Weekly Member Update - April 9th, 2010


April 9, 2010

MOC Approved CME and the ASSH Annual Meeting

Your 2010 Membership Dues Deadline is Approaching

Members Making a Difference

Apply to Join the ASSH Council

A Note from the Foundation

Secure Your Seat at the Next Master Skills Course

SGR Cut Grace Period Ends Wednesday, April 14



MOC Approved CME and the ASSH Annual Meeting

Over the past five years member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialists, including the ABOS and ABPS, have moved to a recertification process known as MOC (Maintenance of Certificate).  Boards must verify four components of MOC that include:

I.  Professional Standing
II. Lifelong learning and self-assessment
III. Cognitive Expertise
IV. Performance in Practice

Performance in Practice (IV) is the newest component of MOC and one of the most complex.  Each Board has specialty specific Part IV options for its Diplomates.

  • Each Board requires a diplomate to look at his/her own practice, choosing cases to examine in detail in the form of a case log with de-identified information.
  • The diplomate will compare their practice with both best practices in the form of CME in courses approved by the primary Board.
  • The Boards will provide feedback in the form of aggregate data for the diplomate to compare with his/her peers to further improve their practice.

Options for individual case review depends on your primary board and may include CTS, de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and metacarpal fractures.  Part IV components are still being developed by the Boards, and it is likely that more options will be available over time.

The ASSH will be delivering courses on carpal tunnel syndrome and metacarpal fractures at the upcoming Annual Meeting to be held in Boston in 2010 with the goal of having them approved by both the ABPS and ABOS.

Your primary board, and not the ASSH, is responsible for developing these MOC modules.  If you have any specific questions regarding the new MOC process, call your certifying Board to get the most up to date information available.  Look for upcoming editorials in the JHS by Dr. John Seiler, president of the ABOS and Don LaLonde, vice-chairman of the ABPS for more details.


Your 2010 Membership Dues Deadline is Approaching


Final dues notices for 2010 have been mailed, and the payment deadline is April 15, 2010!  If you haven't paid your dues yet or if you can't remember whether you've paid, login in to the ASSH Member Center, and select "My Dues".  From there, you can check your status, pay your dues, or visit other areas of the Member Center.   

Need your login information? Contact
membership@assh.org or call (847)384-8300.


Members Making a Difference

The Hand Society is so grateful to all of our dedicated members who volunteer to help!  This week, we'd like to give a special thank you to two groups of individuals who have stepped up. 

Thank you to Drs. Charles Carroll, Terry Light, Michael Bednar, Randip Bindra, Jay Pomerance and Taizoon Baxamusa for volunteering their time to test the new Annual Meeting website.  These members welcomed Hand Society staff members into their offices during testing, so we could bring you a site that works for members.

Thank you to Drs. Desirae McKee, Jason Palmer, Seth Frenzen, Craig Phillips, Craig Stirrat, Jim Calandruccio, Diane Riley, Martin Boyer, Julie Adams, Bob Van Demark, and David Nelson for volunteering their time to review a beta version of the Annual Meeting website.  The time they took to provide feedback will result in a better experience for their fellow members. 


Apply to Join the ASSH Council

“Let us make our own society grow in its important work”
                                                                Sterling Bunnell, MD, 1947

Since our inception, the ASSH mission has been to advance the science and practice of hand surgery through education, research and advocacy on behalf of patients and practitioners.  In order to advance this central mission, the Hand Society requires a core group of volunteer leaders to strategically manage our vision and to motivate the membership to achieve the Society’s goals.  Each Council member dedicates him or herself to advancing the field of hand surgery while they serve in this forum that fosters the exchange of knowledge and ideas pertaining to the practice of surgery of the upper extremity.  

On behalf of the ASSH and Nominating Committee Chair, L. Andrew Koman, MD, we would like to invite all Active Members to apply for service to Council as Vice President* and/or Member-at-large.  Candidates should  have extensive past service to the Society, including but not limited to the following: service to committees and task forces, service to educational courses as chair, speaker, or instructor, and service to special projects or initiatives endorsed by the Hand Society.

If you are interested in joining our leadership and assisting our membership in charting a course for tomorrow,
apply today!  Information about the qualifications, time commitments and duties specific to each position can be found on the ASSH website.   Application deadline is Friday, July 16, 2010.  Please contact Alexzandra Wallace at awallace@assh.org with any questions. 

*To apply for Council Vice President, candidates will have been an Active member for 5 years prior to the time of election and must have previously served on Council

 
A Note from the Foundation

Are you our partner in the Future In Hand campaign?  If so, we thank you for helping us continue important work like funding seed grants, establishing new grants and more… 

As we continue to move toward our goals for training, funding and patient care, we thank you for your continued generosity.  Pledge installments for 2010 have been prepared.  Take a look at your balance due this year by
visiting the Member Center and following the “Check My Pledge” link.  You will need your username and password to continue.  Amounts listed are due December 31, 2010.  Any questions can be directed to the Central Office at (847) 384-8300 or jdaniels@assh.org.


Secure Your Seat at the Next Master Skills Course

Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist course will be held at the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont, IL from May 21-22, 2010.  This course, chaired by David C. Ring, MD and David R. Ruch, MD features open discussion, lab work and one-on-one teaching for a dynamic and valuable experience that will improve your practice and prepare you to manage the complex traumatic hand, wrist and elbow conditions that all practicing orthopedic surgeons will be faced with in the coming decade.

David Ruch, MD urges that "if you only attend one course this year - "Trauma" should be it.  You can't find this kind of one-on-one teaching or hands-on experience of advanced techniques with expert faculty anywhere else."  His co-chair, David Ring, MD further explained that "this course is 80% open discussion and hands-on lab work.  No need to wonder if the puzzling topics and techniques will be covered--just raise your hand or ask a faculty member one-on-one.  Our open forum adult learning tactics are known to be more effective and more fun."

The registration deadline for this course is May 6, 2010, so
register today to earn 15.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™.


SGR Cut Grace Period Ends Wednesday, April 14

Congress returns from its Spring Recess on Monday, April 12, and one of its first tasks will be a cloture vote on H.R. 4851, which includes a reprieve from the 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut that was originally scheduled to take effect on January 1. 

As reported previously, the most recent reprieve from the 2010 payment cuts expired on April 1.  Subsequently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed its carriers to refrain from processing any claims for services provided on or after April 1 for 10 working days to minimize administrative complications and other disruptions that would result from calculating payments that reflect a rate reduction that Congress is expected to overturn.  That 10 day grace period expires on Wednesday, April 14.  If Congress fails to pass H.R. 4851 or similar legislation by close of business on Wednesday, Medicare law will require carriers to begin processing claims for services provided in April with the 21 percent cut.

The controversy over passage of H.R. 4851 centered on disagreement over whether the legislation should be treated as an emergency measure that does not require budget offsets. Senator Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) is among the Senators who believe that the costs of the legislation must be offset by other spending reductions, and he blocked floor consideration of the bill prior to the Spring Recess. 

It is uncertain whether the cloture vote will succeed on Monday evening.  Even if that vote is successful, the subsequent debate on the Senate floor could continue beyond the April 14 deadline for the current Medicare claims hold.

This represents the second time in two months that Congress has allowed short-term reprieves from the 2010 Medicare payment cuts to expire before taking action, illustrating the urgency of resolving this problem once and for all by repealing the fatally flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. 

Visit the AMA website for more information as they urge physicians to support a permanent repeal of the SGR.