Events, Conferences, and Announcements for October 14

Each week the Wyoming Medical Society receives a number of webinar, CME, and other conference opportunities which we share with our members without endorsement. This week’s list includes:


With MACRA rules being released (here’s the full announcement), the AMA has offered a few tools to help you better transition into MACRA. Among them are the AMA’s payment evaluator, which it touts as an an innovative tool offering initial assessments to physicians so they can determine how their practices will be impacted by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Developed with the expertise of physicians and input from partners, the tool will give physicians and their staff a brief assessment, as well as relevant educational and actionable resources.

Scot Oien lives in Fargo, North Dakota and is among the most excitable North Dakota State fans known to man, but he is equally devoted to helping Wyoming physicians understand Medicare billing issues. This week he writes about one he has seen a few times regarding the nw flu vaccine code 90674.  He writes, “we are starting to field more questions since some direction has been provided and that contractors may use a Not Otherwise Classified (NOC) code. However, MAC’s are having a hard time finding the most appropriate code due to system issues and appropriate definitions. The main issue with code 90674 is that it requires an update to the Common Working File (CWF) and that is not currently scheduled until January, 2017 for Part B claims and February, 2017 for Part A claims.

“There are discussions going on between the different MAC’s along with CMS to see if the system can be updated sooner to accept 90674 but as of today there is no resolution.  If something does change, I will do my best to get information out to you right away but as always, please check our website at for any updates we may be providing there.”

The AMA also offers AMA STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies has new MACRA-specific tools. Accurate and successful reporting on quality metrics is crucial to the new Medicare payment system, both in the current Physician Quality Reporting System program and under MACRA’s new Quality Payment Programs.

Finally, The AMA launched a ReachMD podcast series titled Inside Medicare’s New Payment System. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Gurman, AMA staff experts, and others are featured on the series, which will include five episodes to help physicians be informed on upcoming Medicare changes.

CMS offers its Regions’ VII and VIII Quarterly Stakeholder webinar scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 11:00AM to 12:00PM MT / 12:00 – 1:00PM CT. Follow the instructions below to register for the event.  Once your registration is accepted, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session. To register, click here.

The March of Dimes is releasing a request for proposals for 2017 funding. March of Dimes is seeking projects that aim to improve access to or delivery of care or education to pregnant women/women of childbearing age or to deliver education to health care providers on one or more of the following priority areas: Reducing tobacco use among pregnant women; Tobacco use is a well-documented risk factor for preterm birth and other adverse birth outcomes, but in the US, one in ten women smokes while pregnant; or Encouraging women to space pregnancies at least 18 months apart. Fully one-third of all pregnancies in the U.S. occur less than 18 months after the birth of a child, which is a known risk factor for preterm birth.  Appropriate birth spacing would measurably reduce national preterm birth rates.

The applicant organization must be an incorporated not-for-profit 501(c)(3) or for profit organization or government agency.  Proposals are due to Nicole Wong by 4:00 PM on Friday, December 9, 2016. Please contact me with any questions.


Mountain-Pacific Quality Health introduces a new MACRA-Quality Payment Program (QPP) blog designed to provide timely and important CMS Quality Payment Program information, helpful advice tips and best practices to clinics and hospitals.

This blog will provide ideas and tools to help you through the decisions and tasks necessary to reporting in 2017 to avoid penalties and in some cases possibly receive positive adjustments.  In addition to giving you helpful tips and best practices, it will also give clinics and hospitals a great way to generate an online dialog with Mountain-Pacific. Visit the MACRA-QPP Blog to view our recent MACRA-QPP blog postings.

UnitedHealthcare has released its monthly Network Bulletin. In this issue, you will find articles about: New National Drug Code (NDC) Requirement Policy; Communication Effectiveness Survey; iFOBT In-Home Screening Program, and much more.

The publication EMR Advocate offered its feelings on proposed rules of MIPS and Medicare Part B.

The American Academy of Family Practitioners released its October 2016 newsletter with posts on ICD-10 code updates, reducing the pain of prior authorization, and more.

RT Welter and Associates, a firm out of Denver, uses its monthly newsletter to discuss the latest release for CAQH ProView, which includes improvements to the professional liability insurance screen, as well as an update on Amendment 69 in Colorado.

CMS’ MLN Connects Provider eNews released a couple of issues since we last published. Among the posts in the Oct. 6 editionare CMS finalizing improvements in care, safety, and consumer protections for long-term care residents, and changes to EHR incentive programs. The Oct. 13 edition of MLN Connects Provider eNews contains posts on New Data to Increase Transparency on Medicare Hospice Payments; and IMPACT Act Cross-Setting Quality Measure. The October 20 edition features posts on a CMS Announces New Initiative to Increase Clinician Engagement and physician compare preview period ending on Nov. 11. And because CMS has so much to say, they posted an Oct. 27 edition as well.

Direct Primary Care Journal has released its October edition with stories such as Direct primary care offers a market solution to doctor shortages; and Healthcare2U Expands into the Northeast Company Adds Direct Primary Care Clinics in Connecticut.

Because we really don’t offer endorsements on this stuff, Click here to watch James Maskell’s behind-the-scenes Q&A with Dr. Jeffrey Gladd, one of the featured heroes in James’ book, The Evolution of Medicine. Dr. Gladd launched a super successful, very low-overhead micropractice in one of the most unlikely places, rural Fort Wayne, Indiana.


The Montana/Wyoming/Idaho Chapters of the American College of Surgeons are having its annual meeting in Jackson Hole on Jan. 27-29 and all specialties are welcome to attend. Speakers include: Gene Moore and Robert McIntyre of UC Denver; Hugh Foy; Grant O’Keefe and Alessandro Fichera of UW; Patricia Dawson of Swedish and many more. For more information, contact Cyan at  or 406-880-7465.

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) hosts a free monthly webinar series that focuses on active-duty military , their beneficiaries and veterans’ psychological health an d traumatic brain injury. These webinars facilitate discussions on the newest medical research and provide  continuing education credits (CEs) for a variety of medical professionals.

Optimizing Primary Care for Patients with Rare Diseases. HWeP has now launched this free continuing education (CME/CE) activity, focused on the successful delivery of primary care to patients with complex conditions and rare diseases. The content is intended for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists, and offers up to 6 credits to eligible participants. The program is available now at

Mountain Pacific Quality Health offers the next step up from its primer, MACRA 101 during a webinar slated for Oct. 31 from 6:30-7:30 a.m. This is called (betcha didn’t see this coming) MACRA 201. MACRA legislation identified five key areas and this webinar will expand on all five.

The 2016 American Medical Association Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) Interim Meeting will feature a series of innovative and interactive education programs on today’s most pressing medical staff matters, including a dynamic program exploring the challenges presented by “mixed” medical staffs and identifying strategies by which medical staff leaders and hospital/health system administrators can engage both independent and employed physicians.

HITECH offers a free webinar on Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join reimbursement expert Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE CPC, for this high-energy, content-rich recap of the trends that will impact your practice’s bottom line in 2017. Get the scoop on reporting for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS – and learn why you may not even need to worry about it), the new CPT codes for 2017, and the conclusion of the ICD-10 grace period.

Becker’s ASC does a wonderful job of finding medical content on the web and now are offering a webinar called, “Improve your bottom line without impacting patient care.” The event is Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. To register for this free webinar, click here. The conferece will discuss: Explain the ins/outs of freight management; Calculate the amount of savings you could be saving on shipping, and Identify key elements of strong freight management program. Please contact Emma at for more information.