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 Weekly Member Update - July 29, 2011

Book Your Housing for the ASSH Annual Meeting - Aug. 3 deadline

Physicians: Do We Know Your Practice Type? 

Resident and Fellow Fast-Track Seed Grants - Aug. 15 deadline

Thank you to Our AFSH Donors

AAOS and Other Societies Express Concern Over Changes to eRx Program

AMA Outlines Standardized Prior Authorization Process for Medical Services in New White Paper

Don't forget to book your hotel room for the ASSH Annual Meeting at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The housing deadline is August 3rd. To receive the ASSH room rate, book directly with the hotel.
A note regarding travel scams: ASSH is not calling Annual Meeting attendees advising them they can book Mandalay Bay at a lower rate if they book with them and not the hotel directly. Please make your reservations directly with the hotel.

Physicians: Do we know your practice type? 

Are you in private practice (no teaching), academic practice, private practice with resident and/or fellow teaching, government practice or something else?  Keep your information up-to-date in the ASSH member database, so that we can make sure we are serving our members’ needs. 

If you have not provided us with this information recently, please take a moment to login to the ASSH website and update your member profile.  Alternately, send a quick email to with your full name and your practice type (selected from the list above).  Thank you!

Resident and Fellow Fast-Track Seed Grants 
Hand surgery fellows or surgical residents in ACGME-accredited programs are invited to apply for the 2011 Resident and Fellow Fast-Track Seed Grants.  Funding will be limited to one applicant per institution.  The AFSH believes that hand surgery residents and fellows benefit from a research funding mechanism that offers a small amount of funding to seed innovative projects related to hand surgery.  That's why the program is geared towards projects of smaller scope and allows for faster funding than the traditional AFSH basic science and clinical research grants. 
Deadline for application is August 15, 2011.  Funding decisions will be made by October. Submission requirements have been modified, so be sure to read the application instructions on the ASSH website.

Thank You to Our AFSH Donors

Dawn M. Briskey, CAE
Leslie P. Dean, MD*
Thomas R. Dennis, MD
R. Glenn Gaston, MD
David Gesensway, MD
Thomas G. Griffith, MD*
Michael L. Jones, MD
Saul J. Kaplan, MD*
Sharon Kim, MD*
Joeseph M. Messick, Jr.*
Edward R. North, MD
Mark Ross, FRACS
David B. Siegel, MD
Peter J. Stern, MD
Benjamin D. Sutker, MD*
Julio Taleisnik, MD*
Andrew D. Thomas, MD
Andrew C. Trueblood, MD
Richard E. Weeks, MD*
Douglas R. Weikert, MD
Joan F. Wright, MD
* Indicates contributions made in memory of James H. Dobyns, MD.
A memorial fund has been established to honor the life and work of James H. Dobyns, MD.  If you wish to make a donation in his memory, click here to donate online and scroll to the James H. Dobyns, MD  Memorial Fund.  Other ways to donate including by check or with stock.
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), along with the American Medical Association and 90 other state and specialty medical societies, has submitted formal comments to the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in response to the agency’s proposed changes to the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program. The societies commended CMS for acknowledging additional circumstances under which providers may not be able to meet the eRx requirements and for addressing the concerns of eligible professionals by expanding the hardship exemptions. They also urged CMS to consider allowing physicians to report the eRx measure through a qualified registry in addition to claims-based and EHR reporting mechanisms to avoid penalties in 2013 and 2014, and encouraged the agency to make the application process to request a hardship exemption as easy, user-friendly, and transparent as possible. Read the letter.

Since 2009, the AMA — along with the AMA Practice Management Federation Staff Advisory Steering Committee and the Prior Authorization (Prior Notification) Medical Services Workgroup — has been working to identify areas related to the prior authorization process for medical services that can be streamlined. The AMA took another step toward reaching that goal through the development of a white paper, which outlines the costs and workflow inefficiencies of the current process required of physicians obtaining prior authorizations from payers, as well as efforts to streamline the process. Standardization and streamlining will decrease manual processes for securing prior authorizations, reduce the associated costs for both payers and physicians, and improve patients’ overall experience.
Visit to access the AMA’s “Standardization of prior authorization process for medical services white paper.”