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February 2013

From the Governor

This edition of the newsletter includes information on the recent Plank case decision, updates on chapter leadership, 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


Hold the date for the 2013 Indiana Chapter Meeting!

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


Plank Case Dismissed by Indiana Supreme Court

On Jan. 15, 2013, the Indiana Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in the case of Plank vs. Community Hospitals of Indiana. The unanimous court ruled that Plank waited too long to raise his legal challenge to the constitutionality of the medical malpractice damages cap. The Indiana Supreme Court left open the possibility for other medical malpractice plaintiffs to timely seek an evidentiary hearing on constitutionality of the malpractice damages cap.

While this issue is deferred for now, it will undoubtedly rise again as the Supreme Court did not directly address the issue and demonstrates the need for us to be united with local medical societies to defend these cases.


ACP Indiana Chapter Upcoming Webinar

“Planning and Understanding CME Accreditation”
J. Matthew Neal, MD, MBA, FACP

February 21, 2013
6:30-7:30 EST
Register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/898551070

1. Understand the basics of the CME accreditation process.
2. Understand the pitfalls in planning CME programs and consequences of violating the Accreditation Criteria.
3. Understand the concept of “practice performance gaps” and their incorporation into CME activities.

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.


Call for Nominations for Chapter Council

We will soon be soliciting nominations for several vacant Chapter Governor’s Council positions. If you are interested in serving on the Chapter Council please contact me at jneal6@iuhealth.org and I will make sure your interest is known to the Nominating Committee.


2013-14 Associates’ Chair Named

Dr. Jeffrey Glant, PGY-2 resident, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, has been elected as the Indiana Chapter’s Associate’s Council chair for 2013-14. Congratulations to Dr. Glant and I am certain that he will do a great job helping plan the Chapter meeting and other events.


ACP launches new website to help physicians and patients practice high value care

PHILADELPHIA, January 16, 2013 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has launched a new High Value Care website to help physicians and other health care professionals, medical students, and patients understand the benefits, harms, and costs of tests and treatment options for common clinical issues and whether they provide good value.


Items of Interest


New year, same resolution. Just weeks into the 113th Congress, GOP lawmakers are making attempts to dismantle the 2010 healthcare law, and one of those efforts has bipartisan support.


Too many dying elderly patients are going into skilled-nursing facilities after leaving the hospital, experts say, and Medicare's reimbursement approach is largely the reason.


Dozens of states have slashed spending on mental health care over the past four years, but that trend may be heading for a U-turn in 2013 after last year's shooting rampages.


In the 1990s, consultants advised medical practices on implementing HIPAA. Today, experts stand ready to advise physicians on transforming their practices into patient-centered medical homes.


There's little evidence to suggest states will be ready to open the insurance exchanges needed to offer millions of uninsured Americans “affordable, quality healthcare coverage.”


With the worst flu outbreak since 2009 gripping the U.S., vaccine makers are determined to do better next season.

Employers, Insurers Push For Cutting Back Essential Benefits

CQ (1/24, Reichard, Subscription Publication) reports, "The growing concern among insurance analysts that coverage will be unaffordable in the new health care exchanges might create a fresh opportunity for federal officials to be persuaded to trim requirements in the final essential health benefits rule, which expected out in February or March." A group representing employers and insurers, known as the Change the Essential Health Benefits Coalition "held a news briefing Wednesday to highlight six recommendations for shaping the rule in a way they say makes coverage less costly." The changes they want in the final rule include "scaling back requirements for pediatric dental and vision benefits," and "backing off a requirement that plans cover one or more prescription drugs in each drug category."

Modern Healthcare (1/24, Zigmond, Subscription Publication) reports that the Essential Health Benefits Coalition's membership includes the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Osteopathic Association and the Pharmacy Care Management Association. At Wednesday's news conference in Washington, Neil Trautwein, the coalition's chairman, "stressed affordability and said a major concern for the group is that the final essential health benefits rule does not put the cost of coverage beyond the reach of the nation's small businesses."

Survey Shows Broad Support For Medicaid Expansion In Undecided States

The Hill (1/24, Baker) "Healthwatch" blog reports, "Registered voters in seven states want their governors to participate in the Medicaid expansion under President Obama's healthcare law, according to polling released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)." The survey "found majority support for the Medicaid expansion in each of the seven states surveyed, some of which are on the fence about the expansion." The lowest majority came in Texas, with 58 percent supporting expansion, though Governor Rick Perry has said he will opt out. The highest support, 70 percent, came in New Jersey, though Governor Chris Christie has also said he is likely not to expand the program.

CQ (1/24, Adams, Subscription Publication) reports, "The group hired the Democratic-leaning Lake Research Partners and the Republican-leaning GS Strategy Group polling firms to survey voters in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico and Texas. In every state, at least 55 percent of voters supported expansion after hearing two opposing arguments about the idea."

MedPage Today (1/24, Pittman) reports further, "Registered voters in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, and New Mexico - states that are all still deciding whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the ACA - supported expansion by margins ranging from 38% to 49%, the ACS said Wednesday. Voters in Texas - a very conservative state with a governor already against expansion - supported the move 58% to 30%."

BLS Data Show Increase In Hospital Reimbursement Rates

Modern Healthcare (1/15, Evans, Subscription Publication) reports that according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index, Medicare reimbursement rates paid to hospitals in 2012 increased 2.1% from 2011; Medicaid's reimbursement rates "climbed 1.7%" and the reimbursement rates for "other payers, including private insurers and self-pay patients" saw a 3.6% year-to-year increase. The BLS data also showed that the "reimbursement rates paid to acute-care hospitals increased 2.7%" in 2012. In contrast, the physician-office reimbursement rate "slowed last year to 1.3% from the prior year's 1.5%."

AMA Providing $10 Million In Grants To Foster "Teaching Innovations" Among Medical Schools

The American Medical News (1/28, O'Reilly) reports that the American Medical Association announced that it will award $10 million in grants to "a group of medical schools to engage in a broad range of teaching innovations." Some of these innovations include "new ways of teaching and assessing core competencies, individualized learning plans, and a greater focus on patient safety, quality improvement and health care financing." AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD said, "The AMA wants to change that and lower barriers for engagement. We want to bring schools together to foster and accelerate the kind of bold changes that will help you not only succeed, but thrive in the evolving health care environment." In the grant opportunity description, the AMA encourages interested participants to deliver "comprehensive learning experiences." The grants will be delivered over a five year span.

Certain Types Of Hospitals More Likely To Be Penalized For Readmissions

The Boston Globe (1/28, Conaboy) reports that "in a research letter published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association," researchers who "looked at penalties assessed against 2,189 hospitals...found that the largest hospitals and those that are teaching hospitals or safety net hospitals, meaning they care for the highest portion of poor patients, were most likely to have their payments docked" due to "the federal policy of penalizing hospitals where patients are more often rehospitalized within 30 days."


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: 623-225-5527

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