New Home for AOA Daily Report Blog

October 26, 2010
The AOA Daily Report Blog has a new home! With the launch of the new AOA website, Osteopathic.org, the AOA Daily Report Blog also moved over to a new location: Osteopathic.org/DailyReport. This website will continue to house the archives of the AOA Daily Report, but all new posts will be posted on the new site. Come visit our new home on Osteopathic.org!

AOA Daily Reports

October 22, 2010
Welcome to the AOA Daily Report Blog, the online archive of all AOA Daily Reports. This interactive forum allows AOA and public members to provide comments on individual items, engage in discussions with peers, and converse with me, Executive Director John B. Crosby, JD.

Take the time familiarize yourself with this interactive communication tool, particularly the comment feature, as we always welcome and value your thoughts and concerns. Please note that I will consider responding only to comments from self-identified DOs and osteopathic medical students. Anonymous comments will not be considered for response. Please be aware that comments that are mean-spirited, disrespectful, and off-topic may be removed from the blog.

With that said, I trust we can remain professional and courteous while discussing items on which opinions vary. Happy blogging!

AOA Board of Trustees Conclave in San Francisco

October 22, 2010
The full AOA Board of Trustees convened a Conclave today in San Francisco under the leadership of AOA President Karen J. Nichols, DO, President, and President-elect Martin S. Levine, DO. The Board heard reports from the AOA Committees on Finance, Administrative Personnel, and Basic Documents (keep reading for more information on these issues) and were updated on our recent advocacy efforts to prevent a 23% cut in Medicare physician payments, scheduled to go into effect on 12/1/10, followed by another planned 6% cut on 1/1/11. Felix Rogers, DO, a member of the JAOA Editorial Advisory Board, gave a special presentation on strategies to advance osteopathic medicine through scholarly publications. In addition, Board members were briefed on their fiduciary responsibilities and expectations for tomorrow’s Strategic Planning Retreat with leaders of the AOA state and specialty osteopathic medical associations. The Board Appeal Committee held a brief meeting this morning under the leadership of AOA Trustee Carol Monson, DO, Vice-Chair.

Finance Committee Reviews Dues Revenue and Reserve Fund

October 22, 2010
The AOA Finance Committee held a meeting today at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Finance Committee Chair Larry A. Wickless, DO, AOA Immediate Past President, led his fellow committee members in consideration of pending budgetary requests for various AOA projects and initiatives and our membership projections for FY 2011. The Committee reviewed the status of the AOA’s investments, income, and Reserve Fund, the latter of which currently exceeds our required amount by over $2 million. On a related note, the AOA Committee on Administrative Personnel held a meeting this morning, led by AOA Past President Carlo J. DiMarco, DO, Chair, to act on staffing and human resource issues.

AOA Committees Consider AOA Governance

October 22, 2010
AOA Trustee Michael K. Murphy, DO, Chaired a meeting today of the AOA Committee on Basic Documents and Operations of Affiliate Organizations. The primary focus of today’s meeting was a discussion on the AOA’s naming conventions for affiliates, which seek to clarify what types of groups can use terminology such as “Academy” or “College” in their names. In its capacity to ensure the proper governance of AOA affiliate organizations, the Committee reviewed requests to amend the Constitutions and/or Bylaws of osteopathic medical associations. The AOA President’s Advisory Council held a breakfast meeting earlier this morning, during which President Nichols, Chair, thanked her colleagues for their leadership and support of OMED 2010 Unified and for their commitment to the AOA Team. Topics for discussion included tomorrow’s Strategic Planning Retreat, President Nichols’ vision for teamwork throughout the osteopathic profession, and the draft AOA Accountable Reimbursement Policy.

Osteopathic Medical Student Leaders Convene

October 22, 2010
AOA student groups are busy holding meetings today in collaboration with OMED 2010 Unified – what great teamwork! The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and its Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) held a joint executive board meeting this morning. The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), led by SOMA President Crystal Lenz, OMS IV, kicked off its House of Delegates meeting today as well, at which President Nichols, President-elect Levine, and I all spoke, welcoming student leaders to the “City by the Bay” and inviting them to support the many “Great Events” scheduled throughout the week. In addition, President Nichols, and AACOM Chair Anthony Silvagni, DO, co-hosted a “Student Forum” today with COSGP and SOMA leaders. This annual collaborative meeting has a fluid agenda to encourage open discussion and dialogue on issues of concern to students and how the AOA can help to address them.

Affiliate Team Members’ Events Commence

October 22, 2010
Osteopathic affiliates are also displaying their team spirit by holding meetings in conjunction with OMED 2010 Unified. The American Osteopathic Foundation’s (AOF) Board of Directors convened today under the leadership of James Lally, DO, MMM, President. AOF Directors heard reports on investment strategies, AOF finances, membership development efforts, and planned events at OMED 2010 and in the future. One such event is an AOF Reception being held tonight, to which the AOF has invited the AOA Board of Trustees. The American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) also held a Board Meeting and Dinner today. The American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) Board of Trustees, with whom we met yesterday, concluded their deliberations with a reception for our leaders—what a great way to unwind and reconnect with our osteopathic brethren. Thank you, ACOS and AOF!

AOA Fact for the Day

October 22, 2010
Did you know… that The DO published a special San Francisco preview issue last evening? The preview article features coverage of some of the many events taking place in coordination with OMED 2010 Unified as well as some of the interesting local attractions participants can visit in San Francisco. Read the preview issue today!

Health Policy Notes

October 22, 2010
The 10/20/10 Wall Street Journal reported on the large, federally funded Women’s Health Initiative study, which found that women who contracted breast cancer after using hormone-replacement therapy were diagnosed at a more advanced stage of the disease than women who didn’t take hormones and had slightly higher mortality rates.

Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly two-thirds of the people living with Alzheimer’s are women. Also, 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women, according to The Shriver Report, a new report created in conjunction with California First Lady Maria Shriver and covered in the 10/20/10 Chicago Sun-Times.

USA Today reported on 10/22-24/10 that the number of adults with diabetes is expected to double, and possibly triple, by 2050, according to a CDC report released today. Currently, one in 10 American adults has diabetes.

Teamwork to Prevent Medicare Payment Cuts

October 21, 2010
AOA President Karen J. Nichols, DO, on behalf of the AOA and the 70,000 DOs we represent, wrote to Congress today to urge Congress to enact permanent, fair, equitable reform of the Medicare payment system. With physicians facing the single largest payment cut in Medicare’s history and the country struggling to address a physician workforce shortage, President Nichols asked Congress to protect access to care by preventing the cuts from taking effect. Likewise, President Nichols has signed on to a letter prepared by the American Medical Association (AMA) that addresses payment reform. In the spirit of teamwork, the collaborative AMA letter unites many members of the physician community in asking Congress to enact permanent reform to the Medicare physician payment system. See the Health Policy Notes below for more information on innovative payment models and teamwork.

Act Now to Advocate Fair Physician Payment

October 21, 2010
If you support the goals of the two letters outlined above, then the AOA urges you to take action – and we’re making it easy for members to do so! The AOA has launched a letter-writing campaign that aims to show, in volume and urgency, the need for a reformed physician payment system. On 12/1/10, physicians face a potential 23% payment cut – the single largest cut in the history of the Medicare program. This cut is to be followed by a second cut of more than 6% on 1/1/11. Payment rates today are the same as they were in 2001. All DOs who will be in San Francisco next week for OMED 2010 Unified should stop by the AOA booth and sign their own letter to Congress. If you will not be at OMED, visit DO-Online to send a letter today!

Patient-Centered Collaborative Holds Summit Meeting

October 21, 2010
Several members of the AOA staff and I traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative’s (PCPCC) Annual Summit meeting, taking place 10/21/10. Over 400 attendees representing medical associations, providers, health plans, employers, and federal/state bodies, attended to learn about system-wide reforms to create the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care. Collaboration among key health care stakeholders present is critical for success. Key speakers included Peter Lee, Director of the HHS Office of Delivery System Reform, and Vincenzo Costigliola, President of the European Medical Association. Michael Zarski, JD, the AOA’s Chief Information Officer and CEO of the AOA Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), presented at the meeting regarding HFAP’s efforts to recognize and accredit PCMH providers and care centers.

Boards Convene in Anticipation of OMED 2010 Unified

October 21, 2010
After leaving Washington, I flew to the “City by the Bay,” along with other AOA staff members, osteopathic team players, and other members of the AOA family in anticipation of OMED 2010 Unified, which commences with the OMED Opening Session on 10/25/10. However, prior to the official opening, many osteopathic bodies will be holding events and meetings. The AOA Board of Trustees is holding a Conclave tomorrow, as is the American Osteopathic Foundation’s Board of Directors, led by AOF President James M. Lally, DO. Later in the week, the Boards of the Advocates of the AOA, the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors, and the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA), among others, will also meet. What great teamwork to kick off OMED 2010 Unified!

Breast Cancer Research Highlighted during Federal Teleconference

October 21, 2010
AOA staff participated in a conference call with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. Jill Biden on 10/15/10 regarding Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Mammogram Screening Day. They expressed the Administration’s ongoing commitment to the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer, including provisions in the Affordable Care Act that will make it easier for women to get breast cancer screening without copayments. With fewer barriers to care, there is a better chance of catching the cancer and treating it early. Currently, 100 American women die of breast cancer every day. Also referenced was the $1.3 billion specifically targeted to cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute to turn promising research into effective treatments at a faster pace. Additional information on coverage for preventive screening is available online.

AOA Fact for the Day

October 21, 2010
Did you know…that President Nichols updated her AOA President’s Blog on 9/29/10? Her most recent posting addresses IAMRA and osteopathic medicine, including reports on her recent attendance at an international meeting of medical regulators in Philadelphia last month. In the post, she praises the OIA for bringing together the global osteopathic community. Read the posting online.