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Headlines & Alerts



Welcome New Members

Larkins-Stevenson, Debra, DO
Community Physician Network
Obstetrics & Gynecology
 
Pallavala, Reddy R., MD
Community Physician Network
Pediatrics
 
Shock, Christine M., MD
Franciscan Physician Network
Family Medicine
 
As president of IMS, I welcome you to membership into an organization representing you as physicians, your patients, and quality medical services since 1848. I encourage your participation in our IMS activities including meetings and written contributions to the Bulletin.

IMS can only be as energized as the members who comprise it, so reach out to your IMS colleagues and get to know them, as well as, our focus of collegiality and quality medical care.

David R. Diaz, MD, IMS President

If you want more information about our newest IMS members, visit them on our physician finder here. A simple search is all that is required.

Alert: SGR Remains In Place — For Now

Very early on the morning of March 27, after completing a lengthy round of votes on the budget resolution, a handful of Senators blocked efforts to reach agreement on the rules for debate on H.R. 2, the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act,” which passed the House on March 26 by an overwhelming margin of 392-37.

Congress is now adjourned for its April recess. In statements made on the floor, Senate leaders said they will bring the bill up promptly when Congress returns from its recess on April 13. According to remarks made by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shortly after 3:00 am, “It’s encouraging this passed the House with such a large bipartisan majority, and I want to assure we’ll move to it very quickly when we get back…..I think there is every reason to believe it’s going to pass the Senate by a very large majority.”

While some Senators expressed reservations or opposition to the bill, we agree there were more than enough supporters to pass the bill. It appears that an unfortunate combination of timing, budget amendment fatigue, and procedural obstacles having nothing to do with the policies set forth in H.R. 2 were working against us.

Grassroots support from Federation groups was outstanding. Many of you also responded to urgent requests to make contacts with specific Senators and Representatives, and your efforts really did persuade key people to support the bill. Thanks so much for all your hard work.

Despite strong indications of support in the Senate, we cannot leave anything to chance. Physicians will need to keep up these conversations over the recess, with calls and meetings while Senators are home, to shore up support and prime them to pass the bill when they return.

Of course, the current payment patch expires on April 1, long before Congress reconvenes. As a result, all physician services provided on or after April 1 will be subject to a cut of 21 percent. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is instructing its carriers to “hold” for 10 business days any claims for services provided on April 1 and beyond, until legislation can be passed and signed into law that reverses the 21 percent cut. The 10-business-day hold means that April claims will be held through Tuesday, April 14. Since no claims by law can be paid sooner than 14 calendar days from their receipt, this hold should have little practical impact on Medicare remittance in the short-term, although billing for copayments and claims reconciliation will be more complicated.

In the meantime, some practices are asking what they should charge. By law, Medicare is required to pay physicians the lesser of the submitted charge or the Medicare approved amount. For this reason, the AMA is advising against submitting claims with reduced amounts reflecting the 21 percent cut. Instead, we recommend physicians either continue charging the current 2015 rates for April dates of service or defer submitting claims until after final action on the legislation. In the unexpected event that Congress allows the 21 percent cut to take effect, Medicare would pay physicians at the reduced amount no matter what the physician billed and no further action would be necessary. However, non-participating physicians who have collected balance billing amounts for unassigned claims based on the currently-allowed amount could be required to make refunds to their patients based on new, lower balance billing limits.

We will keep you informed as more information about the claims hold and further Senate action become available.

Information courtesy of the AMA.

Calling All IMS Members

To maintain and grow your Indianapolis Medical Society, Membership needs to be job ONE!

Do you have a Son, Daughter, Nephew, Niece or Grandchild who has chosen to follow in your footsteps and practice medicine? Or, are you currently mentoring a resident or fellow? If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, please speak with them about joining the Society!

Maybe you would prefer to “gift” them with a membership instead. Applications can be found on our website, www.imsonline.org. Upon entering our website, click on the membership tab, and there you will have two options for membership: either print an application, complete and send in with check, or fill in the online application and submit payment separately. We also accept payment over the phone using your MC, AE or Visa credit card. OR, if all of this is a bit much for you, give us a call to have a pre-populated Membership Application sent to you or them.

We are offering a $100 discount off of the IMS dues investment for both YOU and the NEW MEMBER you recruit! Please call Tyna McCauley at 639-3406 to confirm an amount before payment is submitted. The amounts vary depending on the new member’s status; i.e., Resident, 1st Year Practice, Active. You may also contact her via email at tmccauley@imsonline.org

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About IMS

The Indianapolis Medical Society was established in 1848. We are a professional membership organization for all licensed Doctors of Medicine and Doctors of Osteopathy in the Indianapolis area. Our offices are located at 631 E. New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-3706; our office hours are 8:00 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. Phones are answered 24/7 by the Medical Society Exchange.

If you are a physician and want additional information on becoming a member of our organization, please call (317) 639-3406 or E-Mail us: ims@imsonline.org. Please visit our membership page ... we want you to join us! For an application and other membership needs, use our easy online forms or download the information utilizing this link.

If you are a member of the general public and want to know if your physician is a member of Indianapolis Medical Society, or if you would like education information on your personal physician, please call (317) 639-3406 or E-Mail us: ims@imsonline.org or use our handy Physician Finder.

We also provide referrals to physicians using our staff and website physician finder. If you are new to our area or simply seeking a change of physicians, we are ready to help! Ask your physician if they are a member and if not, why not.

Additionally, our Commission on Professional Affairs reviews concerns from patients who might have questions about whether or not their treatment was ethical or appropriate.