Mark E. Gentry, MD, section chair
The Indiana Section welcomed Kenneth L. Noller, MD, MS, past ACOG president and American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology director of evaluation, to the spring section meeting as the Carl F. Huber Lecturer addressing Maintenance of Certification. ACOG President Elect John C. Jennings, MD, will be one of the lecturers at the fall section meeting on September 18. All District V members are invited to join us. In addition to educational offerings in January and April 2014, we are deep in the planning stages of the 2014 Annual District Meeting under the guidance of Philip N. Eskew Jr, MD, past District V chair, and Jeffrey M. Rothenberg, MD, MS, District V secretary and past Indiana Section chair.
Indiana Section leaders have become more involved in legislative activities, meeting with legislators on the issues of breast ultrasound, lay midwifery, and prescription drug abuse. With assistance from ACOG national, the section worked with the Indiana State Medical Association to modify a lay midwifery bill with protections for Indiana’s women and newborns. Advocacy endeavors continue to be anchored by the tireless efforts of Brownsyne M. Tucker-Edmonds, MD. A retreat was held on June 29 to strategize for the upcoming legislative session.
Finally, the Indiana Section would like to recognize the contributions of Jeanne E. Ballard, MD, who recently moved to South Carolina for a position in medical informatics. Dr. Ballard held all officer positions at the section level and was a great mentor and resource to those of us who followed her in leadership. Her talents and friendship will be missed in Indiana and will be an asset in South Carolina.
Divya B. Cantor, MD, MBA, section chair
Staying educated in the field of medicine may seem overwhelming these days as information overload can quickly takeover. There is a plethora of journal articles to read and absorb. How do we manage our public profiling in a timely manner? How do we try to stay ahead of the reimbursement jungle? How do we stay in tune with legislation changes that affect our ability to take care of our patients? How do we do all this and maintain a balance between home and work? How are all these things to happen when cloning ourselves is not an option?
First, I believe we have to know what we don’t know. We should use our resources wisely to learn and become familiar with aspects of health care that we don’t understand. Let’s take health insurance for example. In my new role as medical director of Kentucky for Anthem, I am learning how insurance companies work and developing a deeper understanding of the resources the company puts into its clients (also known as its members) and utilizes for its providers and the hospitals they serve.
There are new reimbursement models coming out that will one day affect specialties across the board. Taking the time to stay in tune with these models is encouraged. Some of the models are process based and have expectations for changes in practice patterns. Process-based examples are the data tracking of whether a patient has had a mammogram and a Pap smear. Reduction in emergency department visits and readmissions are examples of practice behavior changes expected to occur in these new models.
We can stay ahead of these changes by recognizing that for us to take care of the whole patient, which we often do, we cannot ignore the fact that the patient’s pocketbook is part of her. We should arm ourselves with more cost information. Ask your insurance plan representative for that information. Learn what the difference in costs will be when you write one prescription instead of another one.
I encourage you to use your resources to educate yourself on these and other changes coming ahead.
Jody Jones, MD, section vice chair
The Michigan Section continued to face many legislative challenges and opportunities this spring. Members met with representatives about legislation that would have made it mandatory for women to be notified if they have dense breast tissue. Current guidelines were explained and concerns about legislating medical care were expressed.
Members also testified with Michigan State Medical Society representatives on behalf of expedited partner therapy (EPT). EPT legislation did not pass this session, but we anticipate a vote will be taken in the fall. We continue to be optimistic. The Legislature was preoccupied with determining the fate of the state’s Medicaid program. Despite the governor’s urging to adopt expansion of the program, no vote was taken by the Senate.
At the last section meeting, members discussed scheduling a legislative day in Lansing. We plan to host this event in the fall. Members will meet with key state legislators to lobby for women’s health and ask lawmakers to keep their political agendas from imposing on medical practice (echoing ACOG’s policy on legislative interference). Junior Fellows have expressed an interest in becoming more politically active. Fellows hope that by working together we can better educate our politicians.
The 2014 Michigan Section Annual Meeting will be held January 30–February 1 at the Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville. The keynote James Gell Lecture will be given by Elisabeth H. Quint, MD, an expert on pediatric and adolescent gynecology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, on management of mullerian anomalies. The meeting format has been changed to allow for more interactive lectures and workshops. We invite all our District V neighbors to join us! Look for updates on the District V Facebook page.
The Michigan Section held its annual Junior Fellow Research Day on May 22 at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing. The event was a great success with 90 attendees. The keynote speaker was Dr. Quint. There were 23 Junior Fellow oral research presentations and 16 Junior Fellow poster presentations. Nine different residency programs were represented at the event. Supplies for the City Rescue Mission of Lansing were collected as part of the Junior Fellow annual service project. It was an exciting and educational day for the Michigan Section. View photos from the Junior Fellow Research Day.
Robert F. Flora, MD, MBA, MPH, section chair
A statewide Ohio infant mortality summit was held on November 26, 2012, at the Columbus Convention Center. More than 900 individuals and stakeholders attended. The Ohio Section was one of the primary sponsors, providing CME through our relationship with the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA).
The summit was used to increase awareness of the growing issue of infant mortality in Ohio. The Ohio March of Dimes plans to host smaller regional meetings throughout the state this summer. The Ohio Section will also be involved in these meetings. Another statewide conference is planned for 2014.
The annual joint OSMA/Ohio Section coding course was held in March at the OSMA headquarters in Hilliard. The course continues to be a well-attended event, with more than 100 attendees this year. An ICD-10 program was also held in May. The relationship between OSMA and our section is advantageous because OSMA assumes all risk and makes all the arrangements for the courses. ACOG members who are not OSMA members can attend these courses at the OSMA member rate.
The section will be hosting a one-day conference with the Ohio Section of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses called “Fetal Heart Monitoring: Current Trends and Case Studies” on September 12 in Columbus. More information will be forthcoming.
In legislative news, the biennial budget was just passed with two items related to abortion. The Ohio Section and OSMA asked the governor to veto these items without success. The first item requires physicians to look for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and to inform women of the heartbeat 24 hours prior to the procedure.
Women must also be informed about the probability of their pregnancy continuing to term. Failure to do so is a first-degree misdemeanor, and each subsequent offense is a fourth-degree felony. The information given to women will be developed by the Ohio Department of Health in consultation with OSMA and our section.
The second item prevents public hospitals and physicians with privileges at these hospitals from entering into transfer agreements with ambulatory surgery centers performing nontherapeutic abortions. Centers must have these transfer agreements in place to comply with state regulations.
A change in leadership will occur after the District V Annual Meeting in September. The new section Fellow officers will be:
- Chair: Laura J. David, MD, current section vice chair, Cleveland
- Vice chair: Wayne C. Trout, MD, current section secretary-treasurer, Columbus
- Secretary-treasurer: Amy M. Burkett, MD, Akron
The current section Junior Fellow officers are:
- Chair: Jessica A. Smith, MD, University of Cincinnati
- Vice chair: Devin D. Namaky, MD, TriHealth, Cincinnati
Philip Samuels, MD, Columbus, is the current section Junior Fellow advisor.
Nathan L. Roth, MD, section chair
At the section meeting in December, section officers selected meetings they would be able to attend through the upcoming year. I attended the Interim District Advisory Council Meeting in Puerto Rico in April.
Ob-gyns in Ontario have been informed that there will be an increase of approximately 3% per year for liability insurance through the Canadian Medical Protective Association. The Ontario provincial government has significant debt and deficit. The minority government signed an agreement of just over a year with a reduction of the fee schedule of approximately 5%. New collective bargaining starts in the fall for resolution in March 2014.