PCMS ALLIANCE HOLDS MAY FUNDRAISER: The Pima County Medical Society Alliance hosts “Wine Country in the Desert” on Saturday, May 3 between 6-9 p.m. at St. Phillips Plaza (courtyard).
Please join us for wine tasting and tapas to benefit Mobile Meals of Tucson and honor all the hardworking PCMSA members. Tickets are $75. Bodega Kitchen & Wine is graciously sponsoring the Tapas.
For information, tickets and sponsorship packages go to: https://itrulycare.com/events/wine-country-in-the-desert or contact: Anestasha Lynn at email@example.com, 820-1622.
2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: We’re seven weeks into the session and more than 1,100 bills have been filed. PCMS, MCMS and ArMA are assessing more than a 110 healthcare-related bills that may require Society action. Bills related to medical liability, physician reimbursements, GME funding and proposition 203 surplus funds for medical marijuana are being considered. Legislative action is also underway to the State’s AHCCCS program, scope of practice considerations for midwives, chiropractors and optometrists. There’s a lot on the agenda, but before any of these bills can make their way into law they must undergo committee scrutiny, amendments, approval and a vote of the full House before moving to the Senate where the process starts all over again. It’s a long and cumbersome process before any bill makes it to a bicameral floor vote. Many will die on the vine. We’ll keep you posted.
AMB GETS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: C. Lloyd Vest, II has been named the new Executive Director for The Arizona Medical Board. Vest currently is the General Counsel for the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. He begins work on March 17. It’s our plan to invite Vest to a PCMS Board of Directors meeting in the very near future. As we know more about him and when he will appear in Tucson, we’ll pass it along.
PHYSICIANS NOT HAPPY WITH EHR FUNCTIONALITY: A recent survey conducted by research firm MPI Group and Medical Economics shows two-thirds of physicians would not purchase their current EHR system again. Find the full story here: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/physician-outcry-ehr-functionality-cost-will-shake-health-information-technol
ICD-10 CODING: The requirement to use the ICD-10 coding system takes effect Oct. 1, 2014. PCMS is working with CMS to hold workshops to help members prepare for the transition. They’ll be held at the Society in March or April. We’ll let you know when dates and times are confirmed.
In the meantime, if your practice hasn’t developed an implementation plan, the time to do your homework is now. These resource sites can assist.
Online ICD-10 Guide: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/ICD-10ImplementationTimelines.html
Introduction to ICD-10: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/ProviderResources.html
Basics for Small and Rural Practices: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Provider-Resources.html
AMA’s What You Need to Know for the Upcoming Transition to ICD-10: http://www.azmed.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/icd-10-transition.pdf
AMA’s Your 12-Step Transition Plan for ICD-10: http://www.azmed.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/AMA_icd-10-action-plan-12-step-transition.pdf
SGR REPEAL MOVES FORWARD: Leadership of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the congressional Doctors Caucus reached an agreement on repealing the broken Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR). The legislation, called the SGR Repeal and Medical Provider Payment Modernization Act, now goes to both chambers of Congress, and includes some of the following changes:
1) Permanent repeal of the SGR 2) Automatic annual 0.5 percent increase to physicians over each of the next five years as Medicare transitions to a quality of care payment system 3) Consolidation and restructuring of three Medicare quality reporting programs into one 4) Voluntary alternative payment models that provide five percent bonus for physicians 5) Clinical care guidelines developed by physicians for reducing inappropriate and wasteful care
The big challenge is financing the repeal. As of August 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated repeal to cost $245 billion. Lawmakers are expected to insist other federal spending be cut in order to fully finance the cost. Doctors face a 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements on April 1 if Congress cannot reach a deal.
MIX-AT-SIX: PCMS 2014 President Timothy Marshall and wife, Denise, will host the first Society Mix-at-Six on Saturday, March 1 between 6-8 p.m. at their Foothills home. More than a half dozen, no-agenda mixers are planned for the year. Late last year the Board of Directors voted to underwrite the events with funds traditionally used to publish and mail the PCMS monthly bulletin. The newsletter ended in October last year. To find out more about the socials, see the February Sombrero.
This is your opportunity to mingle with colleagues and introduce non-members to the Society. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be provided Dr. Marshall’s home address and phone number once we receive your attendance confirmation.
STATISTICS FOR PHYSICIANS: AAPS begins a new series of webinars on issues in clinical practice. The first two lectures on medical statistics provide basic tools all physicians need in the era of “evidence-based medicine.” Fees are $10 per hour for paid-up AAPS members, and $25 per hour for others. Participation is free to medical students and physicians in training. This is a great opportunity to gain CME at a convenient time without leaving home. For more information got to: http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/event/statistics_for_physicians_part_i
FMCSA SETS NEW RULES TO CONDUCT MEDICAL CERTIFICATION EXAMS: Family physicians who conduct physicals for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers have new federal requirements for certification starting May 21. The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires medical examiners to undergo training, testing and be registered before performing physicals. More information may be found at the FMCSA website.
2013 PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS: Any PCMS member may nominate a physician for this annual award. Contact Bill Fearneyhough at the medical society or email him -email@example.com. He can provide you with the nominee criteria. Nominators are not identified, although they may be asked for a more formal nomination letter before the Board of Directors vote.
PCMS / FAVORITE STAFFING SERVICE: If you need staffing, contact Favorite our affiliate medical staffing service. Favorite provides a full range of services including direct hire, contract, temp- to-perm, permanent placement and “just –in-time” per diem. Special rates are given to member physicians. Call Amy Erbe at 319-5766. She is anxious to assist.
WALK-WITH-A-DOC: The Society is teaming with the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) to host and provide physician leaders for the monthly Walk-With-A-Doc outings. Walkers sign in at the ramada east of Swan Bridge on the south bank.PCMS physicians are encouraged to urge patients to participate in the program. Each walk begins with a brief discussion on a health topic and includes a one- or two-mile walk on level ground. Please contact Dennis Carey at 795-7985 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. There is one more walk scheduled for 2013. It's on December 14. In 2014 walks will be held on January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, September 13, October 11, November 8 and December 13. They begin at 8 a.m.