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I want to start by acknowledging our former Governor, Darilyn Moyer of Temple University School of Medicine who was elected President-elect of ACP, effective Spring 2016. We are all so very proud to be represented by Dr. Moyer, who has ably served as former Governor of Southeastern region and as Chair of the Board of Governors for ACP.
The ACP Health and Public Policy Committee has been providing some very timely and influential position papers on Telemedicine in Primary Care, LGBT issues in Medicine, and the Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care.
This year in Pennsylvania, we have hosted three interest group dinners for our region's medical students and a superb poster jeopardy contention Chaired by Dr. Allison Ferris of Drexel. See 2015 Poster Competition Winners for the Southeastern Region in this newsletter. Also, in a nail-biter jeopardy finals, the University of Pennsylvania team just edged past Albert Einstein to represent SE PA in the State Finals.
I also wish to thank Emily Stewart for leading the Resident Professionalism awards. These awards recognized some of our future leaders in health care and their recognitions were inspiring for all the attendees.
Southeastern Regional Winners:
Anmol Patel, MD Drexel University
Gregory Gibson, MD Temple University
Dipesh Uprety, MD Abington Health
Jonathan Treem, MD University of Penn
Michael Rey, MD Penn Med-Peds Program
Anna Thomas, MD Crozer Chester
Elizabeth Richardson, DO Lankenau Medical Center
Catiele Antunes, MD Einstein Medical Center
Eric Signoff, MD Jefferson University Hospital
Justin Glasgow, MD Christiana Care Health System
Muznay Khawaja, MD Mercy Hospital
All the best in ACP,
Greg Kane, MD, FACP
Last year was a year of transition in PA, with a new Governor, new legislative leadership, and new cabinet leaders. One of the Governor's first actions, encouraged by PA-ACP, was statewide Medicaid expansion and acceptance of federal funding, and elimination of the state's tiered programs and screening requirements. This led to more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians being added to Medicaid coverage in 2015.
Legislatively, several bills supported by the PA-ACP were passed into law, including amendments to limit pharmacists to providing influenza vaccines for children, legislation governing health insurance exchanges and navigators, tort reform legislation and legislation making impersonation of a physician illegal.
After a record six-month impasse, the Governor signed most of a budget bill, releasing funds for school districts, counties and social service agencies, and funding most of government operations. However, he vetoed or reduced many items, about $7 billion in programs, with the bulk of the cuts coming from the basic education subsidy, state prisons, and medical assistance capitation. He also cut about $200 million in legislative initiatives, including funding for hospital systems and disease education programs in the Department of Health. While all parties agree that releasing some funding is a step in the right direction, there still remains significant work to be done to ensure government operations, and no one is certain how that will happen. The Governor's 2016-2017 budget proposal is due in February.
PA-ACP has revisited its legislative priorities, because of the ongoing battles over budget and state funding/revenue increases. For 2016, those priorities include:
We expect the House and Senate to take up credentialing legislation in 2016, and have hopes that the Insurance Committee will also consider several bills actively supported by the PA-ACP including limits on retroactive denials of payments beyond 12 months, and non-compete agreements.
After several years of pressure from CRNPs, the House Professional Licensure Committee held a hearing on legislation to eliminate collaborative agreements and effectively allow CRNPs to practice independently. PA-ACP has been actively working this issue on your behalf, and worked with other medical professional organizations to effectively make the case for maintaining current practice. This remains a priority for 2016.
PA-ACP also made its presence known in Washington, DC on your behalf in 2015 and plans to expand that work in 2016. The major accomplishment was elimination of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula in April. During Leadership Day in May, 17 Pennsylvania physicians attended our national event, and met with members and staff of all members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation. These meetings helped develop relationships which have been maintained at home in the districts. The 2016 Leadership Day will be held May 3-4.
The Health and Public Policy Committee will also undergo a transition in 2016, as Arnold Eiser, MD, MACP has retired as chairman after a very successful six years. Evan Pollack, MD, FACP has agreed to serve as chairman going forward. If you have interest in helping develop and advocate for government policies, please contact PA-ACP and we will ensure you receive information and invitation to participate in HPPC meetings.
Our Chapter was one of seven chapters awarded the 2015 Tooker Evergreen Award. Our efforts to engage our medical students in advocacy and education to enhance medical student career success was recognized by the Award committee. The John Tooker Evergreen Awards Program provides recognition and visibility to chapters that have successfully implemented programs to increase membership, improve communication, increase member involvement, enhance diversity, foster careers in internal medicine and improve management of the chapter.
The PA Chapter also received the 2015 Chapter Excellence Award! The award recognizes chapters which successfully meet the standards for managing a chapter. In order to achieve the Chapter Excellence Award, chapters must meet all basic criteria and seven optional criteria. Criteria include such activities as formulating an effective Governor's Council and committees, communicating frequently with membership, providing educational opportunities, recruiting and advancing members and celebrating membership through local awards. Special thanks are extended to those chapter members who assisted in all of these endeavors.
Pennsylvania's Eastern Region is holding their Annual Maintenance of Certification (MOC) training on March 5, 2016 at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. Register online and view the flyer for details of this event. We hope to see you in Hershey!
The State Medical Jeopardy Finals were held on December 5, 2015 at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. The State Champions hail from the University of Pennsylvania, and include, Team Advisor David Aizenberg, MD, and members Michael Ayers MD, Hari Shankar, MD and Roland Li, MD. Our state champions will proceed to the national competition held at the National ACP Internal Medicine Meeting in Washington, DC, May 5 -7, 2016.
Congratulations to the following medical students who were acknowledged at the PA-ACP Eastern Region Medical Jeopardy/Poster Competition:
1st Place Clinical Vignette - Irfan Ahsan, Abington Memorial Hospital
1st Place QI/Patient Safety - Lev Malevanchik, Thomas Jefferson Hospital
1st Place Research - William Fuller, Univ. of Pennsylvania
1st Place Top Medical Student - Christopher Hergott, Univ. of Pennsylvania
The PA-ACP annual Awards Dinner was held on December 5, 2015 at the Hershey Country Club, Hershey, PA. John Derrickson was recognized for his outstanding leadership during his tenure as Executive Director of the ACP Pennsylvania Chapter 2001-2015. The Governors of the Chapter dedicated an award in his name, "The John Derrickson Early Career Physician Service Excellence Award of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians.'' Stay tuned for more details about this award.
Dr. Arnold Eiser received the prestigious 2015 Pressman Award, which recognizes members who are committed to their patients and community as a practicing physician, a leader in organized medicine, as an advocate for his patients and profession and for extraordinary dedication to the specialty of internal medicine.
Pictured here from (l to r) Gregory Kane, MD and Geno Merli, MD
Geno J. Merli, MD, MACP received the 2015 Laureate Award for Southeastern, PA. The Laureate Award is given to Fellows or Masters of ACP who have demonstrated an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research, and in service to their community, their Chapter and the American College of Physicians.
Pictured here from (l to r) Gregory Kane, MD and Catherine Clarke, MD
Catherine F. Clarke, MD, FACP received the 2015 Clinical Practice Award, which recognizes a member internist for service as a clinical practitioner to patients, community and profession.
Pictured here from (l to r) Edward Filippone, MD and Gregory Kane, MD
Edward J. Filippone, MD, FACP was the 2015 Herbert S. Waxman Award Voluntary Faculty Teaching Award winner. This award recognizes the most effective and committed internist who has distinguished himself as a member of the voluntary teaching faculty at a teaching hospital or medical school in Pennsylvania.
Pictured here from (l to r) Gregory Kane, MD, Jonathan Gotfried, MD and Darilyn Moyer, MD
The Special Recognition Award is given to a member recognized for a special contribution which may not fit into one of the other specific award categories. The 2015 Special Recognition Award was given to Jonathan I. Gotfried, MD of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Congratulations to Marilyn J. Heine, MD, FACP of our Eastern region. Members of the current Pennsylvania Board of Medicine elected Dr. Heine as their new Chair effective December 21, 2015.
Dr. Heine was appointed by PA Governor Tom Corbett as a Member of the State Board of Medicine on October 1, 2013. Dr. Heine recently stated that the State Boards goal "is to protect the public" and looks forward to her continued work with the Board of Medicine as they regulate the practice of medicine.