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CSMS Recent Headlines

CSMS Councilor Speaks on Mental Health Parity at AMA

CSMS Councilor Theodore Zanker, MD gave a presentation today as part of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates meeting in Chicago.A featured speaker at the AMA Litigation Center meeting, Dr. Zanker discussed the lawsuit filed against Anthem by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), in which he is a named plaintiff. CSMS and the AMA filed amicus briefs supporting the APA suit, which relates to mental health parity.Click here to view the joint letter from CSMS, APA and the Connecticut Psychiatric Society to Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield (March 2013). (Photo courtesy of the American Medical Association) 

CSMS Members in the News

CSMS member physicians play active leadership roles in many areas of medicine. Here are a few CSMS members in the recent news: Congratulations to CSMS Councilor Joseph Feuerstein, MD (L) for being awarded the 2015 Doctors of Distinction Award for Excellence in Medical Research. In addition to his family medicine practice, Dr. Feuerstein is the Director of Integrative Medicine at Stamford Hospital.Also winning a Doctors of Distinction award was CSMS Life Member Albert Burke, MD (Leadership in Medical Advocacy Award). Dr. Burke planned and developed the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, and currently serves as a volunteer physician for the …

CSMS Supports Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015

For Immediate Release(North Haven, CT) Today, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) issued a strong endorsement for the “Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015,” introduced today by U.S. Representative George Holding of North Carolina. The legislation addresses many concerns that physicians have with regard to the extraordinary lack of transparency and expensive, time-consuming and often unfair processes that plague the current Medicare audit program.Representative Holding declared it time to fix the broken audit program: “Put simply, patients achieve the best health outcomes when practicing physicians do just that - practice medicine. My bill will bring transparency and fairness to the …

Pediatric Clerkship Preceptors Needed

The Frank Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University is in need of additional preceptors for its required third year Pediatric Clerkship.The clerkship is 6 weeks in duration, two weeks will be inpatient based at CCMC while 4 weeks will be outpatient/office-based in community practices. Thus, a given physician or group practice will have a student for only 4 weeks of the six week clerkship. The clerkship will repeat itself six times per year (see the 2015-2016 schedule below). We hope that each week of the outpatient experience will include: Approximately 32-36 hours of office-based experience Approximately 4 hours per …

AMA Therapeutic Insights: Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

The full newsletter Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, prescribing information and CME self-assessment are free for both AMA members and nonmembers.Peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN) develops in more than 50% of patients who have diabetes. Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 79 million (or nearly 1 in 3) Americans have pre-diabetes based on testing of fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) concentrations, and in U.S. adults aged 65 years and older, the prevalence is even higher at approximately 50%. It is generally agreed that the prevalence of diabetes will increase if current lifestyles and population trends in obesity do not change.Diabetic sensorimotor …

Thank You to Our Biondino Golf Classic Sponsors

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the annual Biondino Memorial Golf Classic go to support the CSMS Charitable Trust.We're hard at work preparing for the 2015 Classic (coming up on July 27) - but we want to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the organizations and businesses whose generous sponsorship makes the 2015 Biondino Classic possible: Biondino Golf Classic - Gold SponsorHealthyCTBiondino Golf Classic - SponsorsCandid GroupComprehensive OrthopaedicsConnectiCareConnecticut Orthopaedic SocietyCSMS Insurance AgencyCSMS-IPAHartford County Medical AssociationHenry Schein MedicalMetro TaxiMidState Medical CenterMurtha CullinaNeubert, Pepe & MonteithPension ServiceProHealth PhysiciansQuest DiagnosticsTeplitzky & CompanyTown Fair TireWebster BankYale-New Haven Hospital

CSMS, 45 Healthcare Stakeholders Oppose SB 1028

CSMS and the coalition to oppose SB 1028 were joined by other healthcare stakeholders this week, and sent a joint letter to the Connecticut Senate expressing serious concerns about the bill.SB 1028 would extend the statute of limitations for an injured minor to bring a negligence action to one year after the minor attains the age of majority. The bill would drive up the cost of healthcare without improving quality or access to care. In addition, the bill's proponents have been unable to provide any evidence to show a need for this legislation.Read the letter here Learn more here American …

Nominations Now Open for 2015 Maloney, HLI Awards

Nominations are now open for the Maloney Distinguished Service Award and the Healthcare Leader and Innovator (HLI) Award. All CSMS members are welcome to nominate their colleagues for recognition of outstanding work. The Paul K. Maloney, Jr., MD Distinguished Service Award was established to honor the life and work of Dr. Maloney, an eminent physician known for his exemplary service, active engagement, and dedication to the community. The Maloney Award is the highest honor CSMS can confer upon a member. Each year, CSMS donates $1,000 to the charity of the Maloney Award winner’s choice. The Connecticut Medicine Healthcare Leader and …

Open Payments Program Increases Transparency in Health Care

This guest post is written by William J. Kassler, MD, MPH. Dr. Kassler is the Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Region I.The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Open Payments program collects data from drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) about payments they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. The program also reports information about ownership interests in drug and device manufacturers and GPOs held by physicians and their immediate family members. It’s important that physicians and teaching hospitals confirm the accuracy of the financial relationships reported about them.CMS encourages all physicians, …

Fighting for Physicians: CSMS Announces UnitedHealth Settlement

CONNECTICUT STATE MEDICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT OF LITIGATION AGAINST UNITED HEALTHCARE(North Haven, CT) – In a settlement announced today by the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), UnitedHealthcare Group has agreed to spend $11.5 million to resolve actions brought by four medical societies and individual physicians challenging United’s provider claims payment practices. Under the settlement, which resolves actions pending for over a decade, United will spend a minimum of $9 million in extensive enhancements to United’s provider self service website, with the objective of increasing efficiencies and reducing delays in the areas of claims management and claims resolution. The settlement also …

Senator Murphy & MACRA

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was at St. Francis Hospital today to talk with physicians, other health professionals, and patient advocates about his support for the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which finally repealed the flawed SGR formula.Sen. Murphy was joined by CSMS President Bob Russo, MD, who spoke about the Society's advocacy efforts to repeal and replace SGR. Dr. Russo thanked Sen. Murphy. along with the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation, for supporting this historic bill. Click here to view Sen. Murphy's statement, which includes a quote from Dr. Russo.Dr. Bob Russo & Sen. Chris MurphyL-R: CSMS member John …

CT DSS: Electronic Bulletins

Effective June 30, 2015, CT Department of Social Services (DSS) will no longer mail provider bulletins and workshop invitations via the US Postal Service.To ensure that you receive the latest information from the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP), you must either subscribe to receive this information via email, or review the information posted to www.ctdssmap.com daily to obtain newly-published information.

Calling all PCPs: Med Student Teaching Opportunity

From the Yale Integrated Primary Care ClerkshipAre you a Primary Care Physician (i.e., trained in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, or Pediatrics) who enjoys teaching medical students? Would you be interested in applying for Community Faculty Appointment at Yale School of Medicine, which allows you to participate in Faculty Development at no charge and to enjoy collegial interactions with your peers?Yale School of Medicine has recently experienced a surge in primary care interest, with an increasing number of medical students applying to primary care specialties. We depend upon and greatly appreciate superb teaching by our community-based Faculty, who create learning …

New AMA Economic Impact Study Released

Spread the word: Physicians boost the U.S. economy.Beyond their role of safeguarding a healthy community and a productive work force, physicians have a huge positive impact on the national and state economies, as demonstrated in an American Medical Association study that was completed in conjunction with state medical associations.Now is the time to quantify physicians’ economic impact to lawmakers, regulators and policymakers. The report shows that each physician supports an average of: $2.2 million in economic output and contributes to a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output nationwide 84 jobs and contributes to a total of 10 million jobs …

Group Practice Reporting Option - Registration Now Open

If your practice wishes to participate in PQRS as a group for the 2015 reporting year, you must register for the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) by June 30, 2015 using the Physician Value-PQRS (PV-PQRS) registration system.GPRO Reporting ChoicesWhen you register your group, you need to select a GPRO reporting method: Registry EHR Web interface Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & System (CAHPS) for PQRS via a certified survey vendor.The reporting mechanism can be changed at any time during the registration period, but you must do so before the June 30, 2015 deadline.GPRO Authorized AccessIn order to access the PV-PQRS …

Open Payments Review Period Now Underway

On June 30 of this year, 2014 Open Payments (Sunshine Act) data will be displayed on the CMS public website.Before the data is made public, physicians can review and dispute payment data submitted by applicable manufacturers and GPOs from April 1 - May 20. During this review period, physicians can affirm records (optional - unaffirmed records will still be published), initiate disputes, or withdraw disputes. You can still register and dispute inaccuracies after this review and dispute period, but resolutions will not be displayed in the public data until the next reporting cycle.Getting Started with Payment Review Step 1 - …

What Does SGR Repeal Mean for CT Physicians?

Before last night's Senate vote to approve H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), there was a great deal of concern about the possible 21% cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for Medicare services provided on or after April 1, 2015. The President is expected to sign MACRA into law shortly, eliminating the scheduled 21% MPFS cut.In an effort to minimize potential financial effects on providers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had previously instituted a 10-business day processing hold for all impacted claims with dates of service April 1, 2015, …

CSMS Statement on SGR Repeal

April 15, 2015 (North Haven, CT) – After more than a decade of patches, the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was finally repealed last night by an overwhelming Senate vote.On behalf of our physician and physician in training members, the Connecticut State Medical Society would like to thank the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation for their unanimous support of H.R. 2, the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA):US Senator Richard BlumenthalUS Senator Chris MurphyUS Representative John Larson (CT-1)US Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2)US Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)US Representative Jim Himes (CT-4)US Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)This historic vote ended a costly …

US Senate Passes "Doc Fix" - SGR Finally Repealed

After weeks of uncertainty, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 2, the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA), last night with an overwhelming majority vote of 92-8. The House passed H.R. 2 last month, in an unprecedented bipartisan vote of 392-37. The bill now moves to the White House for President Obama's signature.H.R. 2 finally repeals the flawed SGR formula for physician reimbursement, first introduced in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Amendment. It has been patched 17 times since 2003; an AMA estimate places the cost of these patches at $153.7 billion.Key Bill Features • The sustainable growth rate …

CMS Update: 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On April 1, 2015, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) was updated using the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology as required by current law. The SGR methodology required a 21% decrease in all MPFS payments beginning April 1, 2015. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps to limit the impact on Medicare providers and beneficiaries by holding claims paid under the MPFS with dates of service on and after April 1, 2015. Additionally, Medicare is also holding all therapy claims that would no longer qualify for the therapy cap exceptions (those therapy claims with the ‘KX’ modifier), …