The ASSH has recently been contacted by the AMA regarding our continued participation in the House of Delegates. The AMA rules stipulate that in order to qualify for a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, 25% of our members must be AMA members. Currently, 18% of ASSH members are also members of the AMA. This shortfall poses a significant problem for the ASSH advocacy agenda.
The AMA is perceived as being the primary voice of organized medicine in the United States. Furthermore, AMA institutions such as the CPT Editorial Panel and the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) are vital to the best interests of our members.
Within the realm of physician reimbursement, the ASSH would be significantly disadvantaged should we lose our HOD seat. Our ability to have advisors to the AMA RUC and CPT processes is predicated on our having a seat in the AMA House of Delegates (HOD).
If we were to lose that seat, we would still be able to participate in these processes, but we would lose the political advantages associated with those positions (these processes are political; being a member of the "club" has significant value). We would lose our ability to interact with the AMA in regard to coding issues, as the AMA relies on its advisors for such input. We would not have access to the complete RUC database or to the other critical information that is contained in the agendas of the RUC and CPT Editorial Panel.
Practically, the loss of our HOD seat would force us to present our new RUC recommendations through the AAOS or ASPS. This would place us in a subordinate position vis-à-vis these organizations. New CPT codes can be brought forward by the ASSH without having a CPT Advisor, but we would lose the considerable political influence of our advisor.
I would urge you to consider joining the AMA
(or maintaining your membership), not because you embrace the entire AMA agenda, but because you understand the strategic importance of the ASSH maintaining its seat in the House of Delegates.
These are difficult times, and while we may not all agree with everything the AMA has done, our seat in the AMA HOD gives us access to the bargaining table. And remember: "If we are not at the table, we will be on the menu!"
Thank you for considering this request.
Best to all,
Dan Nagle, MDVolunteer's Note
The Self-Assessment Exam Committee has been working to improve the popular annual study exercise, and we're pleased to introduce changes that we believe will make the exam more beneficial and convenient for test takers.
In an effort to raise the level of expectation while still maintaining the educational value that is the hallmark of the exam, the Committee has increased the minimum passing score from 39% to 50%. Exam takers must meet this 50% mark to receive CME credit.
In addition, you will have the option of taking the exam online this year. There are several advantages of the online exam, including:
- When you submit your test for scoring, you will know instantly whether you have passed.
- You can retake the exam two additional times if you fail on your first attempt.
- Once you pass, your CME will be immediately credited to your account, and you can download a CME certificate through the testing platform. The CME will appear on your official ASSH transcript within 10 business days of successful test completion.
This is the last year that the printed exam and discussion book will be offered. If you choose the hard copy option, you only have one opportunity to take and pass the written exam.
Exam registration is now open. The deadline for registration is April 2, 2012, and the deadline for exam completion is June 8, 2012. For more information or to register online, visit the Self-Assessment Exam page on the ASSH website.
Jay Pomerance, MD
Self-Assessment Exam Committee Chair
ASSH Member Receives High Distinction for Devotion to Teaching
This week, the Hand Society would like you to weigh in on a possible ASSH Membership Directory App for your mobile device. Share your thoughts now
Morton Kasdan, MD, ASSH Member, Clinical Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Louisville Veterans Administration Hospital, has been selected to receive the University of Louisville's Samuel D. Gross, MD, Distinguished Career of Service Award, which is their Department of Surgery’s highest award.
Not only has Dr. Kasdan dedicated his career to teaching, but for the past eight years, he has organized a program in which students compete to participate in suturing lessons at his home on Sunday evenings. As Dr. Kasdan continues to share his wisdom, his work impacts and inspires colleagues and students alike to dedicate themselves to the importance of excellent surgical care in Kentucky.
Congratulations, Dr. Kasdan!
Don't Miss OCC Webinar on Fingertip Injury Cases
Join experts as they discuss Fingertip Injury cases during a webinar at 8:30 pm EDT, Monday, December 5. The webinar will be hosted by Ghazi M. Rayan, MD and moderated by Scott D. Lifchez, MD. The consultants include David T. Netscher, MD, and Steven L. Peterson, MD.
Designed as an online version of the popular Clinical Consultation Corners at the Annual Meeting, this is your chance to participate in discussions and get direct feedback to your questions from colleagues and thought leaders. You can submit your cases to be chosen for discussion during the webinar. Learn more and register.
Thank You to AFSH Donors
Robert L. Bass, MD
Eric N. Britton, MD
Matthew M. Malerich, MD
David J. Tulipan, 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 email@example.com.
House Votes to Eliminate 3 Percent Withholding - from AMA
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed HR 674, legislation which removed the three percent withholding provision that was created under the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA).
In a statement on the AMA website, AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD praised the House's decision:
"The AMA applauds the House for passing legislation that removes the three percent withholding provision. This flawed provision would have required the government to withhold three percent of Medicare physician payments. This additional burden is simply untenable in our current Medicare system." Read more.
Have your voice heard: Join the AMA.
Doctors, Patients Send Letter to Congress Calling for SGR Repeal - from AMA
In a joint letter to Congress last week, the AMA, AARP and other national organizations representing physicians and Medicare patients pushed for a permanent solution for Medicare's failed physician payment system.
The letter emphatically tells Congress that the only way to preserve access to care for the nation's millions of elderly and disabled patients is to repeal Medicare's flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Initiated by AARP, the letter is also signed by the AMA, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, Center for Medicare Advocacy and Medicare Rights Center. Read more.
Have your voice heard: Join the AMA.
How a Med Student Uses an iPad for Patient Care and Education - from KevinMD.com by Alex Chamessian
iPads have been introduced into medical education mostly during the pre-clinical years. I'd like to share my experience using an iPad during my clinical year. I've found it to be exceedingly useful and versatile.
I have an entire medical library in my pocket. With the touch of a button, I can pull up essential texts such as Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine or William's Endocrinology. I get these books and more through my school's subscription to MDConsult and AccessMedicine.
Some other ancillary material that I have as PDFs can be stored and viewed with ease on the iBook app. I've also been using the beautiful e-reader app Inkling to keep full copies of popular texts, such as Bates Guide to the Physical Examination, stored on my device. Several times a day, I use these sources to look things up that I encounter in the patient-care setting. Read more.