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  • November 08, 2019 10:55 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. House of Representatives October 28 passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), H.R. 647/S. 2080.

    A priority of the 2019 ACS Advocacy Summit and At Home Program, the bill would improve the training of health professionals in palliative care by creating Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to provide short-term, intensive courses focused on palliative care and establishing traineeships for individuals preparing for advanced degrees as nurses, social workers, or physician assistants who focus their studies in palliative care. In addition, the legislation expands palliative care research to strengthen clinical practice and improve care delivery for patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses.

    H.R. 647/S. 2080 was introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Greg Walden (R-OR) and Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The American College of Surgeons (ACS) will continue its advocacy on this important issue to ensure swift passage of the bill in the U.S. Senate.

    For more information about PCHETA, contact Amelia Suermann, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at asuermann@facs.org

  • November 07, 2019 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The NYS Workers Compensation Board Drug Formulary (NY WC Formulary) becomes effective in four weeks (12/5/19) for new prescriptions.

    Training materials related to the NY WC Formulary, as well as an updated version of the NY WC Formulary (effective 11/5/19), can be found on the NYS Workers Compensation webpage:

    Drug Formulary OverviewSystem pages

    Information and resources related to the Board's Medical Portal, which is used to access the prior authorization system, can be found on our Medical Portal Overview webpage.

    For more information or assistance

    Visit http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/ebiz/drugformulary

    General Formulary questions: email WCBFormularyQuestions@wcb.ny.gov

    Technical Support questions: email WCBCustomerSupport@wcb.ny.gov

    Subscribe for email notifications at http://www.wcb.ny.gov/notify

  • October 14, 2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    The CDC has penned a new name for vaping-related illness: EVALI, which stands for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, according to new healthcare recommendations the agency released Oct. 11.  

    The interim guidelines focus on initial assessment, criteria for hospital admission and treatment, patient follow-up, considerations for high-risk groups and public recommendations regarding EVALI. Rapid diagnosis and an understanding of treatment options could reduce EVALI morbidity and mortality, the CDC said. 

    Initial assessment recommendations include a respiratory virus panel, especially during flu season, and evaluation of community-acquired pneumonia. Treatment guidelines suggest using corticosteroids. Of 140 patients who received the medication nationwide, 82 percent showed improvement, according to the CDC. However, the agency cautions providers to withhold corticosteroids when evaluating for infectious etiologies, like pneumonia, that could potentially worsen with corticosteroid treatment.  

    CDC is currently developing guidelines for EVALI healthcare encounters as new data emerges. While the exact chemicals responsible for the illness are still unknown, CDC recommends people stop or decrease use of products containing THC and/or nicotine.  

    As of November 5, 2019, 2,051* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory.

    • Thirty nine deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia (3), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan, Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Tennessee (2), Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
      • The median age of deceased patients was 53 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years (as of November 5, 2019).

    For EVALI updates from the CDC, click here.

  • October 11, 2019 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    Applications are due Friday, November 15

    The International Relations Committee of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has announced the availability of traveling fellowships to Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Germany, and Japan.

     The traveling fellowships encourage the international exchange of information concerning surgical science, practice, and education and foster professional and academic collaborations and friendships.  The traveling fellowships, which are available in most surgical specialties, are open to ACS Fellows under the age of 50.

     The Traveling Fellows will spend a minimum of two or three weeks in the countries that they visit. Their activities will include attending and participating in the 2020 annual scientific meeting of the host country: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Perth (May 3-7); Germany Society of Surgery, Munich (April 8–10); and Japan Surgical Society, Chiba (April 8–10). View the full description and a link to the application form on the ACS website. [https://www.facs.org/member-services/scholarships/traveling].

    Questions may be directed to the Scholarships Administrator, at scholarships@facs.org.

  • October 07, 2019 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    The closing date for receipt of applications and all supporting documents is November 15, 2019

    The College offers faculty research fellowships through the generosity of Fellows, Chapters, and friends of the College, to surgeons entering academic careers in surgery or a surgical specialty.  These fellowships assist surgeons in the establishment of a new and independent research program.  Applicants should have demonstrated their potential to work as independent investigators.  The fellowship award is $40,000 per year to support the research.

     The Franklin Martin Fellowship honors the College's founder.  The C. James Carrico Fellowship is dedicated to trauma and critical care research.  There are two more undesignated fellowships. All of them are two years in length. 

     The full requirements and application form are posted on the ACS website at https://www.facs.org/member-services/scholarships/research/acsfaculty.   Questions may be directed to the Scholarships Administrator, at scholarships@facs.org.

  • September 08, 2019 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Adapted from the Times Union

    New York state is being more forceful in its warning about vaping products as the state Health Department has urged people to stop using them until the cause of a rash of serious respiratory illnesses can be determined.

    While attending New York City's Labor Day parade Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "our health guidance is no one should be using vaping products period until we know what it is."

    Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker then issued a statement Saturday saying at the direction of Cuomo, and heeding warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "I am urging New Yorkers to stop using vape products while the investigation into the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses nationwide can be better determined."

    The CDC is reporting that more than 450 possible cases of vaping-related illness have been reported, with five users dying who live in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.

    The New York Chapter ACS strongly recommends that every effort be made to prevent the initiation of e-cigarettes by youth and adults. The use of products containing nicotine in any form is unsafe and in youth can harm brain development. Furthermore, evidence indicates that young e-cigarette users are at increased risk for both starting to smoke and becoming long-term users of combustible tobacco products.

    Additional legislation we support in efforts to prevent tobacco and vaping related complications include:  S.428 Hoylman/A.47 Rosenthal - prohibits the sale and distribution of flavored e-liquid for use in e-cigarettes.

    > Learn more about the Chapter's priorities

  • September 05, 2019 8:24 PM | Anonymous

    As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts surrounding patient matching and the Unique Patient Identifier (UPI), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) joined 56 stakeholder organizations in signing a letter urging leadership of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations to remove language from the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This provision prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from spending federal dollars to adopt a UPI.

  • September 05, 2019 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    The CMS regional will consult with stakeholders on the best way to communicate with physicians and other prescribers about how their opioid prescribing compares to peers. 

    The target audience includes, but is not limited to, clinicians treating Medicare beneficiaries under new Part D regulations; State Medical Societies; and third-party payers.

    CMS is seeking feedback to develop a methodology to establish outlier prescriber thresholds; the tone and content of the feedback report to clinicians; how to identify a “medical specialty” from the NPI framework; how to define geographic areas for the analysis; and recommendations on appropriate opioid prescribing guidelines.

    The listening sessions are intended to fulfill the CMS “consultation with stakeholder” requirements in Section 6065 of the SUPPORT Act. Importantly, the sessions are critical to inform the methodology CMS will used to define “outlier prescribers.” Stakeholder feedback is also essential to help CMS craft notifications that will drive change in prescribing behavior without encouraging providers to inappropriately reduce or abandon opioid prescribing. CMS must be thoughtful and respectful about how we communicate with providers around opioids, and the input we get through these listening sessions will help guide our efforts. 

    A list of questions will be provided to those who register, and dial in information will be shared in advance of the call to take place on 9/17 at 4pm. 

    Please register using the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cms-region-ii-prescriber-listening-session-opioids-tickets-71540679097

  • July 31, 2019 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    Changes to National Government Services Local Coverage Determination Process

    In accordance with Section 4009 of H.R. 34-21st Century Cures Act (Public Law No: 114-255), CMS is updating the “Medicare Program Integrity Manual” with detailed changes to the LCD process. These changes were communicated in CMS Transmittal 863, issued on 2/12/2019.

    Please ensure your staff is aware of the LCD revisions and transition of all coding to related articles. There has been no change in coverage associated with this update.

    • All coding information, will be removed from the LCDs and placed in a related billing and coding article, including national coverage provisions, and associated information (documentation requirements, utilization guidelines).
    • The article name will begin with “Billing and Coding,” followed by the title of the associated LCD.
    • Bill types, revenue codes, CPT/HCPCS codes, ICD-10 codes, as well as any coding guidance or mention of codes in the LCD will now be found in the associated billing and coding article.
    • Several LCDs will be revised for 8/1/2019 publication. The remaining LCDs will be revised in the coming months, with all completed by 1/1/2020.
    • Billing and coding articles will be listed on the Medical Policy Center page alongside the related LCD.

     

    Screen Clipping

     

    Related Content

    • More details on this update are available in MLN Matters® Article MM10901.
    • For a complete listing of all LCDs, visit the Medical Policy Center
  • July 26, 2019 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    For the first time, the July 2019 issue of MLMIC’s Case Review is available here as a podcast (see below). 

    This allows policyholders and non-policyholders alike to listen to an audio version of each case study and its accompanying legal and risk management analysis. 

    The cases in this new issue include:

    •  Case Study #1:  Gastroenterologist and Hospital Absolved after Disastrous Outcome
    • Case Study #2:  Poor Communication Regarding Medical Management Results in Patient Death

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