|From the Chair
Scott D. Hayworth, MD, FACOG
Register Now for the ADM
There is no better time than the present to register for the Annual District II Meeting (ADM) October 28-30 at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station. CLICK HERE to register. Scientific program co-chairs Frank Chervenak, MD, FACOG and John Queenan, MD, FACOG have put together an exceptional 2011 program that covers the broad range of the ob/gyn specialty.
You should have received the ADM preliminary program in the mail – which is also available online by CLICKING HERE. This year we are celebrating 25 years of the District II office at the ADM – as we feature distinguished faculty who are leaders in their respective fields. Also this year – back by popular demand – attendees will have the opportunity to practice hands-on laparoscopic techniques in advanced gynecologic surgery by utilizing the most current technology available to the gynecologic surgeon – including robotics.
While at the District II Meeting, I encourage you to make plans to enjoy a slice of what the Big Apple has to offer – from a Broadway show, to magnificent museums and fine cuisine. CLICK HERE to register today – and I hope to see you at the ADM this coming October.
From the Executive Director
Donna Montalto, MPP
C-Section Rates Come Under Fire: Victory in the Making
In an emergency act, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) issued regulations implementing a small sentence in the budget that required the Medicaid reimbursement rates for cesarean sections to be paid at the “hospital’s average Medicaid payment for a vaginal delivery” unless the hospital provided additional justification documenting medical necessity.
On Monday, May 16th, members of the ACOG District II Executive Committee and members of the District II Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Committee participated on a conference call with the New York State Health and Insurance Departments. The two major reasons for the call were 1) assist in clearly defining neurologically impaired infants within the new medical indemnity fund law; and 2) clarify that medical decision making related to cesarean sections must only be left to the individual ob-gyn and patient and must not be tied to hospital or state financial issues. In addition, ACOG stressed the point that without significant tort reform (clearly not addressed in this budget) that defensive medicine would continue to play a prominent role in a physicians decision to perform a c-section.
ACOG also discussed with DOH the current work of District II’s Patient Safety Committee which includes reviewing and suggesting key elements for hospital protocols surrounding labor inductions as well as our work to eliminate non-medically indicated, elective inductions prior to 39 weeks. While the c-section rate may not be ideal across all hospitals, the goal of our work should be to address improvements that are within our own control.
As of this writing, ACOG, along with our partners, GNYHA and HANYS, appear to have been successful in convincing the state to remove any financial penalties on hospitals related to the performance of c-sections or any attempt to lower or suggest an "appropriate" rate associated with this procedure. Unfortunately, the state will be looking for immediate ways to cut $24 million from hospital reimbursements which was the amount gleaned from this original proposal.
The new Department of Health (DOH) Hospital Quality Initiative and Obstetric Patient Safety Workgroup will be tasked with trying to find new ways to lower cesarean section rates. ACOG District II submitted a letter to Commissioner Shah dated April 13, 2011 recommending ACOG patient safety experts to participate in the new Obstetrical Patient Safety Workgroup.
The DOH New York State Quality Initiative will work to improve obstetrical care outcomes and quality of care by identifying and implementing evidence based practices and clinical protocols that can be standardized and adopted by hospitals.
District II Backs Collective Negotiations Bill
With only three weeks until the end of session, District II has been advocating for issues that are not only important to ob-gyns but to ALL physicians across the state.
District II participated in the New York State Coalition of Specialty Physicians – focusing on Senate bill S.3186 (Hannon)/Assembly bill A.2474 (Canestrari), which would allow for collective negotiations by health care providers with certain health benefit plans. The bill – supported by ACOG – is currently moving in the legislature. CLICK HERE for a copy of the legislation.
This bill would allow all physicians in New York State to conduct some collective negotiations with health care plans while being closely monitored by the state. Negotiations involving fee-related matters would be prohibited unless an individual managed care plan controls a substantial share of the managed care market. This legislation would not authorize strikes or boycotts of health benefit plans by physicians.
ACOG strongly supports this legislation, which would allow physicians to collectively negotiate contract provisions with managed care plans and other insurance entities in order to restore fairness to the contracting process in New York State. CLICK HERE if you would like to email or fax a letter of support to Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos and Speaker Sheldon Silver.
This legislation will create a more even playing field between managed care plans and physicians, thus increasing ob-gyns’ ability to better advocate on behalf of their patients in contract negotiations – which is critical in the current health insurance market. Without providing physicians the opportunity to communicate with each other and jointly negotiate with managed care companies, physicians are powerless to challenge the managed care companies’ take-it-or-leave-it contracts full of anti-patient provisions.
If you have any questions about this legislation, please feel free to contact Jennifer Lange, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs at (518) 436-3461 – or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorectal Cancer Patient Education & Survey Released
Fellows and Junior Fellows in Practice: By now, you should have received the Well Woman Colorectal Cancer Screening physician/patient survey. The surveys come attached to patient educational material that is meant to be readily available in the waiting room. This material is intended to foster a discussion about colorectal cancer risks and screening options. Since you may be the only physician that some women see regularly, you have the opportunity to inform your patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening. Please return the completed surveys to ACOG District II no later than June 30th.
Patient Safety & Quality Improvement
Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) eToolkit
ACOG District II is proud to announce the creation of an Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) eToolkit. Click Here
Our goal is to help sustain ongoing education surrounding EFM. Components include materials from the HANYS/ACOG/NYSDOH joint collaborative: New York State's Obstetric Safety Initiative: Providing Excellence in Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM).
eToolkit highlights include:
- Interactive, web-based EFM courses that guide you through actual clinical case scenarios reinforce NICHD definitions and clinical management issues.
- Toolkit certification and competencies can be used as the most recent evidence-based recommendations on how to create and deliver safe obstetric care.
- Tools and resources to help prepare you for obtaining certification such as the National Certification Corporation (NCC) EFM exam.
- Already certified in EFM? Visit the Quick Guide & Teaching Modules section for access to a standardized management model poster and other useful tools that can be used for reference, teaching or to test your own knowledge base of EFM.
CLICK HERE to be directed to the web-based EFM Toolkit.
Communications and Outreach
Thousands of people attended District II’s Women’s Healthy Life Expo on May 10 in Albany. Held during National Women’s Health Week, the Women’s Healthy Life Expo provided free access to women’s health and wellness information. The Expo is also considered an effective way to promote ACOG to powerful people in state government who play key roles in determining legislation and policies impacting women’s health care.
A wide range of exhibits offered everything from women’s health education and screenings – to patient education videos and stress relieving massages. In addition, back by popular demand, was our Ask the Doctor booth, where women had their questions and concerns privately addressed by ACOG members, including Kevin C. Kiley, MD, FACOG and his Albany Medical Center obstetrics team. For the second year, District II partnered with the Albany Times Union newspaper to present the Expo, which has grown into an Albany-area tradition. District II staff members make this event successful year after year!
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