News & Information
AMA Convention Reports
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:00 AM

At the AMA annual convention the AMA's PAC president, John Poole, MD, implored audience members to come together as one voice to effect change in congress by joining the political action group -- currently only 47% of the house members are AMPAC members.  

AMA Executive Vice President, James l. Madara, MD, called for one voice among the delegates to support policies proposed by the AMA. "If we can simply shift, even marginally, toward uniformly supporting the majority view, our voice will be so much stronger," he said during the opening speeches.

But speaking with one voice is not easy.  "It's a bit of a challenge," Kim A. Williams, Sr., MD, president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.  Williams, a professor of cardiology and nuclear medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said tension has been generated through concepts of doing what's right for the entire house and optimizing the needs of speciality groups. " We have been damaged significantly by having portions [of the HOD] going and talking to Congress negatively about other areas of care," he said.

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AMA Asks Obama to Cover Vets Outside VA
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:50 PM

The AMA wants President Obama to expand health coverage for veterans by allowing physicians practicing outside the Veterans Affairs system to bridge the gap for veterans unable to access VA care.

"When we looked at what was going on with the Veterans Administration, it became clear that the AMA really needed to take some leadership role in what we could do," Lee S. Perrin, MD, Boston, the delegate from the Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS), said in the reference committee.  Perrin said the OMSS was specifically asking for the AMA to encourage physicians to treat veterans in need of care, and to develop and provide useful materials to help non-VA physicians treat veterans who have health complications unique to veterans.

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Local Chiropractors Step in to Keep Clinic Running
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:42 PM

Numerous local chiropractors have stepped in to keep open a Longview clinic operated by a man killed in a Saturday wreck as donations pour in to his family.

Tom Eynon, 43, of White Oak died after he lost control of his vehicle on U.S. 271 just south of FM 16 in Smith County.  His son, Aiden, 5, died Tuesday at a medical center in Dallas from injuries sustained in the crash.

People of all ages have brought flowers, cards and hugs to Eynon’s staff at Elder Chiropractic Clinic.  Eynon’s brother-in-law, Robb Billups, said Wednesday that $31,000 has been raised in support of Eynon’s wife and three remaining children.

Elder Chiropractic Office Manager Allison Cameron said Wednesday that the outpouring of love and support since Eynon’s death has been amazing.  “Hundreds of people have come up since Saturday,” she said. “They come in to comfort us. They want to feel the presence of Dr. Eynon, which is in this office.”  Cameron said she worked with Eynon for more than 17 years.

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Physician Was Hub in Power Wheelchair Racket, Feds Say
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:36 PM

There's an axiom that the single biggest driver of healthcare spending is the physician's pen, or to be up to date, the physician's mouse and keyboard. Laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, prescription drugs, hospitalization, home healthcare, and durable medical equipment (DME) such as power wheelchairs — a physician signs off on all of them.  And sometimes not honestly.

That is the accusation facing 67-year-old Robert Glazer, MD, from Los Angeles, California, who was recently indicted in a federal district court on healthcare fraud charges. In exchange for kickbacks, said prosecutors, Dr. Glazer wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for power wheelchairs and certifications for home care. Fraudulent claims submitted by DME and home healthcare companies, plus those submitted by Dr. Glazer for his often fictitious services, added up to $33 million from January 2006 to May 2014, according to prosecutors. Medicare paid roughly $22 million on those claims.

Power wheelchairs have been a flourishing racket for fraudsters, partly because of their wide profit margin. DME companies can buy the chairs wholesale for $900 apiece and then bill Medicare for roughly $6000, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

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Surgeons Not Very Involved in ACOs, Survey Says
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:50 PM

Accountable Care Organizations have given little attention to surgery in the early years of the Medicare program, choosing to focus instead on managing chronic conditions and reducing hospital readmissions.  That's according to a case study and survey. The authors conducted case studies at four ACOs in 2012 and sent a survey to all 59 Medicare ACOs in the first year of the program, with 30 responding. 

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