The ACOG Rounds newsletter includes news and key developments about ACOG for members, including information that affects your practice, patients, and the profession. It is emailed to members once a month. Click on the links to the left to browse the story archives by topic area.
Welcome to ACOG Rounds
Hal C. Lawrence, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO
ACOG has a new way to serve its members: ACOG Rounds, a new monthly e-newsletter distributed via email and available on ACOG.org/rounds. The tagline is the mission: Your specialty, your patients, your ACOG. Each month, ACOG Rounds will highlight news and key developments that affect your practice, your patients, and your profession.
Original articles written by staff members (and a few guest contributors from time to time) will shine a light on activities across a wide range of our programs, practices, and publications: clinical practice, medical education, events and meetings (including, of course, the 2015 Annual Meeting, practice management, government affairs and health policy, patient education, district news, the President’s blog, the Green Journal, news media coverage of ACOG, and membership and fellowship. ACOG Rounds complements any ACOG newsletter you may already be receiving.
We know your time is your most valuable possession. That’s why we want to bring you the most important news about ACOG in one tidy packet each month. ACOG Rounds will tell the stories of the many ways that we serve you, our members, as you go about your daily calling: caring for the health of women.
How to Counsel Patients about Immunizations
December 8, 2014
In recent years, we’ve made great strides in encouraging vaccination in pregnant women. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, influenza vaccination rates in pregnant women increased from 15% to around 47%. Since then, rates have been sustained around 50%, increasing to 53% in the 2013-14 flu season. However, there are still patients who choose not to be vaccinated, possibly due to misinformation about vaccines...Read More
Help Close the Gap for Women on World AIDS Day
December 1, 2014
December 1 is World AIDS Day, an opportunity to bring awareness to the fight against HIV and AIDS. This year, the focus of the UN AIDS campaign is “closing the gap,” which means providing prevention, treatment, care, and support services to all people...Read More
Collaborating with Nurse Practitioners
November 10, 2014
November 9-15 is National Nurse Practitioner Week, an event designed to recognize the contributions that nurse practitioners (NPs) make to our health care system. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), there are more than 192,000 NPs practicing in the US today, approximately 8% of whom focus on women’s health...Read More
ACOG, the CDC, and the Ebola Crisis
ACOG and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a long history of close collaboration, particularly during public health crises. At the beginning of the Ebola outbreak, we quickly began working together to provide critically needed timely guidance. ACOG Immunization staff and the chairs of ACOG’s Immunization Expert Work Group and Committee on Obstetric Practice reached out to CDC colleagues about the need for guidance, including an algorithm, to address care for obstetric patients, screening, and isolation. ACOG and the CDC regularly communicated for weeks to address these considerations for pregnant women and to provide guidance for ob-gyns. The results:
To keep ACOG members and the healthcare community up to date, we created a new section of ACOG.org: Ebola and Women’s Health and on ACOG’s Immunization for Women website. Both are updated regularly.
Collaborating for Public Health
The Ebola crisis is the latest result of a long, productive relationship between our two organizations. During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009–10, ACOG and the CDC collaborated extensively to address the serious morbidity and mortality experienced by pregnant women, which was six times as high as other groups. ACOG brought obstetric issues and the needs of ob-gyns and their pregnant patients to the attention of the CDC, which in turn addressed these issues in its obstetric recommendations. These were being issued and updated expeditiously. ACOG rapidly disseminated this CDC guidance to its members.
ACOG and the CDC also enjoy liaison relationships to address other obstetric and gynecologic issues and guidelines on an ongoing basis. ACOG has appointed representatives to CDC projects, such as the Preconception Steering Committee, and has contributed to the CDC’s adaptation of the World Health Organization’s Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use and Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use. CDC liaisons also serve on several standing ACOG committees, task forces, and work groups, such as the Committee on Obstetric Practice, the Committee on Gynecologic Practice, the Committee on Adolescent Healthcare, the Immunization Expert Work Group, and the HIV Expert Work Group.
These liaisons allows our two organizations to act quickly when a public health emergency requires it. For example, the CDC liaison on ACOG’s Committee on Obstetric Practice was instrumental in bringing the recent listeriosis outbreaks and concerns for pregnant women to ACOG’s attention. A Committee Opinion entitled Management of Pregnant Women with Presumptive Exposure to Listeria monocytogenes was fast-tracked and published online ahead of print in Obstetrics & Gynecology on August 6, 2014, to provide this new information to ob-gyns and their patients.
Our strong history of collaboration with the CDC allows us to move quickly in the face of emergent public health outbreaks to protect women’s health.
CREOG Looks to the Future
The Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) is poised for an extraordinary 2015. The changes have already begun: The first phase of the revised CREOG Web page is complete. The revisions allow for a more user-friendly site, create a better resource for residency programs, and make it easier to showcase all programs and resources CREOG has to offer.
Here are more CREOG activities planned for the new year and beyond:
2015 CREOG In-Training Examination
The 2015 CREOG In-Training Examination will be given on Thursday, January 22; Friday, January 23; and Saturday, January 24. Residents must complete the examination in one day. In 2015, for the first time, CREOG will pilot an online examination: Nineteen residency programs have been selected to take part in the CREOG online In-Training Examination. Whatever the venue or platform, the In-Training Examination is designed to measure the extent to which residents achieve cognitive knowledge, as defined in CREOG’s Educational Objectives: Core Curriculum for Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The goal is to provide performance assessment of individual residents and the program as a whole.
2015 CREOG and APGO Annual Meeting
The joint Annual Meeting, held by CREOG and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO), titled "Power Up: Keeping the Energy in Education," will take place March 4 through 7, 2015, at JW Marriott Hill Country in San Antonio, Texas. Program co-chairs Drs. Patrice Weiss (CREOG) and Steve Swift (APGO) have planned an exceptional program. The Annual Meeting brings together more than 1,000 physicians, academics, residents, and medical students from throughout the United States and abroad.
The 2015 meeting will focus on energizing educators, avoiding burnout, and staying invigorated. Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, an expert in physician resilience and founder of the Center for Physician Resilience, will deliver the Warren H. Pearce, MD, Lecture, “From Burnout to Resilience.” Classical medical training does not adequately prepare physicians to manage their busy, complex lives. In his presentation, Sotile will shed light on evidence-based strategies for promoting resilience throughout medical training and beyond. Joan Y. Reede, MD, MS, MPH, MBA, dean for diversity and community partnership at Harvard Medical School, will present the second keynote lecture, “Advancing Diversity Inclusion: Achieving Excellence in Academic Medicine.” In addition, there will be a series of sessions on global health and diversity.
The preliminary program can be found under Meetings on the CREOG Web page. CREOG invites all ACOG district and section chairs to its annual meetings.
Reviewing the Core Curriculum
At its last council meeting, CREOG set priorities for 2014 through 2017. Dr. Tony Ogburn, CREOG chair, led a special session to discuss the content of residency education to meet the needs of our patient population in the next decade. After a productive discussion, the council decided that CREOG as a group will review the core curriculum, starting with the educational objectives. Representatives from the subspecialties will be included in the review process. The recently developed milestones will be used as a resource.
The council discussed the best way to develop the core and what resources are needed to develop it. The council will form working groups to assist in defining the core. Preparation for the CREOG Educational Objectives, 11th edition, will begin in 2015 for publication in 2016. Additional CREOG priorities and initiatives include physician well-being, interprofessional education, problem-based learning, global health education (in coordination with ACOG’s Global Operations Advisory Group), sexual health curriculum, social etiquette, and the vaginal hysterectomy task force.
Events & Meetings
A Really New Annual Meeting
The 2015 ACOG Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting, May 2-6, in San Francisco, has a new name and a new organizational schedule. The biggest change? It starts on Saturday!
The new five-day schedule allows us to feature topics that cover the breadth of obstetrics and gynecology in a new way. Each day features a concentration of presentations on a single theme:
- Saturday: Obstetric emergencies
- Sunday: Operative gynecology
- Monday: Contraception
- Tuesday: Menopause
- Wednesday: Patient safety and office practice
The President’s Program will open the Annual Meeting on Saturday morning. (Come early—there will be coffee!) Following the President’s Program will be Q&A time to meet the presenters and a special session by ABOG leadership on maintenance of certification. The welcome reception will be held on Saturday evening. (Stay tuned for more information about the not-to-be-missed venue.)
More Annual Meeting news:
- There will be six “Flip Classroom” clinical seminars—this is the newest way to educate physicians. Here’s how it works: Registrants receive videos and course materials to review prior to the meeting. The in-person session is then more comprehensive and memorable. It’s a learning strategy that is self-paced and mastery-based, which boosts engagement. Try one!
- Postgraduate and hands-on courses, either three or six hours long, will be offered every day. Some six-hour courses on Saturday and Tuesday will be held at a new time, from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm, so attendees can participate in other sessions or enjoy the city in the morning.
- ACOG will also unveil the inaugural Sterling B. Williams, MD, PhD, Memorial Lecture Series on Menopause and Hormone Therapy.
- Cutting Edge Topics in Ob-Gyn will feature a panel of speakers from subspecialty societies to bring you up to date on the hot topics and current trends that have the most impact on the practicing ob-gyn.
- Oral presentations will be delivered each morning, and e-posters will be available for viewing throughout the meeting.
- The Virtual Meeting is a great way to capture all the information from the Annual Meeting if you are unable to attend all the lectures you want to hear. It provides attendees with open access to all meeting materials after the Annual Meeting, including postgraduate courses, clinical seminars, lunch seminars, surgical tutorials, subspecialty sessions, and colloquia lectures. Downloadable presentations will be synced to the audio from the meeting session. You can sign up for the Virtual Meeting for an additional $199 when you register online.
With so many new and exciting changes, start planning today! Learn more at the Annual Meeting section of ACOG.org. Download the preliminary program. Stay in the know by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Most important? Register!
Advocacy & Health Policy
Top ACOG Advocates Storm Hill for Higher Medicaid Payment
John C. Jennings, MD, ACOG President
ACOG’s top legislative initiative during this lame-duck session is to extend the provision that increases Medicaid reimbursement for primary care services to Medicare levels and to ensure that ob-gyns join family physicians, internists, and pediatricians as designated primary care providers receiving the bump. Right now, ob-gyns are receiving, on average, only 60% of what the other physicians are paid for the same Medicaid Evaluation and Management (E&M) codes.
|From L to R: ACOG EVP & CEO Hal Lawrence, MD; AAP Immediate Past President Tom McInerny, MD; Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH); ACOG President John Jennings, MD; and Wayne Trout, MD, FACOG. Photo courtesy of Lucia DiVenere
To make sure that our poorest patients have access to care, I led 40 of ACOG’s top advocates from across the United States, joined by representatives from the American Academy of Pediatricians and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to deliver our message to the Hill: “Don’t Leave Women Behind.” After more than 100 congressional meetings covering 24 states, including crucial meetings with Republican and Democratic leadership in both chambers, U.S. legislators heard us loud and clear!
To amplify the message, ACOG ran digital and print ads all week in Politico, DC’s most-read Hill news organization. ACOG Fellows from across the country called and emailed their U.S. senators and representatives, sharing the “Don’t Leave Women Behind” message.
This truly was an excellent push, but our work is far from over. We have to be in this together. Contact your senators and representative on ACOG’s toll-free congressional hotline: (855) 350-5947. When you call, I’ll coach you on what to say and directly connect you to your legislators’ offices. Click here to view a helpful one-pager. I urge you to do it today.
ACOG advocates can also get more involved in ACOG’s work on Capitol Hill by attending ACOG’s 33rd Annual Congressional Leadership Conference: The President’s Conference. Early registration is now open. We invite all Fellows and Junior Fellows to attend this important event. You can register by clicking here. Your voice makes a difference!
ACOG Government Affairs Roundup
|Get Insured Today for a Healthier Tomorrow. Click image to view larger version.
ACOG Government Affairs works with state and federal lawmakers on a wide array of issues of importance to you and your patients:
- The ACOG Section Council to the AMA House of Delegates, led by Chair Carol Brown, MD, and Co-Chair Steve Fleischman, MD, won AMA support for including ob-gyns in the Medicaid to Medicare parity bump program.
- Help get your patients covered with new ACOG Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment tools, including the Get Insured Today for a Healthier Tomorrow flier and Things to Think About When Choosing a Health Plan pamphlet. Remember, your patients must select a plan by December 15 to be covered on January 1. People who picked a plan during the previous open enrollment can shop for a new plan between November 15 and December 15.
- The winners of Ob-GynPAC’s Capito/al Cup competition are District III, winning the Capitol Cup for highest participation, and District IV, winning the Capital Cup for raising more than $27,365. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your generous contributions help safeguard our specialty, your practice, and your patients.
- Early registration is open for ACOG’s 33rd Annual Congressional Leadership Conference, the President’s Conference, in Washington, DC, March 8–10, 2015. Participants will learn to communicate with legislators at federal and state levels and gain valuable knowledge from Washington insiders about legislation that affects our specialty and patients. Click here to register.
- ACOG Executive Vice President and CEO Hal Lawrence, MD, led a discussion at the AMA House of Delegates about the importance of collaborative training and practice. Dr. Lawrence told a packed audience about ACOG President Jennings’ Collaborative Practice Task Force, which brings together all players in women’s health to chart a path for enhanced care delivery.
You can stay up to date and learn much more about ACOG’s legislative advocacy by subscribing to our free weekly ACOG News.
Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM): Improving Maternal Health and Safety
The multidisciplinary Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care (the Council), which ACOG has supported from its inception in 2011, has been awarded a four-year, $4 million cooperative agreement* from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA) Maternal and Child Health Program. The goal is to prevent 100,000 severe complications during delivery hospitalizations and 1,000 maternal deaths over the course of the funding period.
The agreement funds the program “Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM): Improving Maternal Health and Safety,” enabling the Council to expand its work on the National Partnership for Maternal Safety. AIM will collaborate with public, private, and professional organizations to focus on the areas of obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, venous thromboembolism, reduction of primary cesarean births, and reduction of racial disparities during pregnancy contributing to maternal morbidity and mortality.
AIM will explore improved implementation of preconception, postpartum, and interconception women’s healthcare. It will achieve its efforts through the development and rollout of a series of evidence-based patient-safety bundles–small, straightforward sets of evidence-based practices that when performed collectively and reliably have been proven to improve patient outcomes. The bundles, supplemental materials, and technical assistance will be made freely available for any interested U.S. birth center registering for AIM. In addition, AIM will provide concentrated implementation assistance, training, data analysis, and ongoing support to eight states progressively over the funding period.
The AIM leadership team, in addition to ACOG, includes the American College of Nurse Midwives; the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses; and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. More than 25 organizations and agencies comprise the National Partnership for Maternal Safety and will be called on to assist in the recruitment of participating birth facilities and to provide technical assistance as appropriate. They will also assist in generating public awareness to assure widespread implementation of the bundles across the country.
Data submitted to AIM by hospitals and states will drive AIM’s continuous quality improvement efforts through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of aggregate, real-time data to participating entities. These data will enable states and engaged hospitals to benchmark progress against others within their region that are of similar size or have a similar patient mix and to adjust implementation efforts accordingly.
Through this dual approach of providing both open access to evidence-based quality improvement materials and focused support with benchmarking capabilities, AIM is expected to directly affect over 50% of all births occurring in the United States by the end of the funding period. The goal is to initiate the kind of widespread culture change that is needed to truly improve maternal health and safety for women in the United States.
Materials developed by AIM will be made available for download on the Council’s website: SafeHealthcareForEveryWoman.org.
*$1,000,000 has been awarded for year one; subsequent funding is contingent on success during this period.
Membership & Fellowship
A Synopsis of the Executive Board Retreat
Hal C. Lawrence, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO
At ACOG’s 2014 Executive Board Retreat in Charleston, South Carolina, on October 31 and November 1, we had the opportunity to review a productive year and look forward to the challenges—and opportunities—that lie ahead. The annual retreat enables the board to accomplish its important business functions as well as examine where the Congress and College are and where we would like them to go. The retreat is always very helpful in this regard; board members and staff gain valuable insight and information that help us to continue driving ACOG operations in a positive direction. ACOG President John C. Jennings, MD, presided over this year’s retreat and reviewed current activities with assistance from President-Elect Mark DeFrancesco, MD, and Immediate Past President Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD.
A major topic during the retreat was the exciting changes being made to the 2015 Annual Meeting, May 2-6, in San Francisco. With the focus of “Teaming Up Women’s Health,” the Annual Meeting will follow a brand-new format. (For more information, please see “A Really New Annual Meeting” in this issue and the Annual Meeting section of the website.)
Dr. Conry provided an update of her activities and informed the board of a planned session on environmental toxins and their reproductive impact, which she will co-present with Dr. Linda Giudice at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics meeting in October 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Throughout the past year, ACOG has been engaging the American Medical Association (AMA) and advocating to Congress to include ob-gyns in the Medicaid to Medicare bump for primary care services reimbursement and to extend the bump past December 31, 2014. Since the retreat, the AMA House of Delegates has approved a resolution supporting inclusion of ob-gyns at the full Medicare reimbursement status, in line with the other primary care specialties. (For more on this topic, please see Dr. Jennings’ article in this issue, “Top ACOG Advocates Storm Hill for Higher Medicaid Payment.”)
Annually, the ACOG budget is reviewed at the retreat. Over the past five years, ACOG’s expense change has been increased by only 1.4% per year. The Finance Committee also reviewed ACOG’s investment portfolio and requested minor adjustments to certain allocations. The Executive Board approved this along with the proposed 2015 budget. We are confident that these minor changes will help to ensure ACOG’s longevity and allow us to continue serving our Fellows.
As executive vice president and CEO, I reviewed other ACOG activities, including our recruitment efforts for a new vice president for practice activities. I also highlighted the expanded utilization of ACOG’s Washington, DC, office, the renovation of which was completed this year. We are able to host district advisory council meetings in our updated conference space and look forward to welcoming you to our renovated national ACOG office.
Continuing our focus on effective partnerships, we’ve been increasing our collaboration with the neighboring Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in the UK. One example is a recent statement, “The Role of Professional Health Associations in Reducing the Global Burden of Maternal Mortality.”
Dr. Marty Tucker, District VII chair and chair of the Council of District Chairs, reported on the CDC retreat, which preceded the board retreat. The CDC is working with the Junior Fellow Congress Advisory Council on a project to create an ACOG video documenting membership benefits, paying particular attention to the ways that ACOG helps practicing ob-gyns on a daily basis. You can watch this video at the 2015 Annual Meeting.
Dr. Haywood Brown presented a follow-up on the “Levels of Maternity Care Consensus” statement being developed jointly with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM). Several edits were recommended, and we followed up with SMFM. The Executive Board was then able to endorse this document.
ACOG staff members Carla Wojnaroski and Mark Wilson, heads of communications and IT, respectively, presented modifications to the ACOG website and the homepage refresh project. ACOG’s communications activities remain robust, with the department responding to more than 1,500 media requests on an annual basis and engaging in increased media engagement through pitching articles and opinion pieces.
During a special presentation, Dr. Tony Ogburn, chair of CREOG, updated the Executive Board on key issues regarding ob-gyn residency curricula.
The final session of the November Executive Board meeting was a strategic planning session led by Dr. Jennings. This conversation will greatly inform President-Elect Dr. Mark DeFrancesco’s Executive Board strategic led planning session in July 2015, which will focus on eight priorities in four areas:
- Relevance/what members want
- Resident obstetrics and gynecologic curriculum
- Governance/membership structure
- Collaborative practice
I hope this brief overview of the Executive Board retreat leaves you up to date with ACOG’s broad range of activities. We continue to remain dedicated to women’s health and to you, the professionals we serve. I look forward to providing you with updates about future Executive Board meetings and seeing you at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
A Short History of ACOG's History Fellowship
|A Malmström vacuum extractor from
the 1950s. Photos courtesy of the ACOG Resource Center
How well do you know the history of our specialty? How has the theory and practice of ob-gyn changed over the past 50, 100, or even 500 years? Are all departments of ob-gyn in the United States really descended from the “Big Four” at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
Since 1986, the J. Bay Jacobs, MD, Library for the History of Obstetrics and Gynecology in America, a special collection of the Resource Center, has promoted the Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology to encourage a growing number of Fellows and PhD historians to research these and many other historical topics concerning aspects of women’s health.
The fellowship has had an interesting history. (See a full listing of history fellows from 1986 through 2014.) So many excellent applications were received in the early years that in 1991, it was decided to add a second history fellowship. Double fellowships continued through 2001, when it was scaled back to one recipient and renamed the ACOG Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology. It was suspended for two years in 2009 due to the financial climate, but returned in 2011. The fellowship has been going strong ever since, with excellent research topics being submitted every year by College Fellows and academic historians. Some recent topics included emergency contraception, cesarean section, midwifery, prenatal healthcare, endometriosis, the rise of obstetrics, and the gendering of addiction.
The 2015 History Fellowship
The recipient of the 2015 ACOG Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology is Rachel Chan Seay, MD, whose research project is “An Historical Review of the Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage.” Her research plans to review the history of the management of postpartum hemorrhage in the United States. It will include developmental milestones related to the past and current understanding of the pathophysiology of PPH, related medical devices and maneuvers, medications, surgical interventions and techniques, and the development of current PPH clinical guidelines and management protocols.
Dr. Seay completed her undergraduate studies in 2002 at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and graduated from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine in 2009. She completed her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the George Washington University Medical Center, where she is currently an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Ob-Gyn. During the second half of 2013 and early 2014, Dr. Seay worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Sierra Leone and South Sudan, Africa.
The 2016 Fellowship
Washington, DC, is an ideal location for the fellowship, as the recipient has easy access to ACOG’s Resource Center, as well as the National Library of Medicine, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and several other professional healthcare associations’ collections. These monthlong fellowships have been filled with exciting discoveries in these world-class collections.
Forceps from the 18th and 19th centuries. Photos courtesy of the ACOG Resource Center
Preference is given to College Fellows, but other qualified researchers are also considered. The recipient is required to disseminate the results of his or her research through publication and/or presentation. Traditionally, the presentation has been given at the Annual Meeting, although several recipients have also presented their research at other professional meetings, such as the American Association for the History of Medicine’s annual meeting. Several noteworthy books have their origins in the history fellowship.
The award carries a stipend of $5,000 to be used to defray expenses while spending a month in the ACOG Resource Center collections and other medical/historical collections in the Washington, DC, area to perform research into some area of American obstetric-gynecologic history. Applications for the 2016 award will be accepted until October 1, 2015.
For further information, contact:
Special Collections Librarian
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 Twelfth Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 863-2518, (202) 484-1595 (fax)
The application form and additional information is also posted on ACOG.org,
Are You Prepared for ICD-10 Implementation in 2015?
Implementing the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), will be the most significant change to billing and reimbursement in the United States since HIPAA. The United States is among the very few industrialized nations still using the ICD-9 code set for diagnosis code reporting. That will change on October 1, 2015, when ICD-10 will be implemented in the United States.
All HIPAA-covered entities (including physician practices) will be required to use the new diagnosis codes. Currently, there are more than 79,000 ICD-10 diagnosis codes, approximately 65,000 more codes than currently exist in ICD-9.
ACOG’s Coding Workshops, held in every region of the country, are designed to help you prepare your practice for the October 1 implementation deadline. Each 2015 workshop includes the following four modules:
- Module I: E/M Services and Medicare’s Documentation Guidelines
- Module II: Gynecologic Surgical Coding
- Module III: Obstetric Coding
- Module IV: ICD-10 (Hands-On) Diagnosis Coding Practicum
Attendees may attend one or all of the workshop modules, based on their specific practice requirements. Diagnostic coding principles and guidelines in each workshop module are illustrated using only ICD-10-CM examples. However, workbooks for Modules I, II, and III contain ICD-10-CM to ICD-9-CM and ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM crosswalks since ICD-9-CM will remain the standard diagnosis code set until September 30, 2015. Every attendee will receive a current hard copy of the ICD-10-CM codebook as a take-home reference. The workshops include the most current information on coding and reimbursement updates, such as guidance on the new subset of modifiers associated with modifier 59 (distinct procedural service).
During this transition year, ACOG Coding Workshops will continue to focus on helping our providers to improve and clarify their documentation. ICD-10-CM is a more specific code set than ICD-9-CM. Documentation principles will be thoroughly reviewed during the workshops to ensure that attendees are able to recognize and record the detailed information required to select the appropriate code in the new code set. Discussions and case studies will demonstrate that “improved” documentation does not necessarily mean “increased” documentation.
Coding and reimbursement is continuously evolving, and providers need to stay current on coding changes to be appropriately reimbursed for their services. Come prepared to have your questions answered by our excellent speakers, staff, and extremely knowledgeable Coding Committee physician faculty.
For more information or to register, please visit our Web page.
ACOG in the News
Home Births, Pregnancy Drug Safety, IUDs, and Transgender Pregnancy
ACOG’s Media Relations team fields 1,500 media inquiries per year. Here are a few of the articles in November and December that prominently featured ACOG guidance and experts:
- Nocturia: Full Bladder May Get a Third of Women over 40 up at Night
This article, published online in U.S. News & World Report on December 9, reported on a study in the January 2015 issue of the Green Journal: “Researchers found that of over 2,000 women aged 40 and up, one-third said they routinely got up at least twice a night to use the bathroom. Doctors refer to that as nocturia, and it can be a sign that you’re drinking too much tea or coffee at night—or a signal of a serious health condition.”
- Dense Breasts: For Women with Dense Breasts, More Mammograms May Not Be the Answer
This AP article, picked up by Huffington Post on December 9, reports: “More women are learning their breasts are so dense that it’s more difficult for mammograms to spot cancer. But new research suggests automatically giving them an extra test isn’t necessarily the solution. … The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t recommend routine additional testing in women who have no symptoms or other risk factors.”
- Natural Family Planning: Return of the Rhythm Method
This article, published December 9 on Atlantic.com, reports that “[t]he American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement that, ‘Natural family planning is not as effective as most other methods of birth control. One in four women who use this method become pregnant.’ The organization also said that women who have abnormal bleeding, vaginitis, cervicitis, frequent fevers, or who are on certain medications should not use these methods.”
- Home Births: Are Home Births Better Than Hospital Births?
This television segment, which aired December 7 on NBC Nightly News, featured an interview with ACOG Vice President of Education Sandra Ann Carson, MD, FACOG, regarding Britain’s new guidelines that advise more home births.
- Pregnancy and Medication Risks: Drug Labels to Clarify Risks During Pregnancy and Lactation
This Medscape article, published on December 3 (free log-in required), quotes ACOG’s president in praise of the label changes: “‘The FDA’s updated method of presenting information about both risk and benefit will improve the ability of all physicians to treat their pregnant and breastfeeding patients, as well as women who may become pregnant,’ said ACOG President John Jennings, MD, in a news release. ACOG hopes that more detailed labels will spur more research on the effect of prescription drugs on pregnant and breast-feeding women, Dr. Jennings added.”
ACOG’s statement supporting the new rules was also covered in The Hill and, when shared on our national Facebook page, reached more than 7,000 people.
- IUDs and Implants: Why Gynecologists Think IUDs Are the Best Contraceptive
Vox.com published this article on November 24. An excerpt: “Paragard, the copper IUD, ‘releases copper ions in a steady, slow fashion so that the uterine cavity is bathed in those copper ions,’ said Laura MacIsaac, director of the family planning program at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. She also helps the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists develop policy on birth control methods.”
When ACOG shared this online article on our national Facebook page, it reached more than 17,000 people. A December 4 article on Vox about implants also did well on Facebook.
- Transgender Pregnancy: What It’s Like to Be Pregnant… and Male
On November 10, Yahoo News covered a December 2014 Green Journal study: “Last week, Obedin-Maliver and other researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, released a landmark study examining pregnancy in 41 transgender men, all of whom conceived after they’d transitioned. The scientists analyzed the effects of testosterone treatments on self-reported pregnancy outcomes—as it turned out, there were none (although this topic requires more research)—but they also aimed to explore the psychological experience of pregnancy as a transgender male.”
District III Newsletter
In this issue: Chair’s report; Junior Fellow news; ROUNDS project and patient safety efforts; Legislative activities update; Section reports; Capital Cup and Ice Bucket Challenge; In memoriam: Harold A. Kaminetzky, MD, past ACOG president
Junior Fellows Report
Delaware Section Report
New Jersey Section Report
Pennsylvania Section Report
Legislative & Advocacy Committee Report
District III ROUNDS Project and Patient Safety Efforts
Capital Cup and the Ice Bucket Challenge
In Memoriam: Harold A. Kaminetzky, MD, Past ACOG President
Photos from 2014 District Annual Meeting
District IX Newsletter
In this issue: Message from the chair; Thank you for defeating Proposition 46; A maternity leave education flier for pregnant women in California; Wellness corner; Mindfulness; "Letters to myself."
Message from the Chair: Change is the air
Thank you for Defeating Proposition 46!
A Maternity Leave Education Flier for Pregnant Women in California
Wellness corner: Mindfulness
"Letters to myself": What ACOG Fellows wish they knew in residency
District XI Newsletter
This summer and fall have been active seasons for our district. We held our Annual District Meeting (ADM) in Austin, Texas, at the Renaissance Austin Hotel on September 26–28. I am happy to report that it was another successful ADM!
Letter from the Chair
2015 ADM – Save the date!
District XI Updates
Advocacy and Practice News
Junior Fellow News
Medical Student News