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 Weekly Member Update, Annual Meeting Edition - September 9, 2011

Annual Meeting Edition


One Question

Did You Know?

ASSH Council Welcomes New Members

AFSH to award $100,000 Clinical Studies Grant in 2012

AFSH Trustees Welcome New Board Members

CMS Releases Final 2012 ePrescribing Penalty Policy; Concerns Remain

AMA Calls for Improvements to Medicare Proposed Fee Schedule Rule


One Question

This week, we want to know how often you use VuMedi, and whether you use it to earn continuing medical education credits.  Respond here.


Did You Know?

As of Friday, attendance at the 66th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas surpassed 2,800 registrants, making it our all-time best-attended meeting.


ASSH Council Welcomes New Members

The ASSH Council welcomed Charles Goldfarb, MD, as Council Member-At-Large Under 8, Michelle Carlson, MD, as Council Member-At-Large Over 8, and James Chang, MD, as Council Treasurer.

In addition, Council was pleased to announce the appointment of acting member Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, MD, as Vice President.


AFSH to award $100,000 Clinical Studies Grant in 2012

Frederick Fakharzadeh, MD, AFSH President, announced during the Annual Meeting that the Foundation will award a $100,000 clinal studies grant in 2012.

Dr. Fakharzadeh said the ASSH Council agreed to provide $50,000 toward the new grant. Previously, the clinical studies grant was $20,000.

Dr. Fakharzadeh noted that hand surgeons have a history of innovation, but the specialty has limited answers.  He said if ASSH members/hand surgeons do not take the lead in finding these answers, it will not happen.

Dr. Fakharzadeh said by funding large clinical studies, AFSH/ASSH can begin to develop evidence-based data and make sure that hand surgeons will have a voice in this process. He said increasing the clinical studies grants from $20,000 to $100,000 will provide a strong
basis for valid studies.


AFSH Trustees Welcome New Board Members

The AFSH Trustees welcomed Edward Akelman, MD, Mark E. Baratz, MD, James Chang, MD, and John G. Seiler III, MD, as new Board members during the Annual Meeting.

The Trustees thank departing Board members William H. Seitz, MD, and Robert M. Szabo, MD, for their service and dedication to the AFSH. 


CMS Releases Final 2012 ePrescribing Penalty Policy; Concerns Remain - from AMA 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made several changes to the 2012 Medicare ePrescribing Incentive Program in its final rule, which CMS released last week.

The final rule provides greater flexibility so more physicians who are unable to meet all the program requirements can be eligible and apply for an exemption to avoid penalties in 2012. CMS also extended the deadline to apply for an exemption to November 1, and physicians may now apply for more than one exemption category.

However, the AMA worries that the November 1 deadline is not sufficient time to apply for an exemption. The penalty for not participating successfully in the ePrescribing program or not filing an exemption on time is a 1 percent payment reduction based on the 2012 Medicare fee schedule amounts during the year. Read more
A comment letter the AMA sent last week to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks numerous improvements to the 2012 Medicare proposed physician fee schedule rule released in July.
Among the changes the AMA has requested are:
  • Rejecting the proposed payment cuts for imaging services.
  • Permitting physicians to report Physician Quality Reporting System measures both in measure groups and as individual measures. 
  • Updating the geographic practice expense index to reflect the rental costs of actual medical offices rather than using apartment rents as a proxy.
  • Including a physical exam as part of the Medicare annual wellness visit and clearly defining the payment policies associated with this visit for physicians and patients. Read more