January 20, 2015
The Monday Message
Historic Week

Today, the 2015 State of the Union Address will be given by the 44th President, Barack Obama in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. The question for physicians is will Obama take the lead on Medicare? This spring, unless Congress takes action to prevent it, the federal "Sustainable Growth Rate" law will require a 21.2 percent cut in the payments Medicare makes to every physician for every service they deliver, ranging from an office visit to major surgery.

The Hogan-Rutherford Inaugural Celebration will last most of this week, with his swearing in Wednesday and a host of events between January 21 to 25. The main date to watch for MedChi members will be next Friday when the budget will be released. The question for all is will we see additional cuts in spending? The question for physicians here is will he exacerbate the O’Malley last minute cuts to Medicaid physician payment with additional cuts?

This is the second week of session in Annapolis and MedChi is working to aggressively pursue our 2015 agenda.

To see the MedChi agenda visit THIS SITE.

You can be part of the history, and help us pursue our agenda.  Pick a day and agree to serve as physician of the day in the State House.  MedChi is the only organization with access to all elected officials right in the State House, where we staff the First Aid Room. As physician of the day you have privileges to visit the legislative chamber floors and a great opportunity to interact with legislators up close.  Call or email MedChi's Annapolis Office for details 410-539-0872, ext. 6001, or swisniewski@medchi.org.

Gene M. Ransom, III
CEO, MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society

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Annapolis Action News & Notes
Have you Signed Up to be Physician of the Day?
MedChi is staffing the First Aid Room in Annapolis for the coming session.  The First Aid Room, located in the basement of the State House, is equipped with oxygen, hospital bed, wheelchair, crutches, thermometers, stethoscope, and blood pressure cuff.  A nurse is also on the premises every day and rarely do you encounter anything more than colds or the flu, so the Physician of the Day can spend some time in the chambers observing the Senate and House conducting the work of our state government.  There are also a variety of over-the-counter medications provided including aspirin, cough and cold preparations, and antacids.  Volunteers are asked to bring their own prescription pads in the event treatment requires prescribed medication.

Please take a day to help with this project.  It is actually fun and very interesting.  We hope you will volunteer this year.  Emeritus Physicians with active licenses are encouraged to participate.  They were an enormous help last year.

Volunteers may wish to speak with the senator or delegates from their own district while serving in this capacity, in which case Stephanie Wisniewski would be helpful in making the connection.  Stephanie will provide briefing materials that will aid volunteers in speaking knowledgeably to their legislators on MedChi agenda items.

Time slots consist of Monday evenings from 5 to 9 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm, and Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm throughout the session (most legislators leave after lunch on Friday).  There will also be a schedule of hearings and meetings that deal with health-related issues posted right in the First Aid Room.  Volunteers are encouraged to sit in on these meetings as well.

If you are interested in participating, please feel free to contact Stephanie Wisniewski at 410-539-0872, ex. 6001, or swisniewski@medchi.org.  A fax back form may be downloaded HERE.  The Legislative Session runs from Wednesday, January 14 through Monday April 13, 2015.

Thank you to the following physicians who volunteered last week:  Reed Winston, M.D., and James Williams, M.D. 




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Physicians' House Call on Annapolis
Physicians’ House Call on Annapolis - 2015

During the 2015 legislative session, MedChi’s component medical societies will assemble at MedChi’s Annapolis office to hold their annual legislative meetings. Please join your component society in Annapolis and sit down with your legislators to discuss issues important to MedChi physicians.

MedChi Alliance - TBD
Baltimore County - February 25, 2015, 8:00am
Baltimore City -     February 25, 2015, 8:00am
Harford County - February 25, 2015, 8:00am
Practice Administrators - February 26, 2015, 8:00am
Anne Arundel County - March 2, 2015, 5:00pm
Prince George’s County - March 2, 2015, 5:00pm
Howard County - March 2, 2015, 5:00pm
Montgomery County - March 4, 2015, 8:00am
Southern Maryland - March 11, 2015, 8:00am
Students and Residents - March 16, 2015, 5:00pm
Rural Component Societies - TBD


Please RSVP to Stephanie Wisniewski swisniewski@medchi.org.  To RSVP, see the ATTACHMENT.

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Private Practice Click of the Week
Medicaid Meaningful Use Overview Webinar

January 28, 2015, at 12pm.

Please see the ATTACHMENT for details and registration information.

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MedChi Members in the News
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

The cervix is a tube-like fleshy part of a woman’s uterus that connects the vagina to the uterine cavity. The cervix is a common place for infections and cancer to occur; fortunately we can prevent these problems from occurring.

The most serious health issue with the cervix is if cancer develops. Cancer of the cervix happens when certain types of HPV are present in the vagina. Not all HPV causes cervical cancer, but HPV does not have any symptoms until the cancer develops.  HPV is associated with cervical cancer but, fortunately, there are things that can be done to help prevent HPV from causing cervical cancer.

  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.  HPV doesn’t cause cancer quickly, and if caught early, can be treated and cured. 
  • Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer.  Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests and follow-up care.
  • HPV caused cervical cancer can be prevented with the HPV vaccine.

MedChi President Dr. Tyler Cymet, states “MedChi encourages women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21 or when they start to engage in sexual activity and to get the HPV vaccine before age 27.”

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Medicine in the News
American Osteopathic Association and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Join the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

Move Achieves Key Milestone in Aligning Residency Program Accreditation for M.D., D.O. Physicians
 
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced that the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) are now ACGME member organizations.  The measure took effect January 1 and is a critical step toward implementation of a single accreditation system for all graduate medical education (GME) programs in the U.S.

The single accreditation system will allow graduates of allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies.  Currently, the ACGME and AOA maintain separate accreditations systems for allopathic and osteopathic educational programs.

Read more HERE.

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From the MedChi Agency
Med Chi Insurance Agency Products & Services for Employed Physicians

 

As an employed physician some of your insurance needs are covered by the employer but there are still several items within your financial plan we can assist you with. You have the confidence to know that our reviews are objective and we offer alternative or supplemental quotes only where appropriate. As a MedChi member you can receive a MedChi member discount with select disability and long term care insurance carriers. Areas we can review include the following:
  • Review you and your family members’ current life insurance and help you determine if it is adequate to satisfy your current goals and objectives
  • Review individual disability insurance and how it coordinates with your group plans. Do you have 100% of your income covered including bonuses?
  • Review long term care insurance plans or, if you do not have one, assist you in developing a long term care strategy
  • Review your retirement plan and see if annuities should be considered as a supplemental source to accumulate funds needed in the future
  • Review your personal auto, homeowner’s and other property insurance and offer alternative quotes where appropriate (By our Agency Partner Mason & Carter)

To take advantage of this review and schedule an appointment please contact W. Keith Mathis, MPA,ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) at 800-541-1262 x4422, or by email KMathis@medchiagency.com.

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Have You Considered Supplementing Your Current Disability Insurance Program?

Many of the major insurance companies specializing in disability insurance for physicians have recently increased the amount of monthly benefit they will issue. In the past if a physician had a combination of group disability and individual disability in excess of $15,000 of monthly income they were unable to receive increased coverage. Now is a great time to take advantage of this window of opportunity to determine if based on your income you would be eligible to increase your current disability coverage. We still offer companies that offer you an own occupation specific definition of disability. If you are unable to perform the duties of your specific medical specialty but could work in some other capacity you would receive the full monthly amount of your policy as long as you were deemed unable to perform your occupational duties for the length to the benefit period. We have companies that will offer MedChi members a 10% premium discount.

For more information about covering what many financial planners deem your most important financial asset,“your capacity to earn an income,” please contact Keith Mathis at 800-543-1263, x4422, or by email kmathis@medchiagency.com.


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Disaster Preparedness Information
Disaster Preparedness Tip of the Week

State Begins Cold Weather Monitoring and Reporting

From December through March, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Preparedness and Response monitors temperature conditions and incidences of cold-related illnesses and deaths.

The reports, which began December 10, 2014, provide guidance and information about deaths and illness caused by extreme cold in the region. To see the reports, visit THIS SITE.


The site also includes the updated 2014 State Cold Weather Emergency Plan and fact sheets on cold weather health issues, carbon monoxide, driving tips for extreme cold weather and the warning signs of a heart attack. The fact sheets are also available in Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

For more information on public health and emergency preparedness, visit the Office of Preparedness and Response online at preparedness.dhmh.maryland.gov, www.twitter.com/MarylandOPR and www.facebook.com/MarylandOPR.


Watch for a new tip next week.

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Weekly DHMH Public Health Preparedness and Situational Awareness Report

The Weekly DHMH Public Health Preparedness and Situational Awareness Report is attached.   The report will also be posted  at THIS ADDRESS.    

This report lists the following for all of Maryland and broken down by Maryland regions:

  • Syndromic Surveillance Reports
  • Syndromes Related to Category A Agents
  • Maryland Reportable Disease Surveillance
  • Syndromic Influenza Surveillance
  • Other disease reports



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VIP Vendor of the Week
Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland

The Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland was created with one purpose: to serve the doctors of Maryland.  Medical Mutual is the state’s leading medical professional liability insurer and the only insurer who has continually protected Maryland Physicians since 1975. Doctor-owned and doctor-directed, Medical Mutual provides comprehensive coverage options, aggressive claims defense and extensive risk management support.  Medical Mutual is a strong and financially stable company, rated “A-“ (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

For more information, call 410-785-0050.

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Around the State
January 22 - Registration Deadline Extended to Tuesday! Don’t Miss This Exciting Session to Ignite Your Practice

Be sure to reserve your space for this informative session of roundtable discussions and valuable speed networking. Designed for practice administrators, practice staff and physicians, this complimentary 2-hour session will feature a variety of topics geared toward moving your practice forward in these challenging times.
 
You'll also have the opportunity to visit with MORE THAN 25 vendors at the Resources Reception immediately afterward to extend your knowledge of products and services for your practice. We know they bring the best giveaways and raffle prizes for our group! Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres and mingle with your colleagues at this reception from 5 - 7 pm.

Registration is required for this event. See the ATTACHMENT for additional details. Please RSVP!

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January 22 - Important Note about MCMS General Membership Meeting

If you have not received a confirmation email for Thursday’s General Membership Meeting, that means we do not have your RSVP. We’ve had some technical difficulties that may have prevented us from receiving your RSVP. Please RSVP here!  We can only take reservations until close of business on Tuesday, January 20.

Come find out everything you need to know about how your practice may be able to benefit from the new hospital payment system. There will be a presentation by Donna Kinzer, Executive Director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, “A Journey Together: Making the All-Payer Model Work for You & Your Patients.” Join us for hors d’oeuvres, drinks & networking from 5 -7 pm at the Resources Reception. More than 25 exhibitors will be showcasing products and services relevant to your practice and its growth. The dinner meeting begins at 7 pm. 

We'll present a legislative update concerning medical issues in Maryland. Please see the ATTACHMENT for additional details and registration information. RSVP here!

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February 7 – Calvert County Medical Society CME Presentation

Join the Calvert County Medical Society for a CME presentation “Opioid Toolkit: What Every Physicians needs to know to prescribe without fear.”

For more details see the ATTACHMENT.

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February 18 - Baltimore County Medical Association General Membership Meeting

The Baltimore County Medical Association will host a General Membership Meeting to discuss Genetics of Diabetes on Wednesday, February 18, at 6:00 p.m. at The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt at 6501 North Charles Street, Towson, Maryland, 21204. We will have Clair Francomano, M.D., from the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, head of the Adult Genetics Program, as our speaker.

To attend the CME event, call Michael Anderson at 410-296-1232, or email manderson@medchi.org, by Friday, February 13.

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February 25 - Physicians’ House Call on Annapolis

The Baltimore County Medical Association will take part in Physicians’ House Call on Annapolis on February 25, 2015.   The Baltimore City Medical Society and the Harford County Medical Society will be joining us.  These societies share legislative districts with Baltimore County, so this is an opportunity for their members to share in this endeavor. We will meet at the MedChi Legislative Office in Annapolis at 8:00 a.m.  We are arranging carpooling from the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center parking lot in Towson at 7:00 a.m.

For additional information and to sign up for the BCMA Day in Annapolis, call Russ Kujan, 410-296-1232, ext. 3317, or email him at rkujan@medchi.org.  If you would like to see a particular legislator, Russ will make every effort to facilitate an appointment.  This is an important part of physician visibility in Annapolis.  Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.

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Save the Date for These Upcoming Events
January 21 - Harford County General Membership Meeting

The Harford County Medical Association will host a General Membership Meeting to discuss Dementia Care on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at Mountain Branch Grille and Bar at 1827 Mountain Road, Joppa, Maryland, 21085. We will have Christopher Marano, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center as our speaker.


To attend the CME event, please call Kate Buttion at 410-879-2932, or email at kbuttion@yahoo.com.

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January 21 – Allegany County Membership Meeting

Please join the Allegany County Medical Society for their quarterly membership meeting on January 21. For more details see the ATTACHMENT.

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January 21 – Carroll County Medical Society Installation of Officers

Join the Carroll County Medical Society for their Installation of Officers. See the ATTACHMENT for more details.

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January 27 - Tech Tips & Tricks for Your Medical Practice - Practice Management Update
Whether you're intimidated by technology or love to challenge yourself, this month's Practice Management Update will provide information for your level.

Join us on Tuesday, January 27, to learn easy-to-implement tips and tricks presented by Jonathan Krasner, Healthcare IT Consultant with BEI. The breakfast is sponsored by SunTrust Medical Specialty Group. For additional details see the ATTACHMENT. Please be sure to RSVP here!

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January 28 – Anne Arundel and Howard County Medical Society General Membership Meeting

The Anne Arundel and Howard County Medical Societies will hold a General membership meeting at Chartwell Country Club, at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Carolyn Jacobs, Esq., Jacobs and Dembert, P.A., will present “Negotiating Employment Agreements – Be Prepared.”  Attendees are offered 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  

To rsvp send an email to aacms@verizon.net, or contact Mary Morin, Executive Director at 410-544-0312.

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January 29 - Washington County Medical Society Meeting

Join the Washington County Medical Society for their next meeting on January 29 at the Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theatre. See the ATTACHMENT for more details


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February 3 – Prince George’s County Medical Society General Membership Meeting

The Prince George’s County Medical Society will host a general membership meeting on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 6:30 pm, in the Physician’s Dining Room at Doctors Community Hospital. Carolyn Jacobs, Esq., Jacobs and Dembert, P.A., will present “Negotiating Employment Agreements – Be Prepared.”  This program offers attendees 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  

An update on the county’s Primary Healthcare Strategic Plan will be also be provided by Miguel McInnis, MPH, JSI Sr., Technical Advisor/Managing Director of McInnis & Associate Consulting, LLC.  

To rsvp send an email to aacms@verizon.net, or contact Mary Morin, Executive Director at 410-544-0312.

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March 14 - Medical Marijuana: A Closer Look

Plan to attend "Medical Marijuana: A Closer Look," on Saturday, March 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m.  This important educational program is co-sponsored by Baltimore City Medical Society (BCMS) and MedChi.  Speakers will address a number of topics, including (1) Colorado's experience; (2) the FDA's role; (3) pharmakinetics and pharmacodynamics; (4) a review of clinical studies; and (5) an update on Maryland's law.  Staffed exhibits will further enlighten attendees.  To register, use the form HERE or contact BCMS at 410-625-0022, or info@bcmsdocs.org.

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Disclaimer

Internal Revenue Service Circular 230 Disclosure: In compliance with IRS requirements, you are on notice that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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In This Issue
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The Monday Message
Historic Week
Annapolis Action News & Notes
Have you Signed Up to be Physician of the Day?
Physicians' House Call on Annapolis
Physicians’ House Call on Annapolis - 2015
Private Practice Click of the Week
Medicaid Meaningful Use Overview Webinar
MedChi Members in the News
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
Medicine in the News
American Osteopathic Association and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Join the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
From the MedChi Agency
Med Chi Insurance Agency Products & Services for Employed Physicians
Have You Considered Supplementing Your Current Disability Insurance Program?
Disaster Preparedness Information
Disaster Preparedness Tip of the Week
Weekly DHMH Public Health Preparedness and Situational Awareness Report
VIP Vendor of the Week
Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland
Around the State
January 22 - Registration Deadline Extended to Tuesday! Don’t Miss This Exciting Session to Ignite Your Practice
January 22 - Important Note about MCMS General Membership Meeting
February 7 – Calvert County Medical Society CME Presentation
February 18 - Baltimore County Medical Association General Membership Meeting
February 25 - Physicians’ House Call on Annapolis
Save the Date for These Upcoming Events
January 21 - Harford County General Membership Meeting
January 21 – Allegany County Membership Meeting
January 21 – Carroll County Medical Society Installation of Officers
January 27 - Tech Tips & Tricks for Your Medical Practice - Practice Management Update
January 28 – Anne Arundel and Howard County Medical Society General Membership Meeting
January 29 - Washington County Medical Society Meeting
February 3 – Prince George’s County Medical Society General Membership Meeting
March 14 - Medical Marijuana: A Closer Look
Disclaimer
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MedChi Leadership
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•  Tyler Cymet, D.O., President
•  Brooke Buckley, M.D., President Elect
•  H. Russell Wright, Jr, M.D., Past President
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MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society
1211 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD  21201
800-492-1056