News from Washington
Congressional Leadership Wants 1-Year 'Doc Fix' But Also Eyes 3-Month Patch
Physicians face a 27 percent cut in their Medicare payments at the start of next year unless Congress passes legislation averting the cuts. According to congressional sources, the House Republican leadership would like to push through a one-year "doc fix" at the end of this year though congressional staff are also considering a three-month Medicare physician payment patch expiring at the end of March. The one-year patch is seen by some as the best-case scenario, but House Speaker John Boehner's staff thinks a three-month patch is the most likely outcome because of the issue of finding how to pay for it. Read more.
ASH Grassroots Networks Readies for Fall SGR battle
The ASH Grassroots Network is mobilizing for the next fight in Congress to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Even with politicians hot on the campaign trail and primarily focused on the fast approaching November elections, ASH continues to remind lawmakers that yet another deadline looms large. Unless Congress acts, physicians again face a cut in Medicare reimbursement payments on January 1. ASH members are strongly encouraged to utilize the ASH Advocacy Center to email their Representative and Senators and stay up to date on the status of relevant legislation. It is critical that this important message is not lost in this chaotic election season.
News from ASH
Special Practice-Related Events At the Annual Meeting and Exposition
This year's ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition on December 8-11 in Atlanta, GA, includes several events designed for practitioners:
- Special Symposium: Quality Improvement – A Toolkit for Hematology Practice
Saturday, December 8, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Georgia World Congress Center (A103)
- Practice Forum – Hematology in Cyberspace: Benefiting from New Technologies and Social Networking
Saturday, December 8, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., International Ballroom D, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- Practice Forum Reception
Saturday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., International Ballroom A-B, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- ASH Practice Partnership Lunch (RSVP Required)
Sunday, December 9, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., International Ballroom A, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- 2012 Consultative Hematology Course (Ticketed Event)
Monday, December 10, from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., International Ballroom D-F, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
More details and registration information about these practice-related events are available on the ASH website.
ASH Offers PQRS Reporting Tool to Help Hematologists Obtain PQRS Bonus Payment
ASH is pleased offer a web-based tool to help hematologists obtain the 0.5 percent incentive payment for reporting quality measures on Medicare patients during calendar year 2012. The ASH-branded registry, PQRIwizardSM will assist hematologists in satisfactorily reporting data on quality measures under the CMS PQRS. The PQRIwizardSM features 25 quality measures in the areas of hematology, oncology, and general medicine, including ASH's four hematology measures on myelodysplastic syndrome, acute leukemias, multiple myeloma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The PQRIwizardSM is similar to online tax preparation software and will make reporting easier. The cost of PQRIwizardSM is $299. Read more.
ASH Announces its Participation in the Choosing Wisely Campaign
ASH has been invited by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to participate in its Choosing Wisely Campaign: The Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question. The campaign is a multi-phased national effort in partnership with medical specialty societies to promote appropriate medical decision making. Choosing Wisely hopes to encourage the important dialogue between physicians and patients about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances cause harm. ASH will identify an evidence-based list of the five hematological tests, procedures and/or treatments patients should question. ASH welcomes input from all of its members; if you are interested, please contact Suzy Leous at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Choosing Wisely Campaign, please visit www.choosingwisely.org.
Take Advantage of ASH's Consult a Colleague Service
Consult a Colleague is a service for ASH members that helps facilitate the exchange of information between hematologists and their peers. The full list of available categories is below:
- Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
- Lymphoproliferative Disorders
- Multiple Myeloma & Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia
- Myeloproliferative Disorders
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
To learn more or to submit a request, visit www.hematology.org/consult. Assigned Colleagues will respond to inquiries within two business days either by email or phone.
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