September 2016 Newsletter

Top Headlines

MAG’s new HealtheParadigm MIPS tool goes live

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and KaMMCO Health Solutions (KHS) recently activated a website that explains how physicians in the state can get connected to a new physician-led health IT solution. HealtheParadigm will enable them to generate sophisticated patient data reports they can use to improve patient outcomes and fulfill the new quality-based payer metrics.

Physicians can visit to…

– Find out how HealtheParadigm can help them fulfill the new MACRA/MIPS requirements

– See which physicians and facilities are using the HealtheParadigm network

– Review a list of the valuable video training and documentation resources that are available to HealtheParadigm participants

– Get key health care technology news, including the latest on HIE interoperability

Contact Susan Moore at 678.303.9275 or with questions or to find out how to become a HealtheParadigm participant.

MAG and KHS established HealtheParadigm in June.

Click for HealtheParadigm website

Important HOD notes, deadlines & reminders

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding applicable members to make plans to register for the 2016 House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah on Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16. MAG’s Board of Directors will meet at the Hyatt on the afternoon of Friday, October 14.

Click to register for 2016 HOD

Early bird check-in and registration will be available in the lobby of the Hyatt from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on October 14.

Attendees and their family members and guests are all encouraged to attend a welcome reception that the SunTrust Medical Specialty Group will host on the terrace on the fourth floor of the Hyatt from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on October 14.

2016 HOD Web Page

MAG has created a web page – house-of-delegates – that contains the key information for this year’s HOD meeting, including a schedule of events, staff contacts, and reports and resolutions.

MAG members can contact Dayna Jackson at or 678.303.9262 with any questions related to the HOD meeting.


HOD meeting attendees who need assistance with accommodations in Savannah should contact Anita Amin at or 404.299.7700.


MAG members who are interested in running for MAG office for 2016-2017 should contact Donna Glass at or 678.303.9251. The elections will take place during the HOD meeting.

The following is the list of candidates who have announced their plans to run for a MAG office for 2016-2017…

– President-elect: Frank McDonald Jr., M.D.

– Second Vice President: Lisa Perry-Gilkes, M.D.

– Speaker of the House of Delegates: Edmund R. Donoghue Jr., M.D.

– Vice Speaker of the House of Delegates: James W. Barber, M.D.

– AMA Delegate (for the seat that is held by Joy A. Maxey, M.D., that expires in 2018): Joy A. Maxey, M.D.

– AMA Alternate Delegate (for the seat that is held by John S. Antalis, M.D., that expires in 2018): John S. Antalis, M.D.

– AMA Alternate Delegate (for the seat that is held by Jack M. Chapman Jr., M.D., that expires in 2018): Jack M. Chapman Jr., M.D.

MAG President-elect Steven M. Walsh, M.D., will be installed as MAG’s president on October 15, while MAG’s Second Vice President Steven M. Huffman, M.D., will automatically become MAG’s first vice president.

Reports & Resolutions

The deadline to submit resolutions that are related to MAG’s Constitution and Bylaws was August 31 (i.e., these needed to be submitted to MAG 45 or more days before the HOD).

MAG is calling for any other annual reports or resolutions to be submitted by the end of the day next Monday, September 5.

HOD resolutions can be submitted by a county medical society (CMS) or state specialty society delegate or any HOD delegate who agrees to present an item of business.

MAG directors must prepare an annual report for the 2016 MAG HOD. These reports should include 1) meeting dates 2) activities and 3) a current list of directors. Alternate directors, meanwhile, are required to assist in the preparation of these reports as a bylaws requirement.

Resolutions and annual reports must be submitted in a Microsoft Word document format to MAG Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. at by the end of the day next Monday, September 5 to be included in the HOD delegates’ handbook.

MAG will confirm the receipt of resolutions and reports that are submitted with an email reply, but Palmisano emphasizes that, “If a delegate or director or an officer does not receive such an e-mail, their report will not have been considered received.”

Contact Palmisano at with questions related to HOD reports or resolutions.

MAG is also reminding CMS presidents and secretaries and executives to submit a list of their delegates and alternate delegates for the HOD meeting to Dayna Jackson at by the end of the day on Friday, September 9. Contact Jackson with any questions related to HOD delegates/alternates.

Click for HOD delegate/alternate form

GAMPAC members to get photo for free at HOD

GAMPAC Chair Michelle Zeanah, M.D., has announced that every current GAMPAC member who attends the HOD meeting will be able to get a professional headshot photograph taken for free.

GAMPAC members will be able to have their photo taken at their convenience by Chris Savas from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 or from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, at a studio that will be set up next to the GAMPAC exhibit and near the main HOD meeting room.

As an added bonus, Dr. Zeanah says that GAMPAC will host a free and exclusive luncheon for its members ($250 or more) at the Hyatt Regency Savannah at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 16 that will feature a special panel discussion that will include four congressional leaders, including Reps. Tom Price, M.D., and Buddy Carter from Georgia and Reps. Michael Burgess, M.D., and Phil Roe, M.D., from Texas and Tennessee.

Dr. Zeanah believes that, “GAMPAC is an easy and effective way for physicians to support candidates for political office in the state who want to enhance the practice environment in Georgia and who want to protect the patient-physician relationship.”

And Dr. Zeanah notes that, “You can join GAMPAC at the membership level that suits your needs – whether that’s the Chairman’s Circle at $2,500 or the Capitol Club at $1,000 or the general membership level at $250 or the contributor level at $95.”

Contact Bethany Sherrer  at 678.303.9273 or or go to to join GAMPAC.

Click for 2016 HOD web page

MAG encouraging students to enter abstract competition

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) will host a medical student abstract competition for MAG student members in conjunction with its annual House of Delegates meeting – an event that will take place at the Hyatt Regency Savannah on Saturday, October 15.

The competition will have four categories, including basic science/bench work, clinical research, public health, and case studies.

Just one winner will be selected in each category, and the winning abstracts will be published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia.

Every student will also be given the opportunity to participate in a “Best Pitch Competition,” where they will have 45 seconds to “pitch” a panel of physician judges. The winner of this competition will be featured on MAG’s website.

Contest details…

– The deadline for the abstracts of 350 words or less is the end of the day on Friday, September 9.

– The contest is open to every MAG student member in every class in every medical school in the state.

– Submissions are limited to one abstract per primary author.

– Acceptance emails that include additional details will be distributed by September 21.

– Contestants must set up their poster exhibits in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Savannah no later than 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 15.

The posters should…

– Not exceed 36 inches by 48 inches.

– Include a title in all capital letters that is brief and clearly states the abstract’s content.

– List the presenting author’s name first.

– List the name and just one degree (e.g., BA or MPH or M.D.) for each author.

– List names of the authors’ institution(s), city, and state.

Participants must attend the meeting in Savannah, they must set up their posters, and they must be a MAG student member.

Also note that students must bring their own tri-fold poster boards.

Contact Dayna Jackson at with questions.

Click to register

Click for MAG student membership application

MAG hires GR associate/GAMPAC manager

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has announced that it has hired Bethany Sherrer as a legislative associate and GAMPAC manager effective September 1.

“I am genuinely excited to have Bethany join our team,” says MAG Government Relations Director Derek Norton. “She has the background, experience and personality to be an effective advocate for MAG members from day one.”

Sherrer has been an associate with the Donnelly McDonald Group, LLC in Atlanta since 2015. While there, she researched a variety of legislative and regulatory issues, she wrote legislative summaries, and she worked with legislators. Her resume also includes several stints with the Georgia Hospital Association.

Sherrer has a degree in business management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a law degree from Georgia State University, and a master’s degrees in business administration and health administration from Georgia State.

MAG members can contact Sherrer at or 678.303.9273.

Sherrer replaces Kimberly Ramseur, who will be conducting research for MAG on a variety of legal and third party payer issues.

‘Top Docs’ shows on chronic disease, PTNs now online

Dr. Jean O’Connor with ‘Top Docs’ host C.W. Hall

Recordings of two Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ shows that aired in August are now available online.

On August 9, Jean O’Connor, J.D., MPH, DrPH – the Chronic Disease Prevention Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) – discussed strategies that physicians can employ to control chronic disease.

And August 23, representatives from two of the four practice transformation networks (PTNs) that are available to help medical practices in Georgia succeed under Medicare’s new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) appeared on the show. This included Debra Simmons, who is the project director for the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control’s (COSEHC) QualityImpact PTN, and Kathy Whitmire, who is the regional vice president of the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium (NRACC).

MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

Listeners can go to to submit questions to ‘Top Docs’ host C.W. Hall during the program. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG’s ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 7,000 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries.

Click for ‘Top Docs’ show on Chronic Disease Control

Click for ‘Top Docs’ show on Georgia PTNs


Click for DPH Chronic Disease Prevention web page

Click for ‘Georgia Tobacco Quit Line’ web page

‘Georgia Tobacco Quit Line’ Phone Numbers (24/7/365)

English: 877.270.7867
Spanish: 855.DEJELO.YA
Hearing Impaired: 877.777.6534

Physicians and medical practice staff can send an email to or click here to get details on becoming an accredited ‘Diabetes Self-Management Education’ site.

Click for QualityImpact PTN website

Click for NRACC PTN website

Kathy Whitmire (left) and Debra Simmons on MAG’s ‘Top Docs’ show

Get 15% off & free shipping on Rx pads & EMR paper

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) members who order 40 or more tamper-resistant prescription pads or 2,000 or more sheets of EMR printer paper from Rx Security will receive free shipping through October 31. This is in addition to the normal 15 percent MAG member discount.

It is also worth noting that physicians can add multiple providers and addresses to the prescription pads/EMR printer paper at no additional charge – as well as having access to a full range of customization options.

Go to or call 800.667.9723 and use promo code “MAG103115” to order prescription pads/EMR printer paper from Rx Security, which is one of MAG’s endorsed product vendors.

Angel Flight coordinates free air transport for needy

Angel Flight Soars will be one of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) House of Delegates (HOD) meeting sponsors in 2016.

It coordinates free air transportation for patients “who need to travel to receive lifesaving medical treatment but lack the means.”

The non-profit organization says that it helps “families focus on getting better instead of worrying about how to get to their treatment.”

Angel Flight Soars coordinates “eight missions a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

Call 877.4ANANGEL or go to for details.

Click to make donation to Angel Flight Soars

GDC flags article on “surging” Rx drug costs

The Georgia Drug Card is flagging a recent article (‘What’s behind surging prescription drug prices?’) from Consumer Affairs that says that from 2013 to 2015 “net spending on prescription drugs surged 20 percent…[we are now] at the point where prescription drugs make up 17 percent of total health care costs. Drug coverage now accounts for 19 percent of employer-based insurance benefits.”

The Georgia Drug Card is reminding Medical Association of Georgia members that their patients who have high-deductible plans or who do not have prescription coverage or who take prescription drugs that aren’t covered by their health insurance plan can use the Georgia Drug Card – which is free – to obtain savings of up to 75 percent off the retail price for brand and generic FDA-approved medications.

Georgians can 1) print the Georgia Drug Card at or 2) they can request the Georgia Drug Card savings at any CVS/pharmacy in the state or 3) they can request a hard card by sending an email to John Cenerazzo at

Click for ‘Consumer Affairs’ article

MAG revenue cycle webinar now online

A recording of a ‘Best Practices in Revenue Cycle Management’ webinar that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) recently hosted for its members and their practice staff is now available online.

The webinar featured Elizabeth Woodcock, who is a leading third party payer and practice management expert.

“When you consider that 2017 will bring a host of significant challenges in the revenue cycle management arena, this program is really timely,” says MAG Director of Third Party Payer and Health Policy Susan Moore. “It provides a roadmap for addressing pre-visit, time-of-service, and post-visit collection processes – as well as denial prevention and management strategies.”

Moore adds that the webinar “[arms physicians and practice staff] with an action plan that they can implement at their practice immediately.”

MAG is encouraging its members to forward the following web link to applicable practice staff.

Click for webinar recording

Join MAG on Facebook and Twitter

Did you know that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is on Facebook and Twitter? If you are not connected with us socially, you may be missing out on important news.

In addition to posting breaking news from the medical community, MAG is posting information on key events.

MAG will also be posting video updates from its executive director, Donald J. Palmisano Jr., as well as live streaming events on Facebook and Twitter.

“As our commitment to social media grows, we want to give MAG members more opportunities to connect with us,” says MAG Communications Manager Mandi Milligan. “Let us know what you’d like to see from us and how we can better help you.”

So remember to follow MAG on Twitter and Facebook.

New MAG Members

MAG welcomed the following new members during August…

Yaa Manu, Atlanta
Maggie L. Hopkins, M.D., Huntsville, AL
Jason NeSmith, M.D., Cairo
Anthony Sabatino, M.D., Atlanta
Rami Abboud, M.D., Augusta
Andres Abreu, D.O., Norcross
Atishi Deepti Aggarwal, M.D., Atlanta
Shahid Nafees Ahmad, M.D., Thomasville
Kabir Ahmed, M.D., Duluth
Shahnaz Ajani, M.D., Atlanta
Germame Hailegiorgis Ajebo, M.D., Macon
Mariam Akhtar, M.D., Augusta
Fofie Akoto, M.D., Decatur
Talal Al-Atassi, M.D., Atlanta
Anastasia Alexopoulos, M.D., Atlanta
Emad Allam, M.D., Atlanta
Courtney Allen, D.O., Atlanta
Kevin Lindsey Allen Jr., M.D., Augusta
Maureen Alvarado, D.O., Augusta
Hayder Alzubaidi, M.D., Upland
Stephanie Ambrose, M.D., Atlanta
Krishan Amin, M.D., Lilburn
Kyle Breaux Anders, M.D., Grovetown
Brooke Anderson, M.D., Roswell
Douglas James Anderson, M.D., Atlanta
Augustine Andoh-Duku, M.D., Atlanta
Luz Paulina Angel, M.D., Decatur
Tracey Anyanwu, D.O., Albany
Grace Dufie Appiah, M.D., Atlanta
Anjum Ara, M.D., Augusta
Igor A. Areinamo, M.D., Macon
Michael Edwin Armbruster, M.D., Atlanta
Pearl Ann Arnovitz, M.D., Atlanta
Sonia Arshad, M.D., Stone Mountain
Hannah Sughra Asghar, M.D., Alpharetta
Christopher Msalister Ayers, M.D., Augusta
Ellington Aimee Baer, M.D., Augusta
Steven Hugh Bailey, M.D., Kennesaw
Cortney Ballengee, M.D., Atlanta
Harris M. Baloch, M.D., Augusta
Michael Thomas Banning, M.D., Atlanta
Vipin Kumar Bansal, M.D., Atlanta
Scott Barb, M.D., Atlanta
Pooja Bardhan, M.D., Marietta
James Christopher Bardoner, M.D., Augusta
Richard R. Barnes, M.D., Augusta
Claudia Baumann, M.D., Decatur
Jocelyn Kelly Bayliss, M.D., Grovetown
Turang Ed Behbahani, M.D., Decatur
Michael Carver Belcon, M.D., Augusta
Jennifer Benjamin, D.O., Atlanta
Yarema Basil Bezchlibnyk, M.D., Atlanta
Nehal Bhandari, M.D., Decatur
Holly Marie Biggs, M.D., Atlanta
Deborah Bloch, M.D., Atlanta
Frank Emmanuel Block Jr., M.D., Athens
Keith Daniel Bohman, M.D., Conyers
Summer Lee Bohman, M.D., Conyers
Meredith Jennifer Bolton, M.D., Athens
Amelia Sheehan Bostwick, M.D., Jesup
Lynneice Bowen, M.D., Savannah
David Brcka, M.D., Bethlehem
John A. Brennan, M.D., Atlanta
Carey Brewbaker, M.D., Savannah
Karen Buhariwalla, D.O., Atlanta
Colette Devona Bullock, D.O., Johns Creek
Alexis Ponder Calloway, M.D., Atlanta
Heather Anne Campbell, M.D., Jesup
Stephen Mark Carroll, D.O., Atlanta
Candice Nadia Castellino, M.D., Alpharetta
Cristen M. Catignani, M.D., Cumming
David Franklin Cawthon, M.D., Sandy Springs
Monica Chappell, M.D., Covington
Kevin Chatham-Stephens, M.D., Decatur
Anjali Chaudhari, D.O., Stone Mountain
Soujanya Chava, M.D., Gainesville
Amy Y. Cheng, M.D., Decatur
Jennifer Cheng, M.D., Atlanta
Amy Marie Cherof, M.D., Marietta
Kelly Clifford, M.D., Atlanta
Curtis James Coley II, M.D., Fayetteville
Tina Violet Constantin, M.D., Atlanta
Catherine Mary Cook, M.D., Atlanta
Michael Richard Corey, M.D., Marietta
Schechter Marcos Coutinho, M.D., Atlanta
Caroline Hill Cromelin, M.D., Atlanta
Kimberly Nicole Cross, M.D., Newnan
Whitten Melanie Crutchfield, M.D., Fayetteville
Lorna Rubiano Cruz, M.D., Brunswick
Keith Danrick Cummings, M.D., Augusta
Mathew Cyriac, M.D., Atlanta
Kelly D’Amico, M.D., Atlanta
Jessica Simone Daigle, M.D., Griffin
Joleen Akorfa Dako, M.D., Riverdale
Scott Darby, M.D., Alpharetta
Daniel Reif Daugherty, M.D., Atlanta
Kelsey Davidson, M.D., Atlanta
Mitzie-Ann Davis, M.D., Fayettville
Brandon Dawkins, M.D., Hapeville
Anthony Joseph Dedea, M.D., Macon
Karan Desai, M.D., Atlanta
John James Di Blasi, D.O., Gainesville
Gil Antonio Diaz, M.D., Decatur
Joseph William Diehl, M.D., Macon
Robyn Nicole Drinkwater, M.D., Augusta
Dmitriy Dvoskin, M.D., Atlanta
James Ebertowski II, M.D., Fort Stewart
Priyanka Edara, M.D., Rome
Karen Elizabeth Effinger, M.D., Atlanta
Laleh Ehsani, M.D., Alpharetta
Nihal Eisa, M.D., Augusta
Hayek Georges El, M.D., Atlanta
Moses Dale Elam, M.D., Atlanta
Aaron Cecil Emmons, M.D., Athens
Georges Ephrem, M.D., Atlanta
Forrest Estes, D.O.,  Augusta
Alicia Evans, M.D., Ft Gordon
Sarah Faasse, M.D., Atlanta
Yasmeen Fareeduddin, D.O., Tucker
Katherine Celeste Faust, M.D., Atlanta
Asmaa Ferdjallah, M.D., Atlanta
Stephen David Feren, M.D., Atlanta
Jose L Fernandez-Gerena, M.D., Atlanta
Caitlin Anne Fitzgerald, M.D., Atlanta
Derek Fletcher, M.D., Atlanta
Konstantinos N. Fountas, M.D., Macon
Elizabeth Dora Fox, M.D., Atlanta
John Thomas French, M.D., Marietta
Mark Andrew Fritz, M.D., Augusta
Karan Gadhok, M.D., Warner Robbins
John A. Galat, M.D., Alpharetta
Jonathan Gandhi, M.D., Atlanta
Alejandro Garcia-Hernandez, M.D., Vidalia
Scott Donald Gardner, M.D., Fayetteville
Benjamin Garrick, M.D., Grovetown
Tiffany Fern Gartrell, M.D., Decatur
Minas Woldetsadik Gebru, M.D., Atlanta
Beau Philip Gedrick, D.O., Evans
Brooke Morgan Gedrick, D.O., Evans
Ryan Matthew George, M.D., Fort Benning
Sabrina Gerkowicz, M.D., Atlanta
Ryan Scott Gerrity, M.D., Decatur
Paul Anthony Ghareeb, M.D., Atlanta
Stephen Pierre Gibert Jr., M.D., Rome
Saba Gilani, M.D., Columbus
Laura Gilbertson, M.D., Johns Creek
Curtis Ross Glidewell, M.D., Rome
Anuj Goel, M.D., Statesboro
Jeffrey Harris Goldberg, M.D., Savannah
Eleza Tema Golden, M.D., Atlanta
David Ryan Goldsmith, M.D., Atlanta
Carl Gonzales II M.D., Conyers
Christie Wynette Gooden, M.D., Atlanta
Dharmendra Kumar Goyal, M.D., Augusta
Patrick K. Gray, D.O., Valdosta
Garland Keith Gudger Jr., M.D., Columbus
Tesha Ann Guillory, M.D., Atlanta
Brandi Gunn, M.D., Decatur
Amanda Elizabeth Hafer, M.D., Rome
Farwa Hameed, M.D., Dalton
Nicole Hames, M.D., Atlanta
Matthew William Hammond, M.D., Rincon
Jason Franklin Harrison, M.D., Rome
Christopher Brinson Hartness, M.D., Augusta
Deborah Lynn Hastings, M.D., Atlanta
Renee Monique Haynes, M.D., Atlanta
Jeffrey Stephen Hedley, M.D., Atlanta
Peter Karl Herbig, M.D, Atlanta
Silen Ana Hernandez, M.D., Tifton
David Herren, M.D., Rome
David Warren Herzig, M.D., Atlanta
Nathaniel L. Hill, D.O., Demorest
Jana Renee Himmelbaum, D.O., Sugar Hill
Michael Joseph Hoch, M.D., Decatur
Carrie Nicole Hoff, M.D., Atlanta
Todd Matthew Hoffenberg, M.D., Atlanta
Lindsey Nicole Holloman, M.D., Columbus
Deborah Roos Holtzclaw, M.D., Martinez
Kevin Allan Horde, D.O., Ft. Benning
Brett Horgan, D.O., Marietta
Helen Y. How, M.D., Atlanta
William Hudson, M.D., Atlanta
Jeannie Huh, M.D., Santa Cruz
William Trowell Humphrey Jr., M.D., Garden City
Sharlisa Waller Hutson, M.D., Brunswick
Darren James Hyatt, M.D., Atlanta
John Michael Iaquinto, M.D., Columbus
Michael Chimaraoke Ibe, M.D., Augusta
Chukwuemeka Ibekwe, M.D., Atlanta
Imran Hasan Iftikhar, M.D., Atlanta
Henry Andrew Irvine, M.D., Atlanta
Christopher John Ito, M.D., Augusta
Elan Jenkins, M.D., Atlanta
John Benjamin Jennette, M.D., Fort Stewart
Eric Jennings, M.D., Decatur
James Kim Jo, M.D., Decatur
Aleeia Lamour Johnson, M.D., Augusta
Renee Cynthia Johnson, M.D., Atlanta
Mateusz Karwowski, M.D., Decatur
Carlos S. Kase, M.D., Atlanta
Ali Kassamali, M.D., Newnan
Ratika S. Kavuri, M.D., Atlanta
Joseph R. Keen, D.O., Atlanta
Emiliy Keener, D.O., Columbus
Nikky Keer, D.O., Atlanta
Robert Stanislaw Kelley, D.O., Atlanta
Alexander Woodward Kennon, M.D., Macon
Joti Vasantha Keshav, M.D., Bainbridge
Asma Lateef Khan, M.D., Savannah
Hassan Khan, M.D., Atlanta
Monica Khan, M.D., Atlanta
Jungjin Kim, M.D., Atlanta
Blake Kimbrell, M.D., Athens
Carter Kirk, M.D., Atlanta
Juliana Kissiedu, M.D., Atlanta
Thomas Klamer, M.D., St. Simons Island
Maria Klimenko, M.D., Atlanta
Nathan J. Klingensmith, M.D., Atlanta
William Koeppel, D.O., Sautee Nacooch
Sookyong Koh, M.D., Atlanta
Benjamin Kornblatt, D.O., Savannah
Sudhansu Kothary, M.D., Duluth
Joseph Christian Kramer, M.D., Savannah
Jamie Krashin, M.D., Atlanta
Arun Krishnamoorthy, M.D., Atlanta
Joanne Gould Kuntz, M.D., Atlanta
Richard Kuntz, M.D., Atlanta
Vera Lafosse, D.O., Augusta
Russell William Lake, M.D., Fort Stewart
Todd Edward Lang, M.D., Macon
Jason S. Lanham, M.D., Evans
Brandi Drake Lanier, M.D., Thomasville
Amanda Nicole Lansell, M.D., Atlanta
Cynthia Weber Lauer, M.D., Augusta
Bruce Scott Lavin, M.D., Smyrna
Mitchel Altman Leavitt, M.D., Atlanta
Antoine Leflore, M.D., Gainseville
Tanya Lehine, M.D., Peachtree Corn
James Lennon, D.O., Atlanta
Jacobo Leon, M.D., Evans
Joshua M. Levy, M.D., Atlanta
Daniel Lew, D.O., Grovetown
Michelle Lightfoot, M.D., Atlanta
Eli Steven Loch, D.O., St. Marys
Karen Jane Loechner, M.D., Atlanta
Chrissy Lopez, M.D., Atlanta
Raul E. Lopez, M.D., Duluth
Lauren Luk, M.D., Atlanta
Joseph Daniel Lutgring, M.D., Atlanta
Marek Ma, M.D., Decatur
Daisy-Scarlett Maccallum, M.D., Morrow
John Royal Macon Jr., M.D., Albany
Holly Barmore Mahoney, M.D., Augusta
Amer Malas, M.D., Macon
Abhijith Dev Mally, M.D., Snellville
Challyn Nicole Malone, M.D., Atlanta
Azad Mansouri, M.D., Jonesboro
Ambreen Mardhani, M.D., Canton
Sara Caitlin Markley, M.D., Atlanta
Jenny Livia Martino, M.D., Columbus
Kenneth S. Marvin, M.D., Vidalia
Jay Simlote Mathur, M.D., Duluth
Huber Matos-Garsault, M.D., Dublin
David A. Matthews, M.D., Marietta
Thomas C. Matthews, M.D., Johns Creek
Anesha A. Maxwell, M.D., Albany
George Allen Mayhall, M.D., Atlanta
Ashley Lauren Mccann, M.D., Atlanta
Ryan David Mccormick, M.D., Decatur
Andrew Allen Mccue, M.D., Atlanta
John Mcgill, M.D., Macon
Kristopher Keith Mcjenkin, M.D., Macon
Meghann Gossett Mckane, M.D., Atlanta
Paula Dawn Mcpoland, M.D., Atlanta
Amisha S. Mehta, M.D., Atlanta
Biruk Tassew Mengistu, M.D., Atlanta
Karezhe Tigineh Mersha, M.D., Atlanta
Cory Arthur Messerschmidt, M.D., Atlanta
Okechukwu Nwakile Mgbemena, M.D., Atlanta
Erik Charles Michelfelder, Sr., M.D., Atlanta
Andrew Michigan, M.D., Atlanta
Alan E. Miller, M.D., St. Marys
Daniel Herschel Miller Jr., M.D., McDonough
Joy Benmocha Miller, M.D., Atlanta
Michael Joseph Miller, Jr., M.D., Atlanta
Christina Millhouse, M.D., Augusta
Joanna Miragaya, M.D., Atlanta
Suzette Genevieve Miranda, M.D., Atlanta
Jacob Albert Misenheimer, M.D., Augusta
Paul Geen Mitchell, M.D., Atlanta
Tinika Anita Montgomery, M.D., Savannah
Achilia Morrow, M.D., Athens
John C. Moultrie, M.D., Atlanta
Jason Leonard Muesse, M.D., Atlanta
Maryann Njoki Mugo, M.D., Taylorsville
Susan Nduku Musyimi, M.D., Griffin
Wanja E. Mwangi, M.D., Covington
Anusuiya Nagar, M.D., Atlanta
Peter Lajos Nagy, M.D., Atlanta
Kavitha Marie Nair, M.D., Atlanta
Marc Adam Neeland, M.D., Decatur
Natalie Nekouian, D.O., Rome
Kathryn Joy Nelson, M.D., Morrow
William Neway III, D.O., Columbus
Binh Vinh Nguyen, M.D., Doraville
Joi Ashley Nichols, M.D., Stockbridge
Animashaun Adaku Njoku, M.D., Atlanta
Rona Norelius, M.D., Brookhaven
Paymon Nourparvar, M.D., Marietta
Lavanya Nutankalva, M.D., Albany
Frederick Paul O’Brien, III, M.D., Evans
Wesley Thomas O’Neal, M.D., Atlanta
Kenneth Obi, M.D., Rome
Kess Ogden, M.D., Columbus
Brenda Oiyemhonlan, M.D.,  Atlanta
Nora Thoa Oliver, M.D., Atlanta
Joanna Marie Olson, M.D., Atlanta
Gherasim Claudia Ormenisan, M.D., Atlanta
Kelly Overman, M.D., Athens
Puneet Panda, M.D., Marietta
Nirav Parikh, M.D., Duluth
H. John Park, M.D., Ellijay
Amy Patel, M.D., Brunswick

Arpan Patel, M.D., Conyers
Bhavika Rajanikant Patel, M.D., Decatur
Bimal Bharatkumar Patel, D.O., Atlanta
Gaurang Punamchand Patel, M.D., Athens
Hardik Baldevbhai Patel, M.D., Perry
Jay Girish Patel, M.D., Atlanta
Jay Patel, M.D.,  Atlanta
Jaymin Bharat Patel, M.D., Atlanta
Joy Patel, M.D., Evans
Kalpit Patel, M.D., Suwanee
Ruchi Patel, M.D., Savannah
Suhel Patel, M.D., Gainesville
Vaishali Patel, M.D., Atlanta
Ishani Pathmanathan, M.D., Atlanta
Samit Atul Patrawala, M.D., Atlanta
William Allen Pearce, M.D., Atlanta
Crystal Perkins, M.D., Canton
Erik Burness Person, M.D., Athens
Quyen Hong Pham, M.D., Augusta
Tiji Mathew Philip, M.D., Cumming
Rebecca Philipsborn, M.D., Atlanta
Christen Suzanne Pirkle, M.D., Grayston
Joao Mconeil Plancher, M.D., Atlanta
Lauren Eckert Ploch, M.D., Augusta
Sumant Ponnala, D.O., Augusta
Caitlin Porubsky, D.O., Roswell
Maria Cristina Poscablo-Stein, M.D., Atlanta
Sanjiv Prabhu, M.D., Augusta
Adam Prater, M.D., Atlanta
Bertram Llewellyn Prosser, M.D., Roswell
Thomas Ptak, M.D., Atlanta
Brendon Michael Quinn, M.D., Snellville
Samuel Aaron Ralston, D.O., Atlanta
Richard Paul Ramonell, M.D., Decatur
Hope Rasque, M.D., Roswell
Preethi Ratakonda, M.D., Atlanta
Loretta Reyes, M.D., Atlanta
Nitasha Menon Ricks, M.D., Marietta
Andrew Rinne, M.D., Lawrenceville
Preston Wilson Roberts, M.D., Ft. Benning
Carlos Frederico Rodriguez, M.D., Hinesville
Joi Livingston Rogers, M.D., Augusta
Allison Rose, M.D., Decatur
Robert Stuart Rosen, M.D., Sandy Srpings
Ryan Rosen, M.D., Sandy Springs
Brian Robert Ross, M.D., Atlanta
Bradley Sverre Rostad, M.D., Atlanta
Krystina Ashley Rowe, M.D., Morrow
Michael Chase Rubin, M.D., Dunwoody
Sharon Lisa Rubin, M.D., Atlanta
Chloe Lan Russo, M.D., Atlanta
Hanna John Saade, M.D., Macon
Vikram Sangani, M.D., Macon
Alejandro Humberto Sardi, M.D., Atlanta
Hagop Sarkissian, M.D., Fayetteville
Meha Saxena, M.D., Savannah
Eric Sceusi, M.D., Atlanta
Austin David Schenk, M.D., Atlanta
Cynthia Schlessinger, M.D., Atlanta
Thomas Michael Schneider, M.D., Decatur
Aaron Joel Schueneman, M.D., Blairsville
Michael Scott Schurdell, M.D., Rome
Aaron Reuben Schwartz, M.D., Atlanta
Robin Hemeter Schwartz, M.D., Augusta
Christine Scott, M.D., Johns Creek
Nandini Setia, M.D., Athens
Elizabeth Karen Sewell, M.D., Atlanta
Alexis Bashinski Shaefer, M.D., Augusta
Arpit Akshay Shah, M.D., Athens
Priyank Shah, M.D., Albany
Samar Prakash Shah, M.D., Atlanta
Sheel Nitin Shah, M.D., Atlanta
Haitham Shahrour, M.D.,  Decatur
Shaun Santhosh Shaker, M.D., Augusta
Mohamed Said Shamiya, M.D., Augusta
Anton Shapoval, M.D., Atlanta
Marlon Lee-Britton Sharpe, M.D., Grovetown
Daniel Shasha, M.D., Atlanta
Sachin B. Sheth, M.D., Cumming
Shaanan Satish Shetty, M.D., Atlanta
Edmond Shih, M.D., Atlanta
Nataly Shildt, D.O., Decatur
Jenny Shim, M.D., Atlanta
Namagerdi Vaheh Shirvanian, M.D., Columbus
Jay Vikram Shukla, M.D., Jonesboro
Jonathan M. Shults, M.D., Savannah
Charles Allan Sibley, M.D., Augusta
Navreet Sidhu, M.D., Atlanta
Naomi Nicole Silva, M.D., Savannah
Abhay A. Singh, M.D., Ft. Benning
Bhavana Pendurthi Singh, M.D., Columbus
Rajat Singh, M.D., Atlanta
Terry Singhapricha, M.D., Atlanta
James Lacey Smith, M.D., Columbus
Michelle M. Snyder, M.D., Marietta
Clifford Song, M.D., Atlanta
Amana Eliora Spencer, M.D., Rome
Caresse Adrienne Spencer, M.D., Atlanta
Jade Danielle Stafford, M.D., Atlanta
Justin Stark, D.O., Tifton
Deborah Cynthia Stokes, D.O., Tifton
Saleena Subaiya, M.D., Atlanta
Gopika Suraj, M.D., Augusta
Joanne Denise Sweeney, M.D., Atlanta
Samson Dejene Tadesse, M.D., Atlanta
Panthea Taghizadeh, M.D., Augusta
George Tan, M.D., Augusta
Aniket Ashok Tatugade, M.D., Decatur
Karin Whitlock Taylor, M.D., LaGrange
Megan Taylor, M.D., Savannah
Sarah Kristen Taylor, M.D., Ft. Gordon
Kibrewessen Dagne Tefera, M.D., Atlanta
Babajide Teniola, M.D., Mableton
Victoria Joan Teodorescu, M.D., Atlanta
Neha Kapurji Thakor, M.D., Macon
Timothy Nathan Thomas, D.O., Carrollton
Allison Harris Thompson, M.D., Atlanta
Alexcis Thomson, M.D., Atlanta
David G. Tian, M.D., Fayetteville
Sheel Todd, M.D., Fortson
Mclendon Jessica Tolley, M.D., Rincon
Yasmin Tootla, M.D., Atlanta
David Dang Tran, M.D., Marietta
Mary Truitt, D.O., Augusta
Jodi Dyer Turner, M.D., Athens
Dennis Henry Vanloozen, M.D., Evans
Payaswini Vasanth, M.D., Atlanta
Monica Vielkind, M.D., Atlanta
Karla Aitme Viera-Negron, M.D., Atlanta
Srikrishna Vulava, M.D., Rome
Bradley Wallace, M.D., Decatur
Meshia Kerry-Ann Wallace, M.D., Augusta
Benjamin Collier Watson, M.D., Columbus
Christopher Michael Watson, M.D., Augusta
Jonathan Richard Watson, M.D., Atlanta
Melissa J. Watson, M.D., Atlanta
Andrew Scott Webster, M.D., Atlanta
Mark Weng, M.D., Atlanta
Rafaela Toniolo Wesley, D.O., Cartersville
Shannon J. Wheat, M.D., Atlanta
Frankie Hugh White Jr., M.D., Peachtree City
Lauren Crosby White, M.D., Augusta
Shenita White, M.D., Columbus
John David Whitfield, M.D., Augusta
Margaret Whitney, M.D., Atlanta
Jessica Marie Wilder, M.D., Savannah
Marc Lawrence Wilkinson, M.D., Rincon
Emantavius Marquis Williams, D.O., Camilla
Tiera Alisa Williams, M.D., Albany
Taressa K. Wills, M.D., Columbus
Jobira Anbessie Woldemichael, M.D., Atlanta
Whitney Alexandrea Wright, M.D., Alpharetta
Zhen Wu, M.D., Atlanta
Rebecca Yang, M.D., Augusta
Michael David Zakai, M.D., Douglas
Aleema Sabur Zakers, M.D., Atlanta
Erik Daniel Zarandy, D.O., Atlanta
Joy Ishii Zarandy, D.O., Johns Creek
Adrienne Demarais Zertuche, M.D., Atlanta
Shuang Qin Zhang, M.D., Roswell
Shuang Yin Zhang, M.D., Marietta
Mikhail Alekseyevich Zhukalin, D.O., Atlanta

News Briefs

House Budget Committee to address CBO/CMMI

In his role as chairman, Rep. Tom Price, M.D., has announced that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Budget will hold a ‘Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation: Scoring Assumptions and Real-World Implications’ hearing at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7.

In an August 24 media advisory, Rep. Price’s office said that, “The hearing will focus on the integrity of Congress’s oversight authority by examining the role of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the exercising of that authority…[the] hearing will shine a spotlight on CBO’s estimates of the fiscal impact of proposed changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and how CBO’s analysis may be hampering Congress’s oversight of CMMI.” CMMI develops and tests new payment models for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The press announcement also noted that, “Concerns have been raised about whether the nature of CMMI’s new Medicare payment models exceed the legal authority given the agency, CMMI’s decision to require mandatory – rather than the usual voluntary – participation of health care providers in the models, and the impact such an experiment could have on the practice of medicine and patient access to critical health care treatments.”

Contact Amanda Street at with questions.

CMS proposes 2017 Medicare reimbursement

By Elizabeth Woodcock, Woodcock & Associates

Published July 15, 2016, the proposed 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule asserts myriad changes likely to affect physician reimbursement in the coming year. As in previous years, the impact of the 2017 schedule varies based on specialty, with primary care physicians seeing modest gains while certain specialists experience flat or declining payments. Here’s what the proposed fee schedule has in store for physicians in 2017…

Conversion Factor. Adjustments to the fee schedule’s conversion factor next year will be somewhat of a wash. Counterbalancing a mandated 0.5 percent update to the conversion factor in 2017 are the proposed downward adjustment of 0.07 percent for imaging and a relative value unit (RVU) adjustment of 0.51 percent for budget neutrality. As a result, the 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor drops ever so slightly, from 35.8043 to 35.7551.

Looking at the combined impacts of other proposed adjustments, Family Medicine would see a three percent gain – the most accorded to any specialty in 2017. The news isn’t so cheery for Interventional Radiology, which would take a seven percent hit, the most of any single physician specialty. Pathology and Vascular Surgery also face fee schedule setbacks of a negative two percent each overall.

Telehealth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to expand covered telehealth services in 2017 by proposing to pay for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), related services, advanced care planning and critical care consultations. The latter group of services — the critical care consultations via telehealth — would be paid through new codes, GTTT1 and GTTT2. The agency also announced plans to create a new place of service (POS) code to clarify reporting of the location of a telehealth service.

Under Scrutiny. Zero-day global services, which are commonly billed alongside an evaluation and management (E/M) service code appended with modifier 25, come onto CMS’ radar screen in 2017. In its research, the agency reports that nearly one in five – 19 percent – of codes with a 0-day global service were billed more half the time with an E/M code that had been appended with modifier 25. Although many of the 83 codes that CMS has placed under review are for dermatologic services, this list also includes simple pulmonary, otolaryngology, and orthopaedic procedures. Home dialysis is also cited as a target for assessment.

Also under examination are global surgical packages, which the government has committed to review to “improve the accuracy of valuation of surgical services.” Due to be completed by January 1, 2019, this potential revaluation would have an impact on the 4,200 CPT® codes with a 10- or 90-day global period. The government has proposed gathering data about the frequency and input of global surgical codes by establishing eight new G codes in 2017 that are intended to measure pre- and post-operative care, as well as non-face-to-face services. Although usage of the codes on claims will be for informational purposes only, CMS is seeking feedback about the potential burden of this approach to data collection, as well as the impact of an additional proposal to withhold up to five percent of payments from surgeons who choose not to participate in the research.

Care Management. In 2017, CMS proposes to introduce a series of new care management codes for primary care, behavioral health and care coordination services. These additions include code GPPP6 for assessment and care planning of patients with cognitive impairment; GPPP1, GPPP2 and GPPP3 for behavioral health integration services in the Psychiatric Collaborative Care Model used in the primary care setting; and GPPPX for general behavioral health integration provided outside of the Model.

Two more G codes proposed for introduction in 2017 are likely to pique the interest of all physicians: GDDD1, an add-on code for patients using mobility-assistive technology, and GPPP7 for comprehensive assessment of and care planning by a physician or other qualified health care professional for patients requiring chronic care management services. These add-on codes are meant to boost pay when providing these services during a patient’s visit.

To address what it sees as the under-utilization of chronic care management (CCM) code 99490, which can be reported once per month when providing 20 or more minutes of non-face-to-face care to a patient, CMS proposes to ease certain requirements for using the code. These steps include the removal of the current requirement that physicians furnishing CCM after hours must have 24/7 electronic access to the patient’s care plan. Other welcomed changes relax requirements for initiating visits, formatting and sharing care plans and clinical summaries, and obtaining the patient’s consent.

The government also intends to cover the codes, 99487 and 99489, for complex CCM. These two new CCM codes, as well as GPPP1, GPPP2, GPPP3 and GPPPX, will require only general supervision by the physician or advanced practice provider when providing these complex and, often, time-consuming services. The proposal also would lift the burden of direct supervision — replacing it with general supervision — for the use of these codes in rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).

Prolonged Care. Prolonged care codes 99358 and 99359 for extended non-face-to-face E/M services before or after an in-person office visit have existed for a number of years, but have never been reimbursed. In 2017, CMS will begin paying for the codes when the services are rendered to Medicare patients.

Diabetes Self-Management Training. The government is proposing an expansion of opportunities to be paid for diabetes self-management training (DSMT), G0108 and G0109 – and has introduced the framework for an entirely new initiative – the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP). CMS proposed reimbursement method focuses on paying for patients who experience weight loss.

Imaging. Effective beginning January 1, 2017, federal law reduces payment by 20 percent for the technical component (TC) (including the TC portion of a global service) for X-rays taken using film. CMS will require a new modifier on claims for the technical component of the X-ray service, including when the service is billed globally. In subsequent years, computed radiology (CR) takes a hit with a mandated seven percent reduction in payments for imaging services that are X-rays (including the X-ray component of a packaged service) taken using CR. The payment hit for CR commences in 2018.

Data Reporting. Accountable care organization (ACO) participants have not been required to submit data for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). While that sounds favorable to physicians, it can prove disadvantageous if and when the ACO is poorly managed. In response, CMS proposes to allow eligible professionals (EPs) billing under the tax identification number (TIN) of an ACO the option of reporting separately as individual EPs or as group practices for PQRS, beginning in 2016. ACO participants also would have the option of reporting quality data outside of the ACO to meet PQRS requirements in 2017 and 2018. The agency intends to exempt these groups from the group reporting registration process for the current calendar year, since the deadline was June 30, 2016.

Informal Review. In another welcomed move, the informal review for penalties for failure to successfully report to PQRS will be eased for affected physicians. The informal review process for the Value-based Payment Modifier (VBPM) also will be restructured. CMS proposes to revise the informal review policies, creating a protocol for how VBPM quality and cost composites would be affected for the 2017 and 2018 payment years should unexpected issues arise, such as an error by CMS in its calculations or a mistake by a vendor or other third party.

While most of the changes would not become effective until January 1, 2017, CMS is currently seeking comment about its recommendations in advance of issuing its final rule in early November. Read the complete proposed rule in the Federal Register at

On a final note, through a separate rulemaking process, CMS proposed to shorten the reporting period for attesting to meaningful use (MU) in the electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program. The reporting period would be any continuous 90-day period between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, instead of a full year of use as currently required. The final rule regarding MU reporting is expected to be released in October; this may be the best news of all!

Elizabeth Woodcock is the president of Woodcock & Associates. She is a nationally recognized practice management expert. Woodcock offers an array of consulting services, including practice operations assessments and revenue cycle assessments. Contact her at or 404.373.6195. Go to for additional information.

DPH/GHA hosting webinar on “travel diseases” web tool

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) will host a free, 45-minute ‘Travel Clinical Assistant Webinar’ (and conference call) for physicians and other health care providers at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, September 2.

DPH says that, “This brief session will demonstrate the web site tool that provides identification of travel-related diseases. [DPH] leadership will be able to answer infectious disease questions as well.”

The webinar will feature DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., DPH State Epidemiologist Cherie Drenzek, DVM, MS, DPH Director of Health Protection Pat O’Neal, M.D., and GHA Chief Medical Officer Doug Patten, M.D.

DPH says the “[new web tool] provides clinical information on travel-related diseases for 231 countries.”

The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session.

To listen to the webinar on the telephone, dial 877.443.9072 and ask to be connected to the “GHA Travel Clinical Assistant Call.”

To join the webinar…

– Click here

– Enter your name and email address

– Enter the password “Tca0902”

– Click “Join Now” and follow the instructions

Contact Adrianne Feinberg at with questions

LSMS calling for donations for disaster relief fund

The Louisiana State Medical Association (LSMS) is calling for donations to support a disaster relief fund that it established following the catastrophic flooding that recently took place in the state.

LSMS says the funds will be used to “assist with the needs of the affected communities through parish medical societies.”

Click on the following link or send a check that is made payable to “LSMS ERF” to 6767 Perkins Road, Ste. 100, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

Contact Kayne Daigle at with questions.

Click to make a donation to LSMS Disaster Relief Fund

Physicians Foundation promoting book on poverty/health

The Physicians Foundation is promoting a book – Poverty and the Myths of Health Care Reform – that it commissioned the late Richard ‘Buz’ Cooper, M.D., to write.

The Physicians Foundation says the book “draws on decades of health research and economic data to demonstrate the pervasive, debilitating effects of poverty on health care costs, resource utilization and overall patient outcomes.”

The Physicians Foundation says that it is promoting the book to “generate a discussion among health care stakeholders about this issue and collaborate with Johns Hopkins University Press to encourage professors to add the book to their health care policy courses.”

The Physicians Foundation has also created a video to highlight the book’s findings.

Click to purchase book

Click to watch video

Click for Physicians Foundation website

AMA calling for response to SG letter on ‘opioid epidemic’

The American Medical Association (AMA) has reported that the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General is sending a letter that addresses the “opioid epidemic” to nearly 2.3 million physicians and other health professionals.

AMA is urging physicians to be on the lookout for the letter and to respond to the “Surgeon General’s call to action on safe prescribing education, access to treatment for opioid use disorder, and compassionate care without stigma.”

Click for letter

AMA unveils Medicare Payment/MACRA web page

The American Medical Association has unveiled a ‘Medicare Payment Reform/MACRA’ web page, which features a physician/medical practice preparation checklist, information on AMA’s advocacy efforts to improve the rule, and details on the new merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs).

Click for AMA’s ‘Medicare Payment/MACRA’ web page