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September 2013


From the Governor

ABIM MOC Update

I would like to clarify a critically important aspect of the coming changes to ABIM's MOC program in 2014 with recent information from the ABIM. There has been some recent confusion about whether or not current MOC points would count moving forward. This statement is only partially correct, in recent communication from ABIM.

As you know, the changes to ABIM's MOC program requirements are designed to engage all diplomates in activities on a more frequent, continuous basis to demonstrate that physicians are maintaining their certification and “Meeting MOC Requirements.” I have heard some grumbling about diplomates now being required to complete MOC activities every two years. Medicine is a demanding profession and it’s hard to argue that we should stay as current as possible; information changes too rapidly for us to wait until year 8 or 9 to start the recertification process.

For diplomates who have certifications that expire prior to 2018, points earned prior to 2014 will count toward the 100 they need to earn a new certificate. But, in order to be “Meeting MOC Requirements,” they and everyone else will need to earn points by calendar-based milestones in two- and five-year increments. This requirement begins January 2014 for everyone, regardless of the points they earned prior to 2014, or when they initially certified.

• By December 31, 2015 and every two years after, a diplomate will need to complete at least one ABIM-approved MOC activity to earn points.
• By December 31, 2018 and every five years after, a diplomate will need to complete a total of 100 points.

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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Upcoming Indiana Chapter Webinar —
Register today!

September 10, 2013 6:30-7:30 pm EST

“Contract Negotiation for Physicians”
Julie Reed, JD
General Counsel
Indiana State Medical Association

Register here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/116365918

Objectives:
• Understand the important components of the physician contract.
• Realize the importance in obtaining legal counsel before entering into any legal agreement.
• Realize the market range of compensation in your area so that you may be prepared for proper negotiation.

Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital is accredited by the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Registration is now open for the 2013 Indiana Chapter Meeting!

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

Visit our News & Meetings page to register!

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ACP Indiana Chapter Council Retreat

The Indiana Chapter Governor’s Council attended a one-day retreat at Saxony Hospital on August 23, expertly facilitated by Donna Seawards. The group discussed strategic initiatives and goals of the Indiana Chapter. Attendees included:
• Matt Neal, MD, MBA, FACP, Governor
• Michael Sha, MD, FACP, Immediate Past Governor
• Donna Seawards, Executive Director
• Asok Antony, MD, MACP, Chair, Awards Committee
• Helen Borgenheimer, MD, FACP, Chair Health and Public Policy Committee
• Marla Current, MD, Co-Chair, Women in Medicine Committee
• Linda DeCesare, MD, Chair, Medicine/Pediatrics Committee
• Brandon Dickey, MD, FACP, Treasurer
• Eric Djenge, MD, Co-Chair, Early Career Physicians Committee
• Jeff Glant, MD, Chair, Resident/Fellow Members Committee
• Heidi Lakanen, MD, FACP, Co-Chair, Women in Medicine Committee
• Randy Lee, MD, FACP, Chair, Education Committee

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Indiana Chapter Resident/Fellow & Medical Student Abstract Competition

Reminder that the deadline for abstract submission for the 2013 Indiana Chapter abstract/poster competition is midnight on Friday, September 20, 2013. The top 15 abstracts will be selected for poster presentation at the November 14-16 Indiana Chapter Meeting, and the poster winners will each give a brief oral presentation at the November 15 (Friday) meeting. Abstracts submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Submit abstracts using the Online Abstract Submission Form.

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Items of Interest

Analysis Projects Little To No Change In Premiums In Some States Under ACA.

Bloomberg News (8/30, Armstrong, Wayne) reports on a Rand Corp. study of insurance in ten states under the Affordable Care Act finding that predicted “sharp increases in health-insurance premiums” are “overstated,” as some states will see little or no change and Federal subsidies will mean actual decreases in “out-of-pocket premiums for most individuals” purchasing insurance on the exchanges. States covered were: Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. The study was based on estimates of 2016 premiums, and not on announced 2014 premiums. It found that premiums could increase “as much as 43 percent before subsidies in Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio,” while declining premiums were expected in Louisiana and New Mexico.

USA Today (8/30, Ungar) carries a report from the Louisville Courier Journal on the Rand Corp. study. Christine Eibner, a senior economist at Rand explained, “The rate-shock concerns were overblown. It’s likely the effect will be small.”

The Hill (8/30, Viebeck) “Healthwatch” blog and the NPR (8/30, Rovner) “Shots” blog also report on the RAND analysis. However, the National Journal (8/30, Ritger, Subscription Publication) writes that Republicans “might be right” in calling President Obama’s healthcare law “the ‘Unaffordable Care Act.’” The publication says that “for the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying” for benefits through their employers, according to its analysis. While supporters of the law “have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage” through employers, it is “increasingly uncertain” that businesses will continue to offer coverage as they have in the past.

Insurers Concerned By Impact Of ACA Subsidies On Older Customers.

The Wall Street Journal (8/30, A1, Weaver, Radnofsky, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page that subsidies for low-income older Americans under the Affordable Care Act are causing confusion among insurers, since in some cases, older, less healthy customers will pay less than younger, healthier ones with similar incomes, even though the former generally cost more to cover due to heightened risk. The Journal says some insurers fear these older individuals, who have been priced out of coverage in the past, will move in more quickly than younger people, driving up costs.

In Response To DOMA Ruling, HHS Extends Medicare Benefits To Same-Sex Married Couples.

On Thursday, in response to the Supreme Court overturning a key portion of the Defense Of Marriage Act, a handful of agencies announced they would be extending rights to married same-sex couples. Many outlets report on this development, with several making note of HHS’ extension of Medicare benefits previously denied because of DOMA.

The Washington Post (8/30, Hicks, Tam) reports that the Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that “same-sex married couples will be allowed to file joint federal tax returns,” just as married heterosexual couples do. The policy is a response to June’s Supreme Court ruling, which “overturned a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act,” allowing same-sex married couples “to claim marriage-related exemptions, credits and deductions even if they live in jurisdictions that don’t recognize gay unions.”

The Hill (8/30, Baker) “Healthwatch” blog reports that for its part, HHS has “lifted restrictions on nursing home care for same-sex couples.” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner both released statements marking the occasion. First, Sebelius said, “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.” And Tavenner said, “Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

On its front page, the New York Times (8/30, A1, Lowrey, Subscription Publication) reports on the benefits the IRS extended, which include “filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an I.R.A., and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit.”

Ahead Of ACA, Nearly 19 Million Young Adults Remain Uninsured.

The US News & World Report (8/30, Adleman) examines the impact the Affordable Care Act will have on young adults, 16 to 19 million of whom are uninsured. As Kathleen Stoll, deputy director and health policy director of Families USA explains, “Young adults are disproportionately more likely to be un- or underemployed and those that are able to find employment often earn lower wages, all of which limits their ability to access affordable job-based insurance coverage. Because young adults are over-represented among uninsured and lower-wage workers, they will benefit the most from access to financial help for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.”

Florida Has Second Highest Rate Of Uninsured In US.

The Miami Herald (8/30, Chang) reports that US Census data released Thursday show that Florida “has the nation’s second-highest rate of uninsured residents younger than 65.” In total, “about 3.8 million people, or about 25 percent of the state’s population,” lack coverage. The article then goes on to note that Florida is one of a few states that has refused to expand Medicaid, and won’t be holding a special Legislative session to study the issue further.

Republicans Considering Delay Strategy To Dismantle ACA.

Bloomberg News (8/30, Przybyla) reports that Republican leaders are attempting a “fresh strategy” to “dismantle” the Affordable Care Act: rather than fight to defund it, they are “leaning toward an effort to postpone it.” The article says that the GOP will “probably try to force” the delay as part of the upcoming government funding or debt ceiling negotiations. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia explained the rationale, saying, “As a matter of fairness, if businesses and insurance companies are getting a delay, it’s only right for the American people to get a delay.”

States Seek Ways To Deal With Rapidly Rising Healthcare Costs.

The AP (8/29, Cooper) reports that “as states work on implementing the” ACA, “some have begun tackling...the rapidly rising costs of health care.” For instance, in Oregon, an initiative from Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “led to a state law that created ‘coordinated care organizations,’ which attempt to integrate mental, physical and dental care as they improve” the management of chronic conditions. Whether such efforts are successful will “ultimately...determine whether President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act can make good on its name.”

Study Finds Health IT Spending Set To Top $34.5B.

Healthcare IT News (8/30, Manos) reports that the new SourceIT Healthcare Report from Technology Business Research Inc. found “healthcare IT spending at large North American healthcare organizations is expected to increase to more than $34.5 billion next year, spurred by current regulatory trends.” Some 225 IT decision makers were surveyed “across the c-Suite and line-of-business managers at payers and providers,” and interviews conducted “underscored the importance decision makers place on industry expertise.”

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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