AAPM&R Connection: November 2, 2011

AAPM&R Connection. AAPM&R's E-Newsletter connecting you to your speciality, your Academy.

Academy News

November 2, 2011 

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Academy Participates in Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill

On November 1, Michael Lupinacci, MD, AAPM&R President, represented the Academy at a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill to address key issues under consideration by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. With the “Super Committee” considering a wide range of proposals for spending cuts, including a number of proposals that impact access to intensive rehabilitation services, particularly under Medicare, the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR) Steering Committee hosted the briefing to highlight the importance of access to rehabilitation services.

To read the Academy's letter to the Super Committee on these issues, click here. (PDF Download)

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Annual Assembly Book Signing with Retired Astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Mark Kelly and Retired Army Captain Luis Montalvan

During the Presidential Address at this year's Annual Assembly, AAPM&R President Michael F. Lupinacci, MD, will welcome special guest speakers Captain Mark Kelly, astronaut and husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, and retired Army Captain Luis Montalvan and his service golden retriever, Tuesday. Both will tell their compelling stories of great significance to PM&R. Their experiences will allow us to take a qualitative look at the dynamic forces that affect physiatry in the public eye.

Just announced! Both Capt. Montalvan and Capt. Kelly will be available to sign copies of their books after the Plenary Session on Thursday, November 17, from 10:30 am–12:15 pm. Copies of the book will be available on site for purchase.

You can still register for the Annual Assembly if you have not yet done so. Click here to be taken to the registration page.

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Experience It Live! AAPM&R Activities Live on the Web

There's a lot happening on the Academy Web site right now. Here are just a few online links to valuable information available through AAPM&R.

Register to Attend 2011 Assembly
It's not too late to register and attend this year's meeting.

Make Your Voice Heard—Member Call to Action
Tell your representatives in Congress how they can positively affect PM&R.

Register for February MSK Ultrasound Course
This advanced level course always sells out, so don't wait to reserve your place.

Submit a Proposal for the 2012 Annual Assembly
The AAPM&R Program Planning Committee invites proposals for educational sessions for the 2012 Annual Assembly. Physiatrists from the Atlanta area and the Southeast are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

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Annual Assembly Abstracts Now Live on PM&R Site

Review the 2011 Annual Assembly Scientific Poster and Paper Abstracts on the PM&R Web site before you head to Orlando. Click here and click on “October Abstracts Supplement” in the Supplements box in the right column.

Concussion SAE-P is Now Live on acadeME

The newest Self-Assessment Exam for Practitioners (SAE-P) on the topic of concussion is now available on acadeME. Click here for more information.

Come to the One and Only PM&R-Specific Job Fair!

The Academy is hosting the most employers we've ever had. Click here to view the most current list of employers.

Wed., Nov. 16, 2011
6 pm–9 pm
Osceola Ballroom CD Gaylord Palms & Convention Center

All are welcome! No additional registration required. Are you on Facebook? Come and follow the event there. Looking to see current open positions today? Go to our Job Board now and upload your CV.

Final MedPAC Recommendations on SGR

On October 6, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted to approve the following four recommendations to Congress:

  1. Repeal the SGR and replace it with a 10-year predictable, legislative fee-schedule update. The plan would freeze payments for primary care services and implement a 5.9 percent reduction in fees for specialty services for three years then institute a freeze;
  2. Collect data to improve payment accuracy over the long term;
  3. Use the data collected in recommendation 2 to identify overpriced fee schedule items; and
  4. Accelerate delivery system reform by increasing shared savings for physicians who join or lead ACOs that agree to be penalized for missing quality and cost targets, called a two-sided risk model.

As you know, if Congress fails to act on the SGR issue, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will cut reimbursement to Medicare providers by an estimated 29.5 percent in January. Last month, we reported that the Academy signed on a letter to the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction urging repeal of the SGR so that new payment models can be adopted that promote high quality, cost effective care.

The Academy will continue to fight for members on the Medicare SGR and asks that you participate in our “All-Physiatrists” grassroots campaign on this and other important issues. Click here for details.

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Thank You for Participating


Hundreds of you have participated in Academy initiatives in 2011. We want to recognize you! Over the past year you may have noticed the “participate” logo at the right placed on a number of articles that asked for your engagement. At this year's Annual Assembly, we will give special designation to anyone who took up the call and participated in Academy initiatives including:

  • Sending letters to legislators (advocacy)
  • Answering surveys (membership)
  • Submitting course proposals (education)
  • Nominating colleagues for awards (peer recognition)
  • And more!

To gather with other Academy participants this fall, visit www.aapmr.org/assembly and register for the AAPM&R 2011 Annual Assembly, November 17–20 in Orlando. Thank you for your involvement in 2011!

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Academy Signs on Letter to Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction

On October 14, the Academy, through its efforts with the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR), signed on a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction strongly opposing policies proposed in the context of the Joint Committee's deliberations that would severely restrict access to inpatient rehabilitation hospital services for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.

CPR is a coalition of national consumer, clinician, and membership organizations with the goal of preserving access to appropriate rehabilitation services so that individuals with disabilities, injuries, and chronic conditions may regain and/or maintain their maximum level of independent function.

Click here to read the letter. (PDF Download)

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PM&R Advocacy Workshop & Course at the Annual Assembly

For those of you who are in the midst of planning your activities for the upcoming Annual Assembly in Orlando, Florida, consider two sessions designed to help members polish off their advocacy skills and will focus on increasing awareness of legislative and political processes that impact physical medicine and rehabilitation. A national trend toward minimizing health care costs while ensuring quality of care continues to spiral. We need all physiatrists to advocate for the specialty and tell their legislators that physiatrists play a pivotal role in advocating for quality patient care, representing the interests of all patients with or who are at risk for temporary or permanent disability or functional impairment.

322 “Advocacy Workshop: A Realistic Simulation of Advocacy Encounters”
Friday, November 18, 2011, 1:15 pm–2:45 pm

311 “Squeezing Effective Advocacy into Your Busy-ness”
Saturday, November 19, 2011, 5 pm–6:30 pm

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CMS Contacting Physicians About Medicare eRx Penalty—Deadline extended to November 8

CMS and its contractors are attempting to contact individual physicians directly with phone calls and with letters mailed through the United States Postal Service to inform them that they may be at risk of incurring e-prescribing penalties. CMS is encouraging physicians to apply for an exemption if they haven't already done so. Application deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Click here for more information.

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CMS Releases Final Rule on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

On October 20, 2011, CMS released its final rule on the Medicare Shared Savings/ACO program. The final rule contains significant positive changes for physicians. Changes include that ACOs will be allowed to participate in the shared savings beginning with the first dollar of savings earned. The proposed rule gave ACOs a share of savings above a minimum threshold; a minimum threshold must still be met, but they can earn back more of the savings they generate.

Also notable is the creation of a complementary program through the Innovation Center that will provide “Advance Payments” to physician organizations and rural providers that do not have capital reserves available to finance needed changes in care processes or to cover short-term losses while waiting for shared savings payments to be made. For more details click here.

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Use this section to find links to news and resources relevant to physiatrists, found on the Web.

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The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R)
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Physicians Adding Quality to Life®