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WESTERN SECTION UPDATE

Western Section Members Making Headlines in the AUA
WSAUA
The Western Section is proud and honored to announce the 2015 AUA awards to our members of the Western Section AUA. We recognize their achievements which reflect the tremendous benefits they have brought to urologists everywhere and the Western Section in particular. The Section congratulates them on their award from the AUA.
John M. Barry, MD: The AUA RAMON GUITERAS AWARD for outstanding contributions to the art and science of urology and his exceptional contributions to the specialty as an artist, innovator and educator; leadership as President of the American Board of Urology, AUA and Western Section of the AUA; and as a surgical scientist in multiple urological modalities, most notably in renal transplantation.
Matthew R. Cooperberg, MD, MPH: The AUA GOLD CYSTOSCOPE Award for outstanding contributions to the profession within 10 years of completing residency training and his highly successful and outstanding contributions as a clinician-scientist in prostate cancer and health services research, and as a key participant in the launch of the AUA Quality Registry.
Lawrence W. Jones, MD: The AUA WILLIAM P. DIDUSCH AWARD for his contributions to urological art, including, but not limited to, illustrations, sculpture, still photography, motion pictures and television productions. He will receive this year’s award for contributions and service as editor-in-chief of The American Urological Association Centennial History 1902 – 2002 and a lifelong commitment to the promotion of the history of urology.
Linda D. Shortliffe, MD: The AUA DISTINGUISHED AWARD for more than 20 years of outstanding service to the profession of urology via exemplary leadership and by furthering the academic, research and clinical practice of our specialty.
Martin L. Dresner, MD: AUA PRESIDENTIAL CITATION for his decades of dedicated service to the AUA, the Western Section of the AUA, the U.S. Army and Veterans Administration and urology residency training.
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UROLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS
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Timing of Kidney Transplants Doesn't Affect Pregnancy Chances
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Pregnancy outcomes are similar for women who received a kidney transplant whether they were a child or an adult when they got their transplant, a new study says. "This work has shown that outcomes for childhood transplant mothers are similar to outcomes for adulthood transplant mothers and should provide comfort to such mothers and their physicians that their early onset of kidney failure and longer period of posttransplant exposure to immunosuppression do not adversely affect their pregnancy outcomes," the researchers wrote.
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Prostate Cancer Patients Who Smoke Fare Worse, Study Finds
HealthDay News
Smoking doubles the chances that a prostate cancer patient will see his disease spread and that he will eventually die from his illness, a new study finds. "Basically we found that people who smoke had a higher risk of their tumor coming back, of it spreading and, ultimately, even dying of prostate cancer," said study co-author Dr. Michael Zelefsky.
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Erectile Dysfunction Drugs May Worsen Prostate Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Renal & Urology News
Men who use oral erectile dysfunction drugs following radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PCa) may be at elevated risk of biochemical recurrence of their malignancy, according to a new study. The retrospective study included 4,752 consecutive patients with localized PCa treated with bilateral nerve-sparing RP, of whom 1,110 (23.4 percent) received selective phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors after RP and 3,642 (76.6 percent) did not. PDE5 inhibitors included sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil.
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HEALTHCARE NEWS


Budget Plan Sees Savings in Changes to Medicare
The New York Times
In his new budget, President Obama proposed on Monday to squeeze $399 billion over the next 10 years out of Medicare, Medicaid and other programs run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the proposals, many Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay more for their care and coverage. The president would, for example, introduce a co-payment for new Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health care services, and he would collect $4 billion over 10 years by imposing a surcharge on premiums for new beneficiaries who buy generous private insurance to supplement Medicare.
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SGR: Medicare Reforms Proposed as Funding Offset
HealthLeaders Media
The perennial problem in Congress over how Medicare reimburses physicians is providing an opportunity for the foes of fee-for-service medicine. Over the past dozen years, Congress has repeatedly patched Medicare's widely despised Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician reimbursement. The temporary SGR fixes have featured a cast of usual suspects of Medicare budget offsets: cuts to provider payments or offsets affecting Medicare beneficiaries such as cost-sharing through deductibles.
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8 States Move on Interstate Doc Licensing
WSAUA
Lawmakers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming have introduced legislation that would implement the Federation of State Medical Boards' interstate licensing compact, the group announced recently. The compact would streamline the process to license physicians to practice in multiple states. It's seen as a way to expedite the use of telemedicine, since doctors generally must be licensed in the state where the patient is.
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Medicare Reform Dodges the Bigger Question
Bloomberg
The recent announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services, setting firm targets for shifting Medicare away from fee-for-service payments, has for the most part generated positive reviews. That makes sense — that payment structure provides incentives for excess care, and HHS is right to move past it.
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When Health-Care Reforms Don't Add Up
Bloomberg
The Barack Obama administration has announced plans to tie 90 percent of all Medicare fee-for-service payments to some sort of quality or value measure by 2018. Sounds exciting! Who wouldn't like to ensure that their doctors are paid for delivering value, rather than just randomly sticking needles into us?
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Q&A: Brill on 'Gluttonous Profits' and 'the Ultimate ACO'
HealthLeaders Media
In his new book, lawyer, journalist and media entrepreneur Steven Brill says he can give hospital administrators "the sweats" by challenging them about "gluttonous profits and salaries." "America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Health System" focuses on the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But the book returns to Brill's indictment of high hospitals costs that filled an entire issue Time magazine in 2013.
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Effects of Nurse-Managed Protocols in the Outpatient Management of Adults With Chronic Conditions
Annals of Internal Medicine
Medical management of chronic illness consumes 75 percent of every healthcare dollar spent in the United States. Thus, provision of economical and accessible — yet high-quality — care is a major concern. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are prime examples of chronic diseases that cause substantial morbidity and mortality and require long-term medical management. For each of these disorders, most care occurs in outpatient settings where well-established clinical practice guidelines are available.
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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT


Patient 'Passports' Make Sure People with Complex Cases are Heard
The Wall Street Journal
A doctor comes to the patient’s hospital room with a clipboard, gives a brisk update on important points and then is gone, before the patient has a chance to digest the treatment plan or speak up about their own desires or concerns. That all-too-common experience can leave hospital patients feeling powerless, intimidated and frustrated by the lack of opportunity to describe their needs or have a say in decisions about care. Some hospitals are turning to a document known as a "patient passport" to help bridge the communication gap.
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Hospital Readmissions After Surgery Often Related to Complications from Surgery
Medical Xpress
In a study that included readmission information from nearly 350 hospitals, readmissions the first 30 days after surgery were associated with new postdischarge complications related to the surgical procedure and not a worsening of any medical conditions the patient already had while hospitalized for surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 3 issue of JAMA. Readmission rates and reasons were assessed for all surgical procedures and for six representative operations: bariatric procedures, colectomy or proctectomy, hysterectomy, total hip or knee arthroplasty, ventral hernia repair, and lower extremity vascular bypass.
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This 'Magic Pill' Can Make Patient Care Safer
HealthLeaders Media
It's hard to acknowledge that providers sometimes recommend some tests and procedures over others of equal or better value, but rarely disclose to patients when they have a financial stake in those interventions. It's tough to understand why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not require hospitals and doctors to publicly disclose performance scores on important measures as a condition for federal reimbursement.
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NEWS IN CALIFORNIA


New Rules To Limit Narrow Networks
California Healthline
New regulations requiring California healthcare insurers to follow stricter guidelines for provider network adequacy, out-of-network notifications and accuracy of provider lists when dealing with the state Department of Insurance went into effect on Monday. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D), who was re-elected in November, used the occasion of his Jan. 5 inauguration to file for the stronger set of regulations.
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800,000 Households Got Healthcare Subsides in California
The Sacramento Bee
Some 800,000 California households received $3.2 billion in federal healthcare subsidies in 2014, officials said Monday, Jan. 26. Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said the average household subsidy exceeded $5,200. Lee's announcement was meant to serve as a reminder that support is available to others eligible to sign up for the state exchange before the Feb. 15 deadline.
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WSAUA Insights
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lonny Alfred, Content Editor, 469.420.2663  
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