Medicare Cuts Expected March 1
A two percent across-the-board cut to Medicare, which is part of sequestration along with defense and discretionary domestic programs, will be triggered on March 1 if Congress fails to act again to delay or prevent it. On Jan. 1, this cut was delayed for two months as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act; this law also averted the "fiscal cliff" and provided another one year freeze for Medicare physician payment. President Obama is requesting another delay, but it is unclear what Congress will do. Presently, there is no legislation that has been introduced to delay or prevent sequestration because of disagreement over how to pay for it - a delay of seven months is estimated to cost $85 billion.
Stroke Research Priorities - Report From NINDS now Available
The final report
of the Stroke Research Priorities Meeting is now available on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) public website. This report is the result of an NINDS effort to identify the highest priorities for stroke research. Workgroups of experts in stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery research considered more than 180 proposals submitted by the broad stroke research community, and during a meeting in August of 2012, came up with nine research priorities for the field. One of the priorities is treatment of asymptomatic carotid disease - one of the SVS clinical research priority areas. The opportunities described in this report will guide NINDS investments in stroke research over the next five to 10 years.
Carotid Angiography Code Error to be Fixed
Medicare will fix the carotid angiography code issue detailed in last week's Pulse by April 1, 2013, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013, according to Sean P. Roddy, Chair of the SVS Health Policy Committee. This error is in the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for the new carotid angiography codes (Codes 36222-36226).
Physician Compare Website Redesign Planned in 2013
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to launch a redesigned Physician Compare website in March 2013. The new website will feature enhanced search functionality and support public reporting of quality data. In early 2014, CMS will begin publicly reporting clinical data at the medical group level collected as part of the Physician Quality Reporting Program and Accountable Care Organization quality programs. Clinical and Group Consumer Assessment of Heathcare Providers and Systems data is also expected to be added in 2014. A transition to individual quality measures that can be publicly reported at the provider level is anticipated in 2015. CMS is still finalizing the format for displaying the quality measures on the website.
SVS Website Down for Maintenance
The VascularWeb.org website will be undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be offline beginning at 7 pm Central Time on Friday, Feb. 15 through early Saturday, Feb. 16. SVS apologizes for the inconvenience.
New: International Forum Followed by Guest Reception
A new session, the International Forum, featuring abstracts by international authors, will be offered at the 2013 Vascular Annual Meeting®. This concurrent session will be held at 5 pm on Wednesday, May 29. The International Guest Reception will be held at a new time and date, immediately following the International Forum at 6:30 p.m. All International attendees are invited to attend.
2013 Vascular Annual Meeting Activities for Fellows, Residents, and Students
To allow residents and students to explore their interest in vascular surgery, the fellow/resident/student educational and networking program of the Vascular Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 29 through Saturday, June 1. The program provides an excellent opportunity for learners of all levels (first year medical students to senior level surgical residents to vascular surgery trainees) to meet others with similar interests, along with leaders of the vascular surgical community. View the detailed educational program. To ensure the best young medical professionals become vascular surgeons, SVS offers the following travel scholarships to aspiring vascular surgeons to underwrite expenses for Vascular Annual Meeting attendance: General Surgery Resident/Medical Student Travel Scholarship and Minority Medical Student Travel Scholarship. The deadline to apply for the scholarships is February 18.
Membership Applications Due March 1
Invite colleagues to enjoy the many benefits of SVS membership, including discounted meeting registration, personalized practice resources, networking opportunities, and more, by asking them to becoming an active, associate, affiliate or international SVS member. SVS membership will allow your colleagues to be part of the world's most prestigious professional vascular society. Access the online application today.
Encourage Nurses to Attend the 31st SVN Annual Convention in Boston
The Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) requests that SVS members encourage nurses to participate in the 31st SVN Annual Convention in Boston May 8 - 11, 2013.
"SVN is a wonderful opportunity to reward your nurses with invaluable networking opportunities. They can learn about new evidence-based practices as well as experience other educational opportunities. Our nurses always return from SVN meetings enthusiastic and ready to implement improvements in our practice. We consider SVN a valuable part of our staff development," Timothy Kresowick, MD.
The benefits to your practice are many and tangible:
1) Maintain CME's
2) Expand clinical awareness for high level patient care
3) Learn current best practices and evidenced-based care
4) Review ways to decrease complications
5) Expand billing for increased revenue capture