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Governor's Newsletter, Summer 2002

Robert J. Englund, MD, FACP
Governor, New Hampshire Chapter

Greetings from the New Governor

It is with pleasure that I begin four years as Governor for the New Hampshire Chapter of ACP-ASIM. Having become a member in the 1970s and a fellow in 1991, I have attended most of the State meetings and the Annual Sessions over many years, truly appreciating the educational components of the organization. However, after a January orientation session in Philadelphia, and two Board of Governors meetings, I have become most impressed with the scope of the organization. I am amazed at the qualifications and dedication of the senior leadership and the support staff in the Philadelphia office. I look forward to meeting and interacting with the New Hampshire membership and anticipate productive years ahead.

NH ACP-ASIM Council

Members include, from Lebanon: Lin Brown, Fran Friedman, Hal Friedman, Ram Mani (med student rep); from Concord: Bob Block; from Derry: Dick Lafleur; from Plainfield: Deb Scott; from Plymouth: Dave Towne; from Laconia: Peter Walkley; and from Windham: Ed Yourtee. We are in regular communication by email and have two or three meetings per year.

Fall Meeting

Mark your calendars now. The Annual Chapter Scientific Meeting will be held on Friday, October 18, 2002 in Concord. The Council and I have been working on the program, which includes the following speakers:

  • Robert Smith, MD, gastroenterologist in Keene and former Chief of Staff at the White River VAH will give a presentation on new developments in gastroenterology with emphasis on high-tech procedures.

  • Justin Pearlman, MD, cardiologist at DHMC will talk on new developments in cardiac imaging.

  • Kenneth Burchard, MD, surgeon at DHMC will give an update on the medical and surgical management of obesity.

  • Sara Walker, MD, MACP, President ACP-ASIM will be our College Representative. She will give a presentation on Rheumatology therapy and will also present the "College Update and Town Meeting."

  • Peter Forbes, a writer, photographer, conservationist, activist and Vermont farmer will inspire us with a presentation which will include our personal relationship with the environment and conservation.

Again we will have an Associates contest in which DHMC residents will give presentations, which will be evaluated by a panel of judges. We also hope to have one or more of the New Hampshire Senatorial candidates in attendance for a brief presentation and questions and answers from the audience. (The national election follows our meeting by only two and a half weeks)

Congratulations to the Medical Student Interest Group at Lebanon for receiving an award for expanding their program at Dartmouth. I attended their late April meeting and was pleased to see a group of about 25 enthusiastic freshman and sophomore medical students enjoying a session in which they learned about the life of an infectious disease physician. They enjoyed a meal of take-out Chinese food that was funded by our chapter.

Congratulations also to Bob Block of Concord; Diane Palac, Margo Krasnoff, and Tom Davis of Lebanon; and Alexander Granok of Nashua all of whom have recently received fellowship status.

ACP-ASIM Advantage: News You Can Use

This is a new college e-newsletter, which is published on line on the first Wednesday of each month. The ADVANTAGE will keep you up-to-date on the latest membership benefits, materials, and activities, which will help you in your internal medicine career. It is sent automatically to all members who have provided the College with their e-mail address. If you have not done so, please take a moment to update your email address on line. Feel free to choose if you want it sent to your home or office e-mail.

The format of Advantage is very "user friendly." One can click on the highlighted words for the text of the entire article. Highlights of the May addition included an introduction to the PIER program and College efforts to halt projected Medicare cuts (see below.) Other items reviewed included advice on coping with the new HIPAA regulations, new publications and brochures, and College seven-year plan to insure all Americans.

ACP-ASIM - Keeping You Connected

Help us keep you up-to-date on the latest College news and important happenings in internal medicine! Please take a moment to provide ACP-ASIM with your email address. ACP-ASIM will not sell or share your e-mail address.

Physicians' Information and Education Resource (PIER)

ACP-ASIM has produced a highest-quality clinical and educational resource. With PIER it is easy, educational, and really enjoyable to access data that will help in our daily clinical decision-making. PIER is now available to ACP-ASIM members on a free preview basis through June 2003.

The new Web-based decision support tool is designed for rapid point-of-care delivery of current evidence-based guidance for physicians. It contains 130 modules focusing predominantly on diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases, and will eventually include additional modules on prevention and screening, procedures, ethical and legal issues, and complementary and alternative medicine.

Unlike other offerings that are simply electronic textbooks or compilations of other resources, PIER is designed to replicate the thought processes that go into making decisions about diagnosis and treatment. All PIER information has gone through a rigorous review process to assure its accuracy and currency. Try it; you'll like it!

College Works to Halt Projected Medicare Cuts

New projections from Medicare indicate an 18 percent reduction in actual Medicare payments between 2002 and 2005 and a 28.8 percent reduction after rising costs are factored in. To put an actual dollar amount on it, a typical four-physician general internal medicine practice with an average number of Medicare patients will lose $31,538 a year on office visits alone. If the practice specializes in geriatrics and treats predominantly Medicare patients, it would lose $122,520 a year. Medicare already reimburses physicians significantly less than physicians in Connecticut and Massachusetts and our "payer mix" is often top heavy with Medicare patients.

We all should be concerned about these cuts, and ACP-ASIM is taking a number of steps to remedy the problem. College staff meets regularly with members of Congress and top White House advisors to identify solutions to reduce this year's cut and to replace the formula that governs physician fee schedule updates. College leaders have also presented testimony at congressional hearings concerning Medicare physician payments.

College public affairs efforts have increased media and public awareness of this issue, resulting in increased willingness of legislators to fix the underlying problems. An editorial-writing campaign has resulted in members from across the country sending letters to local newspapers, and hundreds of letters to Congress have been generated through the Legislative Action Center.

You can provide major input by writing your senators and representatives through the Legislative Action Center. It is a simple process. Go to ACP-ASIM Online, and click on "Legislative Action Center." Type in your zip code, and for each Senator and Representative, you can click on sample form letters that you can modify to include your personal experience and input. Just follow the instructions and be sure to have a copy of any letters you send forwarded to the ACP-ASIM office in Philadelphia. It took me just a few minutes to send off three letters, and I just received a letter of acknowledgement and appreciation from Congressman Bass and his staff.

For help in writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, contact Carolyn Albert in the Washington, DC Office at (800-338-2746, ext. 4572).

New Member Benefit: Online CME Transcripts

The College is pleased to announce a new member benefit, Online CME Transcripts. ACP-ASIM members may view and print a transcript of their CME credit earned for participation in activities sponsored by the College. The transcript provides a six year listing and includes credit earned for:

  • Annual Session
  • Postgraduate Courses
  • Chapter/Regional Meetings Accredited by the College (Starting November 1999)
  • MKSAP and Related MKSAP Enhancements
  • MKSAP Audio Companion
  • Clinical Problem Solving Cases
  • Audio and Video Products

Work is underway to include credit earned for the Medical Laboratory Evaluation Program and the educational component of the ABIM recertification program.

Members can also print documentation of their participation in sessions related to state specific CME requirements. If you have any questions, please contact ACP-ASIM's Customer Service Department at (800-523-1546, ext. 2600), or (custserv@acponline.org).

Contact Information

Peter Walkley, MD, FACP
Governor, New Hampshire Chapter

Catrina Watson
New Hampshire Chapter Staffperson
Phone:603-224-1909