New AMA report confirms that physicians are “essential” part of Georgia’s economy

According to an “Economic Impact of Physicians in Georgia” report that was just released that was prepared by IMS Health for the American Medical Association (AMA), physicians in Georgia “created a total of $29.7 billion in direct and indirect economic output (i.e., sales revenues) in 2012….each physician (in the state therefore) supported $1,559,494 in (economic) output.”

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CMS says 2014 last year to begin EHR incentives program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is stressing that, “If you are an eligible professional for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, 2014 is the last year you can start participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in order to receive incentive payments.”

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C.W. Long Medical Society Meeting

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04.29

MAG to host May 12 town hall on POLST, end-of-life issues

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) will host a town hall conference call for MAG members at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12 that will address important end-of-life considerations for physicians, the role of a “physician order for life-sustaining treatment” (POLST), and the resources that are available to physicians in the state.

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Recording of MAG town hall on employed arrangements now online

A recording of a town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on April 14 that addresses some of the key factors that physicians should take into account when they consider entering into an employed arrangement.

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Free MAG member HIPAA-compliant IM app adds options for non-M.D. team members & large groups

Medical Association Georgia (MAG) members have free and exclusive access to DocbookMD – a “physicians-only smart phone app” that enables them and other MAG member users to exchange patient information in a secure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant manner.

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AMA addresses physician-specific Medicare claims data release

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that “the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) [has] posted searchable, physician-specific Medicare claims data on its web site. The spreadsheet files show for each physician their NPI, name and address, average charge and Medicare payment amounts, unique beneficiary counts, and other information for the various Medicare services they provide.”

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CMS promoting new EHR attestation calculator

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting the availability of a new “Stage 2 Attestation Calculator” for providers who are participating in the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentives Program.

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Medicare contractors can automatically deny “related” claims starting March 6

Tracy Field with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP has advised the Medical Association of Georgia that effective March 6, Medicare contractors can automatically deny claims that are “related” to other claims that have been denied as a result of pre/post-payment review – and the contractors do not need to issue additional documentation requests (ADRs) for the related claims before they issue the denial.

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ASCRS/AAO issue update on IFIS/systemic alpha-1 antagonists

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recently distributed an update/press release that addresses “Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS) Associated with Systemic Alpha-1 Antagonists.”

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Atlanta Medical History Society Meeting

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04.29

DCH encouraging Medicaid practices to test ICD-10 readiness – despite delay

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is encouraging Medicaid physicians/practices in the state that would like to test their ICD-10 readiness (i.e., those that have made the conversion from the ICD-9) to send an email to ICD10project@dch.ga.gov.

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Effective date for workers’ comp fee schedule changed to May 1

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation has announced that “this year’s Georgia Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule’s effective date will be May 1, 2014.

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GSDDS Annual Meeting

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06.06

AMA weighs in on CMS plans to go public with Part B data

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has plans to “provide the public (with) unprecedented access” to individual physician and certain other health care professionals’ Medicare Part B data...

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MAG members encouraged to RSVP, reserve rooms for Jekyll Island meeting

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging its members to make plans to attend the “Summer Legislative Update” meeting that it will host at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island on July 25-26.

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DCH to proceed with ICD-10 efforts despite delay

The Georgia Department of Community Health says that even though the “implementation of the transition to ICD-10 Code Sets has been delayed by federal law (H.R. 4302) until at least October 1, 2015” it will “continue its initiative for system remediation, internal and external testing, provider awareness and provider education as scheduled.”

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CMS: Medicare PQRS & eRx programs participation rising

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a “2012 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Experience Report” that it says shows “a significant increase in participation in two key (Medicare) programs (PQRS and eRx incentives) that allow eligible professionals to earn incentive payments through voluntary participation.”

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Troup CMS Board of Directors Meeting

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04.17

District 2 Medical Society Meeting

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04.17

GSMA Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly

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06.11

Pediatrics by the Sea

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06.11

Bibb CMS Spring Social

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05.08

Lawmakers pass one-year SGR patch despite widespread opposition

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both passed the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014” (H.R. 4302), which would postpone the 24 percent Medicare physician payment cut that was scheduled to go into effect on April 1 for one year.

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GAPI Annual Meeting

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04.19

Cahaba promoting Medicare Part B webinars

Cahaba GBA – which is the Medicare Administrative Contractor for the region – will host a number of Medicare Part B webinars during April.

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CMS: Today (3/31) is deadline for 2013 Medicare EHR incentive

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is stressing that, “If you are an eligible professional, the last day you can register and attest to demonstrating meaningful use for the 2013 Medicare EHR Incentive Program is (today) March 31, 2014.

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CMS outlines plans for Medicare claims

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reporting that (in the event a scheduled Medicare pay cut goes into effect) it has “instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors to hold claims containing services paid under the MPFS (Medicare Physician Fee Schedule) for the first 10 business days of April…hold would only affect MPFS claims with dates of service of April 1, 2014, and later."

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Physicians asked to call Sens. ASAP to vote NO on H.R. 4302 SGR patch

The American Medical Association is reporting that the U.S. House of Representatives has “rushed through legislation that would only apply a temporary patch to (the Medicare SGR) instead of fully repealing it. This temporary patch bill, H.R. 4302, now moves to the U.S. Senate and, if it passes, Congress will only be making it harder to permanently repeal SGR and protect Medicare access for the millions who rely on it every day.”

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MAG signs letter opposing Medicare bill

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of more than 90 state and national physicians’ organizations that sent a letter to U.S. House leaders on March 26 to express “strong opposition to H.R. 4302, the ‘Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014’.”

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AMA report: House suspends vote on Medicare bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that “…the (U.S.) House of Representatives debated H.R. 4302, the ‘Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,’ which would postpone the imminent 24 percent Medicare physician payment cut for 12 months.”

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Videos of FTC health care trends workshop now online

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has posted a series of video recordings of a public workshop that it recently held to study “certain activities and trends that may affect competition in the evolving health care industry” online.

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Modern Healthcare: Bill would delay ICD-10 by a year

Modern Healthcare is reporting that, “The planned implementation of a nationwide conversion to the ICD-10 family of diagnostic and procedural codes would be extended at least a year by a House Ways and Means Committee bill aimed at providing the annual fix of the physician sustainable growth-rate formula.”

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Media report: One-year Medicare fix will be enacted by March 31

Modern Healthcare is reporting that, “Another temporary 12-month patch will be enacted for the (Medicare) ‘doc fix’ prior to the scheduled March 31 expiration of the current patch, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated Wednesday.”

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Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine names new president

“The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Board of Trustees has announced the election of Jay S. Feldstein, D.O., as the College’s eighth President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Feldstein will assume full responsibilities on July 1, 2014 after a transition period beginning May 15."

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MAG CEO goes to bat for physicians on syndicated radio show

Medical Association of Georgia of Georgia Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. recently appeared on the "Healthcare Insiders" radio program.

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Coalition to host limb loss education day in Atlanta on April 12

The Amputee Coalition will host a “Limb Loss Education Day” at Georgia Tech's Instructional Center at 759 Ferst Drive NW in Atlanta from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 12.

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Medical Association of Atlanta meeting

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04.22

MAG applauds physicians on National Doctor’s Day

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is thanking and applauding every physician in the state on National Doctors' Day, which will take place this Sunday, March 30.

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Recording of MAG town hall on Medicare SGR now online

A recording of a town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia hosted on March 18 that addresses the legislation that Congressional leaders are considering to repeal and replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that featured Sidney Welch with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP is now available online.

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AMA: Physicians to get “short reprieve” from RACs

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that, “Physicians and hospitals will get a short reprieve from Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (RAC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced.

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CMS promoting free ICD-10 resource for small practices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting a free “Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice's Route to ICD-10” resource to help physicians in small practices “jumpstart their ICD-10 transition.”

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AMA offering free PPACA “grace period” toolkit

The American Medical Association (AMA) has created a free toolkit to “help physicians (who are) caring for patients who have entered the grace period for nonpayment of premiums for coverage purchased through health insurance exchanges (with the assistance of premium tax credits) [that was created as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act].”

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CDC promoting RFP to reduce HIV in Atlanta area

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding the “High Impact HIV Prevention Program for City of Atlanta,” which includes Fulton and DeKalb counties.

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MAG signs letter to voice concerns over PPACA grace period

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of about 90 state and national organizations that signed a letter that was sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to voice physician concerns over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provision that “allows health insurers who offer qualified health plans on the (state-level) exchanges to pend and deny claims for months two and three of the 90-day grace period.”

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U.S. House passes bill to repeal Medicare SGR

In a vote of 237 to 182, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014” (H.R. 4105).

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MAG signs letter opposing audiologists scope legislation

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of 100 local, state and national organizations to sign a letter that was sent to Congressional leaders to oppose H.R. 4035/S. 2046.

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AMA provides update on efforts to repeal Medicare SGR

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently provided the Medical Association of Georgia with an update on the efforts to pass legislation that would repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

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Georgia Society of Rheumatology CME Meeting

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05.29

Medical Association of Atlanta Annual Meeting

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06.26

Georgia Radiological Society Annual Meeting

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05.30

Richmond County Medical Society Meeting

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05.27

GOS Resident Workshop

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04.26

Richmond County Medical Society Meeting

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04.22

AMA issues update on Medicare SGR legislation

The American Medical Association is reporting that “(House) Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced the anticipated amendment to offset the costs of H.R. 4015, the ‘SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014,’ with a five-year delay in implementation of the ACA’s tax penalties for individuals who do not purchase health insurance.”

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Guidelines for EHR hardship exceptions now available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidelines for “eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that are unable to implement the 2014 Edition of Certified Electronic Health Record technology in time to successfully demonstrate meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year.”

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AMA: CMS to conduct ICD-10 “end-to-end” testing

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will “conduct end-to-end (ICD-10) testing with a limited number of health care providers of varying sizes and types, including physician practices (on July 21-25).”

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AMA calling for grassroots support for Medicare SGR bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging physicians to contact their U.S. Representative and their U.S. Senators as soon as possible to urge them to pass H.R. 4015 to repeal the Medicare SGR.

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CMS hosting ICD-10 overview, clinical documents webinars

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting an “ICD-10 Overview: Basics and Transition Tips” webinar this Thursday, March 13 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and an “ICD-10 Clinical Documentation” webinar on Tuesday, March 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

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GAAAP Pediatrics by the Sea

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06.11 - 06.14

MAG, 600+ other groups call on Congress to pass Medicare bill

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 600 organizations tha

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MAG expressing conditional support for bill to repeal/replace Medicare SGR

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is supporting the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act” (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) – which would repeal the formula that is used to pay Medicare physicians and replace it with a new system – “as long as one medical specialty does not benefit to the detriment of another” and pending its review of the “offsets” (i.e., funding mechanisms) that are included in any final legislation.

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MAG EC votes to support SGR bill on conditional basis

During its meeting on March 2, the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Executive Committee voted to support the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act” (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) – which would repeal al the Medicare SGR and create a new Medicare payment system – “as long as one specialty does not benefit to the detriment of another specialty” and pending a review of “pay for/offsets” (i.e., funding mechanisms) in any final legislation.

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House GOP M.D. group supporting SGR measure pending review of final bill with offsets

The U.S. House of Representatives GOP Doctors Caucus has sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate stating that it “agreed to the policies contained in the (H.R. 4015/S. 2000), the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act…it is our hope that leaders in the House and Senate will move as expeditiously as possible to negotiate acceptable offsets that we can support.”

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AMA Annual Meeting

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06.07 - 06.11

GSDDS Annual Meeting

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06.06 - 06.08

Coastal Emergency Medicine Conference

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06.06 - 06.08

New AMA summary addresses SGR legislation

The American Medical Association has created a “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 – H.R. 4015/S. 2000” summary.

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GDNA: Schedule II must be signed by physician

The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency (GDNA) is advising pharmacies in the state not to fill Schedule II prescriptions that aren’t signed or co-signed by a supervising physician.

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Court upholds injunction blocking Georgia’s prompt pay law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued a ruling that upholds a U.S. District Court injunction that blocked Georgia from enforcing its prompt pay law that was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013.

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CMS: 2013 was last program year for Medicare eRx incentives

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding providers that “2013 was the final program year for participating and reporting in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program.”

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HHS issues Spanish version of Model of Notices of Privacy Practices

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that its Office for Civil Rights and the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued a Spanish version of the Model Notices of Privacy Practices (NPP).

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CMS promoting new ‘eHealth Interactive Timeline’ tool

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting a new ‘eHealth Interactive Timeline’ tool, which is designed to help providers “identify key program dates for 2014-2017 and corresponding resources.”

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Historic MCG gift makes top 50 list

"A historic $66 million donation to Medical College of Georgia Foundation from the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison was among the top 50 gifts last year, according to one publication."

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MAG signs letter calling for solution for Medicare appeals backlog

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of about 100 state and national medical organizations that sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals to “express serious concern about the backlog of Medicare appeals.”

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New AMA ICD-10 study triples cost projections for some physicians

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released new physician implementation cost estimates for the ICD-10 coding requirements that will go into effect on October 1, 2014.

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AMA says debt ceiling bill includes $2.3 billion SGR “transitional” fund

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that, “The debt ceiling extension legislation posted online by the House Rules Committee (on February 10) calls for extending the sequester for an additional year, through 2014, in order to offset the cost of restoring retired military pay benefits that were reduced in the budget bill passed last December.”

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Update on legislative negotiations to repeal the Medicare SGR

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that, “Staff for the chairmen and ranking minority members of the three Congressional committees of jurisdiction briefed physician groups this afternoon (February 6) on the results of their bicameral, bipartisan negotiations on repealing the (Medicare) SGR.

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GNS Annual Spring Meeting

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05.23 - 05.25

CMS: Medicare EHR EPs may be subject to adjustments in 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is says that “Eligible professionals (EPs) participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program may be subject to payment adjustments beginning on January 1, 2015. CMS will determine the payment adjustment based on meaningful use data submitted prior to the 2015 calendar year.

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MAG supports bill to expand Georgia's medical marijuana law

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has announced that it supports the legislation (H.B. 885) that Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) introduced at the State Capitol today that would expand the state’s law permitting the use of marijuana in strictly controlled research programs to patients who suffer from seizures. Georgia’s existing law only covers patients who have cancer or glaucoma.

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AMA: CMS knows about problems with EHR MU attestation website

The American Medical Association is reporting that “(the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS) has acknowledged problems with its Meaningful Use (MU) attestation website. Specifically, the PECOS Medicare enrollment database is having trouble interfacing with the MU attestation database.

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AMA matrix highlights key provisions of bills to repeal SGR

The American Medical Association has created a matrix that shows how the three bills that Congressional leaders are considering to repeal the Medicare SGR differ from the existing law.

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National Rx Drug Abuse Summit

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04.22 - 04.24

TAI co-chair participates in national Rx drug abuse summit press event

Dallas Gay, who is the co-chair of the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in the state, participated in a press conference that took place at the State Capitol in Atlanta on January 23 to promote the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit.

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A message from Sen. Josh McKoon: The truth about S.B. 141

The January edition of Georgia Sen. Josh McKoon’s ‘McKoon for State Senate District 29 Newsletter’ included the following message.

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POLST conference to take place in Atlanta on May 8

The ‘2014 Georgia POLST (physician orders for life-sustaining treatment) Conference’ will take on Thursday, May 8 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta.

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2014 Georgia POLST Conference

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05.08

Save the date & book your room...MAG HOD October 18-19, 2014

MAG's 2014 House of Delegates (HOD) meeting will be held on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19 at The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain.

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MAG CEO discusses flawed med-mal bill (S.B. 141) on 640 WGST

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. explained why MAG’s Board of Directors voted to oppose the ‘Patients Compensation Act’ on the ‘Doc Talk with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups’ radio program that aired on Talk Radio 640 WGST on January 18.

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Georgia gets D+ in ACEP report on emergency care

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) gave Georgia an overall grade of D+ in its ‘Report Card’ for 2014.

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GA-APPNA Membership Meeting & CME

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04.19

AJC column: “…effort to do away with Georgia’s system of medical malpractice lawsuits can officially be declared D.O.A.”

According to Jim Galloway’s ‘Political Insider’ column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 13, “The effort to do away with Georgia’s system of medical malpractice lawsuits (i.e., S.B. 141/Patients’ Compensation Act) can officially be declared D.O.A. this morning, even before the Legislature has gaveled itself into session.”

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New version of MAG ‘Model Medical Staff Bylaws’ now available

A updated version of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Model Medical Staff Bylaws’ – which is a comprehensive template that physicians can use to protect their autonomy in hospital settings – is now available to MAG members online for free.

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PAI promoting availability of primer for employed physicians

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) is promoting the availability of a ne

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CMS issues final rule on Medicare pay

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule that “updates the payment policies and payment rates for services that are furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2014.”

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CMS tool helps providers determine e-health programs eligibility

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is promoting a new “interactive eHealth Eligibility Assessment Tool” that it says will help applicable providers determine if they are available for the Medicaid and Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

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GBPW promoting latest edition of its physician, PA data book

The Georgia Board for Physician Workforce (GBPW) is promoting the availability of its ‘Georgia Physician and Physician Assistant Professions Data Book 2010/2011.’

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AMA reports that Congress has okayed three-month Medicare update

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that, “Congress has adopted a 0.5 percent update to Medicare payments for three months, following a bipartisan vote of 64 to 36 in the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon.

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CMS: EP’s who didn’t hit eRx metrics in 2012-2013 subject to adjustment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that, “Eligible professionals and group practices (who self-nominated for the 2012 and/or 2013 Electronic Prescribing [eRx] group practice reporting option) who were not successful electronic prescribers under the 2012 or 2013 eRx Incentive Program will be subject to a payment adjustment in 2014.”

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AMA promoting model bill to address ACA ‘grace period’

The American Medical Association (AMA) is promoting a model state-level bill

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AMA reporting that House Ways & Means completes SGR mark-up by 39-0 vote

The American Medical Association has reported that “…the House Ways and Means Committee (has) completed its mark-up of legislation to repeal Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula by a vote of 39-0.

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MAG Board of Directors Meeting

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05.03

AJC rates Patients for Fair Compensation statement on defensive medicine as “half true”

A ‘Politifact’ article that was entitled ‘Estimates vary on cost of defensive medicine’ that appeared in the December 11 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated a statement that was attributed to Wayne Oliver with Patients for Fair Compensation organization as “half true.”

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Surgical societies oppose Medicare SGR/pay bill, call for delay

Sixteen surgical societies – including the American College of Surgeons – have sent letters to Congressional leaders to oppose the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2013” in its current form, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

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MAG president dismisses survey with ties to Patients' Compensation Act (S.B. 141), explains why bill is losing proposition

The president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) dismisses the results of a survey that was conducted by the Virginia-based firm of McLaughlin and Associates that was hired by advocates for the Patients’ Compensation Act (S.B. 141) that suggests that MAG doesn’t reflect the views of physicians in the state.

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AMA releases resources addressing SGR, physician pay proposal

According to the American Medical Association (AMA) “(on December 5) the (U.S.) House Committee on Ways and Means and the (U.S.) Senate Committee on Finance released revisions to their bipartisan, bicameral proposal to repeal Medicare’s SGR formula and reform the physician payment system.”

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Modifications to SGR Discussion Draft of SGR Repeal & Medicare Physician Payment Reform

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GPLA Graduation Ceremony

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05.03

MAG Executive Committee Meeting

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05.02

MAG, AMA & 60+ others express support for Rep. Price Medicare bill

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) joined the American Medical Association and more than 60 additional state and specialty medical societies in signing an April 10 letter to Congressional leaders to support H.R. 1310 by MAG member and U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D.

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MAG highlights key bills from just-concluded General Assembly

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is flagging a number of key developments that took place during this year’s state legislative session, which concluded late last night.

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MAG/AMA file brief addressing lawsuit challenging Georgia’s prompt pay law

Last week, the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that addresses a U.S. District Court injunction that blocked Georgia from enforcing its prompt pay law that was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013.

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Composite Board amends Pain Management rule

On October 10, the Georgia Composite Medical Board amended Rule 360-3-.06(2)(f-i) in Georgia’s Rules and Regulations that addresses pain management requirements for physicians.

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MAG one of 80+ calling on CMS to act to ensure MA beneficiaries have accurate & reliable info

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of more than 80 state and national medical societies that signed a letter that was sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that calls for it to “take immediate action to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have accurate and reliable information to make health insurance elections during the 2014 Open Enrollment period, and to address a lack of MA sponsor transparency on network adequacy.”

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MAG Board okays EHR report to protect/preserve quality of care

During its October 18 meeting at Lake Lanier, the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Board of Directors approved a ‘Guidelines for Protecting and Improving the Quality of Health Care Using Electronic Health Records (EHR)’ report that was prepared by a MAG Electronic Health Care Committee working group.

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MAG calls for Cosmetic Laser Services Act funding in letter to Composite Board

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) recently submitted a letter to the Georgia Composite Medical Board to express its support for funding for the Cosmetic Laser Services Act.

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AAMC releases 2013 State Physician Workforce Data Book

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has released its ‘2013 State Physician Workforce Data Book.'

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AMA offering free resource addressing HIPAA 835 transactions

The American Medical Association (AMA) has developed ‘Using HIPAA electronic standard transactions to automate overpayment recovery’ white paper that is designed “for people (who are) integrally involved in working with the overpayment process or building systems to automate the (005010 version of the Healthcare Claim Payment/Advice transaction [835]), such as billing department managers and vendor product managers.”

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MAG one of 60+ calling for VHA Nursing Handbook revisions

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of more than 60 state and national medical societies that signed a letter that was sent to the Undersecretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on October 28 that called for the Veterans Health Affairs (VHA) Nursing Handbook to be revised.

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MAG, others call for HHS to reverse Sunshine Act journal/text book provisions

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 70 state and national medical societies that signed a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to express “serious concerns about the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recently promulgated regulations to the Sunshine Act and their impact on scientific peer reviewed medical journals and textbooks.”

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MAG encouraging physicians to check status with BlueCross BlueShield provider network

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging physicians in the state to visit the BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia (BCBSGA) provider network website – which includes information by network type and county – to confirm that the BCBSGA database accurately reflects their participation in one or more BCBSGA health plans in the state.

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New AMA/RAND study addresses physician challenges

The American Medical Association (AMA) and RAND Corporation have released the findings of a “landmark study demonstrating the contemporary challenges physicians face and the relationship between professional satisfaction and the delivery of patient care.”

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CMS promoting new ‘eHealth’ programs eligibility fact sheet

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting a new fact sheet that will help health care professionals determine their eligibility for several “eHealth” programs, including the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, the eRx Incentive Program, and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

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MAG, others thank House Ways & Means for efforts to repeal SGR

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) was one of more than 20 state medical and national specialty societies that submitted a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee to thank them for their efforts to develop legislation to “repeal and replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.”

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CMS releases new Stage 2 EHR incentives guide

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has released a new resource guide – ‘An Eligible Professional’s Guide to Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs’ – that provides a “comprehensive overview of Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs for eligible professionals.”

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AMA survey: More than half of physicians were self-employed in 2012

The American Medical Association (AMA) says that its new ‘Policy Research Perspective’ survey report shows that “while there has been an increase in hospital employment, more than half of physicians (53.2 percent) were self-employed in 2012, and 60 percent worked in practices wholly owned by physicians.

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ONC/OCR promoting model ‘Notices of Privacy Practices’

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology and the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) are promoting the availability of a model ‘Notices of Privacy Practices’ resource that health care providers and health plans can use to communicate with their patients and plan members.

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