MAG calling for nominations for 2015 awards

MAG is encouraging county medical society leaders and MAG members to nominate those individuals who they believe deserve to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the medical profession.

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PAI supports bill addressing Medicare audits

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) is encouraging lawmakers to pass the “Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015” – a bill by U.S. Rep. George Holding (R-NC) that PAI says “addresses many concerns that physicians have with regard to the extraordinary lack of transparency and expensive, time-consuming and often unfair processes that plague the current Medicare audit program.”

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CMS webinars on EHR proposed rules now online

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting the availability of three webinars that address the proposed rules for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentives Program.

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MAG CEO featured in Bloomberg article on Humana in Georgia

"Obamacare has been great business for U.S. health insurers. Just not everywhere."

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Alliant Quality gets CMS award to improve immunization rates

Alliant Quality, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Georgia and North Carolina, has been awarded a new project by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve adult immunization rates in Georgia.

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Recording of MAG call on POLST, end-of-life issues now online

A recording of a town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia hosted on May 18 that addressed the role of a physician order for life-sustaining treatment (POLST), POLST legislation in Georgia, the Institute of Medicine’s 2014 “Dying in America” report, and the resources that are available on the Georgia POLST Collaborative website is now available online.

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Gov. Deal signs landmark “name tag” bill into law

On May 12, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a crucial bill (H.B. 416) into law that will require the vast majority of licensed health care practitioners in the state to wear an ID on their “lab coats or similar distinguishing clothing or uniforms” that states their name and license or educational degree when they are caring for a patient.

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Oconee County Jail wins MAG’s ‘Spivey’ award

The Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Correctional Medicine Committee awarded its Herman E. Spivey, M.D., Award for Excellence to the Oconee County Jail during a ceremony that took place in Watkinsville on April 20.

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MAG’s Legislative Update Meeting

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Save the Date

07.31 - 08.01

CMS flagging July 1 Medicare adjustment deadline

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is stressing that “Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016.”

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TV pilot to feature ‘Think About It’ co-chair...studio seats available

The MAG Foundation is encouraging physicians in the Atlanta metro area to sign up to be a member of the studio audience for a pilot episode of Generation Nation with Bobbie Battista, which will feature Tennent Slack, M.D. – the co-chair of the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse.

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MAG members assume key roles at Physicians Foundation

Two Georgia physicians will serve in key leadership positions at The Physicians Foundation for the next three years – including Walker Ray, M.D., as president and Alan Plummer, M.D., as vice president.

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House HHS vice chair appears on MAG’s monthly ‘Top Docs’ show

Georgia Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) – the vice chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee – joined Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. and MAG Government Relations Director Marcus Downs on the 'Top Docs Radio' program on the Business Radio-X Network on May 12.

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CMS flagging deadline for last MAC/CEDI ICD-10 test

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that, “During the week of July 20 through 24, 2015, a final sample group of providers will have the opportunity to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing with Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor.” CMS will accept volunteers through May 22.

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New AMA documents address H.R. 2 details, timeline

The American Medical Association has produced two documents that address the recently-enacted “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” (H.R. 2), including “a detailed section-by-section summary…[and] a chronological list that shows when some of the major provisions will take effect.”

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New CMS newsletter includes fraud/abuse program update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has distributed its “Spring Edition of the CMS Pulse,” which includes an update on the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program.

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MAG & AMA encouraging physicians to thank Congress for Medicare reform

The Medical Association of Georgia and the American Medical Association are encouraging physicians to thank to the Congressional leaders who supported the “Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 2) by posting a message on their social media accounts.

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CMS releases mid-year 2014 QRUR reports

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the “2014 Mid-Year Quality and Resource Use Reports” (MYQRURs) for physicians who participated in the Shared Savings Program or a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) or the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative in 2014.

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Georgia gets B grades on telemedicine reports

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has released two state reports that assign “grades ranging from A-to-F based on telemedicine reimbursement and physician practice standards.”

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MAG encouraging HOD attendees to reserve room ASAP

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) will hold its House of Delegates meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18.

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Discounted rooms now available for MAG’s Legislative Update

The Medical Association of Georgia will host its annual Legislative Update meeting at the Château Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton on Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1.

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CMR releases 2014 eCQMs for 2016 reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its annual update for the 2014 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals.

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Sponsored message: Senoia practice looking to sublease office space

A family practice in high-growth Senoia, Georgia is looking to sublease 1,700 square feet.

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CMS to host webinars on proposed EHR rules, comment submission

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging health care providers to register for two webinars that will address the “Proposed Rules for EHR Incentive Programs and Comment Submission.”

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Dougherty County MS names new executive director

The Dougherty County Medical Society (DCMS) has announced that Susan Workman will serve as its executive director beginning on May 1.

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MagMutual to “allocate millions for loyal policyholders”

MAG Mutual Insurance Company distributed the following press release on April 23…

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MAG wins 7th award for mag.org

For the second year in a row, the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has won an Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts’ (AIVA) Communicator Award for its mag.org website – which brings the number of awards the organization has received for the website to seven.

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DPH to host ‘Immunize Georgia’ event on September 11

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Save the Date

09.11

DPH to host ‘Immunize Georgia’ event on September 11

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging health care providers to make plans to attend the 22nd Annual Immunize Georgia Conference, which will take place at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia on Friday, September 11.

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CMS releases “Five Facts about ICD-10” summary

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a “Five Facts about ICD-10” summary that addresses “common (physician) misperceptions about the transition to ICD-10.” CMS says…

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WellStar/Piedmont physician in urgent need of bone marrow donor

Tod Rubin, M.D., with the WellStar Health System is calling on physicians in Georgia to help to find a bone marrow donor for William Dablah, M.D. – “a popular and beloved anesthesiologist who is affiliated with the WellStar and Piedmont Health Systems.”

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CMS releases FAQ on CME/Open Payments reporting

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has released a FAQ resource that addresses when Continuing Medical Education (CME) needs to be reported in the Open Payments System.

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Recording of MAG call on health informatics now online

A recording of a town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on April 20 that addressed how health informatics can improve the quality and efficiency of health care is now available online.

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MAG CEO addresses health insurance, payer developments on ‘Top Docs Radio’

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. discussed key health insurance and third party payer developments on the ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network on April 14 – and a recording of the program is now available online.

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CMS unveils ‘Hospital Compare’ website

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced “Hospital Compare, the agency’s public information website, to make it easier for consumers to choose a hospital and understand the quality of care they deliver.”

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CMS addresses plans for Medicare pay

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has confirmed reports that President Obama is expected to sign the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 into law “shortly.”

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Senate passes Medicare bill, which president is expected to sign into law

The U.S. Senate passed the “Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 2) by a vote of 92-to-8 late Tuesday. The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that President Obama is now expected to sign the bill into law.

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CMS issues proposed rule to align EHR stages

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to “align (the) Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3.”

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CHOA promoting “Child and Adolescent Obesity” webcast

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is promoting a “Child and Adolescent Obesity: Prevention to Treatment Plans You Can Implement Today” webcast that will take place at 9 a.m. on May 5.

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AMA expresses concerns about report on Medicare bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) has expressed a number of concerns about a report that the Office of the Actuary (OACT) of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released that addresses the estimated financial effects of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

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Physicians who practiced in Pennsylvania may receive settlement refund

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) reports that physicians who practiced in the state in 2009-2012 or 2014 may be eligible for a “refund payment” from the Mcare Fund, which is “a medical liability coverage fund that is operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is funded by assessments on physicians and other health care providers.”

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Physician Sunshine Act/Open Payments data now available

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that physicians can now register for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) “Open Payments System” and review their 2014 CY data.

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CMS issues statement addressing plans for Medicare pay

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a statement that addresses its plan to pay physicians under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule in the event Congress does not take action to address the negative update for physician payments under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula before March 31.

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MAG CEO completes 100-mile run to raise $40K for ‘Think About It’ campaign

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. and outside legal counsel Trey Reese with Hall Booth Smith, PC raised $40,100 for the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in the state.

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MCG/GRU ad: 67 grads to stay in Georgia for residency

The Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University (MCG/GRU) recently ran a full-page advertisement in The Augusta Chronicle that highlighted where its 2015 graduates will conduct their residency training.

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Mercy Care to host “health care for the poor” event

Mercy Care will host a “Healthcare for the Poor: An Interfaith Dialogue” event that will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28.

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MAG reports key developments on final day of 2015 legislative session

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) reported three key developments on April 2, the last day of the state legislative session…

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MAG subsidiary exec to be featured at ‘healthy living’ for physicians event

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is promoting a “Work. Life. You: Healthy Living for Today’s Physician” event that the Florida Medical Association (FMA) will host at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando on May 29-30.

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Media Report: Providers can't sue state Medicaid agencies over rates, Supreme Court rules

The following article was published in Modern Healthcare on March 31...

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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 is today, Monday, March 30.

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MAG CEO completes 100-mile run to raise $40K for ‘Think About It’ campaign

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. and outside legal counsel Trey Reese with Hall Booth Smith, PC raised $40,100 for the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in the state.

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Recording of MAG town hall on chronic care management/billing online

A recording of a town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on March 16 that addressed the criteria for providing and billing for chronic care management (CCM) is now available online.

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Rep. Price introduces ‘Medicare Patient Empowerment Act’

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D., issued the following press release on the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act (H.R. 1650) on March 26 – the “same day that the House passed bipartisan legislation to replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and make additional reforms to the Medicare program”…

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MAG, AMA & other states call on Congress to pass bill to repeal SGR

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) joined the American Medical Association and other state medical associations in signing a letter that was sent to Congressional leaders to urge them to pass H.R. 2.

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AMA: Lawmakers to consider “modified” Medicare payment bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that “the Medicare physician payment reform legislation (that is under consideration has been) modified to include budget offsets, policy extenders, and other provisions and reintroduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) as H.R. 2, the ‘Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act’ (MACRA).”

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NRMP: 2015 resident match “largest” ever

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) says that its 2015 Main Residency Match® was the largest in history – as it reports that there were “more than 41,000 applicants vying for over 30,000 residency positions in 4,756 programs.

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HHS: Uncompensated costs for hospitals down under ACA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) recently released two fact sheets that address how the Medicaid and health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have affected hospitals.

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CMS & ONC release rules on Stage 3, certified EHR

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Stage 3 “meaningful use” rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentives Program, while the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has released its rule addressing the next version of certified EHR.

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Media Report: “CMS issues draft Stage 3 rules for EHR incentive program”

"Draft regulations the CMS issued Friday would add a third and final stage to the federal incentive program that requires doctors and hospitals to adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records."

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Media Report: “House, Senate leaders unveil permanent 'doc fix' bills”

"Congressional leaders Thursday announced a bipartisan, bicameral deal to permanently repeal Medicare's loathed sustainable growth-rate formula for paying doctors. Bills containing terms of the deal were introduced in both chambers of Congress."

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GAFP promoting webinars on Practice Transformation Networks

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) is encouraging physicians in the state to register for a one-hour webinar that will be offered at both 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 that will address Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs).

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MAG one of 750+ groups to sign letter calling for SGR repeal

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 750 state and national medical associations to sign that a letter that was sent to U.S Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehnar on March 16 that urged him (and fellow lawmakers) to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).

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Hall County Medical Society Meeting

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Save the Date

05.28

MedPAC issues report with 2016 Medicare FFS recommendations

In its most recent (and mandatory) “Medicare Payment Policy” report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is recommending no fee-for-service (FFS) updates for 2016 for five FFS payment systems, including ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient dialysis, long term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and hospice.

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MAG Foundation encouraging physicians to attend Rx Drug Abuse Summit

The MAG Foundation is encouraging physicians in Georgia to attend the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit that will take place at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta on April 6-9

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‘TopDocs’ interview on Georgia Medical Reserve Corps now online

A recording of the interview that Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) President-elect John S. Harvey, M.D., and MAG Director of Health Policy and Third Party Payer Advocacy Susan Moore and emergency response/crisis management expert Paul Hildreth recently conducted to discuss a medical reserve corps that is under development in the state on the 'Top Docs Radio' program on the Business Radio-X Network is now available online.

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CDC/AMA unveil joint effort to prevent type 2 diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have announced a joint “Prevent Diabetes STAT” initiative that is designed to prevent type 2 diabetes in the U.S.

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CBO estimates costs for trauma care/funding bills

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has developed cost estimates for H.R. 647, the Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, and H.R. 648, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act.

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Physicians urged to call on lawmakers ASAP to repeal SGR to avoid “massive (pay) cuts”

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging physicians to contact their U.S. legislators as soon as possible to urge them to repeal the Medicare SGR.

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CMS responds to MAG’s call to rectify backlog of appeals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has responded to a letter that Medical Association of Georgia President Manoj H. Shah, M.D., sent late last year that urged CMS to rectify the two-year backlog of Medicare and Medicaid appeals.

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MAG applauding Rep. Price's efforts to address SGR

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) applauds you for your ongoing efforts to protect patients, physicians and health care professionals in your district, the state of Georgia, and the rest of the country.

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MAG one of 100+ to detail ICD-10 concerns in letter to CMS

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of more than 100 state and national organizations that signed a March 4 letter that was submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express its concerns over the “implementation plans for moving to ICD-10, a code set named under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that will be required for use by physicians and others starting October 1, 2015.”

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Donor to match up to $10K as MAG CEO, Hall Booth attorney to run 200 miles to fight Rx drug abuse

An anonymous donor has significantly bolstered Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr.’s efforts to raise money for the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in the state by offering to match any donations that came in beginning on Monday, March 2 up to $10,000.

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SCOTUS: NC board “suppressed competition” in non-dentists/teeth whitening case

"State professional regulatory boards may seek out more state supervision or even change their membership makeup because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday against a North Carolina dental board accused of illegally suppressing competition."

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CMS issues final rule on ACA payment parameters & provisions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule that addresses the payment parameters and provisions for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridor programs and cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions and user fees for federally-facilitated ‘Exchanges’ for 2016.

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MAG one of 150+ to ask NGA to emphasize OD prevention & treatment

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of more than 150 state and national organizations that signed a letter that urged the National Governors Association (NGA) to turn “the nation’s discussion about prescription drug abuse and diversion into one that places increased emphasis on overdose prevention and treatment.”

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AMA Annual Meeting

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Save the Date

06.06 - 06.10

Medicare QIN/QIO promoting heart health, HIT & PQRS/VBPM initiatives

Alliant GMCF – which is the Quality Innovation Network/Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Medicare in Georgia – is promoting the availability of three new initiatives for physicians and other health care stakeholders in Georgia.

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Recording of MAG “D.C. Issues” town hall now online

A recording of a 45-minute “D.C. Issues Update” conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on February 16 is now available online.

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PAI weighs in on Medicare RAC audit reform

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) recently submitted a letter to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee to outline PAI’s “key policy goals for reforming the (Medicare) RAC audit program.

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Avalere issues report addressing drugs used for complex diseases in ACA plans

Avalere Health has issued a report that “analyzes cost-sharing for drugs used to treat complex diseases in health plans offered on the Affordable Care Act’s Exchanges.”

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‘TopDocs’ interview on MAG’s correctional medicine program now online

A recording of the interview that Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. and MAG Director of Correctional Medicine Clyde Maxwell recently conducted on the ‘TopDocs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network to discuss MAG’s Correctional Medicine program is now available online.

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AMA promoting free advocacy training webinar

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging physicians to register for a free “advocacy training webinar” that it will host at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, February 17. The webinar will focus on “effective grassroots advocacy tools and techniques to facilitate interaction between physicians and lawmakers during the upcoming National Advocacy Conference as well as in the district.”

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AMA encouraging physicians to attend National Advocacy Conference

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging physicians to attend its National Advocacy Conference, which will take place at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. on February 23-25.

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Payscape Advisors corrects phone number in MAG Journal ad

The telephone number that was noted in the advertisement that Payscape Advisors ran in the most recent edition of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia was incorrect.

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MAG, PAI encouraging physicians to take virtual credit cards survey

The Medical Association Georgia and The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) are encouraging physicians in Georgia to complete a short survey that was developed by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) that addresses virtual credit cards.

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Listen to MAG Town Hall & ‘Top Docs Radio’ interviews

MAG members can click here to listen to every MAG Town Hall & ‘Top Docs Radio’ interview.

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Blog: ABIM leaders announce significant changes to MOC program

"Today, ABIM announced substantial changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program and indicated a desire to work more closely with the internal medicine community. I reached out to our diplomates via e-mail to open a conversation about how we can work together to improve MOC."

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Study sheds light on views of CMS, QIOs

Market Connections conducted a study to measure the perceptions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs).

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FSMB refutes critics of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has issued a press release and a fact sheet that “(refute) false and misleading public statements and distortions made by individuals and organizations opposing the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which was recently developed by representatives of several state medical boards in an effort to streamline licensing for physicians who want to practice in multiple states.”

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CMS to use rulemaking process to "help" providers meet EHR requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it “intends to engage in rulemaking this spring to help ensure providers continue to meet (the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record [EHR] Incentive Programs) meaningful use requirements.”

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More than 50 physicians attend 2015 ‘Physicians’ Day at Capitol’

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Government Relations Director Marcus Downs reports that the 2015 ‘Physicians’ Day at the Capitol’ was a huge success – as more than 50 physicians were on hand for the event that took place on January 28.

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HHS issues report on ACA ‘marketplace’ enrollment

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a report that says that “over 9.5 million Americans (were) selected or were automatically reenrolled into a 2015 health insurance plan through the (Affordable Care Act’s) Marketplace.

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AP: Government to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

"Medicare will change the way it pays hospitals and doctors to reward quality over volume, the Obama administration said Monday, in a shift that officials hope will be a catalyst for the nation's $3-trillion health care system."

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MAG HOD meeting

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Save the Date

10.17 - 10.18

Make a difference as a MAG “Doctor of the Day” volunteer

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is recruiting physicians to serve as a MAG ‘Doctor of the Day’ volunteer during the 2015 legislative session, which will run from January 12 to the middle of April.

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PAI comments on NAIC model managed care act

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) has submitted comments to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Subgroup that is responsible for modernizing the NAIC Managed Care Plan Network Adequacy Model Act.

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Governor appoints insurance agent to DCH Board

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recently appointed Russ Childers to the Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) Board of Directors.

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‘TopDocs’ interview on MAG’s advocacy efforts now online

A recording of the interview that Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Council on Legislation Chair Michael E. Greene, M.D., and MAG Director of Government Relations Marcus Downs recently conducted on the ‘TopDocs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network to discuss MAG’s advocacy efforts is now available online.

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MAG honors five legislators with "Friend of Medicine" award

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has honored five state legislators with its 1849 Friend of Medicine Award to recognize them for their efforts during the General Assembly in 2014.

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CMS soliciting volunteers for ICD-10 test

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that a “sample group” of (about 850) providers will have the opportunity to participate in an ICD-10 coding “end-to-end” testing project with Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor during the week of April 26.

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MAG CEO & member physician address Medicaid in WABE report

According to a WABE article, "Poor Georgians will have a more difficult time finding doctors this year, because fewer physicians will take Medicaid patients. They say the federal government is not paying enough for the care they provide to low-income residents."

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The Medical Center Foundation golf tournament to benefit the MAG Foundation in 2015

The Medical Center Foundation in Gainesville has announced that it will donate the proceeds from its golf tournament in 2015 to the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation's (MAG Foundation) 'Think About It' campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse. The 'Medical Center Open' raised $250,000 in 2014.

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Residents now able to get NPI/Medicaid ID to prescribe outpatient Rx

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced that, “Effective January 1, 2015, medical residents may obtain an NPI and Medicaid ID in order to prescribe outpatient prescription medications.

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CMS expects to penalize 50% of physicians in EHR program in 2015

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging physicians who have received a payment as a result of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentives Program to contact their EHR or HIPAA solution vendors to confirm that they are meeting the program's "meaningful use" requirements in full.

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EHR meaningful use penalty will hit 257,000 clinicians in 2015

According to an article on Medscape.com, the Medicare program will penalize more than 257,000 physicians and other health care providers 1% of their pay next year for failing to achieve meaningful use of electronic health record...

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MAG member forming network to evaluate "open source" EMR concept

One of the members of the Medical Association of Georgia's (MAG) Electronic Health Care Committee, Gary Botstein, M.D., would like to identify physicians in the state who took an active role in programming or developing the electronic medical record (EMR) system that's used in their practice to share their experiences on a blog or a bulletin board to determine whether it's feasible to design a free or low cost "open source" EMR to enhance patient care and improve practice efficiency.

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AMA: CMS clarifies CME/Open Payments reporting requirement

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently clarified the need for physicians to report Continuing Medical Education (CME) in the CMS Open Payments System, which is used to collect information about the financial relationships that physicians and hospitals have with health care manufacturing companies.

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DCH to sign new Medicaid CMO contracts

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced that the “contracts for the Care Management Organizations (CMOs) serving nearly 1.4 million Georgia Medicaid/Georgia Families and Georgia Families 360˚ members will expire on June 30, 2016.

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Dr. Shah’s interview on IMGs on ‘TopDocs’ show now online

A recording of the interview that Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) President Manoj H. Shah, M.D., and MAG Membership Director Kate Boyenga recently conducted on the ‘TopDocs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network to discuss the important role that international medical graduates (IMGs) play in today’s health care system is now available online.

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DCH: Medicaid providers should verify their mail-to address

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is stressing that, “It is critical [for Medicaid] providers [to] ensure that their mail-to-address is correct in the Georgia Medicaid Management Information System (GAMMIS).”

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AMA: Congress owes Medicare physicians, patients peace of mind

The following is a summary of a message that the American Medical Association (AMA) distributed on December 9 to address the efforts that are underway to reform how the Medicare program pays physicians.

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MAG, PAI address Medicare appeals backlog in letters to HHS

Medical Association of Georgia President Manoj H. Shah, M.D., recently submitted two letters to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services departments – including one to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that addresses the two-year backlog in the Medicare claims appeals process that is attributed to the Recovery Audit Program and one that provides the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) with suggestions for addressing that backlog.

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CMS says proposed rule will “strengthen” Medicare ACOs

On December 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that is believes will “strengthen” the Medicare Shared Savings Program for participating accountable care organizations (ACOs) by placing a “greater emphasis on primary care services and promoting transitions to performance-based risk arrangements.”

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Recording of MAG town hall on “patient collections” now online

A recording of a “Patients are Payers, Too – What You Need to Know about Collections” town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on December 2 is now available online.

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‘James Magazine’ honors MAG & its GR director as leaders

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has been honored as one of James Magazine’s “Top Trade or Business Associations” in Georgia for the third consecutive year, rising from third in 2013 to second in 2014. In a related development, MAG Government Relations Director Marcus Downs has been lauded as one of James Magazine’s “Rising Stars” in 2014.

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MAG calling on physicians in Georgia to support H.R. 4015/S. 2000 to repeal Medicare SGR

MAG is encouraging physicians in the state to call 800.833.6354 to contact their congressional leaders as soon as possible to urge them to support the "SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014" (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) before the end of this year.

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MAG urging NAIC to adopt meaningful standards

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 110 medical and patient groups that signed a letter that was sent to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to urge it to adopt meaningful standards as it revises its ‘Managed Care Plan Network Adequacy Model Act.’

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MAG Foundation ‘Think About It’ campaign radio interview now online

Two of the leading voices for the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation's 'Think About It' campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in the state appeared on the TopDocs Radio program on the Business Radio-X Network on November 11.

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MAG urging physicians in Georgia to review new BCBSGa agreement ASAP

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is alerting physicians in the state that a new Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. (BCBSGa) provider agreement will automatically go into effect on November 15.

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MAG Foundation resource to reduce Rx drug abuse reaching 350,000 patients in Georgia

The Medical Association of Georgia Foundation (MAG Foundation) has announced that some of the most trusted and recognized health care system entities are supporting its ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse by distributing more than 350,000 informational leaflets in the state.

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MAG CEO discusses key M.D. issues on “Top Docs RADIO” program

Medical Association of Georgia Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. went to bat for physicians in the state on the "Top Docs RADIO" program on the Business RadioX Network on September 2.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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