Committee Aims to Keep You Informed, Empowered
New Clinical Grant to be Awarded in 2012In Case You Missed It: Dr. Lee's Presidential Update
Thank You to AFSH Donors
CMS Spotlights Physician-Friendly Changes in Final ACO Rule
HHS Floats $5B Package to Cut 'Burdensome' Hospital Regulations
Robotic Surgery Grows, But So Do Questions
Hospitals May Take on Physicians' Medical Liability Tail Coverage When Hiring
Greater member engagement is one of Council's goals this year. As I mentioned in previous Notes, we want to broaden volunteer participation and ensure that members receive sufficient information regarding opportunities for involvement. Such continued member contribution will help to ensure the long-term vigor and success of ASSH.
Of the applications the Council’s Committee Advisory Group received last year, 37% were from first-time applicants. While we were delighted to see interest from members who had not been involved, we also recognize the need to better inform our members about volunteer opportunities.
To help accomplish this goal, we have a new feature in the Weekly Member Update. Under Volunteer's Note, a Chair of an ASSH Committee, Task Force or Council Division will describe the scope and nature of its activities.
This week, we will learn from Elizabeth A. Ouellette, MD, MBA, about the Business of Hand Surgery Committee, which deals with subjects important for our private practice and academic members alike. By continuing such notes, we hope to make known the hard work and accomplishments of our volunteers — and to facilitate the paths for the next generation of ASSH leaders.
W. P. Andrew Lee, MD
ASSH PresidentCommittee Aims to Keep You Informed, Empowered
The Business of Hand Surgery Committee is dedicated to providing an ongoing educational format that gives ASSH members current, high-level information. The aim is to help members learn effective ways to protect their small business and practice initiatives.
We will be doing this via multiple formats, including symposia, webinars, and published materials. The ultimate goal is to provide web-based learning with CME credits in a modular format, allowing for educational experiences that are available as the physician is available.
Under our Council leader, David S. Ruch, MD, we are working with other committees in a complementary fashion, creating an economy of scale for all our efforts.
I invite members to register
for the October 25 webinar on the latest coding changes and managed care contracts. By educating you on the latest information, the webinar will help you better manage your practice.
Elizabeth A. Ouellette, MD, MBA
Business of Hand Surgery Committee Chair
New Clinical Grant to be Awarded in 2012
With many clinical questions waiting to be asked and answered, AFSH/ASSH is hoping to continue to elevate its tradition of high-quality research. It is with this goal in mind that the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand will commemorate its 25th Anniversary by awarding a $100,000 grant for a well-designed, prospective multi-center clinical research study.
The ASSH Research Committee will review proposals and select the recipient of this grant, to be announced at the 2012 ASSH Annual Meeting in Chicago. Applications from surgeons, researchers and allied health professionals are welcome. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2012. Find out how to apply.
In Case You Missed It: Dr. Lee's Presidential Update
For those who didn't have a chance to read the comprehensive Presidential Update from W. P. Andrew Lee, MD, that went out Monday, we invite you to peruse his notes on various Hand Society business.
Thank You to AFSH Donors
Jan C. Bax, MD, PhD
David M. Kalainov, MD
Bruce S. Wolock, MD
Did you know you can now support the Foundation (AFSH) through automated monthly payments? Visit www.afsh.org/donate to complete an auto-pay form, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACOs are organizations designed to coordinate care of Medicare patients so quality of care can be improved while reducing costs. Besides receiving fee-for-service payments, ACOs would share in any savings they produce for Medicare. ACOs can include physicians, hospitals and other health care entities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the new regulations on Thursday.
Groups representing organized medicine, including the American Medical Association, had been critical of the ACO proposal after its release on March 31, saying it made participating in an organization too risky and burdensome for physicians. Read more
HHS Floats $5B Package to Cut 'Burdensome' Hospital Regulations - from AAOS
HealthLeaders Media reports that hospitals may save or divert to patient care $5 billion in resources over five years – money now spent on bureaucratic red tape – thanks to a package of reforms that include two proposed rules and one final regulation.
These "redundant and overly burdensome regulations...were getting in the way of (hospitals providing) the best care," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said during a news briefing Tuesday.
"They can use this money to improve care, see more patients and hire more staff," Sebelius said, by reducing what's required for Medicare payment and giving them more flexibility on which levels of personnel must provide certain types of care. Read more
Robotic Surgery Grows, But So Do Questions - from AAOS
These days, some surgeons have four arms and are made of metal and plastic, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Use of a robotic assistant called the Da Vinci Surgical System has quadrupled in the last four years, and the machine now helps with incisions and sutures in 2,000 hospitals around the world. Da Vinci is a multi-purpose robot — the only one of its kind — that can scrub in on heart bypass and valve repair operations, hysterectomies, prostate removal surgeries and other procedures.
The Da Vinci robot is not actually performing operations; it only mirrors the movements of the surgeon's hands on two joystick-like controllers.
Hospitals with the robot proudly proclaim its modern capabilities. Some patients insist on being treated by the mechanical surgeon.
But despite the Da Vinci's popularity, its surgical talents may not surpass those of flesh-and-blood physicians. Read more
.Hospitals May Take on Physicians' Medical Liability Tail Coverage When Hiring - from AAOS
As hospitals look to bring self-employed physicians on board as employees, a key issue is addressing those physicians' medical malpractice liability tail exposures, according to a report in Business Insurance
Hiring hospitals can either ask those physicians to cover the risk themselves or, as is increasingly the case as they look to provide an incentive for physicians to join them as employees, the hospital can take on the med mal tail and prior acts exposure in its own insurance program.
"As a broker, ideally if we have doctors who are on claims-made policies, we like to see them buy their own coverage and close out their tails and start fresh with the hospital," said Merry Robinson, team leader and client service manager at Brower Insurance Agency L.L.C. in Dayton, Ohio. Read more