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First PEND is eliminated and now after years of uncertainty and down-to-the-wire temporary fixes, Congress has finally done away with Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. On Tuesday, April 14, 2015 the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 92-8, matching the House of Representatives’ bipartisan endorsement of this legislation. Both Virginia Senators voted to pass the bill. VACEP united with the American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Emergency Physicians and the Medical Society of Virginia in signing a letter to Congress supporting the passage of the bill.

Please take a moment to thank Virginia’s Representatives: Wittman, Rigell, Scott, Forbes, Hurt, Goodlatte, Beyer, Griffith, Comstock and Connolly, as well as Sens. Warner and Kaine for their willingness to cross the aisle and fix Medicare. This is a tremendous victory, and I hope it energizes the health care community in future advocacy endeavors. President Obama has indicated he will sign the legislation.
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Anthem to deny reimbursement of ultrasound unless ...
Last year, Anthem placed a requirement that required physician practices to be accredited by a national body in order to be reimbursed for ultrasound procedures. However VACEP has been working with Anthem’s Medical Director (along with ACEP) but has been unsuccessful getting Anthem to accept ACEP’s new ultrasound accreditation program. Anthem states “the ACEP accreditation module lacks oversight by an independent entity to assure the adequacy of the studies and qualifications of the physicians.” Anthem has extended the deadline for accreditation until the end of the first quarter of 2015. What this means to EM physicians using ultrasound is that if they are not accredited by certain groups (eg AIUM, ACR), Anthem will likely deny reimbursement. VACEP continues to work with Anthem on this very important issue.
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Oct. 2014

Dr. Bensen Honored at EMRA's 40th Anniversary
Dr. Pam Bensen, M.D., FACEP and VACEP Councillor, was given an Honorary Membership by the Emergency Medicine Residents Association at EMRA’s 40th Anniversary celebration in Chicago. Dr. Bensen was one of the first emergency medicine residents and helped create the resident association. “It was an honor to be officially recognized ... longevity does have its advantages. In actuality, we conceived EMRA in 1971 on the beach in Miami,“ stated Dr. Bensen.
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Dr. O'Connor Runs for ACEP President-Elect and Receives National EMS
Dr. Bob O’Connor, M.D., MPH, FACEP and Chairman UVA’s Department of Emergency Medicine is seeking the nomination for ACEP’s President-Elect. Dr. O’Connor serves on the ACEP Board of Directors along with Debra Perina, M.D., FACEP and UVA’s Division Director, Prehospital Care.

Dr. O’Connor has been recognized by the National Association of EMS Physicians with the Ronald D. Stewart Award. The award, named for one of the pioneers of emergency medicine and paramedic systems in the United States is given each year to a person who has made a lasting, major contribution to the EMS community.

Other candidates for ACEP positions are:

President-Elect Candidates:
Paul Kivela, M.D., FACEP
Robert O’Connor, M.D., FACEP
Rebecca Parker, M.D., FACEP

Speaker Candidate:
James Cusick, M.D., FACEP

Vice Speaker Candidates:
Sabina Braithwaite, M.D., FACEP (EMS Section)
Gary Katz, M.D., FACEP (OH)
John McManus, M.D., FACEP (GS)
Robert Solomon, M.D., FACEP (PA)

Board of Directors Candidates (4 positions to be filled):
Christopher Kang, M.D., FACEP (WA)
Vidor Friedman, M.D., FACEP (incumbent – FL)
William Jaquis, M.D., FACEP (incumbent – MD)
Mark Rosenberg, DO, FACEP (NJ)
Bradley Uren, M.D., FACEP (MI)
James Williams, DO, FACEP (TX)

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  Join the VEP Virginia Team!

VEP Healthcare has emergency medicine physician and PA/NP opportunities at our Virginia partner hospitals. VEP offers flexibility, a collaborative & dynamic group of physician colleagues, leadership opportunities, competitive salary and the opportunity become a shareholder in our provider-owned company. To apply, visit our website or email:


Last Call for Physicians to Visit Capitol Hill
Plato said “the punishment for the wise who refuse to involve themselves in the affairs of government is to be ruled by unwise policies” (Thanks to Dr. Todd Vanden Hoek)

Join these emergency physicians in Washington, D.C. May 3-6, 2015.
    Brian C Dawson, MD, FACEP,
    Jonathan D'Souza, MD, FACEP
    Randall Myers, MD
    Cameron K Olderog, MD, FACEP
    Mark Sochor, MD, MS, FACEP
    Michael T Rapp, MD, FACEP
    John Thomas Turski, III, DO
Register at

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National EMS Week 2015 — Presented by ACEP in partnership with the National Association of EMT's (NAEMT), May 17 - 23
ACEP is pleased to partner with NAEMT to announce the new EMS Strong campaign. EMS Strong will make EMS week a 365-day a year initiative to give EMS a significantly greater visibility among other health professions and communities. Putting EMS squarely where it belongs; as an indispensable part of the healthcare continuum. While National EMS Week will be an integral part of the campaign, EMS Strong will become the vehicle to drive awareness, interest and excitement about the profession year-round. Be sure to visit the EMS Strong website at:
  • This year's theme is "EMS STRONG"
  • Wednesday, May 20 is Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day.
  • Available Soon ... The EMS Week 2015 Planning Guides will be available to download on ACEP’s website soon in PDF. Order your free Planning Guide now.

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Visit EM Career Central this to find your next job in emergency medicine.


Mid-Atlantic Medical Student Symposium & Residency Fair April 25, 2015 Las Vegas, Nevada
Emergency Department Directors Academy – Phase II April 26-30, 2015 Dallas, Texas
Legislative Advocacy Conference May 3-6, 2015 Washington, DC
SEMPA 360 May 3-7, 2015 Lake Buena Vista, Florida
VACEP Board of Directors May 15, 2015 Charlottesville, Virginia
ACEP Simulation-based Immersive Medical Training Course May 18-20, 2015 Phoenix, Arizona
8th Annual Joint MedStar — GW LLSA Conference May 26, 2015 Washington, DC
Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants 33rd Annual CME Conference July 26-31, 2015 Virginia Beach, Virginia
VACEP Board of Directors Sept. 11, 2015 Richmond, Virginia
ACEP15 Oct. 26-29, 2015 Boston, Massachusetts
Virginia EMS Symposium Nov. 11-15, 2015 Norfolk, Virginia
VACEP Board of Directors Dec. 11, 2015 TBA

Whether you are job hunting, need to be credentialed, or just trying to stay organized...
Meet your new best friend — the ACEP Portfolio Tracker.

How Twitter can help predict emergency room visits
Medical Xpress
Twitter users who post information about their personal health online might be considered by some to be "over-sharers," but new research led by the University of Arizona suggests that health-related tweets may have the potential to be helpful for hospitals. Led by Sudha Ram, a UA professor of management information systems and computer science, and Dr. Yolande Pengetnze the researchers looked specifically at the chronic condition of asthma ...
Mental rehearsal helps ER clinicians best prepare for trauma patients
Health Canal
Author Dr. Chris Hicks states: For starters, you map out the course in your mind: what will it look like? What will I feel like? What obstacles should I anticipate? How can I manage these challenges? In the same way athletes mentally visualize races long before lacing up, members of trauma resuscitation teams should map out mental blueprints, and then communicate their strategy to all team members involved in caring for patients, a new study suggests.
Study: Emergency departments see 13 percent rise in non-injury diagnoses
More patients are visiting the emergency department for chronic conditions and fewer are visiting for injuries, according to a new University of California San Francisco study. The results were published in the April edition of Health Affairs. "These findings emphasize the changing role of the ED in the U.S. healthcare system, and the increasing reliance that patients and providers place on the ED as a place for diagnosis and treatment of complex conditions," Dr. Renee Y. Hsia said.


Emergency rooms seeing rising rate of patients with chronic conditions, lower rate of injuries
The rate of emergency department visits in California for non-injuries has risen while the rate of visits for injuries has dropped, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco that documents the increasing amount of care provided in emergency departments for complex, chronic conditions. The research shows the growing importance of non-trauma cases in the emergency department (ED), the authors said, and it provides an opportunity to better understand the health of people as well as shifting patterns of care, especially among vulnerable populations.
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Study finds emergency departments may be high-yield venues to address opioid overdose and education
Health Canal
Emergency departments (ED) provide a promising venue to address opioid deaths with education on both overdose prevention and appropriate actions in a witnessed overdose. In addition, ED’s have the potential to equip patients with nasal naloxone rescue kits as part of this effort. These findings are from a study published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, and is the first study to demonstrate the feasibility of ED-based opioid overdose prevention education and naloxone distribution to trained laypersons, patients and their social network.
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How to talk to patients about advanced directives
By Joan Spitrey
April 16 has been designated as National Healthcare Decision Day. This movement came out of the passion and frustration of founder Nathan Kottkamp. As a member of several hospital ethics committees, he was repeatedly challenged with trying to interpret healthcare decisions for people who had no advanced directives. Anyone working in a hospital — especially a critical care area — can certainly relate. Although most healthcare providers would agree that all patients should have an advanced directive, they often shy away from having the conversation with their patients.
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Teamwork cuts in-hospital observation time
MedPage Today
Using a special care team and dedicated space can help reduce the amount of time patients spend in the observation ward, experts said here. Diannette Figueroa, clinical performance process director for hospital medicine and critical care at Banner Health, a 28-hospital chain spanning seven states, explained to an audience at the annual meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society how Banner improved its process for putting patients in observation.
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