January 29, 2014
cuts: Physicians and patients send more than 62,000 letters to the Hill:
Congress responds with overwhelming support
As you all know, the
comment period ended yesterday which means we have completed Round
1 in our
fight to reverse the draconian 2014 IPM reimbursement cuts. We ended up with a
of more over 12,500 letters
sent to CMS and over 62,000 total letters to multiple members of
the Congress through ASIPP.
There were likely hundreds more sent outside of the Capwiz site, however, we
cannot verify any of these.
ASIPP sent a comment letter
In all we
gained a total of 13 letters of support; seven (7) letters from the senate with
Senators and seven (7)
letters from the house with a total of 33 signatories.
The following is a listing
of the Congressional letters we have received to date along with the links the
1. John Boozman and Mark
Whitfield, signed by twenty 20
Members of the
2. Rand Paul,
2. Dr. Caucus letter signed by 9 Members
and others working in
3.Richard Blumenthal and
3 Brett Guthrie
5. David Vitter,
5. Renee Ellmers,
6. Republican Leader Mitch
7. Roy Blunt
Of course, CMS has not yet
made a decision. They stated early in the process that they will make
the decision until after
the comment period ends. We will have to wait and see on their
Now we begin
Round 2 where our advocacy efforts continue through
with legislators and CMS.
While the comment period has closed, Congress will still be
communicating with CMS
asking for justification and answers. If necessary we will travel to Washington
in this fight.
We are hoping for the best
and will keep you posted. In the meantime, please encourage your
friends and colleagues to
register for the Annual Meeting. Regardless of the outcome, this
will provide essential
information for our survival.Remember, IPM is not a luxury nor
experimental, but effective
SAVE IPM FUND
mixed with heroin blamed for 22 Pennsylvania deaths
Dr. Karl Williams says he
normally sees three or four deaths from drug overdoses in a typical week as the
chief medical examiner in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, which includes
In the past week, he saw 15
-- men and women, of various ethnicities, ranging in age from 22 to 53. All of
them appear to have been heroin users who instead received a mix of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful narcotic used to treat
cancer patients' pain, Williams told CNN.
"This is pretty clearly
somebody manufacturing fentanyl and selling it as heroin," Williams
|Pay and Practice:
Semi-Permanent SGR Repeal?
It sounds like an oxymoron -- semi-permanent repeal -- but some former Medicare
administrators are suggesting it as a solution to permanently repealing
Medicare's much-hated sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula.
Their idea is a 5-year SGR
suspension, which fits somewhere in between familiar 1-year patches and a permanent repeal Congress is working toward now.
Essentially, the idea is to take the 10-year SGR repeal legislation that various
congressional committees are working on now and implement only the first 5
A 5-year suspension of SGR
would be cheaper for Congress to finance as opposed to a permanent repeal, said Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, who ran the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2004 to 2006. A repeal is considered
permanent if it's funded for at least 10 years.
|IV Saline in Short
Hospitalists across the
country are reporting a shortage of IV saline solution, blaming manufacturing
problems and increased demand from a harsh flu season.
said in a drug safety communication that it's aware of the shortage
and is working with three manufacturers -- Baxter, Hospira, and B. Braun Medical
-- to "preserve the supply of these necessary products."
Millions of bags of IV
saline solution are used each week, and the American Society of Health-System
Pharmacists called it a "critical shortage" in its notice to
healthcare providers, urging doctors to follow conservation
ICD-10 and the
No one likes fraud and
abuse. That's what led to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
fraud prevention system (FPS). It uses ICD data to identify patterns that could
Except on Oct. 1, the
data FPS uses is going to be based upon ICD-10 coding. Unless CMS has a massive dual
coding effort, it's not going to be able to match ICD-9 patterns with ICD-10
They will figure it out
eventually. But there's going to be a time that very legitimate claims will be
flagged as possible fraud.
clouds, ratings agency rethinks forecast for insurers
Continued uncertainty and
regulatory surprises in the evolution of the Affordable Care Act have prompted
Moody's to change its outlook of the health insurance industry for the worse,
but not for every company.
The financial ratings
agency dampened its outlook for insurers from "stable" to "negative," citing the
ongoing, and at times on-the-fly, implementation of the vast ACA and the unknown
impacts of the public health insurance exchanges.
"While we've had industry
risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and
evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change," Stephen Zaharuk,
Moody's senior VP and author of the report, said in a media release.
Norepinephrine Hampers Sepsis Management
A national shortage of
norepinephrine has critical care clinicians scrambling for alternative drugs to
help treat patients with sepsis.
Norepinephrine is a key
drug in the treatment of sepsis, which affects approximately three in 1,000
hospital patients (Crit Care Med 2001;7:1303-1310).
Norepinephrine is not a
drug that can be easily replaced, said Peter J. Papadakos, MD, professor in the
department of anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center,
which is feeling the pinch. "It's as if there were a national shortage of
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