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Dec. 13, 2015                                                                                             Vol. 4, No. 66





TMA asking CMS to hold off on Medicare penalties


An error on the part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) penalizes some physicians, forcing those affected by the blunder to appeal a potential payment cut by Dec. 16.


 Last month, the agency announced it had "issues" with data submitted by physicians who participated in the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System  (PQRS) and  value-based payment modifier (VBM) programs. CMS also had "issues" with how it used that data to calculate payment penalties. 


The hassle caused by CMS means those physicians who took part in PQRS and VBM have to dust off their quality and cost reports to determine whether they're among the thousands at risk of incurring payment penalties come Jan. 1, 2016. 


Click here for more information.




Providing an Optimistic view of medicine


Dr. Jayesh Shah, incoming president of the Bexar County Medical Society, spoke to the Optimist Club of San Antonio on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Shah will be sworn in as the society's new president on Jan. 23, 2016.






Our sister city in India, Chennai, has been hit very hard by recent flooding and the death toll is approaching 300.

The city has also suffered from more than $2 billion in economic losses and is struggling to deal with more than a million displaced people.


And yet, the spirit of Chennai has not been extinguished. It is burning brighter than ever with neighbors rescuing each other and strangers cooking food and distributing aid.

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians are throwing their temples, mosques, gurudwaras, and churches open to shelter the displaced.


We want to salute this spirit of Chennai, our beloved sister city, by tipping our hats and pledge to stand with them.


Here are some facts about Chennai:

  • Chennai is the 5th largest city in India with a population of more than 8 million               
  •  Industries: Automobile, Petrochemical industries and refineries, Information                    Technology, Healthcare, Education, Movie making, Arts and culture, Tourism
  • Chennai has a bustling automobile industry and is referred to as "The Detroit of India." 
  • Has been named the 2nd best food city in the world by National Geographic.               
  • Has been named the 9th best cosmopolitan city in the world by The Lonely Planet       
  • Chennai has 80.73% Hindus, 9.45% Muslims, 7.72% Christians, 0.06% Sikhs, 0.06%   Buddhists, 1.11% Jains, 0.83% living in peace and harmony


HATS OFF CHENNAI- We salute your spirit!


Here are ways that you can help:

Take a photo of yourself as your tip your hat to Chennai and its people. Post it on Facebook and nominate at least 5 of your friends to do the same. Include this link with your post and ask your friends to make a donation toward the Chennai relief efforts. Every penny counts and Chennai needs our help!


Mail checks to

Anuja SA, PO Box 591801, San Antonio, TX 78259

Anuja is 501 (C) {3} organization.

tax ID 45-2836698






Addressing Child Abuse and Neglect in 2016


The Public Health and Patient Advocacy Committee at BCMS is looking for doctors who would like to volunteer their time to support efforts to better address issues of child abuse and child neglect in Bexar and the surrounding counties. 


This adjunct committee would focus on researching the issue, collecting data, looking at what is already being done locally, what is being done elsewhere that has been effective and then making recommendations to the full committee. 


The PH&PA Committee meets on the first Wednesday of every odd month at the BCMS offices. For more information or to volunteer to participate please contact committee liaison Mike Thomas at 210-582-6399.







Supreme Court to rule on theory underlying many healthcare fraud suits


Summary of article from Modern Healthcare:


By Lisa Schencker  | December 8, 2015

A case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could mean fewer fraud lawsuits filed against healthcare providers. Or it could at least give them more clarity about what constitutes a violation of the law, experts say.

The Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel Escobar, a case that focuses on one theory whistle-blowers and the government use in bringing False Claims Act cases to court. The act makes it illegal to knowingly submit fraudulent bills to the government, such as for services not actually performed. 

In a variation of fraud claims, some whistle-blowers allege that providers submitted false claims by failing to follow certain regulations. Providers sometimes are held liable for not following such regulations even if the government never explicitly stated that following a regulation was a condition of payment, and even if the provider never explicitly vouched that it had complied with the regulation. 

The Supreme Court will consider whether whistle-blowers and the government should be allowed to bring FCA cases under this theory, known as implied certification. 

Click here for full article.







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About The Weekly Dose

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