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NewsWatch

March 2016

President's Letter

Wellness, Balance Billing and Networking Top the Spring Calendar

In January, ACEP had its first ever “wellness week,” focusing on strategies to help providers and groups improve their physical and emotional health.  I hope you took advantage of the suggestions that were provided and that you implemented at least some of them into your life.  The intent was to increase our focus on this important issue and to start making meaningful changes that can last a lifetime.  Even though the event lasted only a week, make sure you continue the activities you started.  Or, decide now to take some simple steps to focus on your own wellness and on the well-being of your colleagues.  Doing so will allow you better to care for patients and will support a longer, more fulfilling career in emergency medicine.

On a different note, I would like to address balance billing.  This issue, now being referred to by some as “surprise billing” is getting more attention in the media.  Various recent articles have focused on it, and there is proposed legislation in our state attempting to eliminate it.  Many of these articles portray those who provide emergency care in a poor light when it comes to this issue.  Know that WA ACEP represents your interests and those of our patients.  We will continue to advocate for access to care and fair payment.  It does not appear that any substantial legislation related to balance billing will pass at this time, but, the issue will remain active.  We are prepared to advocate for our members and our patients and to preserve access to emergency care for all who need it.  Know that we have your best interests and those of our patients in mind, and we will do all we can to ensure that we can continue to provide care for all of our patients who are in need.

Finally, I invite you to become more involved with our Chapter.  In April, we have our annual Summit-to-Sound educational meeting in Seattle.  This is the premier emergency medicine conference in the Northwest, and this year’s event offers a great mix of topics and speakers.  It also is a great opportunity to network with other providers of emergency care in our region.  Another opportunity will be in May, when many from our Chapter will go to Washington DC for the ACEP Legislative Advocacy Conference.  If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend it as a wonderful conference and a great experience.

As always, thank you for what you do every day to care for those in our communities, including the most vulnerable among us.  Ours is a noble profession and a privilege.  Despite frustrations along the way, you make a tangible positive impact and touch the lives of many.  Your work too often goes unacknowledged, but you can be certain that it is important, recognized, and appreciated.

John Matheson, MD FACEP
WA ACEP Chapter President

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Don’t Miss the Advanced Airway Workshop at the 2016 Summit to Sound

Review the latest techniques and concepts in assuring airway success in critical patients.  The workshop will include surgical airway, videolaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy components to provide hands on training in state-of-the-art airway management techniques.   Register for the entire Summit to Sound and save $25 on the Airway Workshop!

April 27-29
Bell Harbor Conference Center
Seattle, WA

 

 

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Update on National ACEP Activities

By ACEP Board Members and WA-ACEP Past Presidents Stephen Anderson, MD, FACEP and Christopher Kang, MD, FACEP

With the start of 2016, the national Board of Directors has prioritized and pursuing the following legislative, Council, and College items.

Legislative:

  • H.R. 4365, the "Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016" to reduce administrative requirements for EMS personnel and their directors, and to allow them to continue to administer controlled substances;
  • S. 524, the "Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015" that will allocate and distribute funding to organizations and states to provide opioid medication education, prevention, and treatment, as well as to expand the availability of naloxone and the use of PMP; and
  • S. 2525, the "Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act" because cutting funding over the past 30 years directly impacts recidivism and boarding in our departments.

Council:

  • Overseeing the assessment and development of the various approved resolutions from the 2014 and 2015 Council meetings;
  • The approval and start of two new sections, Event Management and Pain Management; and
  • A periodic reevaluation of the conduct of the Council Meeting and College election process.

College:

  • Promoting diversity of leadership at all levels, starting with hosting a summit in April;
  • Joining other medical organizations in petitioning The Joint Commission and HHS to eliminate the emphasis on pain scoring, especially as a fifth vital sign; and
  • Developing a cohesive strategy to defend the practice of emergency medicine from a ban against out of network billing arising in numerous states and at the national level, starting with changing the tone and language being used and focusing attention on the fact that many "surprise bills" arise from "surprise coverage" and restricted access to emergency and specialty care.

If you would like to learn more or have an issue of importance to emergency medicine, please contact your chapter and national leaders.

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WA-ACEP Joins WSMA for Legislative Leadership Day

WA-ACEP leaders once again joined the Washington State Medical Association for lobby day in Olympia. This year’s WSMA legislative priorities included Medicaid reimbursement, a reduced credentialing timeline and raising the legal smoking age to 21. Many thanks to the following WA-ACEP members who took time out of their busy schedules Feb. 9 to participate: Drs. Bev Harn, Enrique Enguidanos, Erik Penner, Nathan Schlicher and Chris Strode.

 

 

 

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WA-ACEP Bylaw Amendments

In 2015, the WA-ACEP Bylaws Task Force reviewed the current bylaws to ensure the chapter adhered to ACEP governance requirements and to provide minor revisions that improve the chapter’s functionality and performance. The Task Force concluded that our current bylaws adhered to the ACEP bylaws model and were not in need of drastic changes. The recommended revisions reflect a previous board action, or a desire to improve services to members. Please read the Executive Summary to learn more. Active WA-ACEP members will vote on the amendments at the Annual Meeting, April 28, 2016.

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Comments Sought for Draft Clinical Policy on Suspected Transient Ischemic Attack

The Clinical Policies Committee of ACEP has completed a draft clinical policy, “Critical Issues in the Evaluation and Management of Adult Patients with Suspected Transient Ischemic Attack in the Emergency Department.” The draft is now open for comments until April 16, 2016. Click here to view the draft policy and comment form.

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New Suicide Care CME Requirement

As a result of legislation passed in 2015 all active Washington state physicians, physician assistants and those physicians and PAs holding a retired active license must complete a one-time six-hour training in suicide assessment, treatment and management. See this model list of training programs that will be accepted. To meet this new requirement, the Washington State Psychiatric Association is offering one-day, six-hour workshops on suicide care training. The workshops, instructed by WSPA President-Elect Jeffrey Sung, MD, will be held April 16, May 21 and June 25 from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Swedish Medical Center First Hill Campus in Seattle. The workshops will use lecture, video-based educational tools and writing exercises to address approaches, formulation and clinical responses to suicide risk. Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) members receive a discounted registration fee to attend. The training is approved for six CME credit hours. Visit the WSPA website for details and to register.

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Medical Decision Making and the Marshfield Clinic Scoring Tool

Familiar with the Marshfield Clinical Scoring Tool? When assigning an Evaluation and Management Level of Service for a patient encounter, significant factors to consider are the Nature of the Presenting Problem (NOPP) and the complexity of Medical Decision Making (MDM). Recently, ACEP received questions about the scoring tool’s appropriate use. Visit ACEP’s Reimbursement FAQs to learn more.

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Volunteers Sought for International Summer Program

Health care professionals and members of the community are invited to participate in Global Impact, a Seattle Colleges service learning program presented in partnership with Seattle-area medical, education and service organizations. Program volunteers will work around the world during summer 2016 with Seattle Colleges and other partners including Seattle University, University of Washington-Tacoma, and Sydney TAFE on this initiative. Global Impact is sponsoring four programs in late August:

  • Ghana Expedition, August 21-September 4
  • Volunteer Morocco, August 21-September 4
  • Peru Quest, August 21-September 4
  • Vietnam Village Trek, August 21-September 1

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Upcoming EM Events

 2016 WA-ACEP Summit to Sound

April 27-29
Bell Harbor
Seattle, WA

 

ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference
May 15-18, 2016
Washington, DC

American Healthcare Professionals & Friends for Medicine In Israel (APF)
Spring 2016 CME Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Course
May 21-26, 2016
Israel
Learn more

ACEP16
Oct. 15-18, 2016
Las Vegas, NV

2016 Emergency Medicine Leadership Summit
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
The Conference Center at Seattle Tacoma International Airport

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Washington ACEP Board

John Matheson, MD, FACEP
President
Enrique Enguidanos MD, FACEP
Past President
Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD FACEP
President Elect
Patrick Solari, MD, FACEP
Secretary/Treasurer

Directors:
Cameron Buck, MD, FACEP
Russ Carlisle, MD, FACEP
Ryan Keay, MD, FACEP

Brian Livingston, MD, FACEP
Steven Mitchell, MD, FACEP
Darin Neven, MD
Susan Stern, MD
Jennifer L'Hommedieu Stankus, MD, JD
Liam Yore, MD, FACEP
Julianna Yu, MD


Stephen Anderson MD FACEP
Past President (Non voting)
Christopher Kang MD FACEP
Past President (Non Voting)
Anna Condino, MD
Resident Liaison
Josh Jacobson, DO
Resident Liaison



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