Weekly Member Update - April 2nd, 2010

April 2nd, 2010

A Message from the ASSH President

Maintenance Scheduled For ASSH Website - April 8th

Keeping Up with MOC by Thomas E. Trumble, MD

How Health System Reform Affects Patients - From AMA

Medicare Pay Held So Congress Can Undo 21% Cut - From AMA

A Message from the ASSH President

The Hand Society, at its very core, is an organization devoted to education.  From patients to medical students to the most skilled of our colleagues, our mission is to increase knowledge in hopes of better outcomes.  It is no small task then to serve as the first Education Division Director of ASSH, as Ed Akelman has done for the past  four years.  He blazed new trails and set the bar high, providing important oversight to our publication efforts and our courses.  His outstanding work has increased our portfolio of quality educational products, and I am so grateful for the time he has given us.  We will miss him, but we are also excited to have Alex Shin follow in his footsteps.  Alex has done wonderful work for the Hand Society in a number of capacities; he has served various committees and Council, and he is one of this year’s Annual Meeting program chairs.  I’ve asked him to share a bit of his vision for the Education Division with you. - Bob Szabo

ASSH Members,

I am both honored and privileged to be named the Education Director-Elect by the Hand Society membership.  During the next several weeks, I will be catching up on Dr. Akelman’s spectacular efforts and focusing on the direction he has taken over the past several years.   The iconic symbol of the Mayo Clinic with its three shields has served as a source of inspiration to me.  The three shields represent patient care, education and research - each which are intertwined and cannot stand alone.  This is very similar to the ASSH symbol, which depicts three hands in a circle. 
It is my hope that the Education Division can work together with the Research and Practice Divisions to give our members the necessary tools to improve the care of hand surgery patients.  Education comes in many forms, and this division’s goal is to improve aging products, create new educational tools, listen to our membership's constructive criticisms, and give our members timely and important educational tools and venues that ultimately improve patient care.
I look forward to the opportunity and the challenge.
Alexander Y. Shin, MD
Mayo Clinic
Professor and Consultant of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Division of Hand Surgery


Maintenance Scheduled For ASSH Website

The ASSH website and Central Office database will undergo maintenance on Thursday, April 8th from 8 AM - 11 AM. During this time, you may be unable to login to access Members Only content on www.assh.org and/or you may be unable to access your profile, your CME history, register for a meeting, or purchase anything from the store.  Access to the Membership Directory and Find a Hand Surgeon will also be briefly affected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and will do all we can to minimize the interruptions in service.

Keeping Up with MOC by Thomas E. Trumble, MD, President-elect

You may or may not be aware that the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Board of Surgery now require documentation of life-long learning and self-assessment. For maintenance of certification, a diplomate in Orthopaedic Surgery must earn 120 credits of Category 1 CME every three years. In addition, twenty of these CME credits have to be in the form of a validated self-assessment examination instrument. The good news is that the self-assessment exam by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand meets this need. It provides twenty CME units for a single examination. From a personal standpoint, I take the self-assessment examination every year to guarantee not only that I meet and exceed my Maintenance of Certification requirement for self-assessment, but that I earn half of the required number CME hours every three years without needing to travel to attend a live meeting. I usually earn the rest of the required CME through attending the ASSH Annual Meeting or through the online journal CME.

You should also know that the ASSH maintains a record of all your CME activities that can be easily downloaded from your online membership account. This streamlines the process of recording your CME activity for Board certification and Maintenance of Certification. If you have not previously accessed your CME record online, learn how to do so on the ASSH website and stay on top of your CME record. Find CME options like the self-assessment exam that work with your budget and schedule.

I encourage all my colleagues to register and take the exam. It is a great way of testing your knowledge base and meeting the requirements for MOC. The registration deadline for this year’s self-assessment examination has been extended through 8:00 AM CDT, Monday, April 5.  Visit the Self-Assessment webpage to learn more and register.

How Health System Reform Affects Patients - From AMA

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590)—health system reform legislation signed into law by President Obama on March 23—contains a number of key provisions for you and your patients. Some provisions may have an immediate impact on your practice and patients, while others will not take effect for some time.

Given the new direction for the nation's health system, the AMA has developed Health System Reform Insight to help you understand the new law and how it will affect you, when certain provisions are scheduled to take effect, how you can be ready when the regulations go into effect and what your patients need to know. The first issue of the series explained how health system reform will affect physician practices. Now, the focus is on information for your patients.  Please visit the AMA's health system reform website (PDF) for more information.

Medicare Pay Held So Congress Can Undo 21% Cut - From AMA

For the second time in as many months, Congress failed to prevent a 21% cut in Medicare physician rates from taking effect after lawmakers were unable to agree on legislation to enact another short-term payment patch.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nev.) could not obtain unanimous consent during debate on the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 on March 25 and March 26. Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R, Okla.), blocked consent, saying the nearly $10 billion measure should be offset. The bill would have delayed the 21% Medicare pay cut from April 1 until May 1.

Reid filed a cloture motion to force a vote, but the Senate ran out of time to schedule it before starting its two-week recess. The next chance to consider the legislation, which also would extend long-term unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for jobless workers, will be after Congress reconvenes April 12.  Read the rest of the article here.

For more information on upcoming ASSH events and deadlines, visit the ASSH Member Center.