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A letter from the President
Welcome to the first edition of our new and improved VACEP eNewsletter. We are excited to have partnered with MultiView, a company that produces similar newsletters for Florida ACEP and ACEP National. This partnership allows us to provide you, our members, with top quality content and format, at no cost to VACEP. This allows us to continue our strategy of decreasing our costs while maintaining (or better yet, improving) our services for members.
This is your electronic newsletter, so you can play a major role in its content. As you read impactful articles share them with your fellow Virginia emergency physicians by simply forwarding the link to Bob Ramsey, VACEP Executive Director, (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inclusion in the next bi-weekly newsletter. Our goal is to have a large team of emergency physicians scanning and sharing information helpful to them and their practice. An editorial board of VACEP members will be selecting (or writing!) interesting articles for inclusion in our newsletter.
Thank you for reading, and for your membership in VACEP – we could not exist without your support!
— Jake O’Shea, MD, FACEP
President, Virginia College of Emergency Physicians
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NEWS FROM VACEP AND VIRGINIA
One physician CAN make a real difference by getting involved and speaking out in the forum's VACEP/ACEP provide
This story is how one small town emergency physician really did make a difference. Dr. John Turski, III, DO, spoke to Virginia Senator Tim Kaine's Health Policy Aide Kristen Molloy on emergency medicine issues during his first time at ACEP’s Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 20, 2013.
On VACEP's Hill visit with Senator Mark Warner, Dr. Turski followed up by inviting Senator Warner’s Senior Policy Advisor Elizabeth Falcone to his hospital in Wytheville to demonstrate why the CMS rules were onerous. Senator Warner shared Dr. Turski’s concerns with Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell during a Senate hearing resulting in major changes to CMS.
To read the changes to CMS, click here.
VACEP Board meets with health industry Commissioners
Collaborative dialogues are opening up between the emergency medicine leadership and key healthcare industry decision makers. The VACEP Board of Directors welcomed Dr. Marissa Levine, Commissioner Virginia Department of Health, and Debra Ferguson, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, as active participants during the past two quarterly Board of Directors meetings. “Our role in delivering emergency healthcare 24/7 is better understood when we voice our concerns with key partners in Virginia’s health system,” stated Dr. Jeremiah O’Shea, VACEP President, as he welcomed the Commissioners.
The Death Certificate Workgroup
The Death Certificate Workgroup met again on Aug. 20 to discuss efforts to improve timely death certification in Virginia. A joint letter from Dr. Levine (Virginia's Health Commissioner) and Dr. Harp (the Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Medicine) was sent out to clinicians on Aug. 1 regarding the completion of death certificates. The letter describes the process for signing death certificates and the different situations in which physicians may find themselves having to sign one. The letter also outlined and explained the misconceptions that sometimes lead to clinicians' hesitance to sign death certificates. The work group also discussed the new Electronic Death Registry System. The EDRS will be rolled out on Oct. 1 and physicians can begin signing up then. It will then go live on Nov. 1.
At this time, the Virginia Funeral Directors Association is considering proposing legislation in 2015 to make EDRS participation mandatory. Other states with an EDRS have made it mandatory and the VFDA feels that may be necessary to ensure its success. The Medical Society of Virginia has stated that they will strongly oppose that legislation and prefer to work together to encourage more physicians to sign up. We encourage VACEP members to register for the EDRS when it becomes available. We would prefer to work with MSV and other stakeholder groups to get physicians signed up, as opposed to the legislature mandating it.
ITLS Pediatric Trauma Training provided with Federal Grant Funding
Through the collaborative effort of Virginia ITLS and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, three (3) International Trauma Life Support Pediatric Trauma training classes were held in the Peninsulas (PEMS) and Tidewater (TEMS) EMS regions. These programs were made possible through a Federal Grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) administered by the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, Virginia.
2014 MSV Annual Meeting — Oct. 23-26 in Williamsburg, Virginia
There are many reasons to join the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) for its Annual Meeting this October. More than any of our other events, the Annual Meeting helps members make connections, influence policy and strengthen your efforts to advocate for your practices and your patients.
Governor McAuliffe announces measures to expand healthcare services to over 200,000 Virginians
Governor McAuliffe launched A Healthy Virginia, a 10-step plan to expand healthcare services to over 200,000 Virginians. This plan is an unprecedented action by any governor in Virginia history and includes authorizations of four emergency regulations, one executive order, and innovative and creative solutions to expand healthcare to Virginia veterans, children and families.
|Carilion Clinic, 2nd Annual Southwest Virginia Emergency Medicine Conference
|International Trauma Life Support Instructor Course
|Ohio ACEP - Emergency Board Review Course
|Pennsylvania Chapter, ACEP, EM Oral Board Review Course
|ACEP Council Meeting
|VACEP/UVA Reception during ACEP14
|International Trauma Life Support, International Trauma Conference
|The Virginia EMS Symposium
|International Trauma Life Support Combined Provider Re-Certification, EMS Symposium
|VACEP Board of Directors Meeting
||10 a.m.-3 p.m., VACEP Office
|VACEP White Coats on Call
||Jan. 27, 2015
|VACEP Hot Topics
||Feb. 6-9, 2015
||Omni Homestead Resort
NEWS FROM AROUND THE INDUSTRY
Web Version Associations Stand Up for the CME Exemption in Open Payments
Recently, over 100 medical societies including the American Medical Association--49 state medical societies and 64 medical specialty societies--sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of CMS asking her to refrain from eliminating the reporting exemption for accredited educational activities under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, as was proposed on July 3.
In addition, the American Academy of Family Physicians AAFP made it clear that their 100,000+ physicians want to protect the CME exemption as well.
By participating in the public comment process, you can join these groups by encouraging CMS to keep in place the CME exemption.
We only have a few weeks to let CMS know that the CME exemption is crucial to ensure the free exchange of important medical education without government required reporting on accredited activities.
Psychiatric 'boarding' in emergency departments ruled unconstitutional in Washington
In a potentially precedent-setting ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court determined last week that psychiatric boarding — the process by which patients are admitted to a hospital, but remain in the emergency department for hours, even days, until psychiatric beds become available — is unconstitutional and violates the state's Involuntary Treatment Act.
Open Payments system
Courtesy of Tom Sullivan, Rockpointe
Stakeholders of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act spent several years and millions of dollars developing systems and processes to properly track the reams of data required to comply with the Act. This past month, many manufacturers had to read website and newspaper accounts to figure out why much of their data was suddenly missing from the Open Payments system — in many cases data that both manufacturers and physicians knew to be correct. Recently, companies learned that perhaps even more data would be kept off of the Open Payments website.
Emerging Infections Update: Enterovirus D68
Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health
Each fall, as children return to school, we expect to see increases in visits to health care providers for a wide variety of respiratory illnesses — including but not limited to influenza, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and other pathogens. A recent article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reports from the media have described increases in clusters of respiratory illnesses caused by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) among pediatric patients, particularly in the Midwest. Some illnesses have been severe, requiring admission to intensive care units. To date, EV-D68 has not been confirmed in Virginia, however we want to be sure you are fully aware should you encounter similar cases.
Discharged patients return to the ED because 'better safe than sorry'
Patients who return to the emergency department within a few days of discharge do so principally because they are anxious about their symptoms and have lost trust in other parts of the healthcare system, according to the results of a study published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Apps that find the least busy ED are on the wrong track
By Alan Kelsky
Emergency departments would do well to tell their potential patient population that smartphone apps featuring which neighborhood ED is the least busy are generally a waste of money.
For patients with the sniffles, this might be useful information — although it is a waste of money and the ED's time for such a minor ailment. Go to an urgent care center. Public service announcements that all EDs sponsor should carry this message.
CMS final rule on meaningful use flexibility draws criticism
Medscape (free login required)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have finalized a proposal, released last May, to allow healthcare providers to use 2011 certified electronic health records (EHRs) in meaningful use attestation this year if they have not yet been able to implement systems upgraded to the 2014 criteria.
Ebola outbreak spinning out of control
As reports surface that a third American missionary has contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, public health officials said the outbreak is spinning out of control and has now spread to five countries.
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, returned Sept. 1 from a week-long trip to West Africa, one of the areas hardest hit by the outbreak, and told The Washington Post he was shocked by how fast the virus is spreading.
ED visits on the rise due to Medicaid expansion
Emergency department visits are on the rise in states that expanded Medicaid, according to a nationwide study conducted by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA). The average number of emergency department (ED) visits to hospitals in expansion states jumped 5.6 percent from second quarter 2013 to second quarter 2014, the report said. Researchers said the change was greater than they expected from the variation over the last two years and resulted in the highest number of average visits over the time.
Analysts say telemedicine can cut costs, boost productivity by reducing physician visits
An increasing number of employers are looking to offer telemedicine — non-emergency healthcare treatment accessed from a remote location, such as the workplace, via electronic means — as an alternative to time-consuming employee doctor visits, according to new analysis from Towers Watson.
The New York City-based consulting firm said in an Aug. 11 statement that telemedicine, also referred to as telehealth, could potentially deliver upwards of $6 billion per year in healthcare savings to U.S. companies.
Sepsis patients fare better in hospitals with higher case volumes, study finds
Infection Control Today
Patients with sepsis, one of the most time-sensitive and hard-to-detect illnesses in medicine, are more likely to survive the life-threatening condition when treated at a hospital that sees a higher volume of sepsis cases. New research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows a clear relationship between hospitals that treat the most cases of severe sepsis and lower rates of inpatient deaths among those patients.
Medicare covers less when a hospital stay is an observation, not an admission
The Washington Post
An increasing number of seniors who spend time in the hospital are surprised to learn that they were not “admitted” patients — even though they may have stayed overnight in a hospital bed and received treatment, diagnostic tests and drugs. Because they were not considered sick enough to require admission but also were not healthy enough to go home, they were kept for observation care, a type of outpatient service.
2924 Emerywood Parkway, Suite 202, Richmond, VA 23294
Bob Ramsey, CAE, VACEP Executive Director
J. David Barrick, CEMSO, BS, NREMT-P, ITLS State Administrative Coordinator
Annette Roberts, EMT-B, VACEP Operations Manager/ITLS Co-Coordinator
Colby Horton, MultiView Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, MultiView Senior Medical Editor, 202.684.7169
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