News & Updates January 28, 2015


2015 Medicare fee schedule: How the changes will affect surgical practice  New payment policy and coding and reimbursement changes set forth in the calendar year (CY) 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) final rule took effect January 1, 2015. The MPFS, updated annually by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), lists payment rates for Medicare Part B services. 


Chris Christie to attend John Kasich’s inauguration: Ohio Politics Roundup  Chris Christie coming back to Ohio: When he’s not palling around this month with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – you have seen their jubilant celebration at Sunday’s playoff game, haven’t you? – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be traveling the country, again, to call on some of his favorite fellow Republicans. 

In new Ohio legislature, will the GOP caucus be too big to handle? Thomas Suddes  Ohio’s 131st General Assembly opens tomorrow, with Republicans leading each chamber – decisively.

Meet your new Northeast Ohio legislators  COLUMBUS, Ohio— When the Ohio General Assembly reconvenes this month, the Northeast Ohio delegation will include both new and familiar faces.

GOP-controlled Ohio Legislature opens 2-year session  COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The two-year state budget is high on Ohio lawmakers’ to-do lists as they return for a new legislative session.

Time finally catches up to ‘Caveman’  Term limits force veteran legislator Wachtmann from Statehouse


Elective surgeries surge during holidays  Orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey Stimac worked part of Thanksgiving and Christmas and expects to work part of New Year’s Day checking on patients in the hospital after their operations.

New Law Requires Ohio Schools To Teach About Dangers Of Prescriptions Drugs  DAYTON, Ohio – A new law requires Ohio schools to teach children about the dangers of prescription painkillers, a leading gateway drug to heroin abuse.

DR. BENSON TO HEAD UP OUTPATIENT SURGERY AT AKRON CHILDREN’S  Akron, OH ­ ­ – Gregory Benson, MD, has been named medical director of Akron Children’s Hospital’s new Outpatient Surgical Center, which will open in May. The center will be on the third floor of the $180 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion.

Registration and Housing Now Open!  The American College of Surgeons (ACS) will host its fourth annual Leadership & Advocacy Summit, April 18–21, in Washington, DC. The Summit is a dual meeting that offers volunteer leaders and advocates comprehensive and specialized educational sessions focused on the tools needed to be an effective leader, followed by interactive advocacy training and coordinated visits to DC congressional offices. 


Women in White Coats  Women in White Coats is an annual event for female physicians and medical students to connect and share experiences specific to women in medicine. This evening of networking provides invaluable wisdom for the students, and a unique opportunity for women alumni to give back to the physicians of tomorrow.

Northeast Ohio Medical University and Mercy Health Address Regional Primary Care Needs Through Innovative Education for Service Partnership  Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Mercy Health have announced an innovative partnership to address the region’s primary care needs while developing a diverse healthcare workforce dedicated to serving local communities.


Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals AIDS Clinical Trials Unit Launches Outreach to Enlist More Women in Clinical Trials  The Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals (UH) AIDS Clinical Trials Unit has a new initiative to reach out to women in Northeast Ohio regarding the critical need for them to participate in HIV-related clinical trials.

Med student writes about mustard gas, its connection to chemotherapy  Though mustard gas was introduced as a chemical weapon during World War I, it later became the foundation of modern chemotherapy. 


Ohio State hospitals turn away ER patients  Ohio State University’s emergency departments have been turning away patients far more often in recent months as a result of overcrowding.

Flu cases in Ohio are swamping hospitals, which are urging people to avoid ERs if possible  COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus has seen the largest number of flu hospitalizations in a week since the city started recording them in 2009, according to public health officials. The news comes as unusually high numbers of flu sweep the state, with some hospitals urging people to stay away from emergency rooms.

Some Ohio Hospitals Turn Away Visitors With Flu Symptoms  AKRON, Ohio – Some hospitals are turning away visitors who have fevers, coughs and other symptoms this flu season, and one northeast Ohio facility is using greeters as gatekeepers to help keep out the germs.

Dayton hospitals to flu sufferers: stay away from ER  DAYTON, OHIO — Officials in at least one Ohio city have asked people with the flu to stay away from hospital emergency rooms.The Greater Dayton Hospital Association says the flu epidemic is crowding hospital emergency departments, and the staffs also are getting sick.

Wayne HealthCare plans to expand  GREENVILLE — Wayne HealthCare has seen various changes in its facility in passing years, and may see more in the future.

UC Health, health insurer fail to reach new deal for Medicare patients  Jan. 02–UnitedHealthcare refuted claims Friday that it has a national strategy to drop hospitals and doctors from its Medicare insurance plans, a day after talks failed to reach a new agreement covering Medicare patients of UC Health.


Fingertip Blood Sensor May Save Valuable Time For Trauma Patients, University of Arizona Study  A tool that surgeons use for monitoring a patient’s blood level in physicians’ offices may also save valuable minutes in medical decision-making for critically injured trauma patients, according to study results published in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS). 

EMTs happy with change in Springfield trauma care  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Ambulance crews in Springfield say they expect fewer arguments with patients now that both of the city’s acute care hospitals are operating Level 1 trauma centers at the same time. 


Seven indicted for fraud involving Shaker Hts surgical center  CLEVELAND — A five-count indictment was filed charging seven people and a Florida company for their roles in a multi-million dollar health-care fraud conspiracy involving an experimental form of chiropractic manipulation, law enforcement officials said. 


Rural medicine: The GP problem  Just a few years ago, a visit to a small town doctor’s office involved filling forms with a receptionist, a vitals check with a nurse, and a chat, examination, diagnosis and treatment plan from a doctor. Waiting times varied, but the pattern had remained largely unchanged for decades.

Rural Health Care: Health system radically changing  In health care, rural America starts out sickly and neglected: More hypertension, more diabetes, more suicides, more serious accidents that are more often fatal, more uninsured patients, more people on Medicare, and fewer physicians.