AOA President Ray E. Stowers, DO, and President-elect Norman E. Vinn, DO, are at AOA Headquarters in Chicago today for a series of meetings in preparation for the AOA Annual Meeting in July and the transition in AOA leadership. President Stowers provided guidance on the major issues to be addressed by the Board of Trustees and House of Delegates. President-elect Vinn worked on finalizing all appointments to the AOA’s bureaus, councils and committees as well as planning for the Executive Committee and New Board Orientation, scheduled for Sept. 12-13. He also provided insight into his presidential focus and inaugural address, which will focus on the culture of osteopathic medicine.
The Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education (BRC) Steering Committee held a conference call yesterday under the leadership of AOA Trustee Boyd R. Buser, DO, and Marc Hahn, DO, its Co-Chairs. A joint venture of the AOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the BRC has developed a white paper, “A Vision for 21st Century Osteopathic Medical Education,” that proposes a future pathway for the education of primary care DOs that is built around competency-based education. Yesterday’s meeting addressed next steps to advance the BRC’s report, including a possible publication in Health Affairs, and recommendations to promote it within and outside of the osteopathic medical profession.
The AOA wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 14 to provide comments on Medicare payment policies set forth in the proposed fiscal year 2014 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule. Our comments focus on proposed changes to quality reporting requirements and policies affecting disproportionate share hospital and graduate medical education (GME) payment. Particular topics addressed in the letter included reducing hospital-acquired conditions, increasing GME training capacity at critical access hospitals, and payments to hospitals.
You have less than two weeks left to submit at least ten e-prescribing (eRx) events or to request an eRx hardship exemption from the CMS eRx Incentive Program. The eRx Incentive Program encourages physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health care providers to e-prescribe. To qualify for the eRx incentive in 2013, eligible professionals must submit 25 eRx events by Dec. 31, 2013. If you do not submit at least ten eRx events or request a hardship exemption (if eligible) by June 30, 2013, your Medicare claims may be penalized 2% in 2014. Learn more about the program on the AOA e-Prescribing Incentive Program Web page or the CMS Quality Reporting Communication Online Support page, or watch the AOA Webinar, 2013 eRx – How to Avoid the Penalty and Qualify for the Bonus, featuring advice from AOA Trustee Ronald Burns, DO. In need of an e-prescribing system? Visit our partners, HealthFusion and DORxResources, to learn about their solutions.
On June 18, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced that it will fund up to $17 million in patient-centered outcomes research that evaluates treatment options for uncontrolled asthma in African-American and Hispanic/Latino populations. Studies that incorporate community, home, and health system level-interventions and assess combinations of patient-education tools, home-environment interventions, asthma medications, and team-based approaches are welcome. The online application system opens July 1, letters of intent are due by Aug.1, and the application deadline is Sept. 18. The PCORI will also host an Applicant Town Hall webinar on July 9. President Stowers and President-elect Vinn will be asking the AOA Council on Minority Health Issues to monitor this research for possible policy and programmatic initiatives. Details are available online.
Did you know…that, just two weeks into the 2014 fiscal year, AOA membership has reached more than 28,000? This is an increase of 1,446 since last week and almost 800 more members than we had at this time last year. Have you renewed your membership? Find out how—and learn more about the benefits of AOA membership—on Osteopathic.org.
The June 19 Chicago Tribune reported that the American Medical Association, which is holding its House of Delegates this week, has voted to declare obesity a disease, a move that “effectively defines 78 million American adults and 12 million children as having a medical condition requiring treatment.”
The New York Times reported on June 16 that California has passed a major provision of the Affordable Care Act that will expand Medicaid to 1.4 million low-income people in the state.
USA Today reported on June 18
that a nationwide outbreak of hepatitis A linked to frozen berries has sickened 118 people in eight states, sending 47 to the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.
The AOA and the
American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) hosted the annual meeting of our Corporate Advisory Board (CAB) today in
Chicago. The CAB is a group of
pharmaceutical and industry representatives with whom we partner on AOA
programs and publications like the iLEARN
Mentor Program, our Advocacy for Healthy Partnerships
conferences, and online CME courses.
I provided welcoming remarks and a historical perspective on our collaboration
with pharmaceutical groups, after which AOA President Ray E. Stowers, DO, addressed
major issues of mutual concern and President-elect Norman E. Vinn, DO, talked
about how osteopathic culture enhances our relationships. Companies represented included Forest
Laboratories, Purdue Pharma, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Merck, and many others. AOA Trustee Robert S. Juhasz, DO, and Past Presidents
Peter Ajluni, DO, and Karen J. Nichols, DO were in attendance, as were AOF
President John Windsor, DO, and student leaders representing the Student Osteopathic
Medical Association and the Council of Osteopathic Student Government
recently learned that two of our member physicians were not permitted to
participate in a loan program designed specifically for physicians.
Policies adopted by bank that created the loan program limited eligibility to
physicians who had an MD degree, thereby excluding osteopathic
physicians. The AOA reached out to the mortgage company and provided
documentation demonstrating the equivalence of the MD and DO degrees in all 50
states and recognition of the equivalence of DO and MD credentials by the
federal government. After our advocacy, we have been advised that the
lender has now approved a loan to the members. Have your DO credentials
ever been questions, or your privileges denied because people did not know
about the DO degree? Let the AOA know—we’ll be there for you!
The latest “flash” reports for the AOA’s Operating,
Osteopathic Research and Development Fund (ORDF), and Dale Dodson Educational
Fund (DDEF) investments slow slightly negative returns for the month of May,
but a 13.5% return or better overall
during Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13), which ran June 1, 2012, through May
31. Operating investments lost $45,109 in
May but earned $2,902,178 during FY13, bringing their year-end market value to
$21,969,909. ORDF investments also lost
$10,821 during May but increased by $678,486 throughout FY13, ending the year
at a market value of $5,384,141. Lastly,
DDEF investments decreased in value by $7,205 in May, grew by $220,926 during FY13,
and had a market value of $1,626,924 as of May 31.