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2015 Perseverance Award goes to VACEP lobbyist

Hillbridge Group's Aimee Perron Seibert accepts VACEP’s Perseverance Award from Dr. Mark Sochor, VACEP President for consistently leading the charge to keep the flaws of down coding emergency physician fees visible to Virginia’s elected officials. Lauren Schmitt of Hillbridge Group also received the award.

Now is our Time!

Healthcare reform discussions place emergency medicine right in the bull’s eye of many of today’s conversations. So, it is a great time for emergency physicians to put money into the pot and invest to expand the visibility of emergency medicine in the political process.

When is it a good time for you to get into the “game of politics?”

Can you imagine if the two dozen emergency physicians from Virginia didn’t take time off each spring to visit Virginia’s delegation in Washington, D.C., relentlessly educating them about Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR)? Your Medicare reimbursements would have been cut 21 percent starting April 1, 2015.

Can you imagine if VACEP leadership had not been persistent in pushing to eliminate the down coding of your Medicaid reimbursements after you performed your life saving services?

Can you imagine if Virginia law required you to determine the heroin source of your overdose patient?

Can you imagine if VACEP emergency physicians weren’t at the table in the discussions about how to deal with the boarding of psychiatric patients?

Can you imagine how a southwest Virginia community hospital emergency physician on his first visit to Capitol Hill struck up a conversation with Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s health policy staff that resulted in CMS making end-of-life prescriptions available?

I hope you will add your dollars to mine by writing a check to the Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee of Virginia – EMPAC – VA.

Dr. Mark Sochor, MS, FACEP
Chapter President

P.S. ACEP’s National Emergency Medicine PAC (NEMPAC) is the 4th largest physician specialty PAC in Washington DC. Behind anesthesiologists, orthopedic surgeons and radiologists.
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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:


SGR Permanent Fix
On April 16, President Barack Obama signed a $200 billion Medicare reform package to permanently ending the 17 last-minute fixes that automatically cut Medicare payments to physicians. ACEP Executive Director Dean Wilkerson represented the emergency physicians at the signing ceremony. VACEP emergency physicians went to Capitol Hill to thank all the Virginia delegation for their vote to block a 21 percent cut scheduled for April 1, 2015.

Pictured from left to right: 1) Dr. Jon D’Souza, MBA, FACEP thanks Charlie Arnowitz, aide to Senator Mark Warner, for voting to fix SGR. 2) Dr. Bob O’Connor, MD, MPH, FACEP shared emergency physician’s appreciation for Senator Tim Kaine’s SGR vote with Kaine aide Kristen Molly.

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ACEP is looking for emergency medicine memorabilia
ACEP, is planning an emergency medicine museum in their new Dallas headquarters so they are asking for anyone interested in donating any emergency medicine memorabilia. Dan Sullivan ( is heading up the heritage management program from the ACEP staff.
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Dr. Steve Stack — First Emergency Physician to lead AMA
At 43, Steven J. Stack, M.D., FACEP becomes the first EMP President of the American Medical Association and the second youngest AMA President (youngest was 36 in 1854).
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ACEP Invests $2,000,000 for Clinical Emergency Data Registry (CEDR)
As part of its ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality of emergency care, ACEP has developed the CEDR registry, which has been qualified by CMS as a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR) for the 2015 Performance Year. This is the first Emergency Medicine specialty-wide registry at a national level, designed to measure and report healthcare quality and outcomes. It will also provide data to identify practice patterns, trends and outcomes in emergency care.

To see the CEDR Participation Orientation, click here.
To see the CEDR main points of discussion, click here.

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

Take advantage of ICD-10 classes in your area!
Learn everything you need to know about ICD-10CM (clinical modification) at the Medical Society of Virginia’s (MSV) two-day boot camp. Offered throughout Virginia, this seminar teaches coders, care providers and office staff about ICD-10CM diagnostic coding. The boot camp covers:
  • an overview of the ICD-10 format and structure;
  • an in-depth study of ICD-10 guidelines; and
  • valuable coding tips and hands-on coding exercises to prepare individuals for the ICD-10CM proficiency exams required to maintain coding certification.
ICD-10CM boot camp dates and locations in your area: Space is limited for each session so register today! For more information about these seminars and to register, please visit

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Ultrasound at Sea — Oct. 17-23

This course is designed to improve the provider's knowledge, competence and skills in performing ultrasound scanning. Didactic sessions will review ultrasound appearances of abdominal, hepato-biliary, vascular, gynecological, deep venous, soft tissues, and cardiac anatomy. Proper probe placement and image optimization will also be reviewed. The scanning lab will provide participants with the opportunity to practice under skilled mentors in small groups. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and educators with an interest in learning clinical ultrasound including physicians, PAs, NPs, residents and students.

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8th Annual Joint MedStar — GW LLSA Conference May 26, 2015 Washington, DC
Reception honoring Mental Health Awareness Month May 27, 2015 Virginia Beach, VA
Music & Medicine 2015 June 5, 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.

Work-life balance in healthcare: The fundamentals
By Catherine Iste
People in careers that revolve around helping others are often the worst at maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Healthcare workers are some of the most challenged employees when it comes to self-care, yet they spend every day helping others with health challenges. It seems to be a common personality trait among those driven to help others that they put others first. Yet time and again we have all seen that if we take care of ourselves, we can actually help others more.
Fewer emergency dept. visits vs. right care at right time
Health Leaders Media
An increase in emergency room visits doesn't mean a healthcare system is failing. Rather, policy makers are focused on the wrong thing, says the American College of Emergency Physicians. A report from the American College of Emergency Physicians disputes the need to focus on reducing emergency department visits. A short online survey that captured the opinions of 2,009 emergency physicians (a 9 percent response rate of its membership) showed that ED physicians had seen increases in ED traffic over last year.
Survey: Many providers want ICD-10 to just go away
By Scott E. Rupp
ICD-10 has been regularly stealing healthcare headlines for about two years and intermittently for years prior. Before that, the news centered around electronic health records, 5010 and meaningful use, of course. As an industry we’ve moved beyond each of those, except for the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO).


ER super-users have higher risk of death
Although many hospital administrators view patients who frequently turn up at the emergency room as a nuisance, new research shows that these "super-users" have unmet needs and are at a high risk of death compared to patients who don't usually seek emergency care. The study, published online in the Emergency Medicine Journal, conducted a systemic review of 31 observational studies on the mortality and health outcomes of ER super-users compared to non-frequent users of the emergency department.
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National spike in synthetic marijuana emergencies
Medscape (free login required)
Calls to poison control centers in the United States related to synthetic marijuana spiked in April, and May could be a record month as well, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Between January 1, 2015, and May 6, 2015, poison control centers received reports of 2714 exposures to synthetic marijuana. There were 359 reported exposures in January, 273 in February, and 269 in March. The number jumped to 1512 cases in April; for May, there have been 301 cases as of May 6.
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Infographic: Physicians becoming more proficient with EHRs
MedCity News
Physicians are not only becoming more proficient with EHRs, they are using their systems for more than just reference. That's the conclusion of a new Accenture survey of more than 2,600 doctors in Australia, Brazil, England, Norway, Singapore and the U.S. Interoperability is growing as well, albeit slowly. In 2015, for the first time, a majority of U.S. physicians surveyed by Accenture (51 percent) said they "routinely" access patient data from outside their organizations, up just slightly from 45 percent in 2012.
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How common are adverse cardiac events after a visit to the ER for chest pain?
Is it safe to discharge a patient home after a negative evaluation for chest pain in the emergency department? In 2010, according to data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Care Medical Survey, there were over 7 million emergency department (ED) visits for chest pain, making up 5.4 percent of all ED visits in the U.S. In fact, based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in 2006 alone, nearly $11 billion was spent on admission and observation of patients with chest pain.
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Novel ER treatment protocol for AF cuts admissions, hospital length of stay
Medscape (free login required)
A novel, multidisciplinary treatment protocol that adheres to "best practices" for the management of atrial-fibrillation patients in the emergency department significantly reduced hospital admission rates and hospital length of stay, according to the results of a new study. "Each physician or emergency-room provider treats [atrial-fibrillation] patients in different ways," senior investigator Dr Moussa Mansour (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) told heartwire from Medscape. "Some patients get admitted, some patients go home.
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