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 Weekly Member Update - February 13, 2009

 ASSH Weekly Member Upd@te

________________________________February 13, 2009

Did You Know?

·         One Question

·         A one-question survey designed to help us all better understand the contexts in which our members live and work

ASSH News

·         Apply Now to be an ASSH Committee Member - Upcoming Deadline February 13

·         Upcoming AFSH Grant and Award Deadlines

·         BSSH/ASSH Combined Meeting – Registration Now Open

·         ASSH/ASHT Combined Meeting Call For Abstracts - Upcoming Deadline February 9

·         American Hand Therapy Foundation (AHTF) Offering Two Grants in 2009

ASSH Courses and Meetings

·         2009 Self-Assessment Examination

·         2009 ASHT/ASSH Advances in Hand Therapy Course

·         2009 Advanced Techniques in Reconstructive Elbow Surgery

·         2009 AAOS/ASSH General Orthopaedic Review Course

·         2009 Comprehensive Review in Hand Surgery

 

Medical News

·         National RAC Program Back on Track

·         Congressional Conference Committee to Reconcile House and Senate Stimulus Bills

·         Reinnervated Muscles Can be Used to Control Advanced Artificial Arms (From AAOS)

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Did You Know?
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Did you know that after 12 years of using the same software to manage our membership records, CME tracking, registration processing, etc., the Hand Society staff is beginning a major transition to new software this weekend which will eventually afford us the tools to serve our members better. 

At the end of the day today, we stop processing transactions (registrations, orders, membership renewals etc.) in our old software system.  Until Tuesday, February 24, we will be handling members requests manually.  After February 24, we will be operational in our new software platform (CRM4M). 

For the next ten days or so, we ask your patience as we manually handle your membership requests.  Once we have migrated to our new software platform, we will be much better able to serve our members and customers. 

Mark C. Anderson, CAE

Executive Vice President & CEO
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One Question

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The Hand Society leadership believes it is crucial to remain focused on issues that are both meaningful to our members and reflective of the Society’s mission.  The current status of our country’s economy provides a good back drop for an evaluation about which issues are truly important to you, as a member of the Hand Society and as a member of the field in general. 

Please take a moment to share your priorities for our future achievements by answering this week’s One Question.  Your input will help define the immediate future of the Hand Society and give focus to our leadership.

Sincerely ,

Robert M. Szabo, MD, MPH

President-elect, ASSH

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ASSH News

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Apply Now to be an ASSH Committee Member

Participation in American Society for Surgery of the Hand committees is one of the best ways to share your voice with the Hand Society and to contribute to our specialty.  If you are a motivated, dedicated, and enthusiastic member, consider sharing your talents by applying to be a committee member. 

To read more about each committee and it’s charges, visit the ASSH website.  Once you know which committee you are interested in joining, take a few moments to fill out the online application.

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 13.  Questions can be directed to Tara Havenga at the Central Office (thavenga@assh.org).
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Upcoming AFSH Grant and Award Deadlines

Hand Surgeon-Scientist Award – applications due December 1, 2009


Basic Science and Clinical Research Grant - applications due April 1, 2009


The Weiland Medal – applications due April 1, 2009
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BSSH/ASSH Combined Meeting – Registration Now Open
April 30 - May 1, 2009

 
The provisional programme and registration form for the BSSH/ASSH Combined meeting are now available on the BSSH website: www.bssh.ac.uk.  There is a link to the meeting details on the home page of the BSSH website.   If you have any queries relating to this, please do not hesitate to contact Helen Roberts (helen.roberts@bssh.ac.u.k) at BSSH. 

View the programme.  

 
Download a registration form.
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2009 Call For Abstracts
September 3-5, 2009 * San Francisco, California
2009 Combined Annual Meeting of the ASSH and ASHT
Bridges: Connecting the Past and the Future

The abstract submission site is now open to submit your proposals for the 2009 Combined Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT).  Interested in learning more?  Download the official 2009 Call For Abstracts or visit the Hand Society’s Call For Abstracts online information page for important details then submit your proposal today! 

2009 Online Abstract Submission Forms:

·         Instructional Course Lecture – Deadline passed

·         Symposia abstracts – Deadline passed

·         Paper Presentation – Deadline passed

Already submitted an abstract but need to make a change?  Visit the Abstract Service Center to edit your submission.  Revisions can be made through the deadline listed above.

Questions about the abstract submission process?  Contact Diana Shkap at dshkap@assh.org.

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American Hand Therapy Foundation (AHTF) Offering Two Grants in 2009

The American Hand Therapy Foundation (AHTF) has two grants available for 2009. Please go to www.ahtfgrants.com for more information, application instructions, and forms needed for submission. The application deadline is February 28, 2009.
 
AHTF Evelyn Mackin Traveling Hand Therapist Award
The AHTF Evelyn Mackin Traveling Hand Therapist is designed to fund a practicing occupational or physical therapist, who is a current member of the American Society of Hand Therapists or a Certified Hand Therapist, in traveling to various hand therapy facilities, in presenting on a specific domain of hand therapy, and in sharing the "pearls" of hand rehabilitation learned from the experience. This funding opportunity is $3,000.

AHTF Burkhalter New Investigator Grant
The AHTF Burkhalter New Investigator Grant is for clinical research in hand and upper limb rehabilitation.  It was established in honor of Dr. William Burkhalter (1928-1992), a long time advocate and promoter of hand therapy.  This funding opportunity is $4,000. 
 
Please go to www.ahtfgrants.com to apply!

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ASSH Courses & Meetings
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2009 Self-Assessment Examination
Registration Deadline: April 3, 2009
Online Registration Now Open!

SAE Educational Objectives

       Detect and differentiate injury mechanisms, pathologies and applied anatomy associated with upper extremity conditions treated by hand surgeons

       Differentiate and apply the range of conservative and surgical treatment options to deal with upper extremity problems that present to a hand surgeon’s practice

       Develop informed evidenced-based guided clinical decision practice options in the treatment of upper extremity disorders

       Evaluate by self assessment basic cognitive, reasoning skills, and clinical aptitudes required of all hand surgeons in practice to complete maintenance of certification

This examination is offered as a convenient self-education exercise by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is geared towards hand and upper extremity health care professionals.   Designed to assist the physician in reviewing basic principles of hand care, the exam also helps to keep the physician abreast of new developments and concepts within the specialty.  The examination covers diagnostic and therapeutic problems, both surgical and non-operative, basic science knowledge, and fundamental principles of hand surgery. The interpretation of the illustrative material (clinical photographs and radiographs) is an integral part of this examination. The 2009 examination consists of the Question Book (Book 1) containing 150 questions, an answer sheet, evaluation, and the Discussion Book (Book 2) with preferred responses, discussion and literature references.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Registration Deadline – April 3, 2009

Deadline to return answer sheet – Postmarked by June 12, 2009

Discussion book mailed  - July 31, 2009

ACCREDITATION

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education to physicians.

CME CREDIT HOURS

The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.   

NOTE: Only those who return a completed answer sheet for computer scoring by June 12, 2009 will be eligible for CME.

Learn more about the Self-Assessment Exam by downloading the program brochure or visit the exam webpage to register online!

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2009 ASHT/ASSH Advances in Hand Therapy: Surgeons and Therapists Working Together
Hilton Nashville Downtown Hotel

May 15-16, 2009
Registration Deadline: April 20, 2009

Online Registration Now Open!

Jointly Sponsored by:
American Society of Hand Therapists
American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Program Co-Chairs:
Randip R. Bindra, MD
Kathleen E. Brou, OTR, CHT
Marta H. Brinkley, OTR/L, CHT

The ASSH and ASHT are proud to present this 2-day course designed for intermediate to advanced hand therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and managers.  This course will include the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment of upper quadrant conditions as well as cutting edge practice management techniques.  Attendees will gain exposure to critical knowledge from presentations provided by recognized expert physicians, clinicians and managers all of whom are affiliated with ASSH and ASHT.   The targeted sessions on outpatient therapy practice management will provide crucial business decision making skills a therapist can utilize within his or her own clinic.   Participation in lectures, panel discussions, and case studies will allow attendees to advance their clinical decision making skills.  Visit the online event page for program details. 

OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

·         Compare and contrast current operative and non-operative treatment for a wide spectrum of upper quadrant orthopedic conditions.

·         Develop and execute treatment plans for complex upper quadrant conditions.

·         Utilize “the pearls” of treatment for core stabilization and wound care.

·         Sharpen clinical management decision making skills utilizing objective data for staffing plans, documentation, and billing.

·         Compare and contrast a variety of outcome tools/scores and determine the benefits of routine clinical use.

·         Obtain expert clinical medical knowledge on surgical and therapeutic strategies that can be utilized in the clinical setting in practical settings.

AOTA CE UNITS: The ASHT is an approved provider of Continuing Education for the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by the AOTA.  The ASHT is an approved CEU provider for the Board of Certification, Inc. for Athletic Trainers.

ASSH CME CREDIT: The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 8.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  The ASSH is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Learn more by downloading the course brochure or visit www.asht.org to register online.  _______________________________________________________­­­­_____ 

2009 Advanced Techniques in Reconstructive Elbow Surgery

Registration Deadline: May 22, 2009

Online Registration Now Open!

Program Chairs:
David C. Ring, MD
Scott P. Steinmann, MD

This course will provide a state of the art update on open and arthroscopic techniques of elbow surgery. A renowned faculty of leading elbow surgeons will present lectures, panel discussions and hands-on training in the cadaver laboratory. Specific techniques covered in detail will be elbow arthroscopy, elbow instability, all elbow fractures, and arthroplasty. Course attendees will have the opportunity to perform all surgical procedures in the laboratory and are encouraged to bring problem cases for discussion with the faculty.

Course Objectives:

·         Become familiar with advanced techniques of elbow surgery

·         Learn arthroscopic techniques for the elbow

·         Become familiar with all surgical approaches to the elbow for the most common procedures

·         Recognize pitfalls of surgical techniques and how to avoid complications

·         Understand the biomechanics of the elbow and learn how to perform surgical reconstruction for instability

·         Learn state-of-the-art techniques for treatment of fractures of the distal humerus, radial head, coronoid and olecranon

·         Become familiar with elbow arthroplasty techniques and how to avoid complications

CME Credit Hours
The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 16.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Accreditation
The ASSH is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Learn more by downloading the course brochure or visit www.assh.org to register online.
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2009 AAOS/ASSH General Orthopaedic Review
Hyatt Regency Chicago

July 9, 2009
Registration Deadline: June 29, 2009

Online Registration Now Open!

Co-Sponsored by:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Course Directors:
John J. Grayhack, MD
Michael S. Bednar, MD

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.  Note: the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery does not provide content or material for this program.

OBJECTIVES

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental knowledge base required for Maintenance of Certification
  • Sharpen clinical decision-making using contemporary clinical, laboratory and diagnostic imaging methods to manage pediatric and adult musculoskeletal disorders
  • Compare and contrast current non-operative and operative treatment of a wide spectrum of orthopaedic conditions including shoulder, lower extremity, spine and pediatrics
  • Recognize the spectrum of surgical management of reconstructive and traumatic musculoskeletal conditions and the indications and contraindications for each
  • Discuss current orthopaedic literature concerning a wide array of common musculoskeletal conditions in children and adults

CME CREDIT HOURS
The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 8.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ACCREDITATION
The ASSH is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Learn more by downloading the course brochure or visit www.assh.org to register online.

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2009 Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
Hyatt Regency Chicago

July 10-12, 2009
Registration Deadline: June 29, 2009

Online Registration Now Open!

Program Chairs:
Mark S. Cohen, MD
Thomas R. Kiefhaber, MD

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 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.

OBJECTIVES
• Discuss the topic concepts of anatomy, biomechanics and pathology relating to surgery of the hand, wrist and elbow.
• Prescribe and use generally accepted diagnostic techniques required to evaluate various disease preventions.
• Describe treatment alternatives for acquired, traumatic, inflammatory, congenital and neoplastic disorders of the hand, wrist and elbow. 

CME CREDIT HOURS
The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 22.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ACCREDITATION
The ASSH is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Learn more by downloading the course brochure or visit www.assh.org to register online.

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Medical News
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For more on ASSH advocacy news and efforts, visit the health policy page of our website.

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National RAC Program Back on Track

The implementation of the national RAC program was put on hold until protests could be resolved after the October 2008 CMS award of contracts to four national Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) were protested to the point of a stop work order.  On February 6, 2009, the protests were resolved, so CMS will now continue with the implementation of the national RAC program.

As mandated by section 302 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, CMS will implement a permanent and national RAC program by January 1, 2010.  The national RAC program is the outgrowth of a successful demonstration program that used RACs to identify Medicare overpayments and underpayments to health care providers and suppliers in California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Arizona.  

The national RACs were selected under a full and open competition process.  As announced in October, the new RACs are:                      

  • Diversified Collection Services, Inc. (DCS) of Livermore, California, in Region A, initially working in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.
  • CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. of Fairfax, Virginia, in Region B, initially working in Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota.
  • Connolly Consulting Associates, Inc. of Wilton, Connecticut, in Region C, initially working in South Carolina, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.
  • HealthDataInsights, Inc. (HDI) of Las Vegas, Nevada, in Region D, initially working in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona.

As part of the settlement of the protests, the four RACs listed above will contract with subcontractors to supplement their efforts.  PRG-Schultz, Inc. will serve as a subcontractor to HDI, DCS and CGI in Regions A, B and D.  Viant Payment Systems, Inc. will serve as a subcontractor to Connolly Consulting in Region C.  Each subcontractor has negotiated different responsibilities in each region, including some claims review.  

Over the next several months, CMS will begin contacting associations and providers to discuss provider outreach sessions involving the RACs.  Providers will not begin receiving correspondence from a RAC until the RAC and CMS have completed the provider outreach.   

For additional information on the RAC program, please see the CMS website at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/RAC/ 

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Congressional Conference Committee to Reconcile House and Senate Stimulus Bills

Congress continued their efforts this week to pass a comprehensive stimulus package. With the cost of the legislation pushing toward $900 billion, legislators began to revise the contents in hopes of reaching an agreement. On January 28, 2009 the House passed their version without any Republican support, totaling $819 billion.

The Senate achieved cloture on their $838 billion package late on Monday, February 10, 2009 and passed the bill on Tuesday, February 11 by a vote of 61 to 37. Three Republicans – Senator Susan Collins and Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania – voted for the stimulus.

Now the bills move into conference between the House and Senate and is expected to move quickly.  Congressional leadership and President Obama are calling for a President’s Day deadline.

The versions of the economic stimulus package in both the House and Senate include many health care provisions including language on the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), indirect medical education (IME), comparative effectiveness research (CER), and health information technology (HIT) provisions. The House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill include subsidization for the first 12 months of COBRA for individuals that have lost their jobs on or after September 1, 2008.

Both versions of the stimulus package also reverse the phase-out of the IME adjustment as of October 1, 2008. The IME adjustment phase-out was finalized in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule-making process in 2007 to actually begin in fiscal year (FY) 2009.

Comparative Effectiveness Research. The House and Senate bills both include $1.1 billion towards comparative effectiveness research. Both bills specifically allocate $300 million to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), $400 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $400 million to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Unlike the House, the Senate includes specific language to indicate that these funds are to be used for comparative “clinical” effectiveness and not cost effectiveness. The AAOS has been actively involved in ensuring that there is appropriate stakeholder input and a transparent process for comparative effectiveness research.

Health Information Technology. The Senate stimulus package would provide $23.9 billion for HIT. The House stimulus package would provide $20 billion toward HIT. Although differences exist, both versions of the bill include provider incentives to implement HIT and eventual punitive provisions for not implementing HIT.

The House version of the stimulus package indicates that eligible providers may receive up to $41,000. Incentives could begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013 and phase out over a five year period. The Senate version is similar but has an additional $3,000 for those that are “meaningful users” in 2011 or 2012, which, under the Senate version, could provide a potential $44,000 incentive.

The ASSH will continue to update membership as health-related provisions of economic stimulus package are reconciled and implemented.

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Reinnervated Muscles Can be Used to Control Advanced Artificial Arms (From AAOS)

A study published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association assesses the performance of patients with upper-limb amputation who had undergone targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) surgery, and suggests that reinnervated muscles can produce sufficient electromyogram (EMG) information for real-time control of advanced artificial arms.

The authors studied 5 patients with shoulder-disarticulation or transhumeral amputations who underwent TMR surgery between February 2002 and October 2006 and 5 individuals without amputation as controls. Patients in the TMR group were able to repeatedly perform 10 different elbow, wrist, and hand motions with the virtual prosthetic arm. TMR patients had a mean motion selection time of 0.22 seconds (SD, 0.06) for elbow and wrist movements; the mean motion completion time was 1.29 seconds (SD, 0.15), slightly longer than the times for control patients. Mean motion selection and motion completion times for TMR patients performing hand-grasp patterns were 0.38 seconds (SD, 0.12) and 1.54 seconds (SD, 0.27), respectively. Members of the TMR group successfully completed a mean of 96.3 percent (SD, 3.8) of elbow and wrist movements and 86.9 percent (SD, 13.9) of hand movements within 5 seconds; controls completed 100 percent (SD, 0) of elbow and wrist movements and 96.7 percent (SD, 4.7) of hand movements in the same time period. Three of the TMR patients were able to demonstrate the use of this control system in advanced prostheses, including motorized shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands.

Read more, or read the abstract.
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