AAPM&R Connection: March 7, 2012

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March 7, 2012

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President Obama Signs HR 3630

10-Month SGR and Therapy Cap Exceptions Process Extensions Included

On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law legislation (H.R. 3630) that extends the payroll tax cut, continues unemployment benefits, delays scheduled cuts to Medicare physician reimbursement rates and extends the exceptions process to the outpatient therapy cap. The new law averts the 27.4 percent SGR cuts previously scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2012, and extends current Medicare payment rates through January 1, 2013.

With Congress now focused on the upcoming elections, the matter of the looming 32-percent Medicare physician payment cut in January 1, 2013, will inure to the lame duck Congress, which is sure to have a full agenda with the expirations on several key issues approaching.

The Academy will continue its advocacy efforts for a full repeal and replacement of the flawed SGR payment formula and repeal of the outpatient therapy cap.

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Register Today for the Last Free Academy Pain Webinar

Find out what the experts are saying about pain management by attending the last webinar in AAPM&R's four-part series:

Lateral Branch Radiofrequency Denervation
of the Sacroiliac Joint

James W. Atchison, DO (moderator), and
Nilesh Patel, MD (expert)
March 19, 2012, 7 pm–7:30 pm (Central)
Click here to register

The Pain eJournal Club allows clinicians to listen in on live, 30-minute webinars for FREE featuring well-known experts in the field of pain management who will be reviewing and discussing published articles or guidelines in this area and their relevance to clinical behavior.

Please note that CME credit is not available for attending the live webinar. Visit the Pain Education site on acadeME® for more information.

AAPM&R thanks Purdue Pharma for providing funding for the Pain eJournal Club and the "How Do I Do It" Pain Pearls.

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Be a Mentor to a
Medical Student

AAPM&R has launched a mentor program to match member volunteers with medical students who want to learn more about the specialty. To learn more about the program or sign up, click here.


Visit ME for New Content

If you haven't been on acadeME lately, you are missing a number of new activities posted from 2011 Annual Assembly sessions.

Four slide lectures on concussion
Podcast interviews with concussion experts
Managing the Transition: Adults With Childhood Onset Conditions online course
Plenary Sessions (for members only)
Slide lectures on tendinopathy
Podcast on tendinopathy

Use the links above to find this content or visit www.me.aapmr.org.


Nominate Your Colleagues for AAPM&R Awards by April 30

Your Academy has an awards program to recognize members who deserve the applause of their peers. Tell the Academy who deserves recognition for their work in PM&R. Nominees chosen for awards will be acknowledged at the AAPM&R 2012 Annual Assembly in Atlanta.

It only takes one click to nominate your colleagues:

Click here to see the available awards and complete a short ballot. The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2012.

Want more information? Read the full call for nominations on the Academy Web site. Award descriptions and lists of past recipients are available on the Academy Web site.

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Congressional Opposition to IPAB Escalates

On February 29, 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 17–5 to send the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 452) to the House floor. The bipartisan bill would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill has not been debated in the Senate.

Under the ACA, the 15-member IPAB has the unprecedented power to cut $575 billion from Medicare over 10 years through rationing and price controls.

Also, the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) announced that the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing in March to discuss how the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will impact the Medicare program (beneficiaries and health care providers). AAPM&R plans to submit a written statement in support of the H.R. 452 for consideration by the Subcommittee.

On June 8, 2011, AAPM&R signed on a letter with other national medical specialty societies opposing the IPAB. The letter states that (IPAB) "will severely limit Medicare beneficiaries' access to care and must be eliminated." For more information, click here.

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2012 Annual Assembly Call for Abstracts Deadline This Week

There are only a few more days left to submit your clinical and basic science research findings to be considered for inclusion in the AAPM&R 2012 Annual Assembly. The deadline is March 9, 2012.

AAPM&R will be accepting abstract submissions for the 2012 Annual Assembly online only. Access the submission site at aapmr2012.abstractcentral.com.

The 2012 AAPM&R Annual Assembly will be held November 15–18, 2012, in Atlanta, GA.

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CMS Announces Proposed Rule on Stage 2 Meaningful Use

Eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs when adopting certified EHR technology as was established through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and use that technology to demonstrate "meaningful use" objectives established by CMS.

In this proposed rule, CMS proposes Stage 2 criteria that the eligible groups must meet in order to qualify for the incentives. The main focus of Stage 2 criteria is capturing health information in a structured format as well as improving the exchange of this information amongst providers. Additionally, there are some proposed adjustments to the timeline and payments.

It is important to note that CMS is proposing that all eligible groups report on clinical quality measures (CQMs) as was done with Stage 1. In the case of EPs, CMS is proposing alignment of the CQMs with those of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

CMS' proposed rule can be viewed here.

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Around the Web

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

  • AAN Publishes ALS Performance Measures for Public Comment

    Thanks to Dr. Gregory Carter representing the PM&R perspective on this work group. The measure sets can be found here.

    NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Dr. Sally Rockey's Rock Talk blog features a post with more details on the implications of the President's budget request on NIH grants.
    Read the full story here.

  • Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters Special Edition Article

    "2012 Physician Quality Reporting System Claims-Based Coding and Reporting Principles" has been released in downloadable format. This article is designed to provide education on claims-based coding and reporting under the 2012 Physician Quality Reporting System, and includes step-by-step instructions eligible professionals should take prior to participating in the program.

    MLN Matters Special Edition, "2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program: Future Payment Adjustments," can now be downloaded. This article provides education on future eRx Incentive Program payment adjustments for eligible professionals and selected group practices that participate in the 2012 eRx Group Practice Reporting Option, and includes information about the applicable electronic percent for payment adjustments, eligibility criteria, and how to submit a hardship request.

  • Guidelines Published on Care of the Patient with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    The American Association of Neuroscience Nurses and Association of Rehabilitation Nurse published guidelines on AHRQ's National Guideline Clearinghouse. They can be found here to be shared with your nursing colleagues.

  • CMS offers IRF Patient Assessment Train-the-Train Conference

    This free conference will be held in Baltimore May 1 and 2 to support implementation of the IRF Quality Reporting Program (QRP). Registration is open March 1–15. More information can be found here.

  • DOJ Makes Healthcare Fraud Its Enforcement Centerpiece

    Read full article on HHS.gov.

  • Members of New NIH Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee Announced

    Read the full article on NIH News.

  • Hospitals Increase EHR Use

    Read the full article on MedPage Today.

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