Weekly Member Update - June 10, 2011

June 10, 2011
Our Immediate Past President,  Robert M. Szabo, MD just returned from the Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand (FESSH) meeting in Oslo, Norway.  Dr. Szabo learned about an exciting, collaborative effort by the European community and would like to share this news with you.
Dear Members,
I had the pleasure of just returning from the FESSH meeting in Oslo this year representing the ASSH as Immediate Past President.  It was a great opportunity for meeting and conversing with our international colleagues who contribute so much to the field of hand surgery.  It was most interesting to speak to other hand surgeons representing many countries who all face similar concerns with education, certification and perception of our scope and specialty by others.  The European community of hand surgeons has united to form the European Board of Hand Surgery and have issued their “White Book on Hand Surgery in Europe.”  I have asked Professor Massimo Ceruso, the Past Secretary General of FESSH, to introduce the meaning of this document to you.  The complete document and Dr. Ceruso's introduction is available on our ASSH website for you to see. Professor Ceruso has also generously offered that he and all of his FESSH colleagues are available to answer any questions and cooperate with our efforts here in the U.S., if requested. Thank you, Massimo and thank you, FESSH.

Robert M. Szabo, MD, MPH
Many of us use the text messaging feature of our smartphones to communicate with friends and family.  This week’s One Question asks if you use text messaging and if you would like the ASSH to update you on ASSH news using text messaging.  Answer this week’s One Question


Thanks to the efforts of Dan Nagle, MD, Ghazi Rayan, MD and staff (particularly Tara Havenga), we are excited to announce that ASSH has established partnership with VuMedi.  This relationship means surgeons will have the opportunity to watch and discuss selected videos from our comprehensive surgical video library.  We are pleased to offer a compliment to our Image Library where members are already sharing their cases for educational purposes.  Now, you can upload your cases and images to the ASSH Image Library website and checkout  20 peer-reviewed hand, elbow, and shoulder videos on the ASSH Channel on VuMedi.  Take advantage of this new partnership and enjoy a complimentary registration with VuMedi.


Today is the final day to send in your 2011 ASSH Self-Assessment Exam answer sheet!  All answer sheets must be postmarked and in the mail by today.  Answer sheets not postmarked by today will not be scored.  Any unscored exams are not eligible for CME credit.  No exceptions to the deadline are being made, so please return your sheets on time.  Thank you for participating in this year’s exam!

Please note: Scored exams must meet or surpass the 39% minimum passing score requirement, or CME credit will not be given.
According to the recent Members Value Survey, as well as surveys from previous years, collegiality ranks among the most valued of the intangible benefits of ASSH Membership.  But with thousands of members spanning the globe, connecting with all of your colleagues presents a huge challenge.  To begin bridging that gap, the Hand Society is exploring the creation of a new feature in Weekly Member Update which would introduce different members and share about their career. 
Featured members will be selected, in part, based on the completeness of their online profile in the ASSH database.  Your profile is linked with our online Membership Directory and our Find-a-Hand-Surgeon tool, so the more complete your profile is, the easier it will be for patients and other members to find you when they search for specific information.  Take a moment to login to www.assh.org  and update your profile today.
All featured members will be contacted by Tara Havenga prior to their inclusion in Weekly Member Update.  If you have questions, or would like to be featured, please contact Tara (thavenga@assh.org).


The Young Leaders Program is a leadership development program for young members who are interested in becoming more involved in the Hand Society and are dedicated to the future of hand surgery.  For more information about the program, visit our website or complete the Online Application.

The deadline for applications is August 1, 2011.  Questions should be sent to Alexzandra Wallace at awallace@assh.org.
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand is offering to sponsor up to two ASSH members to attend the 2011 US Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) Young Investigators Initiative and Workshop Program.  This program is designed to 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 that are doing research and have a faculty appointment in place or confirmed.
Any ASSH Active or Candidate member may apply.  Applications should be sent directly to the USBJI, and applicants should clearly state on their paperwork that they are ASSH members.  If selected, the Hand Society will reimburse for travel and the registration fee.  For more information, please visit the US Bone and Joint Initiative website.

Thanks to the partnership of hundreds of donors each year the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand continues to make a difference in patient care, research, and education.  We especially thank these donors who made a contribution to the Foundation in the past week.

Roberto J. Acosta, MD
J. Mack Aldridge, MD
Rannie AlSamkari, MD
Timothy A. Beer, MD
David A. Bernstein, MD
Sarah D. Beshlian, MD
Charles Cassidy, MD
Richard D. Curtis, MD
Gina Carmela Del Savio, MD
Mark Dodson, MD
Stephen C. Drukker, MD
Robert I. Forster, MD
Carlos O. Gargollo, MD
John D. Hand, MD
Kevin A. Hildebrand, MD
Steven Hoover, MD
Paul C. Horn, MD
Jonathan E. Isaacs, MD
Michael Jablon, MD
Christopher D. Johnson, MD
Geoffrey H. Johnston, MD
Bert F. Jones, MD
Heidi E. Jost, MD
Joseph E. Kutz, MD
Julian E. Kuz, MD
Dawn M. LaPorte, MD
Andrew K. Lee, MD
Mary Ling, MD
Christopher S. Litts, MD
Douglas R. Mason, MD
James D. Matiko, MD
Robert J. Maurer, MD
Desirae M. McKee, MD
Vikram P. Mehta, MD, FACS
Steven D. Meletiou, MD
Terry M. Messer, MD
Mitchell E. Nahra, MD
Brent C. Nossaman, DO
Jerry E. Nye, MD
Richard W. Pope, MD
James E. Popp, MD
Norman K. Poppen, MD
Raymond B. Raven, MD
John T. Rich, MD
Samir Sodha, MD
John M. Stogin, Jr., MD
Amir Taghinia, MD
John Thomas, MD
Marc A. Trzeciak, DO
Garrett Edward Watts, MD
Rafael M. Williams, MD
Scott M. Wisotsky, MD
Raymond A. Wittstadt, MD, MPH

You can make a difference through your contribution today, visit www.afsh.org or contact us at afsh@assh.org.

In direct response to American Medical Association (AMA) and American College of Surgeons advocacy, CMS staff announced that the agency is issuing a proposed rule on modifying the eRx penalty program.  Read the complete CMS statement. They expect that the Final Rule will be published in August.  On a media conference call, CMS staff provided an overview of the proposed rule.  If physicians are unable to meet the current eRx requirement (e-prescribe & report 10 G codes on your Medicare Part B claims by June 30, 2011), they will have an opportunity to apply for an exemption by using a web-based tool to avoid the eRx penalty.  CMS will review the requests and provide exemptions from eRx penalties on a case by case basis.

The exemption categories include (1) already participating in the Medicare/Medicaid EHR incentive programs, (2) prescribe controlled substances, (3) treat Medicare patients, but issue few prescriptions, and (4) are able to e-prescribe, but are unable to report e-prescriptions due to eRx program requirements.  The regulation was just posted to the website and is under review by AMA, ACS and AAOS staff. 

President Nagle extended many thanks to Andy Gurman, MD, ASSH member and vice speaker of the AMA House of Delegates, for keeping us in the loop on this very important issue.  The AMA and the American College of Surgeons were instrumental in convincing CMS to change the eRx rules.  The ASSH will continue to follow this issue.

CMS Extends Application Deadlines for the Accountable Care Organization Model – from the AMA

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an extension of the deadlines for letters of intent and applications for the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, which was released last month.  Being responsive to the suggestions of the stakeholder community is critical to the success of the Innovation Center’s efforts to achieve the three aims of better healthcare, better health, and reduced costs through improvement.  As part of this commitment, and based on the feedback from the community of potential applicants, the Innovation Center is modifying two deadlines relating to the Pioneer ACO Model:

• Letters of Intent will now be due on Thursday, June 30.  The previous deadline was Friday, June 10.
• Applications must be postmarked on or before Friday, August 19.  The previous deadline was Monday, July 18.

The Pioneer ACO Request for Application, the Letter of Intent form, and the Application form may be accessed at the CMS website.