Welcome

Mitchell D. Forman, D.O., FACR, FACOI, MACP
NSMA President 2014-2015

Every Nevadan is affected in some way by the members of the NSMA. They are not only your physicians, but your neighbors, friends and advocates in the health care delivery system.

Nevada physicians organized into a state medical society in 1875. As the state's oldest and largest physician advocacy group, today's NSMA mission remains consistent with those pioneer doctors: to serve the practice and professional needs of Nevada physicians so they can serve the needs of their patients. Our diverse membership includes practicing physicians and surgeons, medical researchers, educational faculty and institutional administrators.

Though this site has information restricted to our membership, there is also much information available for the public and the health care community. Development of this site and available resources will continue to expand, so bookmark the NSMA and come back often!

We are proud to represent organized medicine in Nevada, and proud to be your physicians of the Nevada State Medical Association. Is your physician a member?

CDC Report on Pill Mills

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a report that ranks states on several measures around prescribing and the use of prescription drugs. The report studied Prescribing rate per hundred individuals

Nevada ranks 15th in the rate of opioid pain reliever prescribing, 10th in long-acting/extend-release pain relievers, 3rd in high-dose opioid pain relievers and 25th in benzodiazepines.

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Study on Effects of Pharmaceutical Rep Contact on Education of Physicians

Numerous US medical schools and academic medical centers have enacted policies preventing pharmaceutical sales representatives from interacting directly with students, but little is known about how pharmaceutical sales representatives affect trainees’ knowledge about pharmaceutical prescribing.

JAMA survey showed an association between positive attitudes toward industry-physician interactions and less knowledge about evidence-based prescribing and greater inclination to recommend brand-name drugs. Policies intended to insulate trainees from pharmaceutical marketing may promote better educational outcomes.

Source: JAMA

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Court considers: Can doctors sue insurers for underpaid claims?

At stake in a case before an appeals court is physicians’ right to bring a lawsuit against an insurer that fails to pay correctly for medically necessary services provided to a covered patient. Physicians are weighing in as the court considers whether a previous ruling that bars such action should stand.

In North Jersey Brain and Spine Center v. Aetna, a physician practice that received assignments of benefits from patients with employer-sponsored health plans sued the insurer for denying and underpaying medically necessary surgeries for three different patients. The claims were brought to court only after the practice exhausted internal appeals processes with the insurer.

The district court in which the case originally was heard ruled that physicians must have more than the standard assignment of benefits to give them grounds for a lawsuit. The decision goes against decades of previous court rulings, accepted practice and the intention of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The case now is being heard by a U.S. court of appeals in Philadelphia.

“Physicians are willing to provide medical care without demanding … up-front payments because they are confident that, if necessary, they can pursue remedies under ERISA for improperly denied insurance benefits,” the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies and the Medical Society of New Jersey said in a friend-of-the-court brief filed last week.

“The district court’s holding … that patient assignments only transfer ERISA rights if they explicitly include some unspecified magic language is completely inconsistent with settled federal common law, the purpose of ERISA and the reasonable expectations of physicians and patients,” the brief said. “If the district court’s decision is affirmed, it will harm physicians and patients alike.”

Supporting physicians’ ability to deal directly with insurance companies when there is an issue with how a claim has been paid not only saves the patient who may be ill from dealing with overwhelming administrative processes but also prevents financial constraints from interfering in the patient-physician relationship.

Source: AMA

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Antimicrobial Stewardship Meeting

Clark County Medical Society will be hosting an Antimicrobial Stewardship Meeting on Wednesday July 30.  Eric Ramos, MD, FAAFP, Chief Medical Officer for HCA’s
Far West Division will facilitate a discussion regarding Antimicrobial Stewardship. The goal is to collaborate on community-wide antimicrobial stewardship strategies to improve patient safety and care, decrease antimicrobial resistance and address this growing public health problem that threatens our community.
The meeting flyer can be found here: Meeting Flyer.
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Survey of Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace Assister Programs

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s new survey found that there were more than 4,400 Assister Programs, which employed more than 28,000 full-time-equivalent staff and volunteers, and helped an estimated 10.6 million people during the first Open Enrollment period.

More information can be found on the KFF website.


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Preparing for Physician Payments Sunshine Act

Financial interactions between physicians and manufacturers of drugs and medical devices—including everything from research and ownership interests to reprinted journal articles and meals—soon will be made public. Act quickly to make sure you’re protected from potentially inaccurate reporting under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Here’s the first step you should take this week.

While the AMA convinced the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that physicians should be able to review and dispute the financial data drug companies have reported about them prior to publication, the agency has left very little time for physicians to do so.

The first step is to complete CMS’ e-verification process. If you haven’t done so already, here’s how to do that:

  1. Visit the CMS Enterprise Portal and select “New user registration”
  2. Accept the terms and conditions, being sure to read the “Consent to monitoring” and “Collection of personal identifiable information” sections. Identity verification is required for all users requesting access to any CMS application.
  3. Enter your personal information. You’ll speed up the verification process by completing all fields, including those that aren’t required.
  4. Select your user ID, password and security questions.
  5. Complete registration and wait for your confirmation email.

Source: AMA

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Heart Disease and Stroke Survey

Providers can share information that would help in understanding how to better diagnose and treat Nevadans affected by hypertension, heart disease, and strokes. The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes and the information provided will be used to develop a strategic plan to prevent and treat heart disease and strokes in the state.  The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3D5QCXZ, and will be open until July 21.

From: Nevada Wellness

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AMA Educational Webcasts

The AMA has a wide variety of online CME offerings on its website here : AMA Educational Webcasts.

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Court: Physician not liable for patient’s risky behavior

A decision this month by a state supreme court overturned a lower court ruling that discounted a patient’s unsafe behavior from a medical liability determination.

In Kelly v. Haralampopoulos, two Colorado physicians were accused of medical liability when a patient experienced cardiac arrest during a procedure after presenting with abdominal pain. Testimony of close friends indicated that the patient had been recreationally using a dangerous drug that is known to cause cardiac arrest.

The trial court allowed this testimony to be considered in the jury’s verdict, which was decided for the physician defendants. When the case moved to a court of appeals, however, the testimony was denied and the decision overturned.

The physicians appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, which upheld the decision of the trial court, in a ruling upholding that patients can be at least partially responsible for their health outcomes as a result of their own unhealthy behavior.

Source: AMA

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FDA Approves New Inhaled Form Of Insulin

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a form of insulin that is inhaled rather than injected, providing a new option for millions of Americans with diabetes.

Source: New York Times

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