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Governor's Newsletter, Winter 1999

Governor's Column

Hello to all:

Those of you that had the opportunity to attend the SC Annual Scientific Session in October, had a great experience. My thanks to Barry Blackston, Maree Blackston, Nadine Hultz and other members of his Committee for a great job. The theme of Diversity was enlightening, at least for me. I have a clearer understanding of the issues involved in providing or receiving care as a minority. A special thanks to Dr. Charles Francis, our College Representative, who presented an excellent scientific paper on the African American Paradox and helped us to better understand the workings of the now fully merged ACP-ASIM. Our understanding of the "American with Disabilities Act" was clearly improved by the personal and professional experiences of Ted Kennedy, Jr.

This year we promise to get the information concerning the meeting out sooner. Anyone interested in particular speakers, locations, or themes please let Barry or Theresa Gallagher know ASAP.

The Associates Program was held Friday morning and continues to be a bigger success each year. A special thanks to Shawn Stinson and his Committee, Julius Sagel and Scott Arnold. This year there were 33 Associate presentations or posters. Those who attended appreciated the work these young doctors put into the program and will practice better medicine with the information they received.

Thanks to all the presenters.

A special thanks to the winners:

Mary Beth Poston Best Resident Clinical Vignette
Gregory Moffitt Best Resident Research Presentation
Brian Asbill Best Fellow Clinical Vignette
April Angel Best Student Presentation
Gregory Niemer Best Poster

For the first time this year the top two winners, Gregory Moffitt and Gregory Niemer, will have the opportunity to present their work at the National ACP-ASIM meeting in Philadelphia in the spring, with expenses paid by the ACP-ASIM. The other winners will receive $100 dollars each for their efforts. Please thank each of these doctors as you see them.

Another highlight of the Annual Session is the Laureate Award. This is presented each year to a SC physician with a long history of excellence and peer approval in the specialty of internal medicine who has also served the SC Chapter. This year's much deserved winner is Donald E. Saunders, Jr., MD, FACP. Don has done a tremendous amount to enhance medical care, especially in the areas of medical education and cardiology at USC and throughout the state. CONGRATULATIONS DON.

South Carolina Laureate Winners

1991 Roy Howell, Jr., FACP
1992 William W. Pryor, Sr., FACP
1993 Charles S. Bryan, FACP
1995 O'Neill Barrett, FACP
1996 J. O'Neal Humphries, FACP
1997 Edward M. Mobley, Jr., FACP
1998 James A. McFarland, FACP
1999 Donald E. Saunders, Jr., MD, FACP

Congratulations also to O'Neal Humphries who becomes our newest Master of the ACP-ASIM. He joins Carwyle Leroy, Peter Gazes and John Colwell as SC ASP-ASIM Masters.

During the Annual Business Meeting we held elections under our newly approved SC Chapter ACP-ASIM bylaws. We now have a duly elected council.

Chapter Council 1999-2000

Bill Boulware Florence, Chair, Health and Public Policy
Jim McFarland Columbia, Chair, Nominations and Awards
Robert Walker Greenville, Chair, Membership/Credentials
Barry Blackston Greenville, Chair, Scientific Program
Shawn Stinson Columbia, Chair, Associates Program
Ann Cook Anderson, Secretary
Julius Sagel Charleston, Member-at-Large
Theresa Gallagher Florence, Member-at-Large
Kay Huntington Greenville, Member-at-Large
Carl Mitchell Columbia, Member-at-Large
Jef Fayssoux Greenville, Associate Member
Vanessa Dixon Greenville, Student Member

Please contact any of these individuals or me for more information. I would truly like to make each of the committees a broader base. Please contact the chairs or me to participate.

Also at the council and subsequently at the Business Meeting, a discussion arose concerning the location of next year's Annual Session. Several members thought that in light of the NAACP's boycott of tourism in the state and the negative impact the flying of the confederate flag has on the overall health of African-Americans, we should move the meeting out of state. Other members thought that the controversy over the flag had nothing to do with the SC ACP-ASIM. The majority seemed to think we should take a stand against flying the confederate flag because of the negative overall health concerns of the perceived oppression and the potential negative health impacts of the resultant boycott. The enclosed resolution was the result of this discussion. The Annual Business Session voted to put this to a vote of the membership.

Please vote for or against the resolution (see attached)

Call (864) 455-8496, e-mail dpotts@ghsms.ghs.org or write David Potts, MD, FACP, 701 Grove Rd., Greenville, SC 29605 with ideas, suggestions, and criticisms.

Medicare Advisory Committee

By: Dr. John Black, Internal Medicine Representative

I am the Internal Medicine representative on the Committee that meets quarterly in Columbia to discuss Medicare issues and policies. I am also Co-Chairman along with Dr. David Sheridan, who is the director for Medicare Part B in South Carolina.

The most important information that each of us internists needs to hear from me is read the Medicare Advisory Booklet that is mailed to your office each month. The information that is provided in this booklet is important for each of us to know. It is not just the responsibility of our office managers. This booklet is the way for each of us to find out what Medicare is doing and planning. This Medicare Advisory Committee provides each of you with a voice to the Medicare process. We, as physicians may or may not be able to change Medicare plans. This Committee is one of the ways you can influence the system.

All physician offices are encouraged to test their computer system for Y2K compliance with the Palmetto GBA host computer for future dates. You can call the Help Des at (803) 788-9751 for more information. Claims will not be processed after January 1 if it cannot be processed electronically. The Office of Inspector General is again sending out claims audits. If you receive a letter from Charles J. Curtis, Regional Inspector General of Audit Services, please respond by sending the requested records. This is not one to ignore. Medicare offers free training regarding policies and coverage for physicians and employees at www.medicaretraining.com.

Starting November 1, 1999, Medicare will no longer pay for Long Acting Psychotropics (Decanoates). This may impact internists because or psychiatric patients may not be able to afford these medications. This is a national policy. Write or call your South Carolina Senators to voice your opinion on this matter.

The Interspecialty Committee will begin meeting in January to discuss legislative bills in South Carolina that affects health care. If anyone has any input about legislative issues, please contact me. You can reach me by phone at (803) 796-7270, or fax (803) 796-0106, or e-mail me at talldoc2@aol.com, if you would like to discuss any Medicare issues. Subspecialty internist groups also have members who are on this Committee. Look at your past Medicare Advisory booklets for committee minutes so that you might see which physician represents your subspecialty.

John G. Black, MD
134 E. Medical Lane
West Columbia, SC 29169