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 Weekly Member Update - May 28, 2010

 

WMU

May 28, 2010

A Message from the ASSH President

One Question

Did You Know?

Self-Assessment Deadline Reminder - 2 Weeks Left!

Medicare Payment Adjustments Made for 2010 - From AMA

SGR Update - From AMA

 

A Message from the ASSH President

The ASSH Council met in Sonoma last week, and while we discussed numerous important issues for the future of hand surgery, sadly we learned that one of our dearest members, Joe Slade, passed away. Joe will be missed and remembered by all of us.

Dr. Joseph F. Slade III, MD (1953 - 2010) 

In Yale New Haven Hospital, Friday, May 21, 2010, Dr. Joseph F. Slade III, MD of Guilford passed away. He was survived by his loving fiancé Kathleen.  Joseph was born Jan 4, 1953, in Washington, DC, the son of Alma Slade of Stratford and Joseph A. Slade II and his companion Rose Goldstein of Milford.  He was the proud father of Joseph Slade IV and his wife Kimberly of VA and Andrew Slade of VA, and he was the brother of Carol Rebecca Slade of ME and Veronica Ann Slade of NM.  He was also the soon to be grandfather of Charlotte Rose Slade. Joseph was Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation (with a joint appointment in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Service. He joined the Yale full-time faculty in July 1993 following his distinguished educational training at Columbia University, BA, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, MD, Duke University (Orthopedic Surgery Residency) and the University Miami / Jackson Memorial Medical Center (Residency and fellowship in Hand and Reconstructive Surgery). Dr. Slade then served his country in US Air Force during Desert Storm. During his professional career, Dr. Slade made many contributions to clinical care including the development of new approaches to treatment of hand and wrist fractures, teaching at Yale and lecturing around the world, along with scholarly research. He also authored numerous scientific articles. 

Contributions in Dr. Slade's memory may be made to the Joseph Slade III, MD Memorial Fund, c/o Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Yale University, PO Box 208071, New Haven, CT 06520.


One Question

One of the articles we are planning on doing this year for the Business of Hand Surgery Newsletter is helpful ways to manage or cut costs in your practice. Karen Zupko suggested getting ideas from our members to make it more relevant. While we’ve asked before whether the economy has affected your practice, we haven’t asked what proactive measures you have taken.  Any suggestions are appreciated.  Members, take the survey here.


Did You Know?

Did you know... that the Hand Society staff just won an award for best implementation of a new membership database.  What does that mean to you as members?  It means that the staff that serves membership and leadership is now more able to do things cost effectively and efficiently and is able to track member activity better than ever before.  It is already turning into improved service (see this year’s annual meeting website).  The two staff members most centrally involved in this achievement are Dawn Briskey and Mike Lakas.


Self-Assessment Deadline Reminder – 2 Weeks Left!

The deadline to turn in your Self-Assessment Exam is only 2 weeks away.  All exam answer sheets must be postmarked and in the mail on (or before) June 11th.  Any sheets received after this time will not be electronically-scored or compared to other participant exams.  Have any questions?  Contact Bridget Treccia, or call the ASSH central office at 847.384.8300. 


Medicare Payment Adjustments Made for 2010 - From AMA

Medicare contractors received new files on May 10 that will make significant payment changes for some services and geographic regions. These include certain corrections in the final 2010 physician fee schedule rule, as well as implementation of several provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act enacted earlier this year.

All of the changes are retroactive to Jan. 1, and all contractors must implement them by May 31. However, the new rates contained in the files do not reflect the 21.3 percent conversion factor cut that is scheduled to take effect on June 1. If Congress does not act this month, the new payment files could have a very short shelf life.

The six Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act provisions implemented in the new file are detailed here on the AMA website.


SGR Update - From AMA

House leaders reached agreement last night on a revised extenders package (H.R. 4213) that they may bring to the floor today before leaving for the week-long Memorial Day Congressional recess.  The SGR provisions in the new proposal include a 2.2 percent Medicare physician payment update for the remainder of 2010, a 1 percent update for 2011, and a return to the current SGR formula in 2012—which will result in an estimated 33 percent payment cut that year. 

The overall price tag for the bill was reduced in response to concerns expressed by members of the Blue Dog Coalition, who objected to federal deficit increases that would have been produced by previous versions of the bill.  Costly provisions that were reportedly dropped from the bill last night include extensions of COBRA benefits for the unemployed and FMAP (Medicaid) funding increases to the states.

With respect to the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced last night that there would be insufficient time following House action on H.R. 4213 to complete Senate consideration of the bill before Memorial Day.  As a result, the Senate is adjourning and the 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut scheduled for 2010 (which has been postponed three times already) will technically take effect on June 1.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services already issued instructions to its contractors to postpone processing claims for Medicare physician services provided on or after June 1 for 10 days to provide time for Congress to complete its action and overturn the scheduled cut retroactive to June 1.

Because Senators will not be available to vote on the legislation today, there is some possibility that the House will also defer action until returning from the Memorial Day recess on June 7.  Read more in a press statement issued last night after the Senate announcement by the AMA President, J. James Rohack, MD