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    Be Informed

    Articles, press releases and announcements about what is happening for anesthesiologists and our patients.

ESSENTIALS FROM THE ASA ANNUAL MEETING 2018 in San Francisco

Gary Tzeng, MD


As always, the ASA Annual Meeting was full of meaningful educational, workshop and networking opportunities. SF remains a beautiful city that surprised this year’s attendees with great weather and yet challenged us with a labor dispute/strike within the Marriott/SPG community.

But for those that are unaware, this meeting also serves as the hard-working governance meeting for your ASA—where policy & positions are decided and monies & energies are allocated. Many housekeeping issues are performed including continued funding of the the AQI. But many controversial issues are also debated and attempted to be resolved in a unified manner.

So for those who are unaware of what ASA did, here are my highlights:

1. Dr. Stan Stead was formally acknowledged for his years of service and leadership as he steps down from the Board. His contribution as our specialty’s advocator for fair compensation is greatly appreciated.

2. The ASA Series on Medical Ethics was retired for the future but the publication “Guidelines for the Ethical Practice of Anesthesiology” was approved and published while the content of the ASA Series on Medical Ethics will be moved to their respective chapters in the Committee on Ethics Syllabus as non-CME questions.

3. ASA Practice Parameters were updated per its usual cycle.The following Performance Measures from CPOM were approved:
  • Avoidance of Cerebral Hyperthermia for Procedures Involving Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Functional Status Assessment and Goal Setting for Chronic Opioid Users 

  • Neuromuscular Blockade: Documented Assessment of Neuromuscular Function Prior to Extubation
  • Neuromuscular Blockade: Reversal Administered 

  • Consultation for Frail Patients
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Mitigation Strategies
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Patient Education

5. ASA will partner with Social Finance, Inc. to offer members easy access and discounted loan rates.

6. ASA’s “Statement on the Anesthesia Care Team” has been and continues to be difficult to update as the ASA membership struggles to come to a consensus related to multiple definitions. The Statement has been referred back to Committee again for further refinement.
Lastly, in honor of those members who passed this year and especially our Past Presidents, the Illinois Delegation chartered a Sunset Cruise on the Bay and toasted our past colleagues as we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a wonderful tribute and wished all of our members could have been present.
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HB 2975: Anesthesiologist Assistants Add Value to the Team

HB 2975 would license Anesthesiologist Assistants as part of a physician-led team. New health care delivery system reforms hinge on a team-based approach to patient care. Anesthesiologists have been the leaders by practicing in a team care model for decades. Anesthesiologist Assistants are a welcome addition to the anesthesia team!

Contact your state legislator and ask for their support :

* A physician-led team model of care with flexibility under physician leadership ensures access to cost-effective and high quality health care. 

* The team model of care was found to be the safest compared to working alone. 

* Anesthesiologist Assistants (AA's) are providers that will help ensure that physician-led team based anesthesiology care will be available to all patients in Illinois.

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MEDICARE ACCESS AND CHIP REAUTHORIZATION ACT (MACRA)

Background

In 1997 congress passed the Balanced Budget Act (BBA), to replace the Medicare Volume Performance Standard (MVPS), in an attempt to rein in the growth in physician expenditure and healthcare costs. The BBA was designed to ensure that the annual increase in expense per Medicare beneficiary did not exceed the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and tied physician reimbursement to GDP.

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