|From the Chair
Scott D. Hayworth, MD, FACOG
We Need YOU at LOBBY DAY
Tuesday, May 10th
I'd like to personally invite you to come to Albany on Tuesday, May 10 for District II's LOBBY DAY. CLICK HERE to register. As you can see from the piece below by Donna Montalto, there is a great deal going on in Albany pertaining to medical liability reform. Donna and I are hopeful that you will join colleagues from across New York on LOBBY DAY to speak with lawmakers about this issue and other matters impacting women's health care ranging from maternal mortality reviews to patient safety efforts.
In addition to LOBBY DAY, District II will be hosting the annual Women's Healthy Life Expo on May 10. The Expo is a yearly event that draws thousands of people to Albany's Empire State Plaza Concourse. Women attend for free screenings, education and activities related to women's health, including a private "ask the doctor" booth.
For more information on either of these activities, please contact the ACOG District II office at email@example.com or (518) 436-3461.
I hope to see YOU at LOBBY DAY!
From the Executive Director
Donna Montalto, MPP
District II Fights the Fight for Med Mal Reform
Over the past several weeks, the District II office has not only dealt with the challenges of the ice and snow of old man winter but we've dealt with the challenges of the old establishment in New York State government. The number one issue impacting our membership continues to be the quest for meaningful medical liability reform - and our fight continues here in Albany.
The issue recently took center stage through New York's efforts to revamp Medicaid. Governor Andrew Cuomo formed the Medicaid Redesign Team to examine various options to overhaul Medicaid through public input and written proposals from a variety of groups. District II submitted our Neurologically Impaired Infant Program of New York State (NIPNY) proposal. This newborn no-fault compensation fund would not only benefit Medicaid, but address New York's broken medical liability system. Unfortunately, NIPNY did not make the final cut of proposals that were presented to - and accepted by Governor Cuomo. What did make it to the governor was a proposal to change New York's medical liability system through:
- $250,000 CAP on non-economic damages - (for dental, podiatric and medical malpractice actions)
- Neurologically impaired indemnity fund - fault based continuation of our current tort system
These two measures are now part of Governor Cuomo's budget plan to slash Medicaid by 2.3 billion dollars. They would also reduce med mal insurance premiums for New York hospitals. Several organizations, including Greater New York Hospital Association, the Medical Society of the State of New York and other specialty physician groups and liability insurance companies formed a coalition and wrote a letter to the governor supporting the proposal. While ACOG District II supports a CAP on pain and suffering, we did not sign the letter due to our concerns that the Assembly would bow down to the trial lawyers and not support the CAP proposal - consequently ob-gyns would be left with an NI indemnity fund that would not greatly benefit our members.
The Bronx Crisis: In the midst of our ongoing fight for med mal reform, District II was deeply troubled to learn that eight obstetricians at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center will be non-renewed by Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC). In addition, obstetricians and St. Barnabus Hospital are struggling with PRI and the MMIP pool causing tremendous increases in the hospital's ability to insure continuation of maternity services. And Montefiore Hospital would find it extremely difficult to absorb the outrageous OB premiums associated with an additional 4,300 deliveries should Bronx Lebanon and St. Barnabus be forced to terminate obstetrics. As a result, 12,000 maternity patients in the Bronx are impacted by this veritable crisis. ACOG District II, and these hospitals' CEOs and Chairs continue to meet with members of the Senate and Assembly Bronx Delegation and top level staff in Governor Cuomo's office to detail the impact on patients if affordable and accessible medical liability insurance is not immediately available to Bronx ob-gyns. The Bronx Delegation must encourage Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Assembly Democrats to support the CAP on pain and suffering as included in the Governor's Medicaid budget plan in order to prevent thousands of pregnant women from losing high quality obstetric care! This crisis is not unique to the Bronx and is certain to replay itself in other regions of New York State if immediate change does not occur.
There have certainly been quite a few heated meetings, phone calls and correspondence among those impacted by the proposal set forth by the Medicaid Redesign Team and the situation in the Bronx. These conversations continue daily. Please know that I am personally working closely with key players within the Cuomo administration. In addition, your District II Executive Committee along with Dr. Richard Berkowitz and Dr. Ron Uva are key players in the development of strategies to insure that the outcome of this reform is optimal for ob-gyns across the state. District II leadership will be meeting with State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah on Monday, March 14. We will continue keeping you posted - as there are new developments every day.
Everyone at the District II office in Albany remains dedicated to working on behalf of our members. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at (518) 436-3461 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NY Ob-Gyns in Halls of Congress
Several District II members participated in ACOG's 29th Annual Congressional Leadership Conference (CLC), The President's Conference February 27 - March 1, in Washington, DC. Dr. Ronald Uva, Chair of the Legislative Committee, Dr. Nicholas Kulbida, Secretary of ACOG District II, Dr. Mary Ann Millar, Chair of the Well Woman Committee, Dr. Taj Gill and residents Dr. Rasha Allam and Dr. Jessica Atrio made their voices heard within the halls of Congress. They met directly with Congressmen Bill Owens and with reps for Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle.
The District II team concentrated on key issues impacting women's health care including legislation that would address maternal mortality in the U.S. by funding state boards to investigate pregnancy-related deaths and identify effective prevention strategies to reduce overall complications and save lives. In addition, members from District II discussed their support of a bill that would repeal the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB could mandate physician pay cuts starting in about four years.
Dr. Uva said, "My overall experience at the CLC was an improved comprehension of the political process and of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Dr. Uva encouraged more members of District II to participate in the lobbying process.
If you would like to get involved on the state level, join us in Albany on Tuesday, May 10 for District II's Lobby Day. CLICK HERE to register. Call (518) 436-3461 for more information.
What are YOU Doing to Promote Colorectal Health?
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and District II is doing something about it.
With grant funding from the New York State Department of Health, District II is currently developing a survey to educate patients on the risk factors for colorectal cancer and to assess screening frequency within the ob-gyn community. ACOG recommends colonoscopy as the preferred method of screening.
The annual well-woman visit is the ideal opportunity for you to ensure that the health status of each patient is monitored and health records are kept current. Most patients rely on their primary care providers to recommend colorectal cancer screening; however, since you may be the only physician many women see on a regular basis, you have a unique opportunity to counsel your patients about the indications for and benefits of screening, referral, and any potential follow-up treatment that may be necessary.
Be on the lookout this spring for a short survey for you and your patients. Until then, promote proper colorectal health in your practice! CLICK HERE to view the Colorectal Cancer chapter of the ACOG District II Focus on Female Cancers Resource Guide.
Smoking Cessation and the
ACOG District II is pleased to announce a new two-year grant project, "Enhancing Early Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Casual Smoker: In-Office Education for Ob-Gyns and Their Patients." This latest project is the second "installment" of the Well-Woman Education Initiative (WWEI) that began in September 2010. The first project on immunizations is ongoing and will be completed in August 2011.
This smoking cessation grant project will utilize five ob-gyn offices as pilot sites for the development of a comprehensive, in-office educational model on smoking cessation for the casual smoker. This education would become part of the routine annual well-woman visit. A chart assessment tool and resources will be developed over the next two years to assist ob-gyns in identifying patient needs.
If your office is interested in participating in
the ACOG smoking cessation pilot project
or physician task force,
The comprehensive WWEI will serve as an enduring educational tool and will incorporate various components of the well-woman visit over the next several years. In addition to immunizations and smoking, subsequent topics may include osteoporosis, adolescent gynecology, healthy weight management and diabetes, and integrative medicine.
Patient Safety & Quality Improvement
Celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Stories at Work: Share Your Successes and Challenges
District II does a lot of work in the name of Patient Safety & Quality Improvement. CLICK HERE to learn more about our latest activities. ACOG members can learn from colleagues about how to overcome challenges and succeed in improving quality. We would like to publish your story.
Have you implemented a patient safety protocol or systems change within your facility that has helped improve patient outcomes?
Sample scenario for newsletter publishing:
An institution developed a protocol to report potential threats to patient safety and near-misses. The protocol is in place, is known to all staff, routinely followed and supported by a culture of safety that allows for open collection and sharing of data within the practice.
A staff member is put in charge of instructing all clinical employees to complete a clinical incident report for all actual and potential patient-safety incidents. All incident reports are reviewed by the clinical operations manager and CEO and immediate action is taken when indicated. Incident report data and trends are reviewed at their Quality Improvement Committee meeting and action plans are developed when indicated. This protocol helped ensure buy-in from physician(s), who needed to lead as safety champions and communication efforts among all staff members.
If you have a similar patient safety success story, please send it to Kelly Gilchrist, Manager of Patient Safety at email@example.com. We will share your story in the April newsletter.
Membership & Meetings
Call for Nominations
Nominations are currently being accepted for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair for the following District II Sections: Section 1 (Manhattan), Section 4 (Long Island), and Section 7 (Hudson Valley). The terms of office for Section Chair and Vice Chair are three years, beginning in November 2012 and ending in October 2015.
By June 1, 2011 Fellows from these Sections who are interested in running for these position should submit the items listed below to District II via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail, ACOG District II, 152 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12210.
- A letter stating the office or offices for which they would like to be a candidate;
- A one-page summary statement of their curriculum vitae (Click Here for a sample of this format); and
- A complete curriculum vitae.
Junior Fellow District Officer Elections
District II is seeking interested and qualified Junior Fellows for Vice Chair and Secretary-Treasurer positions for the 2011-2012 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 2011 Annual Fall District Meeting. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2011. CLICK HERE for more information.
Attention Medical Students
Interested in attending a District II meeting? The John Gibbons Medical Student Travel Award is available to provide financial help for medical students to attend ACOG meetings. Click Here to see a list of our upcoming meetings. Click Here for more information on the travel award.
- The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) released an updated Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Assessment Tool. This free, online, self-scoring tool enables primary care practices-- including safety net providers-- to assess and measure their current operations against the National Committee for Quality Assuranceâ€™s (NCQA) PCMH 2011 standards. CLICK HERE to access the assessment tool.
- Special Edition Medicaid Update for HIPAA 5010/D.0 - Click Here
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