For Michael J. Maricic, MD, the heat is always on—and not just from the scalding temperatures of the ever-present Tucson sun. Strolling through the lobby of his bone clinic, the same sign awaits him every morning: “Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic disorders, combined with compassionate care.” Compassion is a primary adjective in that sentence and in his mind, and Dr. Maricic hopes this commitment will make him and his partners a top practice in a very busy market. After all, Arizona is a place where people retire—often taking their rheumatism with them.
The Rheumatologist: May 2007
Recommended reading from A&R and AC&R
Handpicked Reviews of Contemporary Literature
Volunteers converge on Capitol Hill for the ACR’s annual Advocates for Arthritis Day
May’s Coding Challenge
May’s Coding Answer
AIM modules provide a tool for physicians seeking a quality-improvement program and a way to meet new ACGME competencies or the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Maintenance of Certification Program requirements.
The ACR plans open enrollment for its new AIM (Assess Improve Measure) module, “AIM: Gout” during the 2007 annual meeting and is seeking clinicians to participate in the testing phase. For more information on pilot site requirements, contact Amy Beith at [email protected], or (404) 633-3777.
The ACR Practice Advocacy Department will give programs to assist physicians with coding and reimbursement again this year. Last year, ACR coders spoke at more than 15 state and local societies.
Have you ever wanted peer input on a rheumatology-related problem? Thanks to the ACR and ARHP list serves, help is only an e-mail away. The list serves give you unlimited access to rheumatologists or health professional experts. The ACR offers list serves on coding and practice management, advocacy, and five for specific U.S. regions, while the ARHP offers clinical, pediatric, rehabilitation, and research lists. Members can join as many lists as they like.
Since their launch, these list serves have helped ACR members share information and advice on reimbursement challenges and successes, practice tools, research methods, physical therapists in a pediatric hospital setting, and many more topics.
You can choose to receive list updates as they are posted or as one digest message at the end of the day.
For questions on joining, changing your settings, or posting messages, contact Regina Adair at (404) 633-3777, ext. 817 or [email protected] (for ACR lists), or Julie Anderson at ext. 802 or [email protected] (for ARHP lists).
Paget’s disease generally affects people over 40, and while the disease is associated with heredity, the cause is unknown. The ACR has recently added a fact sheet about this condition to the patient education material online.
All ACR members are invited to volunteer. Nominate yourself or a colleague by June 1 to be considered for a position beginning at the ACR Annual Meeting in November.
Do you know that old adage about the best-laid plans? If you ask Jon T. Giles, MD, about it, he’d agree that even the firmest plans change. “When I entered medical school at Vanderbilt University, I was convinced that I’d pursue subspecialty training in neurology,” recalls Dr. Giles. “My plan was to specialize in movement disorders.”
The deadline to apply for 2007 ARHP Graduate Student Recognition Awards is July 5. Last year, the ARHP successfully launched this new award campaign to recognize health professional students pursuing creative research or clinical projects that merge theory and clinical practice to assess or improve the lives of patients with rheumatic diseases.
Many Medicare Part D plans continue to request prior authorizations for several drugs commonly prescribed by rheumatologists. The ACR has been working diligently with Robert Bennett of the Physician Regulatory Issues Team (PRIT) to avoid the same problems many physicians had last year. PRIT advises all physicians to write “for Part D” along with the diagnosis on the prescription, to verify that the drugs are for Part D diagnoses and should not be paid under Part B. This way the administrators of the prescription drug plans (PDPs) can waive the need for a new prior authorization—saving time and money for physicians, pharmacists, and the PDPs.
The ARHP has an important role to play as the ACR addresses the emerging quality movement in healthcare. Most healthcare professionals are familiar with terms such as quality assurance, continuous quality improvement, and total quality management. In the late 1980s, healthcare organizations, following the lead of the manufacturing industry, began to implement quality-management programs as a way to improve the quality and cost efficiency of healthcare services and meet rising consumer expectations.
Could you use an additional $50,000 to $80,000 in revenue each year? If you are like most clinicians, you have superbills and well-trained office staff but you still receive frequent denials. Though some denials are appropriate, many can be corrected and the lost revenue recovered.
Not even gout is simple these days
Much is made of pharma’s influence on CME—but do we really know what this educational funding buys?
It’s up to you to take rheumatology’s case to Congress
New political action committee will be a voice for rheumatology
Rheumatology programs make strides in work–life balance support
A review of research on prescribing estrogens in systemic lupus erythematosus