Weekly Member Update - April 23rd, 2010

April 23, 2010

A Message from the ASSH President, Robert M. Szabo, MD

Did You Know?

SGR Update - From AAOS

AOA/JOA International Traveling Fellow, Jeffrey Yao, MD

New Physician Guide Available from AMA

Pay Your Pledge

Obama Nominates Dr. Donald Berwick for Administrator of CMS – From AMA


A Message from the ASSH President

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and now more than ever, we are seeing the impact that our actions have on the planet.  Many take steps in their personal lives to “reduce their footprint” – but how many of us have taken the time to assess the impact of our practice in healthcare?  Hospitals produce millions of tons of waste each year.  It’s a balancing act – giving the absolute highest quality of care to our patients without forgetting about how our actions will affect lives in years to come. 

There are several resources out there to help us green our practices.  MedShare collects unused medical supplies and redistributes it to needy hospitals.  Dispose My Meds helps with the safe disposal of medications, and there are a plethora of ways to encourage your staff to run your office in earth friendly ways.  Educate yourself and get creative.  Do you have any great stories about what your office has done?  Share it with us so we can pass the ideas along. 

Bob Szabo

Did You Know?

…that the ASSH Annual Meeting website now features a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section?  ASSH staff compiled all of the common questions and inquiries from attendees about the meeting into one easy-to-navigate page.  Need to print your registration receipt?  Want to know how many CME credits are available at the meeting?  Looking for which courses will be recorded and sold?  All of the answers you need are now in the FAQ.

Don’t see your question?  Email am10@assh.org or call (847.384.8300) for assistance.

SGR Update - From AAOS

Medpage Today reports that the US Congress has passed the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 and the president has signed it into law.  The law extends the zero percent update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule through May 31, 2010.  The 21.2 percent pay cut mandated under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula went into effect on April 1, but the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had held off processing claims for 10 business days to give Congress time to reverse the cuts.  Because Congress acted after that time-frame, CMS announced on April 15 that the agency would start processing claims for medical services provided on or after April 1.  The agency states that any claims processed under the reduced pay rates will be corrected.

AOA/JOA International Traveling Fellow Recipient, Jeffrey Yao, MD

Congratulations to ASSH member Jeffrey Yao, MD!  He has been selected as one of the AOA-Japanese Orthopaedic Association International Traveling Fellows.  As an ambassordor of the AOA, he will be spending 3 weeks in Japan, visiting top Japanese academic centers and historical landmarks.  Out of the four fellows participating in the program, Dr. Yao is the only hand surgeon.  As a past ASSH Young Leader, we are certain he will represent the specialty well.  To learn more about this opportunity, please visit the  American Orthopaedic Association’s website.

New Physician Guide Available from AMA

Court-required notices are now finally being sent to physicians across the country regarding their options under the terms of the historic UnitedHealth settlement.  To help physicians file claims in the $350 million settlement, the AMA launched a new online guide that provides physicians with step-by-step assistance in determining eligibility, assembling documentation and filing a claim.  Please see the attached news release from the AMA for additional information. 

Pay Your Pledge

As the Foundation continues to move toward goals for training, funding and patient care, AFSH thanks all donors for their continued generosity.
To the partners in the Future In Hand Campaign, pledge installments for 2010 have been prepared.  Donors can view their balances due this year by visiting the Member Center and following the “Check My Pledge” link.  A username and password will be needed to continue.  Amounts listed are due December 31, 2010. 

Questions can be directed to the Central Office at (847) 384-8300 or AFSH@assh.org.

President Obama Nominates Dr. Donald Berwick for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – From AMA

On Tuesday, President Obama nominated Dr. Donald Berwick to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services (CMS).  Dr. Berwick currently serves as President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

“Dr. Berwick has dedicated his career to improving outcomes for patients and providing better care at lower cost,” President Obama said.  “That’s one of the core missions facing our next CMS Administrator, and I’m confident that Don will be an outstanding leader for the agency and the millions of Americans it serves.”

Dr. Donald Berwick is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.  He is also a pediatrician, adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and a consultant in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Read more on the AMA website