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March 2013


From the Governor

This edition of the newsletter includes information on a member who will be receiving a national award, Internal Medicine 2013, Leadership Day, new Fellows and Members, and some items of interest. As always I would like to hear back from ACP members about we can be doing to bring new initiatives to the chapter. I can be contacted at jneal6@iuhealth.org or (765) 747-4350.

J. Matthew Neal, MD, MBA, FACP
Governor, Indiana Chapter

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Hold the date for the 2013 Indiana Chapter Meeting!

November 15-16, 2013
The Marten House Hotel & Lilly Conference Center
Indianapolis, IN

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Local Physician Named as "Exceptional Mentor" in National Award

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics and Executive Director of IUSM’s Center for Excellence in Women’s Health, has been selected by the American Medical Women’s Association as an “Exceptional Mentor.” This award celebrates those who have made an impact on our lives, our careers, our patients and by mentoring and guiding us and others. An “Exceptional Mentor” goes above and beyond what is required and actively reaches out to those around her to help guide them in their career path.

Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber is an ACP Fellow and served on the Indiana Chapter Council for years, chairing the Med-Peds Committee. She is a dedicated teacher and clinician who has effectively counseled and mentored many in her career and it is a fitting tribute that she receives this award. It will be presented at the AMWA Annual Meeting in NYC March 15-17, 2013.

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Internal Medicine 2013 Meeting

April 11-13, 2013, San Francisco, CA

April is coming up quickly and I hope you are considering attending the Annual Session this year in wonderful San Francisco. As usual, a great number of excellent programs are planned. For more information, visit http://im2013.acponline.org/. We will be having an Indiana Chapter Reception later in the week, with the date TBA.

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Leadership Day on Capitol Hill

May 21-22, 2013
Liaison Hotel
415 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

The 21st annual ACP Leadership Day on Capitol Hill will be held on May 21-22, 2013 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Leadership Day enables the College to increase its presence on Capitol Hill and bring our issues of concern to U.S. lawmakers.

This two-day event provides ACP members with advocacy and/or media training, an update on the College's priority legislative issues; briefings from Members of Congress, Administration officials, and key Capitol Hill staffers; and an opportunity to meet with your state's elected officials. A special briefing for associate and medical students is also provided.

ACP members interested in participating in Leadership Day 2013 should contact me or Donna Seawards to let us know of your interest and to be included in the chapter delegation congressional meetings.

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Welcome New Fellows (since 9/1/12)

Ali T Abedali, MD, FACP, Carmel
Helen A Borgenheimer, MD, FACP, Hartford City
Grace L Carangal, MD, FACP, Carmel
Musaberk Goksel, MD, FACP, Warsaw
Mitchell Goldman, MD, FACP, Indianapolis
Lisa E Harris, MD, FACP, Indianapolis
Lora J Jones-McClure, MD, FACP, Muncie
Stephen J Knaus, MD, FACP, Indianapolis
Vidya S Kora, MD, FACP, Michigan City
Angie K Lee, MBBS, FACP, Richmond
Stephen C Swinney, MD, FACP, Zionsville
Jeffrey A Wheeler, MD, FACP, Fishers

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Welcome New Members (since 10/1/12)

Motaz Alshaher, MD, Fort Wayne
Katherine M Brooks, MD, Indianapolis
Kiran Kumar Burla, MD,Washington
Michele C Cabellon, MD, Zionsville
Elton R Chambers, MD, Seymour
Deborah K Clark, MD, Indianapolis
Manu C Joseph, MD, Muncie
Alireza Khakbaznejad, MD, Newburgh
Naomi C Lightburn, MD, Zionsville
Thomas J Melham, MD, Muncie
Debasmita Mohapatra, MD, Indianapolis
Luan Nguyen, MD, Warsaw
Sarah D Pace, MD, Indianapolis
Nicole R Phillips, MD, Monrovia
Peter J Powers, MD, Bloomfield
Susan Ramirez, MD, Dyer
Muni Theertham, MD, Marion
Abbie M Tolliver, MD, Brownsburg

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Items of Interest

Indiana Senate Approves Expanding Medicaid

The AP (2/27, Lobianco) reports the Indiana Senate "voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid using a state-run program, as lawmakers and Gov. Mike Pence continue negotiating how the state should cover an estimated 400,000 low-income residents." Pence and the Republican-led General Assembly proposed expanding coverage done "either through the Healthy Indiana Plan or a similar state-run program, giving the state more control over costs." HIP currently "covers about 40,000 low-income residents who don't qualify for Medicaid. Some Indiana lawmakers want to use HIP to expand Medicaid as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul."

Sequester Could Have Major Impact On Healthcare, Providers Largely Spared

With just one day before the sequester takes effect, coverage dominates the media. Among the many reports, a good amount focuses on the impact the cuts will have should they be triggered. Healthcare is a major component of these cuts, with several agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services facing budget slashes, including NIH, the FDA, and the Head Start program. However, in a bit of positive news, a few sources note that the situation could be worse for providers, facing only a 2% Medicare cut under current conditions.

First, in an overview, the Los Angeles Times (2/28, Levey) reports that the "sequester appears likely to have a disproportionate effect on areas of the health system already hobbled by years of retrenchment or underfunding, including public health and medical research." The Times adds, "Although the Medicare program will account for the largest chunk of dollars cut from healthcare simply because of its great size, the scheduled 2% reduction in its payments to doctors and hospitals is significantly smaller than what many public health and research programs face." For example, "NIH Director Francis Collins told reporters this week that his agency was looking at losing $1.6 billion by the end of the year."

Cuts To Providers Less Under Sequester Than Potential Deal

The AP (2/28, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports that despite the 2 percent cut looming with the sequester, hospitals, doctors, and other Medicare providers "are not raising a ruckus." As the article explains, "The pain could be a lot worse if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans actually did reach a sweeping agreement to reduce federal deficits." Because the cuts taking effect Friday "would reduce Medicare spending by about $100 billion over a decade." However, "Obama had put on the table $400 billion in health care cuts, mainly from Medicare. And Republicans wanted more."

Similarly, in a story titled "Why Medical Providers Don't Mind The Sequester," the National Journal (2/28, Sanger-Katz, Subscription Publication) reports, "Health care providers, who have absorbed a series of legislative pay cuts big and small since 2010-and see themselves as the primary target of a major deficit deal-are actually spared the largest hits." As the article explains, "The sequester was designed to exempt the major entitlement programs from the kind of serious pain inflicted on discretionary funding. Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor and disabled, gets off without a single direct cut. Medicare will endure a 2 percent shave-the equivalent, for many providers, of losing their annual pay raise." The Affordable Care Act's subsidies also remain largely untouched.

HHS To Notify Providers Of Medicare Cuts "If Sequestration Occurs"

Modern Healthcare (2/28, Zigmond, Subscription Publication) reports, "If sequestration kicks in Friday as planned, the 2% payment reduction to Medicare providers and insurers will be for services provided on or after April 1, an HHS spokesman confirmed Wednesday." Further, the spokesman said via email that "If sequestration occurs, official notifications [to providers] will be made." According to the article, "the lack of any notice from HHS left provider groups to wonder when their members will see those reductions." For example, "An official for the American Health Care Association-which represents skilled-nursing facilities and assisted-living providers-said there has been confusion among the organization's staff and lawyers about when those cuts would take place." Medscape (2/28, Lowes) also reports on the impending Medicare cuts.

Sequester Projected To Lead To Cuts In Hospital Funds

The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News (2/28, Wenner) reports, "Large-scale layoffs in health care will occur in Pennsylvania due to budget cuts scheduled to take effect March 1, warns the organization that lobbies on behalf of Pennsylvania hospitals." According to an analysis commissioned by the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, "health-care providers would lose $126 million in 2013, mostly because of the 2 percent cut to Medicare called for by the federal budget cuts. That would trigger 24,201 health-care job cuts that wouldn't take place instantly, but would occur by the end of the year."

Similarly, the Milwaukee Business Journal (2/28, Kirchen, Subscription Publication) reports that the Wisconsin Hospital Association projects that "estimates that over the next 10 years, sequestration will cost hospitals in the state $1 billion in Medicare payments." This could cost the state "nearly 15,000 jobs in the health care sector over the next nine years of the sequester." The La Crosse (WI) Tribune (2/28) also reports.

The Chicago Tribune (2/28, Frost) reports, "The Illinois Hospital Association estimates that state medical centers will forgo about $142 million in federal Medicare reimbursement for the remainder of 2013 if Congress does not act." Further, "That figure doesn't include cuts the sequester will set off in federal discretionary spending, which includes funding for community health centers and the National Institutes of Health, the federal grant-maker that underwrites a significant portion of medical research conducted at academic institutions like the University of Chicago."

New Patent Rules Substantially Weaken “Grace Period”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Feb. 13 published its final rules implementing the first-inventor-to-file (FITF) provisions of the 2001 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the nation’s first major patent reform legislation in more than half a century. Under FITF, the “priority” of competing patent applications will be based on the date the applications are filed, not the dates the claimed inventions were made. The United States switches to the new FITF system on March 16.

Information: Stephen Heinig, AAMC Scientific Affairs, 202-828-0488

View the complete story

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Contact Information

Indiana Chapter Governor:
J. Matthew Neal, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP, FACE
Email: jneal6@iuhealth.org
(765) 747-4350; Fax (765) 751-1451

Donna Seawards
Executive Director
Email: donnaseawards@gmail.com
Ph: 224-356-6101

Chapter Address:
4319 West Clara Lane, PMB #288
Muncie, Indiana 47304