Welcome to Montana Academy of Physician Assistants
2014 CME and General Membership Meeting
June 18 - 20, 2014
Hilton Garden Inn
Great Falls, Montana
Please save the date on your calendar and make plans to attend!
I wanted to give a brief update of current happenings. We are in the planning stages for our Annual CME and BOD meeting in Great Falls next summer. We are still looking for any volunteers who may be willing to help put this together - especially if you live and work in and around the Great Falls area.
There has been some recent promising activity for PAs in the US Senate. The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Baucus, has authored 2 provisions to Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) policy. The first of these provisions would allow PAs to order and provide hospice care to Medicare beneficiaries. The second provision clarifys that general supervision by a physician or nonphysician practitioner is allowed at critical access hospitals (CAHs) for payment of therapeutic hospital outpatient services, and that nonphysician practitioners (PAs and advance practice nurses) may directly supervise cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services. Thanks to a lot of advocacy work, the Senate Finance Committee included these two provisions in the bill it approved last week!! These two provisions will improve patients access to healthcare, and have been tirelessly advocated by PAs for many years. Please see the AAPA statement about this important issue. aapa.org/news_and_publications/pa_pro_now/item.aspx. If you have a chance, please send Senator Baucus a fax thanking him for his hard work. I have a letter template that you could use and alter with your own personalized comments. Please send me an email, and I can send the template to you.
There has recently been a rules change implemented at the CMS regarding the ordering of Durable Medical Equipment (DME). The new rule is in response to excessive fraud being committed across the country with regards to the ordering of DME. Unfortunately, these new regulations are putting an undue burdon on PAs and their supervising physicians. Due to a Medicare rule change, Durable Medical Suppliers will begin requiring a Written Order Prior to Delivery (WOPD) to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries for the Durable Medical Equipment listed below.
1. WOPD (note: verbal orders no longer acceptable). Must contain following elements:
2. Equipment this rule pertains to:
" Pressure/support surf (E0185)
(An incomplete order may result in the patient not receiving the item or having to pay out of pocket for the equipment. )
I would urge everybody to call or fax our Senators and Congressman to let them know your thoughts on these new regulations. It is only with a loud, unified voice that perhaps some of these rules can be turned over. I personally feel that requiring a physician co-sign all of my orders for DME is excessively burdonsome.
Please note that our next meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, March 4th at 7:00 pm. This meeting will be an online or teleconference meeting. Please contact MTAPA to find out more details and how to join the meeting.
The Montana Medical Association has recently completed development of an online course which will fullfill the requirements pertaining to upcoming changes to those who perform CDL examinations. As of May 2014, all practitioners who perform CDL examinations will be required to complete new continuing education requirements as set for by the Federal Government. Please see the Montana Medical Associations website for further details. Their link is: www.mmaoffice.org. In addition, the Montana Academy of Family Practitioners is offering a live course in Whitefish in early February 2014. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about either of these courses. I can forward you a copy of the brochure for the course in Whitefish.
As many of you know, the potential ability for PA's to admit patients (or participate in the admissions process) came under question with recent wording in upcoming CMS rules changes for 2014. It appears there has been clarification on this potential rules change. AAPA released a statement on September 5th regarding this issue. Please see www.aapa.org/the_pa_profession/federal_and_state_advocacy.aspx for details. It appears from this statement that the AAPA is in ongoing discussions with CMS and hopes to ultimately resolve this issue.
Remember to renew your membership with MTAPA as soon as possible. If you currently are not a member, but would like to get involved, please join MTAPA and let us know that you would like to volunteer. Please feel free to contact me anytime. As always, I enjoy speaking to PAs from all over MT - especially if you have a problem to discuss- I want to know about it. Please email or call me with anything. I look forward to hearing from you!
Yours in good health,
Will Hunt, PA-C
Join or renew your membership today!
Thank you for your continued support, together we can accomplish much.
To Join MTAPA online, click here
To Renew your MTAPA membership, click here
To Contact MTAPA:
2021 11th Avenue, Suite 1
Helena, MT 59601