NEAUA Highlighter Newsletter
March/April 2014 Issue
News and Notes
New England Section AUA President Election Process

The New England Section has the privilege of electing one of its Active or Senior members to serve as President of the American Urological Association. The individual selected by the Section will serve as the AUA President-Elect from 2015 to 2016 and will ascend to serve as AUA President from 2016 to 2017. It is the Section’s honor to have its next AUA President preside over the AUA 2017 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts.

In accordance with the New England Section By-Laws, all Active and Senior members of the Section shall have the opportunity to participate in the election process, which will result in the final nominee being announced at the 2014 NEAUA Annual Meeting in Newport this coming October.

Two qualified candidates who would both represent the Section well at the AUA Presidential level have been confirmed by the NEAUA Nominating Committee and Board of Directors:

Peter C. Albertsen, MD, University of CT Heath Center
Richard K. Babayan, MD, Boston Medical Center

In April 2014, a ballot will be circulated to the voting membership. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes will be the Section’s Nominee to become AUA President. Announcement will be made to the membership by email in summer 2014, and formal announcement made at the Annual Business Meeting in October 2014 in Newport, Rhode Island.







NEAUA Financials in Summary

Colleagues, I am pleased to report that 2013 was a financially successful year for the Section and has helped position us for continued financial stability. The Section ended the 2013 calendar year for the first time with over $1 million in assets, a testimony to the thoughtful attention paid to the organization’s finances and investments by the leadership.

The success of the Hartford meeting combined with a strong investment performance resulted in year end Total Assets of $1,154,826 compared to $891,153 in 2012. The meeting netted a surplus of approximately $300,000. Our Investment Portfolio, managed by Joel Blau of Mediqus Asset Advisors, grew by 19% to a total of $684,585 as of the end of 2013. We operated “on budget” in 2013 and the leadership approved the 2014 budget this past fall with similar expectations.

We need to continue to grow our membership and support our Annual Meeting, which are the drivers of our balance sheet. I encourage all of our members to enroll their APRN’s and PA’s as Allied members. The Allied Professional Educational Program at the Hartford meeting by all reports was an overwhelming success, and 2014 Program Chairs, Drs. Vernon Pais and Veronica Triaca, along with President Dr. Ann Gormley and SUNA liaison Kris Green are organizing another excellent program for this year geared towards urology nurses. Vendor support is critical to the financial success of our meetings and the Section leadership continues to work closely with our industry colleagues to ensure satisfaction from all Annual Meeting angles. I want to personally thank all of our members who made the effort to spend quality time with our industry colleagues in Hartford; we need to carry that momentum forward this year. In addition, I would like to let the membership know that the NEAUA leadership has moved responsibilities of the newsletter to the 501c6 arm of the Section, so that we are now able to explore more ways to partner closely with our industry colleagues on this publication.

In closing, I want to thank you for the responsibility entrusted to me as your Treasurer. I remain available for any and all questions. I can be reached by email at atarantino@hartfordspecialists.org.

Art Tarantino, MD
Treasurer

 
AUA 2014 Leadership Program Class Participants

Every two years, the New England Section leadership reviews applications for the AUA Leadership Program, which began in 2004 and identifies urologists who have demonstrated effective leadership skills and seek to tackle future roles of responsibly within the AUA and its Sections. This year the NE leadership reviewed a group of extremely well qualified applicants, and is proud to announce the 2014-2015 regional class participants.

2014-2015 New England participants in the AUA Leadership Program will be:

Arthur P. Mourtzinos, MD, Lahey Clinic
Joseph F. Renzulli, II, MD, Brown University/University Urological Associates


 
My Experience at JAC2014: Kevin Koo, MD
On my flight home from the Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC) in Washington, D.C., I was seated next to an observant older gentleman who noticed the name badge still hanging around my neck.

“So you’re a urologist,” he read aloud. I nodded. What were we advocating for, he asked me. As a urologist-in-training, I was concerned about the stagnant number of residency positions forming a bottleneck between thousands of new medical school enrollees and future access to physicians of all specialties, including urology. I explained the urgent need to lift caps on federal GME funding to ensure a strong supply of primary-care and specialist providers to meet growing demand.

He volunteered that he had been treated for prostate cancer and had heard about the USPSTF recommendations against PSA testing. I added that our specialty was troubled by not only the consequences of these recommendations, but also the composition of and authority granted to the Task Force. We were looking for transparency and accountability, and asking for a seat at the table.

He listened patiently as I recounted how the SGR saga came about and how political gridlock was likely to stall (and has since doomed) current efforts to pass a permanent fix. And as I finished describing why a categorical repeal of the in-office ancillary services exemption might be a step too far in the wrong direction for our patients, he paused thoughtfully.

“Sounds like you care a lot about this stuff, doc.” I couldn’t help but smile. It was the most meaningful, if unintentional, compliment. Three days prior, I had arrived in Washington with an academic understanding of health policy and a deep interest in the concerns of our specialty and our patients. I had envisioned the JAC as a forum for prioritizing the policy issues our colleagues face in their practices nationwide, and it was. But the conference had many unexpected dimensions: it was a crash course in the legislative politics of complex challenges like the SGR; an opportunity to flip conventional advocacy on its head and dissect novel ways of reaching out to patients, and inviting them to reach back; a setting where collegial disagreement could be a source of strength for our diverse membership; and a recognition of the successes we have achieved and the many obstacles, old and new, that await. I was equally inspired by new friends and mentors from the New England Section who shared with me that their participation in advocacy effects has only heightened, not distracted from, their clinical careers.

On the last day of the JAC, while crossing the Capitol grounds with my “Hill Day” partner and advocacy veteran, Dr. David Green, I paused for a moment of reflection. How suddenly strange it seemed to be rushing on this day from one Senator’s office to another, urging support for expanded GME funding and Medicare physician payment reform; and to return the next day to the routine work of checking patients’ creatinine levels and reviewing charts for M&M!

But later that evening, having recapitulated urology’s policy priorities to an unsuspecting audience at 30,000 feet, I came to the conclusion that our collective advocacy, whether on the wards or on Capitol Hill, serves as the cornerstone of our professional efforts to do the right thing for patients and their families. With the generosity and support of the Section, my experience at the JAC was a powerfully illuminating addition to my residency training. And in the spirit of paying it forward, I embrace the perennial challenge of responsible advocacy: taking these lessons learned back to our colleagues and communities, extending the discourse beyond the conference room walls, and giving voice to the kind of positive change that our patients deserve and our shared commitment demands.

Kevin Koo, MD, MPH, MPhil
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, N.H.

Dr. Kevin Koo was the first sponsored resident from the New England Section to attend the AUA/AACU Joint Urology Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. The NEAUA Board of Directors has agreed to offer sponsorship of a resident or fellow’s participation at the JAC in 2015. Notifications outlining more specific details will be sent later in 2014.

 
NEAUA Resident Bowl and Chief Resident Debate Teams to Compete at AUA 2014 Annual Meeting

2014 AUA Residents Bowl Team
Paholo Barboglio, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Tudor Borza, MD, Harvard
Steven Kardos, MD, Yale
Andrew Leone, MD, Brown University
Gregory Murphy, MD, UCONN
Rajan Veeratterapillay, MD, United Kingdom

Competitions to take place May 17 – May 19, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center, Booth # 1601 in Orlando, Florida. AUA2014.org/ResidentsBowl

2014 AUA Chief Resident Debate Team
Andrew Leone, MD, Brown University
Johann Ingimarrson, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Debates to take place May 18, 2014 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at the Orange County Convention Center, Room 308 in Orlando, Florida. AUA2014.org

 
UROPAC

The PAC at the JAC

Once again, UROPAC participated in another successful Urology Joint Advocacy Conference, March 9-11, 2014. Over 175 engaged and energized Urologists from all over the country descended upon Washington, D.C., for three days of Health Policy discussions, Legislative Updates and Capitol Hill visits advocating for our patients and fellow Urologic colleagues. UROPAC was actively involved with the proceedings. At the annual UROPAC update, Drs. Jim Ulchaker and Art Tarantino summarized PAC activities, reviewed UROPAC’s legislative priorities and announced the kickoff of the 2014 fundraising campaign.

This year’s UROPAC Luncheon speaker was Mr. Michael Barone, a respected political historian and senior writer for U.S. News and World Report. He gave an extremely insightful assessment of the upcoming 2014 midterm election. 2014 looks to be an incredibly exciting election with significant implications for a change of power in the U.S. Senate.

The UROPAC reception is always an anticipated social-political event where conference attendees can meet our Legislators in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s because of the relationships the Urologists have forged at home “in District” that helps make this event possible.

Finally, the fundraising enthusiasm was truly infectious as UROPAC raised over $30,000 in contributions…a great way to start the new campaign. On behalf of the entire UROPAC Board, we hope all New England Urologists will see the importance of political advocacy for the sake of our patients and practices. To contribute and learn more about UROPAC, please visit www.UROPAC.org.

Art Tarantino, MD
Chair, UROPAC

 
STATE ADVOCACY & HEALTH POLICY

Federal Regulators Believe Scope of Practice Restrictions ‘Do More Harm than Good’ (March 19, 2014)

The Federal Trade Commission issued a policy analysis March 7 regarding state regulation of Advanced Practice Nurses and healthcare market competition. The report concludes that requiring physician supervision of non-physician providers "does more harm than good." AACU

 
In Health Care, What Makes Maine Different? (March 19, 2014)

The northern part of the state is poor, but residents rank high on measures of health. The coordination among businesses and health workers is seen as a model. LA Times

 
Thousands Enrolled in Health Connect, but Some Vermonters Still Stuck in Limbo (March 19, 2014)

One man's three-month saga trying to obtain insurance coverage he already purchased. Burlington Free Press

 
Massachusetts’ Hard Look at Hospital Mergers (March 18, 2014)

As consolidations have become increasingly more common across the country, Massachusetts has the nation's only independent state agency focused on evaluating their effects. Governing

 
New Hampshire House Panel Recommends Expanding Medicaid (March 18, 2014)

The House Finance Committee has voted to recommend that the New Hampshire House use federal Medicaid money to pay for private health insurance for an estimated 50,000 poor adults. boston.com

 
Lawmakers Prompted to Address Restricted Access to Care, “Narrow Networks” (March 15, 2014)
Amid criticism that state and federal health insurance exchange plans overly restrict access to a physicians and hospitals, public officials have filed regulations, legislation and lawsuits to compel payers to secure more diverse participation. AACU

 
Connecticut Bill Would Eliminate “Hospital Tax” (March 13, 2014)

Connecticut's hospitals are asking the General Assembly to eliminate a tax originally designed to help balance the state budget, but is now increasing health care costs and threatening jobs, they say. newstimes.com

 
Is Ocean State a Fit for ‘Medical Tourism’ Model? (March 10, 2014)

Florida-based Laser Spine Institute employs 500 people in five states and draws a majority of its customers, or patients, from out of state. That helps both the company’s bottom line and that of local hotels, eateries and other related businesses. The company, headquartered in Tampa, thinks the “medical-tourism” business model it says has worked so well in sunny Florida could also succeed in luring patients to the Ocean State. Providence Business News

 
AUA Interactive State Legislation Map

The AUA tracks state legislation that could impact the practice of urology in your region. View which bills the AUA is monitoring by visiting the interactive state legislation map.

 
Upcoming Meetings

Men's Health for Primary Care and Innovation
April 11 - 12, 2014
The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
hms-cme@hms.harvard.edu
www.menshealthcme.com

Massachusetts Association of Practicing Physicians Annual Meeting
April 29, 2014
Westin Hotel, Waltham, Massachusetts
www.mapuonline.org/media/MAPU-Annual-Meeting-2014.pdf

CT Urology Annual Scientific Education Program
September 19, 2014
Aqua Turf, Plantsville, Connecticut, USA
www.cturologysociety.org/events.html