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June 2015


Message from the President - Dan Beauchamp, MD, FACS


2015 TNACS Annual Meeting – July 31 – August 2

Registration is open for the TNACS 2015 Annual Meeting!
We are excited to be meeting in Knoxville this year and looking forward to the hospitality being extended by the Volunteer faithful!    

In addition to the usual features of resident paper competitions, an update from the TSQC, and the required prescribing practices session we have several informative sessions planned:

Navigating Contracts and Employment Negotiations - a panel discussion
Sarah Bowman, MBA, RHIA, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, Moderator
Panelists: Jason Lambert, JD, London Amburn; Steve Ross, DPh, University Health System; Joshua Arnold, MD, UT Medical Center

Preparing for ICD-10
Sarah Bowman, MBA, RHIA

Update from ACS - Innovations with the House of Surgery  and DaMattox Code "A Trauma Mystery"
Kenneth Mattox, MD, FACS

Regional Therapies for Advanced Melanoma
Jeremiah Deneve, DO
AWS/ACS Liaison Session
Mary C. McCarthy, MD, FACS

We are excited to announce that for the first time ever, we will be having Surgical Jeopardy – a fun competition between the residents of the surgical training programs in TN. This promises to be a very entertaining session!

The program has been submitted to ACS for CME approval with several hours of Self-Assessment credit as well.   

I hope to see you there!

Critical Access Hospital 96-Hour Rule – bad for patients, hospitals, and surgeons

Surgeons working at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) have recently started to encounter new barriers to caring for their patients, and in some cases have been forced to send patients to other hospitals far from their homes to receive care. To qualify for Medicare certification and to continue participating in Medicare, CAHs must meet minimum health and safety standards known as conditions of participation. In addition, Medicare also imposes certain conditions of payment that must be met for a CAH to receive Medicare Part A reimbursement.

The CAH 96-hour rule, as drafted in 1997, imposed both a condition of participation and a condition of payment for CAHs requiring that all patients be transferred or discharged within 96 hours. In 1999, Congress modified the condition of participation with the clear intent of providing more flexibility, by making the 96 hour limit an annual average rather than a requirement for each patient. The condition of payment, however, was not similarly modified.

In response to the CMS notice on enforcement of the 96 hour rule, Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced The Critical Access Hospital Relief Act (H.R. 169/S. 258). This bill would simply remove the 96 hour rule condition of payment, leaving in place the currently enforced 96 hour average patient stay required by the condition of participation. Both the House and Senate versions of this bill have gained broad bipartisan support.

The only TN representative who has cosponsored the bill is Dr. Phil Roe (Johnson City). If you are a constituent of his, please call and thank him.   Neither Senator has cosponsored.

Please contact your Representative (except for Rep. Roe) and both Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and ask them to sign on as cosponsors of the bill.

Rep Phil Roe: (202) 225-6356
Rep John Duncan: (202) 225-5435
Rep Chuck Fleischmann: (202) 225-3271
Rep Scott DesJarlais: (202) 225-6831
Rep Jim Cooper: (202) 225-4311
Rep Diane Black: (202) 225-4231
Rep Marsha Blackburn: (202) 225-2811
Rep Stephen Fincher: (202) 225-4714
Rep Steve Cohen: (202) 225-3265
Sen Bob Corker: (202) 224-3344
Sen Lamar Alexander: (202) 224-4944

Here is a briefing sheet with more information about the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act (H.R.169 & S.258).

TN Payment Reform Initiative

As you are aware, the TennCare Bureau is using funds from a federal State Innovation Model (SIM) grant to develop and implement new methods of reimbursement for providers in the state. These payments will be based on episodes of care and designed to reward high quality, low cost care.

The TN Medical Association and the TN Hospital Association sponsored a free webinar that fully describes the history and current status of the Initiative. Listen/view the archived webinar here. You will need to enter your name and email address to access the recorded webinar.

One of the first defined episodes of care was joint replacement. Some of the defined episodes of care that impact general surgeons are EGD/GI Hemorrhage, colonoscopy, cholecystectomy, and breast cancer.

2015 Dues Collection Still Underway!

If you have not paid your 2015 Chapter Dues, click here!

Upcoming Events

TNACS Annual Meeting
July 31 - August 2, 2015
Hilton Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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