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 Weekly Member Update - September 2, 2011

CMS Issues Final Rule on E-Prescribing Incentive Program
Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions Rise Sharply
Last week we asked you to weigh in on the mobile application we created to help you navigate the 66th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. See how you and your fellow members responded here.
Get a Sneak Peek at Annual Meeting E-Posters
Can't wait until the Annual Meeting to check out e-posters? 
Access all 120 Annual Meeting and 48 Residents and Fellows e-posters on the e-poster site.  Choose the Flash icon for the full e-poster and PDF icon for the abstract. 
You can also view e-posters through a web browser on your mobile device.  Choose the Apple icon for Apple devices and Flash icon for Androids to view the full e-poster and PDF icon for the abstract.
Curious to find out which have been selected as the top five posters of the Annual Meeting?  Visit the exhibit hall to see the top five poster displays as well as the British Hand Society Posters and all e-posters.  
Don’t forget to attend the General Session on Friday afternoon in Mandalay G-L.  The best poster will be announced at 2:55 PM.
Annual Meeting Attendees are Going Mobile
ASSH has launched its first mobile application to help you navigate the 66th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, and the app has over 650 downloads.  Get on board.  Download ASSH AM 2011 to find everything you need for the Annual Meeting. 
Need help getting started?  Watch the How-To-Video, and read the Mobile App FAQ. ASSH AM 2011 includes a complete program listing with full session descriptions, a do-it-yourself schedule builder, conference center maps, exhibitor descriptions, speaker information, access to all available handouts for symposia and instructional courses (more coming later this month), all available abstracts for clinical papers, posters and e-posters.
Deadline Approaching for Abstracts for Combined Meeting
The first combined meeting of the ASSH and Australian Hand Surgery Society (AHSS) will be held March 22-25, 2012 in Kauai, Hawaii, and physicians are invited to submit an abstract for consideration at the meeting.  
The purpose of the meeting is for hand practitioners to share new concepts and revisit established principles pertaining to hand and upper extremity.  Hand care professionals from around the world will come together to share, discuss and learn about breakthrough techniques and procedures advancing the care and treatment of hand and upper extremity. 
The abstract submission deadline is Sept. 30, 2011, and accept/reject notifications will be sent on Oct. 31, 2011.  For more information, visit the General Information site.
Register for the Master Series Course on Arthroplasties
The next Master Skills Series course, "Arthroplasties of the Hand, Wrist and Elbow," will be held Nov. 4-5, 2011 at the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont, Ill.
The program offers a unique course format that focuses on performing a variety of surgical procedures using equipment from multiple manufacturers, with guidance from hand and upper extremity experts. Particular emphasis will be placed on operative pearls relative to each implant.  There will be no formal didactic lectures.  Case studies and discussions will be used to highlight the pearls and pitfalls of hand, wrist, and elbow arthroplasty.  A low participant to faculty ratio means better facilitation, interaction, communication, and learning.
The deadline for registration is October 3, and you can register here.
Thank You to AFSH Donors
Robert L. Bass, MD
Dawn M. Briskey, CAE
Delwin E. Quenzer, MD*
David S. Ruch, MD
* Indicates contributions made in memory of James H. Dobyns, MD
Learn how you can donate in many ways, including autopay, by check or with stock.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final rule on changes to the federal e-prescribing incentive program for 2011.
The rule includes additional hardship exemption categories to help providers avoid the Medicare payment cuts they could face for not meeting e-prescribing targets.  In addition, the final rule extends the deadline for requesting significant-hardship exemptions to Nov. 1, 2011.  The new regulations also attempt to eliminate a conflict with the separate electronic health record (EHR) incentive program.
Under earlier proposed rules, providers who purchased one system to qualify for the EHR incentives might have had to purchase a separate system to also qualify for the e-prescribing program, even though both programs have the same goal of steering providers away from paper prescriptions to digital versions. Read the rule.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has submitted comments to CMS regarding a proposed rule that would, among other things, adopt eight quality measures for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) for payment determination in 2014 under the ASC Quality Reporting Program.
CMS has proposed maintaining its policy of not requiring ASCs to submit cost data, because such a requirement could be administratively burdensome for the ASCs. However, MedPAC states that ASCs typically maintain cost records for tax purposes, and therefore proposes that CMS create a streamlined process through which ASCs can submit cost data.
In addition, MedPAC suggests that CMS increase ASC payments by 0.5 percent during 2012. CMS had proposed a 0.9 percent increase over the same time-frame. Read more.
According to a report released by the non-partisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), the federal government has sharply increased the number of healthcare fraud prosecutions in 2011.
The government reported that, during the first 8 months of FY2011, there were 903 new healthcare fraud prosecutions — an activity level greater than all for all of FY2010. At this pace, total prosecutions for FY2011 will be 1,355 — an 85.4 increase over FY2010, when total prosecutions numbered 731. Read more.​