Update, April 2012 Vol. 27, No. 4
You may have read about new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (in the Annals of Internal Medicine) and the American Cancer Society and related organizations (in Ca: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians). The guidelines recommend that most patients get screened for cervical cancer every 3 to 5 years. Principal recommendations include:
- Women between ages 21 and 65 without risk factors (such as DES exposure or immunodeficiency) should undergo cytologic screening every 3 years.
- Those aged 30 to 65 wishing to extend the screening interval could undergo screening with both cytologic exam and human papillomavirus testing every 5 years.
- Women younger than 21 should not be screened.
- Women older than 65 who have been adequately screened previously should not be screened.
For more information (including ACOG’s position on the guidelines) click here.
In recently published information, we have been accused of not adhering to the previously existing guidelines and performing too many Pap smears. Additionally, we don’t do well when it comes to addressing abnormal Pap tests. It is clear that preventive health care plays a key role in the detection of cancer and other women’s health problems. That’s why it is vital that we educate our patients about the importance of annual well-woman visits. Gerald Joseph, MD, The College’s Vice President of Practice Activities, recently addressed the significance of the well-woman visit by saying, “This is the best way for your doctor to establish a baseline about your health. It’s also when any new or ongoing health problems can be detected and treated and future problems can be prevented.”
Yearly visits should include screening, evaluation and counseling as well as immunizations – (based on each patient’s age and risk factors). Click here for Well-Woman Care: Assessments & Recommendations from National ACOG. Because women are frequent users of the healthcare system, and their care is costly, our specialty will remain under scrutiny by CMS and other insurers. If we practice in accordance to guidelines established by ACOG and other respected medical bodies, and if we can defend deviation from these guidelines with sound reasons documented in the patient's record, we will continue to position ourselves as experts in our field. Further, our patients will continue to have access to us and receive excellent medical care.
Always ahead of the curve, District II has embarked on a strategic initiative regarding marketing the well-woman annual visit. Stay tuned…
Richard N. Waldman, MD, FACOG
ACOG Immediate Past President
The King, the Fellow & the Pride of District II
It is considered one of the world’s most prestigious awards and now Richard Berkowitz, MD, FACOG – one of District II’s most acclaimed Fellows – is among its recipients. The 2012 King Faisal International Prize for Medicine has been jointly awarded to Dr. Berkowitz, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and James Bussel, a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College.
Known as the "Arab Nobel Prize," both doctors traveled half a world away to Saudi Arabia to be presented with the prize for coming up with a non-invasive treatment for the life-threatening auto-immune fetal disorder alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Drs. Berkowitz and Bussel worked together for years to study the natural history, optimal diagnostic criteria, and management of pregnant women having infants affected with this condition, which has the potential to cause fatal brain hemorrhages in fetuses and newborns. The worldwide treatment for alloimmune thrombocytopenia is largely based on their work. During his acceptance speech Dr. Berkowitz remarked:
“We are all human beings, and the diseases that afflict us, as well as the scientific principles that govern the universe in which we live, are universal – not local or national. This is a major reason why the mission of the King Faisal Foundation is so very important. By removing any constraints based on national origin, ethnic background or religious belief to being recognized for ones achievements in Medicine and Science the message is very clear – we are one global family and the progress made by any of us should accrue to the advantage of all of us.”
On behalf of District II, I would like to offer my deepest congratulations to Dr. Berkowitz on this fine accomplishment.
For more information on the King Faisal International Prize, click here. To read a piece about the award in the NY Daily News, click here.
| OB-GYN CODING IN NEW YORK COURSE - Register Today!
Ob-Gyn Coding in New York:
What You Need To Know
April 20, 2012 | Queens, NY - SOLD OUT
April 27, 2012 | Syracuse, NY
Click Here for more information and to REGISTER
Action Needed: District II Lobby Day
On Tuesday, May, 15, District II will join the NY Coalition of Specialty Care Physicians during Lobby Day at the state Capitol. The coalition is a partnership of state surgical and medical organizations committed to ensuring the highest standard of care for patients. Register here to join us!
Support your practice by coming to Albany to speak in favor of the bill that will allow you to collectively negotiate contract provisions with managed care plans and other insurance entities. The Health Care Consumer and Provider Protection Act will help restore fairness to the contracting process in New York State. District II needs you to tell lawmakers that this legislation is crucial in keeping ob-gyn practices open for business.
The day will kick off with a breakfast, legislative briefing and Q&A session. Immediately following, physicians will meet with their elected representatives in the Senate and Assembly. Attendees will be paired with other physicians and provided with easy to understand talking points so they can effectively present their arguments and positions.
Register here to meet face to face with legislative leadership, the Commissioner of Health Dr. Nirav Shah and the governor’s office to discuss medical liability premiums rate reductions, comprehensive tort reform and CAPs.
Pushing Health Insurance Transparency
District II has partnered with MSSNY and the Specialty Physician groups in support of A.7489B (Gottfried)/S.5068A (Hannon). The bill would help provide much needed transparency to patients and employers regarding the scope of certain health insurance coverage. The legislation would amend the insurance law and public health law to require health care plans which offer coverage of out of network care to provide specific information to insured, subscribers or enrollees. This would enable patients to easily understand and anticipate the out of pocket costs they might face for a particular treatment if they have out of network coverage and choose an out of network physician.
District II will be aggressively lobbying in support of this bill. Click here to read the legislation.
Expanded Education on 17P
On the heels of its funding award to expand the Preventing Preterm Birth physician resource guide with enduring multimedia physician education on cervical length assessment, District II has received additional funding to update its resource guide chapter on 17-alphahydroxyprogesterone caproate (commonly referred to as 17P). The goal of this original chapter when it was released in 2009 was to provide education on the scope of preterm birth, the mechanism of 17P action and its appropriate use for preterm birth prevention. This update will include the latest clinical literature on the administration of Makena, the newest preterm birth therapy on the market.
This update will contain a collection of resources, clinical articles, case studies, patient education, live and web-based curricula (e.g., lectures, symposia, webinars, and white papers), talking points, and other enduring education for practicing ob-gyns that addresses all issues relevant to Makena.
This latest initiative is set to launch on May 1st.
Preterm Birth/Short Cervix Survey Winners of $5 Starbucks Gift Card - March 2012
| Meaghan Aalto
Rehan Bin Asif
Maria Teresa Benedetto
Anne Marie Davis
Se Hoon Kim
In Whan Oh
If you haven’t taken the Preterm Birth/Short Cervix Survey, click here.
GE Healthcare Redesigns its Electronic Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) Monitoring Education Program
GE Healthcare, Inc. has introduced a new generation of its Electronic Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) Monitoring program for physicians, midwives, nurses and other clinical staff in obstetrical care. Recent consensus publications have reshaped the landscape in FHR monitoring, making it simpler and more practical than it has ever been. This interactive, web-based education program now features recently updated clinical analysis and consensus statements on FHR patterns, and directly links clinical data to terminology, interpretation and management for greater standardization. In addition, a case study provides the opportunity to apply learning in a real life scenario. For more information on the GE Healthcare FHR program, click here.
Winners, Awards and Recognition
Throughout the year, District II has the opportunity to recognize those Fellows whose efforts go above and beyond the typical day-to-day activities of the specialty. District II would like to congratulate the achievements of the following members:
Ronald Uva, MD, FACOG has won the 2012 Outstanding District Service Award for his tireless effort in the area of government relations.
Douglas Levine, MD, FACOG and Jason Wright, MD, FACOG have received the ACOG 2012 Mentor of the Year Award for District II.
Call for Nominations
We are currently accepting nominations for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair for the following District II Sections: Section 2 (Brooklyn/Staten Island), Section 5 (Syracuse/Utica), Section 8 (Bronx), and Section 9 (Albany). The terms of office are three years, beginning in November 2013 and ending October 2016.
To become a candidate for office, your official address must be within the section in which you are running for office. Interested Fellows must submit the following materials electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, 2012:
A letter from you stating the office or offices for which you would like to be a candidate
A one-page, single-sided, summary statement of your CV
A complete curriculum vitae
In addition, please remember that even if you are currently an officer, moving into another position is not automatic; therefore, you are required to submit candidate materials.
Hartaj Powell, MD, MPH, FACOG
District II Young Physician Representative
Wow, healthcare continues to steal the headlines! The future of our healthcare system will be shaped by a decision from the Supreme Court when it votes on the constitutionality of the individual mandate proposed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010. However, the decision will not change the fact that our health care delivery system will undergo significant changes during our lifetime. It seems inevitable that the system in which we trained will not be the system in which we will practice in the future. Therefore, we need to be mindful in how we shape our practices and offices today, as we build and grow, so that we preserve our specialty and ultimately our patients’ access to care. In order to do so, we need to understand current legislation that will shape future policies. We need to engage our legislators so that policies are executed in a way that supports the healthcare needs of the women of New York instead of sacrificing them. I hope you’ll join me in Albany on May 15 for Lobby Day where we will meet with our state legislators to educate them and advocate for our patients and specialty. In doing so, we will be taking a step towards shaping future healthcare legislation and implementation in our state. Click here to register for Lobby Day.
Randi Leigh, MD, MPH
District II Junior Fellow Chair
A Junior Fellow Perspective of the CLC
This year, District II’s Executive Board and Legislative Committee graciously agreed to sponsor two Junior Fellows to attend the Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. I was fortunate enough to be one of the two recipients of their generosity.
After attending a successful Section Leadership Officer Development (SOLD) Conference (which is held annually to orient new Jr. Fellow Section Officers to ACOG as an organization and their role as leaders), I was joined by District II’s Junior Fellow Legislative Representative, Kimberley Thornton, Section One’s Junior Fellow Vice Chair, Kristen Whitaker, and a contingent of committed and supportive District II Fellows at the CLC. From the moment the conference started I felt inspired and energized. As I looked around the room, I was impressed by the numbers of Fellows and Junior Fellows, many of whom had traveled quite a distance to be there. I was motivated by the words I heard, the people I met, and the realization that we as OB-GYNs have tremendous potential to influence the lives of the women we care for.
I was one among more than 300 OB-GYNs who attended ACOG’s 30th CLC. Together we raised $80,000 for ACOG’s Political Action Committee and lobbied at more than 250 congressional offices about issues that have the potential to significantly impact our patients and our ability to provide them with the best possible care. We were first educated about the 3 topics which were the focus of our lobbying efforts at this year’s CLC. These included the repeal of IPAB (the Independent Payment Advisory Board), a section of recent health legislation which threatens to impose significant additional reductions in Medicare reimbursements to physicians, protection of Medicaid funding which directly impacts access to care for millions of our patients, and also protection of funding for Graduate Medical Education, an issue near and dear to Junior Fellows and Fellows alike. In addition, we learned through several educational and inspiring talks about challenges in health care reform, and initiatives such as Strong Start and Text4Baby which seek to improve access to information and perinatal outcomes. I was struck by the motivation of ACOG’s leadership, the dedication, energy and intelligence of their amazing legislative staff, and the commitment of everyone who attended.
The experience of attending the CLC had a profound impact on my personal and professional development. I realize we as OB-GYNs play a unique role in the lives of the women we care for. It is now more clear to me than ever that our voice in the political process is a crucial part of our commitment to advocate for our patients. I am grateful to everyone at the District II office who made my attendance at the CLC possible. I look forward to many more CLCs in my future, and I hope to see more and more of our Fellows and Junior Fellows from District II there!
Junior Fellow District Officer Elections
District II is seeking interested and qualified Junior Fellows for Vice Chair and Secretary-Treasurer positions for the 2012-2013 term. The Junior Fellow Vice Chair serves a three-year term: one year as Vice Chair, one year as Chair, and one year as Immediate Past Chair. The Secretary-Treasurer serves a one-year term. Terms begin at the conclusion of the 2012 Annual District II Meeting. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012. Click Here for more information.