsScope, the Bulletin, the Advocate, and the ACS website.  

Joint Commission: Evidence-based care reaps positive results - FierceHealthcare

Joint Commission: Evidence-based care reaps positive results - FierceHealthcare

What to expect in Year 2 of ACA enrollment | Georgia Health News

What to expect in Year 2 of ACA enrollment | Georgia Health News

Some Hiccups, but Federal Health Exchange Website Is in Good Health - NYTimes.com

Some Hiccups, but Federal Health Exchange Website Is in Good Health - NYTimes.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

American College of Surgeons-Ebola Virus Transmission – Resources and News

Ebola Virus Transmission – Resources and News

Skin Cancer Costs Soar Compared to Other Malignancies: CDC

Skin Cancer Costs Soar Compared to Other Malignancies: CDC

CDC buying more protective gear for hospitals treating Ebola patients - Atlanta Business Chronicle

CDC buying more protective gear for hospitals treating Ebola patients - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Local hospital leaders Stuenkel, Quinlivan expect changes to Obamacare - Rome News-Tribune: Business

Local hospital leaders Stuenkel, Quinlivan expect changes to Obamacare - Rome News-Tribune: Business

Latest ACA court case reverberates in Georgia | Georgia Health News

Latest ACA court case reverberates in Georgia | Georgia Health News

In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Will Examine Key Part Of Health Law | Kaiser Health News

In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Will Examine Key Part Of Health Law | Kaiser Health News

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Combo Treatment for Advanced Melanoma Seems to Improve Survival

Combo Treatment for Advanced Melanoma Seems to Improve Survival

Functional medicine: A new model of care? - FierceHealthcare

Functional medicine: A new model of care? - FierceHealthcare

Big Medicine can lead to big monopolies - FierceHealthcare

Big Medicine can lead to big monopolies - FierceHealthcare

Medicare readmissions penalties will hurt COPD patients, teaching hospitals - FierceHealthcare

Medicare readmissions penalties will hurt COPD patients, teaching hospitals - FierceHealthcare

Columbus Regional to eliminate 219 jobs, includes 99 layoffs | Business | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Columbus Regional to eliminate 219 jobs, includes 99 layoffs | Business | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

GOP Wins All Statewide Posts; Perdue, Deal Win Without Runoffs | WABE 90.1 FM

GOP Wins All Statewide Posts; Perdue, Deal Win Without Runoffs | WABE 90.1 FM

Suit claims WellCare improperly pocketed funds | Georgia Health News

Suit claims WellCare improperly pocketed funds | Georgia Health News

Obama Administration Closing Health Law Loophole For Plans Without Hospitalization | Kaiser Health News

Obama Administration Closing Health Law Loophole For Plans Without Hospitalization | Kaiser Health News