June 23, 2017


Science & Technology News


Section-by-Section Summary of Senate Draft ACA Repeal Legislation

Below, please find a section-by-section summary of the discussion draft of the Senate Republican health care bill.   We've also attached a related explanatory document drafted by the Senate Budget Committee in collaboration with the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. 

Click here to read the summary

Senate GOP health care bill draws mixed reactions from Louisiana delegates

After U.S. Senate Republicans released their version of health care reform Thursday, June 22, three members of the Louisiana delegation to Congress reacted publicly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hopes to call a vote on the bill next week.

Click here to read full article.

AMA launches opioid education microsite 

As part of its continued advocacy efforts to help reverse the nation's opioid epidemic, the AMA last week launched a microsite focused on providing physicians with state- and specialty-specific education and training resources. The microsite includes nearly 300 education and training resources across three major categories:

  • Recommendations from the AMA Opioid Task Force  
  • State medical society resources
  • Medical specialty society resources

Physicians can use the site's "State Selector" and "Specialty Selector" to find tailored education and training resources. The AMA Opioid Task Force also has identified numerous national education and training resources. The site highlights the progress physicians have made in using prescription drug monitoring programs, reducing the nation's opioid supply, increasing treatment capacity and increasing access to naloxone. 

Click here to learn more.

CMS Proposes Quality Payment Program Updates to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Burdens

Proposed rule aims to simplify reporting requirements and offer support for doctors and clinicians in 2018.

On June 20, CMS issued a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS's goal is to simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care within Medicare.

"We've heard the concerns that too many quality programs, technology requirements, and measures get between the doctor and the patient," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "That's why we're taking a hard look at reducing burdens. By proposing this rule, we aim to improve Medicare by helping doctors and clinicians concentrate on caring for their patients rather than filling out paperwork. CMS will continue to listen and take actionable steps towards alleviating burdens and improving health outcomes for all Americans that we serve."

The proposed rule would amend some existing requirements and also contains new policies for doctors and clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program that would encourage participation in either Advanced Alternative Payment Models or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. If finalized, the proposed rule would further advance the agency's goals of regulatory relief, program simplification, and state and local flexibility in the creation of innovative approaches to healthcare delivery.

See full text of this excerpted Press Release (issued June 20).

For More Information:

AMA Praises Administration's MACRA Moves To Give Physicians More Flexibility

American Medical Association (AMA) President David O. Barbe, M.D. today released the following statement commending the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for hearing the concerns of practicing physicians regarding MACRA implementation.    

"CMS is proposing a number of policies to help physicians avoid penalties under the Quality Payment Program. In particular, it is suggesting several actions to assist small practices. The Administration showed it heard the concerns raised by the AMA on behalf of practicing physicians. 

"In proposing these rules, the Administration has taken another step to make sure the promise of MACRA - where physicians are rewarded for improvement and for delivering high-quality, high-value care - will be fulfilled. Patients and physicians will benefit from the new MACRA approach, as flexibility is vital when implementing a wide-ranging reform. 

"Not all physicians and their practices were ready to make the leap, and many faced daunting challenges. This flexible approach will give physicians more options to participate in MACRA and takes into consideration the diversity of medical practices throughout the country."


On Monday, June 19th, William Freeman, MD and Terri King, MD, LSMS members and members of the LSMS Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Committee, visited St. Bernard's Health Center for their annual live CME activity review. Drs. King and Freeman, along with Kayne Daigle, LSMS ERF director, visited New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM) for their initial accreditation site visit. The LSMS is excited to work with NYITCOM at Arkansas State University on their CME program.  

Pictured below:  Dr. WIlliam Freeman and Dr. Terri King with the LSMS and Tracy McAllister Owens, Dr. Amanda Deel, and Michelle Minton with NYITCOM.  

Physician's Guide to the False Claims Act - Part I 

Kantrow, Spaht, Weaver & Blitzer (A Professional Law Corporation) 
Authored by W. Scott Keaty and Joshua G. McDiarmid 

The LSMS has partnered with the law firm of Kantrow, Spaht, Weaver and Blitzer, APLC, to feature guest articles concerning common legal issues facing the medical profession.  This week's article is the first in a series which will serve as a general reference and informational guide to the FCA. Look for Part II next month.

Click here to learn more.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the False Claim Act, please contact Scott Keaty atscottk@kswb.com or Vice President of Legal Affairs, Lauren Bailey at lbailey@lsms.org. 

This information is provided for informational purposes only and with the express understanding that (1) no attorney-client relationship exists or is created hereby, and (2) neither the LSMS nor its attorneys are engaged in providing legal advice.

Medical Student and Resident/Fellow News

Population health management makes its way to med school

Population health management has become a point of emphasis as across-the-board quality health outcomes have become a more significant metric for success in medicine. With that, what is expected of a physician has changed from the era when doctors were principally responsible for the patient in front of them, said Paul George, MD, MPHE, assistant dean for medical education and associate professor of family medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "And now as a physician, to better health care systems, you are asked to be responsible for not only the patient in front of you, but also the population of patients." Read more at AMA Wire.

2017 Boards and Commissions

The following state-wide boards, commissions, or committees are all required by law to have physician members. The LSMS is responsible for nominating those physicians and is currently accepting volunteers who would like to have their name submitted for consideration.  Please click on each listing below for more information regarding requirements, functions, meetings, rules, past meeting minutes, etc.  To be considered for nomination, please forward the title of the specific board, your CV, and contact information to terri@lsms.org.

Steve Scalise benefit blood drive today at East Jeff hospital

East Jefferson General Hospital and the New Orleans Baby Cakes are sponsoring a blood drive Saturday, June 24, for U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson.  Scalise, who was shot June 14 in Virginia after a gunman opened fire during practice for a charity baseball game, is listed in fair condition at a Washington, D.C. hospital.

"This is an important opportunity for our community," EJGH President and CEO Gerald Parton, said in a news release. "Representative Scalise has always put Jefferson Parish and the state of Louisiana first. It's important that we give back to him during his time of need."

The blood drive is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital's Blood Center, which is located on the second floor of the Domino Pavilion on the hospital's main campus, 4200 Houma Blvd., Metairie.

Donors will receive a voucher for two tickets to the July 8th Baby Cakes' game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

"The Baby Cakes are proud to partner with EJGH on this important initiative," said Cookie Rojas, Baby Cakes general manager. "This community always comes together in difficult times, and this is a wonderful way to show our support for Representative Scalise."

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Did you know #MensHealthMonth and Men's Health Week passed Congress nearly 23 years ago? Learn more: http://bit.do/MHMHistory
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