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Message from the President

If you missed the 2015 TNACS Annual Meeting, you missed a really great educational and networking opportunity for Tennessee Surgeons! We heard enlightening and inspiring presentations from Drs. Richard Wender, Ken Mattox, and Mary McCarthy in addition to discussions about physician employment and ICD-10 implementation. Over 25 residents participated in four resident paper competitions, and teams from each training program entertained us all with a rousing game of Surgical Jeopardy.
I have enjoyed serving as your President during that past year, and I encourage each of you to get involved and support the TN Chapter. Dr. Norma Edwards (Memphis) is your new President, and I know she welcomes your input and support. Plan now to attend the 2016 TNACS Annual Meeting, July 22-24, in Memphis.

New TNACS Officers Elected during Annual Meeting

Congratulations to newly elected officers of TNACS!

Vice-President: Ingrid Meszoely, MD, FACS (Nashville)

Councilor – West: Regan Williams, MD (Memphis)
Councilor – Middle: Marco Chavarria-Aguilar, MD, FACS (Columbia)
Councilor – East: Joshua Arnold, MD, FACS (Knoxville)

The TNACS Executive Council welcomes your comments, suggestions, and concerns.

Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act

Several U.S. representatives and senators are pushing back against a recommendation from an expert panel that could limit free breast-cancer screenings for younger women. The new breast cancer screening recommendations are proposed by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The draft recommendations give annual mammograms for women ages 40-49 a “C” grade, meaning most women in this age group, according to the Task Force, do not need an annual exam. The proposed recommendations also state that women 50-74 need mammograms only every other year. You can review the proposed recommendations in more detail here.

HR 3339 was introduced by Reps. Renee Ellmers, (R-NC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). It is called the Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act.

On August 5th, 2015, Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced a companion bill, S. 1926.

There are two ways to provide support for these bills:
  1. Contact your representatives/senators (see contact information) and ask for their support of these bills or thank them if they have already co-sponsored. Congress is in recess until September, so it will also be a good time to catch them in their district offices.
  2. Sign and ask others to sign this petition: U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate: Protect Women's Access to Mammograms

Patient Compensation System

Legislation was proposed during the 109th Tennessee General Assembly that would dramatically impact the medical liability environment in Tennessee and eliminate the improvements achieved during the last decade that made Tennessee a favorable environment for physicians to practice and deliver quality healthcare.

The bill proponents (SB 507 and HB 546 sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Glen Casada, respectively) seek to eliminate Tennessee's current medical liability system and replace it with an untested and significantly flawed administrative process referred to as the Patient Compensation System. Similar legislation has failed to pass in every other state where it has been introduced.

TMA opposes the PCS model and offers this page as a resource for physicians to understand why it would be bad for doctors and bad for Tennessee.

Learn more and take action!

Helpful ICD-10 Resources

(referenced by Sarah Bowman, RHIA, speaker at the 2015 TNACS Annual Meeting)

ICD-10 – Is Your Healthcare Organization On Track?
CMS Mitigation Provisions
Status of H.R. Bills

WEDI Feb 2015 Survey Result
ICD-10 Future LCD and Articles- Cahaba
Other ICD-10 Resources

Why ICD-10 Matters

ICD-10 Coding Camps by Specialty

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