Capsules QW - news & information for members of Louisiana State Medical Society
March 17, 2018





Presentation to House Appropriations on Proposed Budget

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne spoke to the House Committee on Appropriations Tuesday, March 13 and re-presented the governor's proposed executive budget the administration presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget last month. The presentation is attached below. 

The governor has officially asked the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to pass a resolution to end the regular session in mid-May in order to convene a special session to deal with the state's fiscal situation - a step up from the purported "gentleman's agreement" from earlier. That letter is attached below.

Other State News & Information


PAI-Avalere Health Release Updated Research Showing Continued Trend in Hospital Employment of Physicians

Thursday, the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) released a report that updates a previously-released study conducted by Avalere Health that examined the continued growth in hospital acquisitions of physician practices and the trend toward physician employment.  The new study adds an additional year of data to the earlier study, which reviewed the period from mid-2012 to mid-2015.  

Avalere researchers found that by mid-2016, hospitals acquired an additional 5,000 medical practices, and physician employment grew 11% from a year prior.  By 2016, 42% of physicians were employed, as compared to just one in four in 2012.  In a regional analysis, researchers found growth in hospital acquisitions of medical practices in every region of the country, ranging from 83% to 205% over the four-year period.  

PAI is studying these trends as part of an ongoing research collaboration with Avalere Health in order to better understand how physician employment and consolidation in the health care system affects the practice of medicine and impacts spending by payers and patients.

Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Announces March 21st Hearing on MACRA Implementation

Below, please find a press release issued Thursday by the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee announcing a March 21st hearing on "The Implementation of MACRA's Physician Payment Policies." In announcing the hearing, Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) stated that the Subcommittee has "theopportunity, in a bipartisan manner, to make sure there is clarity and certainty for Medicare doctors while improving care for the beneficiaries they serve. I look forward to hearing from the Administration and to a fruitful bipartisan conversation around MACRA and its implementation." 

Sens. Grassley, Feinstein, Kennedy & Durbin Introduced Opioid Quota Bill

Below, please find a press release from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) announcing that he, Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) and Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Opioid Quota Reform Act of 2018 today to enhance the opioid quota setting authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The Senators emphasize the bill would improve transparency and permit DEA to adjust quotas to prevent diversion and abuse. The Senators also indicate the measure is needed to address significant increases in aggregate opioid production quotas.
Specific provisions of the legislation, as described in the press release, include:   (1) Direct DEA to consider additional factors of opioid diversion, abuse, overdose deaths, and public health impacts when establishing annual opioid production quotas, in addition to existing statutory factors such as prior-year sales and research needs; (2) Require DEA to explain why the public health benefits of any annual increase in opioid quotas exceed potential harms; (3) Require DEA to report "anonymized data to Congress on the number of manufacturers that DEA authorizes to produce opioids each year," and how many quotas increased from the prior year; (4) Remove statutory restrictions prohibiting DEA from considering variations in dosage forms in setting quotas; and (5) require DEA to identify strategies to update its quota setting process by incorporating data collection and changes in "accepted medical practice."  The text of the legislation is not yet available.

Other Federal News & Information



Per Act 76 passed in the 2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, all practitioners with a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) license in Louisiana are now required to complete three hours of LSBME-approved continuing medical education (CME) for the 2019 renewal year. An authorized prescriber renewing his/her license for the first time in 2019 may be excused from the CME requirement upon submission of a certification attesting that he/she has not prescribed, administered, or dispensed any CDS during the entire year covered by the prescribers' expiring license. The LSBME will verify this through the Louisiana Prescription Monitoring Program. An exempted licensee, who subsequently prescribes, administers, or dispenses a CDS shall satisfy the CME requirement as a condition to license renewal for the year immediately following that in which the CDS was prescribed, administered, or dispensed. Click here to download the exemption request form.

  • Each prescriber must now complete three hours of education on drug diversion, prescribers' best practices, and addiction treatment.
  • The required education must be completed before license renewal in 2019 or upon initial licensure.
  • This new education requirement is included in the credit hours already required by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME), not in addition to the existing requirements.

LSMS, in partnership with LAMMICO, has developed a three-hour controlled substance course to meet the new Louisiana state requirements. The course for Louisiana providers is titled "Louisiana Act 76, Controlled Substances: Prescribing, Diversion Prevention, and Addiction Treatment." This course meets all subject requirements by Act 76 of the Louisiana Legislature and the LSBME's rules.

LSMS members can access the course FREE of charge ($225 value) by logging into the members-only section of the LSMS website.


LSMS Members Drs. Richard Adden and Peter Fail Named To Best Doctors in America® List

Drs. Richard Abben and Peter Fail of Cardiovascular Institute of the South have been named to the Best Doctors in America® List for 2017-2018, showing their expertise in providing world-class patient care.  Only four percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, decided by impartial peer review, in which doctors who excel in their specialties are selected by their peers in the profession. 

Richard Abben, MD
Peter Fail, MD

The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America® database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions - often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment. READ MORE

Risk Management Education - LAMMICO

"Current Trends in the Physician Practice" a Half-Day Seminar
March 20, 2018 - Baton Rouge, 8 a.m.-noon
Crowne Plaza (Cypress Room), 4728 Constitution Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Topics Covered:
  • Cyber Security
  • Emerging Risk
  • Quality Payment Program 2018

Cost for attendance is $95 per person for LAMMICO policyholders and their staff, or $145 per person for non-insureds. LAMMICO-insured physicians and other insured providers will earn 1 RM Credit toward their premium discount. Employees of LAMMICO policyholders will earn 0.5 credits for their employer for attending.

Payment must be submitted in the form of a check to: 
LAMMICO, One Galleria Blvd., Suite 700, Metairie, LA 70001-7510

Online registration is now closed, however you are still welcome to attend this event. Please call the LAMMICO Risk Management and Patient Safety Department at (504) 841-5211.

Our thoughts are with the UAB Hospital and Medical Community after the loss of their long time nursing supervisor, Nancy Swift. Nancy Swift, a 63-year-old Mississippi native, was described by those who knew her as a sweet, kind soul. READ MORE

The Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society Vol. 170, No. 1 - Jan / Feb 2018 is available now! Visit to read the newest issue!

Other Science & Tech News


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