Weekly Member Update, January 8th, 2010

ASSH Weekly Member Upd@te

January 8th, 2010

A Message from the ASSH President

  • A column from President Robert M. Szabo, MD

ASSH News

  • Call for Applicants: Education Director-Elect Position - Deadline to apply is January 29, 2010
  • ASSH will be Sponsoring Two Members to Attend U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Grant Workshop - Applications are due January 15, 2010
  • Call for Weiland Medal Applications
  • Now Accepting Applications for the AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Traveling Fellowship
  • OMeGA Medical Grants Association Announces 2010-2011 Grant Opportunities
  • Apply now for the 2010 Clinician Scientist Development Program!

ASSH Courses and Meetings

  • Electives in Hand Surgery - Deadline Extension
  • General Orthopaedic Review
  • Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
  • 2010 Master Skills Series: Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist

Healthcare Reform News

  • AMA Unsuccessful in Delaying Implementation of Consultations Billing Policy - From AAOS
  • Letter Explains AMA Support for Senate Health Reform Bill - From AMA
  • Charts Compare Reform Bills to AMA Policy - From AMA

A Message from the ASSH President

Since its inception in 1976, the Hand Society’s Journal of Hand Surgery has steadily increased its circulation, content, and quality, building up to the respected and prestigious journal we enjoy as a membership benefit today.  Even recently we continue to make improvements such as journal CME and moving to 12 issues per year.  These accomplishments are due in no small part to Paul Manske, MD, who has served as Editor-in-Chief of JHS since 1996.  I would like to express my deepest appreciation for his vision and commitment.  Dr. Manske’s term as Editor-in-Chief will be coming to a close at the end of 2010, and he will be missed greatly. 

As is often said, with every ending comes a new beginning, and accordingly, the ASSH Journal Advisory Group (JAG) is searching for the next Editor-in-Chief to fill Dr. Manske’s impressive shoes.  You can learn more about that process on the ASSH website

Looking forward to a great year,
Bob Szabo, MD


ASSH News

Call for Applicants: Education Director-Elect Position - Deadline to apply is January 29, 2010

In late 2009, the AAOS asked Edward Akelman, MD, to serve as the Chair of the Council on Education for the Academy.  Dr. Akelman accepted the position and will resign from his post as Education Director of the Hand Society immediately following the ASSH Annual Meeting in October.

At its December meeting, Council amended the bylaws to create the position of Education Director-Elect.  The ASSH voting membership approved this change which becomes effective today, Friday, January 8, 2010 at 4 PM CST.

The Education Director-Elect's term will begin in May 2010, and he or she will serve concurrently through the remainder of Dr. Akelman’s term.  This individual will also be eligible to serve a full term as Education Director through 2014.

Apply for the Education Director-Elect position here.

Information about the qualifications, time commitments, and specific duties can be found on the ASSH website.  *Please send all supporting material via email to Alexzandra Wallace at awallace@assh.org, or fax it to (847) 384-1435.*


ASSH will be Sponsoring Two Members to Attend U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Grant Workshop - Applications are due January 15, 2010

The Hand Society will sponsor two ASSH members to attend the 2010 USBJD Young Investigators Initiative and Workshop Program.  The program will provide early-career clinical investigators an opportunity to work with experienced researchers in our field and to assist them in securing funding and other survival skills required for pursuing an academic career.  This workshop series is open to promising junior faculty, senior fellows or post-doctoral researchers who wish to secure funding for hypothesis driven research.  It is also open to senior fellows doing research who have a faculty appointment in place or confirmed.

Any ASSH active or candidate member may apply.  Applications should be sent directly to the USBJD, and applicants should clearly state on their paperwork that they are an ASSH member.  If selected, the Hand Society will reimburse for the registration fee and travel.  For more information please visit the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Website.


Call for Weiland Medal Applications
Application Deadline is April 1, 2010

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 Andrew J. Weiland Medal for Outstanding Research in Hand Surgery. The medal is awarded annually to a mid-career researcher dedicated to advancing patient care in the field of hand surgery.

The award is a $20,000 unrestricted gift and will honor a hand surgeon-scientist who has contributed a body of research that advances the field.  The medal recognizes and supports outstanding research in order to continue Weiland’s vision for the field of hand surgery.  It will be awarded to a mid-career surgeon who is less than 55 years old or a surgeon who is less than 15 years from hand fellowship training.  The medal will be presented at the 2010 ASSH Annual Meeting in Boston.

Learn more about the Andrew J. Weiland Medal.


Now Accepting Applications for the AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Traveling Fellowship

Applications for the 2010 American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand - Health Volunteers Overseas Young Surgeon Traveling Fellowship are being accepted.  All eligible surgeons (R3, R4, R5, Fellows and Surgeons within three years of completing their fellowship) with an interest in spending 4 weeks at an appropriate HVO teaching site in a developing country are invited to apply.  Learn more about the AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Overseas Traveling Fellowship on the ASSH website. Application deadline is March 31, 2010 or email info@hvousa.org.  

This fellowship is available due to a generous grant from the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH).


OMeGA Medical Grants Association Announces 2010-2011 Grant Opportunities

OMeGA will begin accepting grants applications for the 2010-2011 academic year on January 4, 2010.  Fellowship grants up to $75,000 are available to academic programs in all nine orthopaedic sub-specialty areas, including Hand and Upper Extremity.  Applications are reviewed by OMeGA board and review committee members.  Grants are awarded based on objective criteria, and not on the use, order, or purchase of any products or services of any specific medical device manufacturer. 

Residency grants up to $5,000 are also available.  Applications with a broader benefit to the residency/general education program are given special consideration.   Educational items include but are not limited to publications and other educational resources, courses, skills lab and cadaver sessions, and visiting professors. 

The deadline to submit is Wednesday, March 24, 2010. 
Download OMeGA grant criteria overview (PDF), the Grant Request FAQ (PDF), or visit their website, www.omegamedicalgrants.org, for additional information.  


Apply now for the 2010 Clinician Scientist Development Program!

The AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scientist Development Program (CSDP) seeks applicants in their PGY2-PGY 5 residency years, in fellowships, and Junior Faculty through year three who have the potential/desire to become orthopaedic clinician scientists.  Up to 15 participants are selected to participate in the 1.5 day CSDP training workshop.  The workshop opens with a resident dinner on Sunday, October 17, 2010 and concludes in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 19, 2010.  The CSDP provides participants with an orientation to the research environment including research history, funding sources, and orthopaedic research organizations.  The workshop also provides the opportunity to meet and interact with research professors and establish a mentor relationship with selected faculty.

Applications for the 2010 CSDP are open through March 31 online at http://www3.aaos.org/member/csdp/csdp.cfm.  The 2010 Clinician Scientist Development Program will occur Sunday, October 17 – Tuesday, October 19, 2010, in Rosemont, IL.

Applicants interested in hand surgery should check the ‘hand’ box on the application form. If chosen for the program, one of these applicants will be sponsored by the ASSH.

For inquiries, contact Erin Ransford, Manager of Research Development, Office of Government Relations, 6300 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. 60018-4262, phone (847) 384-4319 or e-mail ransford@aaos.org.


ASSH Courses and Meetings

Electives in Hand Surgery
February 5-6, 2010
InterContinental New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Extended Registration Deadline: January 15, 2010
Housing Deadline: January 13, 2010

This course will highlight fundamental anatomical knowledge that is key to the practice of therapists and surgeons alike.  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.  

There will be 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.  Additionally, attendees can sign up for one of the Industry Sponsored Product Demonstration Workshops taking place throughout the program to help supplement their experience.  Download the course brochure for more information or register online today!


General Orthopaedic Review
July 15, 2010
Renaissance Downtown Hotel - Chicago, IL
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2010
Co-Sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)

This one-day review course, brought to you by the AAOS and ASSH, prepares you for the general orthopaedic questions on the combined CAQ exam in Hand Surgery. Held just one day prior to the ASSH Comprehensive Review in Hand Surgery course, this is a convenient opportunity to review generally accepted principles of orthopaedics across the specialties and to prepare you to maintain your certification. A skilled faculty of experienced clinicians will focus on what you need to know in all the other specialty areas of orthopaedics for the exam.  Review registration fees and program details on the General Orthopaedic Review course web page.  Get started by registering online today. 


Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
July 16-18, 2010
Renaissance Downtown Hotel - Chicago, IL
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2010

The ASSH Comprehensive Review Course is designed as an advanced review course and update for practicing hand surgeons.  The course will review the topical concepts of anatomy, biomechanics and pathology as well as diagnostic and treatment methods relating to hand and elbow surgery.  The faculty are recognized experts in hand surgery and have been selected for their knowledge, expertise and contributions relating to the subject matter they present.  Learn more about this program and review the registration fees by visiting the Comprehensive Review Course web page.  Or, if you’re ready to sign up, register online


2010 Master Skills Series: Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist
May 21 - 22, 2010
Orthopaedic Learning Center - Rosemont, IL
Registration Deadline: May 6, 2010

The Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist course is designed with an emphasis on adult learning with a case-based format, along with a hands-on cadaver workshop to provide you with the most current trends and techniques in trauma.  Learn more about this program and review the registration fees by visiting the Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist web page.  Or, if you're ready to sign up register online.


Healthcare Reform News

AMA Unsuccessful in Delaying Implementation of Consultations Billing Policy - From AAOS

According to information from the American Medical Association (AMA), the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has determined that the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cannot delay a single section of the final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule (MPFS), but must instead either delay or proceed with implementation of the entire rule.  AMA had urged CMS to delay the implementation of the new consultations billing policy for a year.  Under this policy, CMS would no longer recognize Current Procedural Terminology codes 99241-99245 and 99251-99255, which reimburse physicians for providing consultative evaluation and management services.  Due to the general counsel's determination, CMS will implement the entire MPFS rule, including the new consultations billing policy, which began on Jan. 1, 2010.

In a separate announcement, CMS indicated it will hold claims filed in the first 10 days of January in case legislative action is taken to override any individual section of the MPFS, and the agency will not issue denials on any claims in this period.  This has given providers a 10-day grace period to adjust their billing practices to reflect the new rules.

Read about the changes to the CMS policy (PDF)…


Letter Explains AMA Support for Senate Health Reform Bill - From AMA

In an open letter to the nation’s physicians, AMA President J. James Rohack, MD, AMA President-elect Cecil B. Wilson, MD, and AMA Immediate Past President Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD, explained the AMA’s support for the amended health system reform bill passed December 24 by the U.S. Senate.  They also noted that the AMA will seek additional changes in the final conference committee agreement that will reconcile differences between the Senate bill and health reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

View the open letter or a statement from Dr. Rohack regarding passage of the bill.


Charts Compare Reform Bills to AMA Policy - From AMA

The AMA has developed a one-page chart that explains how the House and Senate health reform bills address provisions in Resolution 203, which the AMA House of Delegates passed in November during its Interim Meeting.

In addition, a legislative summary chart by the AMA compares in detail the amended Senate health reform bill to the original Senate bill and the House bill and explains how they relate to AMA policy.