ASSH Weekly Member Upd@te
December 11th, 2009
A Message From the ASSH President
- A column from President Robert M. Szabo, MD
- Health Volunteers Overseas Opportunity
- Call for 2010 Basic Science and Clinical Grant Applications
- ASSH Bylaws change
- Support AFSH Member to Member Campaign!
ASSH Courses and Meetings
- Clinical Consultation Corner- Call for Senior Volunteers!
- 65th Annual Meeting Call For Abstracts
- Electives in Hand Surgery
- Mark Your Calendars for the 2010 Course Schedule
- Miss the 2010 Annual Meeting? - Watch highlights online
Healthcare Reform News
- Senate Negotiations Take A New Turn - From AMA
- Prospects for SGR Repeal - From AMA
- FDA Makes Progress in Postmarket Drug Safety, But Agency Remains Short-handed - From AAOS
A Message From the ASSH President
Last week the ASSH Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) concluded its second meeting where the program’s value continued to reveal itself. The initial meeting was held in May to address the issue of ethical relationships between surgeons and the society and industry. At last week’s meeting, participants finalized the guidelines for ethical behavior. Industry representatives from Biomet, Integra, Medartis, Small Bone Innovations, Stryker, and Wright Medical Technologies as well as key ASSH members, including Tom Trumble, MD, Andy Lee, MD, Andy Koman, MD, Bill Seitz, MD, Ed Diao, MD, Fred Fakharzadeh, MD and myself collaborated on a process to disseminate these guidelines to the public. We expect to issue a press release on the topic later this month.
Additionally, the CAC addressed two mega issues: funding medical education – GME/CME and the development of market research. After study of the mega issues, the CAC outlined a model for funding upper extremity fellowships by developing an ASSH program that will work with fellowship programs to identify needs and issue funding. In addressing the cost of CME activities, the members discussed offering regional skills classes and utilizing technology to connect to beta sites around the country.
Lastly, the CAC explored the issue of market research. The members recognized the value of documenting trends and developing a needs assessment for educational programs. Industry partners were eager to recognize areas of improvement and the potential for innovation.
The CAC is a dedicated and engaged group committed to achieving tangible results. We will continue to move these ideas forward and meet again in May to finalize proposals.
Bob Szabo, MD
Health Volunteers Overseas Opportunity
Orthopaedic surgeons are needed for 2-4 weeks to train faculty and residents in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Specialty areas include pelvic and acetabular trauma, knee arthroscopy, pediatric orthopaedics, hand surgery, and other sub-specialty areas. Contact the Health Volunteer Overseas program department for more information.
Call for 2010 Basic Science and Clinical Grant Applications
Applications due April 1, 2010
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) have established grant funding to encourage young investigators to perform clinical and basic science research studies. It is anticipated that the funding will enable investigators to initiate pilot projects that will lead to subsequent funding from other sources such as the NIH.
Applications are now being accepted for basic science and clinical research grants. The selection of the research proposals for funding is made by the Research Management Committee with the approval of the Council of the ASSH and the AFSH Board. Selection is based on the merits of the proposal with preference given to new projects for which the grant could serve as seed money for larger grants from the NIH, OREF or PSEF. In order to be eligible for the grant, at least one of the investigators must be a member of the ASSH.
For more information on the application requirements, please visit the Research Grants section of the ASSH website.
ASSH Bylaws Change
Changes to the ASSH bylaws were passed Thursday, December 3rd in a special members meeting. The changes include a revision to the “Active” membership category to allow for exceptions to the CAQSH requirement. It also includes a revision to the Mail/Electronic Voting section to allow the Society to conduct voting on any item of business by mail, e-mail and other electronic means.
The updated ASSH bylaws have been posted to the ASSH website for your reference.
Support the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand Member to Member Campaign!
The AFSH Member to Member Campaign is underway. As the year is drawing to a close and you are finalizing your charitable giving, please include the AFSH. In the past two years, AFSH seed grants totaling approximately $300,000 have led to additional funding of over $2.4 million from other sources, an eight-fold increase. New awards and workshops have been developed to foster development of clinical and basic science researchers. The AFSH provides funding for education, and also enables young surgeons to work in underserved areas of the world. The Foundation has made tremendous progress and clearly plays a major role in the future of hand surgery and improving the lives of our patients around the world, but it can continue to do so only with your generous support. Donate to AFSH online or mail a check made out to ‘AFSH’ to AFSH, Department 2026, PO Box 87916, Carol Stream, IL 60188 . For more information about AFSH-supported projects and activities, see the AFSH President's Update.
ASSH Courses and Meetings
Call for Senior Volunteers! - Clinical Consultation Corner
65th ASSH Annual Meeting
Friday, September 4, 2010
John B. Hynes Convention Center
The Clinical Consultation Corner has become one of the favorite features of the ASSH Annual Meeting. These small group sessions provide attendees a venue to consult on a difficult hand/wrist case with two ASSH members.
For the 2010 Annual Meeting, the chair of Clinical Consultation Corners, David Nelson, MD, would like to invite Senior members to lend their expertise and experience and join two practicing ASSH members as consultants for these sessions. There will be a total of 8 one-hour Consultation Corners scheduled on Friday, September 4, from 7-8 am, 8-9 am, 12-1 pm and 1-2 pm. Each 2010 session will have no more than 8 attendees per session and will be staffed by three ASSH members (two practicing members and one Senior member).
If you are planning to attend the 2010 Annual Meeting in Boston and would like to participate as an expert Senior consultant, please contact David Nelson, MD at email@example.com or the ASSH Central Office by Monday, December 28, 2009, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-384-8300 if you have any questions.
65th Annual Meeting Call For Abstracts
October 7-9 * Boston, MA
Embracing Excellence: Making a Difference
The abstract submission site is now open for you to submit your proposals for Scientific Paper, Poster, Residents and Fellows Conference and Video Theater at the 65th ASSH Annual Meeting.
Interested in learning more? Download the Call for Abstracts for important policies and procedures.
Scientific Papers - March 1, 2010
Residents and Fellows Conference - March 1, 2010
Scientific Posters - March 29, 2010
International Guest Society Posters - March 29, 2010
Video Theater - April 26, 2010
For more information, or to submit your proposal visit the ASSH Annual Meeting Abstract Submission website.
Electives in Hand Surgery
February 5-6, 2010
InterContinental New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Jointly Sponsored by: American Society for Surgery of the Hand & American Society of Hand Therapists
Program Chair: Martin I. Boyer, MD, FRCS(C), St. Louis, MO
Online Registration Now Open!
This course will highlight the fundamental anatomical knowledge with which both therapists and surgeons alike should be familiar. Additionally, topics which are infrequently seen in educational forums but are clinically common, including congenital anomalies, non-microvascular soft tissue coverage of the hand, ulnar sided wrist pain and innovations in hand surgery will be covered during this program by experts in their respective fields.
The program will offer concurrent programming on Friday and Saturday morning giving attendees the choice of which topic best meets their needs. Afternoon sessions will bring the entire group together for a general session on a broad topic of interest. As an added bonus this program will offer four product demonstration workshops at no additional cost to registrants. Visit the event site for more information.
Housing for the Electives in Hand Surgery course will be at the InterContinental New Orleans Hotel. A special housing rate of $149/night will be available through December 13, 2009 or until hotel sells out. Reserve a room by calling the central reservations line at (800) 445-6563 (reference “ASSH”) or book your room online.
The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 16.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Download the course brochure for more information or register for the Electives in Hand Surgery Course online today!
2010 Courses - Mark Your Calendars!
Miss the 2009 Annual Meeting? Catch Highlights Online.
Did you miss the Presidential Address at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco? You can watch online at our website, or visit our channel on YouTube to see this and other Hand Society videos.
Not only do we capture and share meeting highlights, but our Public Awareness Committee is hard at work creating patient interest videos, like this newly updated trigger finger video. Link to them on your practice website and share them with patients!
Questions? Contact Tara Havenga (email@example.com).
Healthcare Reform News
Senate Negotiations Take A New Turn - From AMA
As Senate floor debate continues this week, negotiations between a handful of liberal and moderate Democrats appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) produced an alternative proposal to the public insurance option outlined in H.R. 3590, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
The proposal is under review by the Congressional Budget Office and legislative language is not yet available, but it reportedly involves: (1) allowing individuals 55-64 years of age without access to employer-sponsored insurance to purchase coverage under Medicare; (2) making national plans offered by private insurers and managed by the federal Office of Personnel Management available to individuals obtaining coverage through the health insurance exchange; and (3) creating a "trigger" mechanism through which a new public plan would be developed if private companies are unable to deliver acceptable national insurance policies. Finer details of the proposal and the extent of agreement among senators who were not directly involved in the negotiations are not yet known.
The AMA has expressed opposition to the proposed Medicare expansion, given current problems with the program, and has issued a grassroots alert urging physicians to contact their senators. Other physician and provider groups, including major hospital associations, share its concerns. Physicians are encouraged to contact their senators using the AMA's grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354 to express opposition to the proposal, based on the following concerns:
- Many physicians have been forced to stop accepting Medicare patients because of the program's burdensome regulations and unstable payment system. Adding more patients to Medicare will force more physicians to make this difficult decision.
- Medicare payment rates have failed to keep pace with practice cost increases; and the program's balance billing and private contracting limits are so rigid that costs have been shifting to the private sector. Adding a new patient population to the program will only increase this cost shifting, raising premiums and health care costs for other Americans.
Prospects for SGR Repeal - From AMA
With January 1st and a 21.2 percent Medicare physician payment cut less than a month away, discussions continue with Congressional leaders on a pathway toward permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Congress has been pursuing a strategy of enacting SGR reform through separate legislation but in the same general timeframe as health system reform. The AMA and many other physician organizations have made it clear that they will not support what has become a "routine" short-term fix that makes future cuts steeper and the costs of permanent repeal higher, as was noted in a coalition letter (PDF) sent last month to the House of Representatives urging support for H.R. 3961. The near-term focus now is on passage this month of a payment patch lasting for weeks rather than months to address the immediate threat to physicians and patients without easing the pressure to enact a permanent solution. The details of this proposal and its legislative vehicle will be known in the next few days.
FDA Makes Progress in Postmarket Drug Safety, But Agency Remains Short-handed - From AAOS
According to a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun addressing previously identified weaknesses in its oversight of postmarket drug safety issues, but technological and staffing challenges limit the agency’s capacity to complete a growing number of drug safety studies. Legislation enacted in 2007 expanded FDA’s postmarket responsibilities, and employees from FDA’s Office of New Drugs and Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology have described difficulties meeting their responsibilities. In response, FDA has increasingly sought advice from members of its external drug safety advisory committee, but the agency has encountered difficulty filling several committee vacancies.
Read more (PDF)…
Read the complete report (PDF)…