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STATLINE
July 9, 2009  •  Volume 25, Number 14
Next Issue: July 23, 2009
© 2009 College of American Pathologists
 

In This Issue:

Photo: Rep. Luetkemeyer of Missouri Visits Pike County Memorial Hospital
Late Breaking News: College Responding to House Health Reform Proposal
Announcement: CAP Expanding CAC Partnership, Seeking Out State Reps
New Reports Address National Priorities and Comparative Effectiveness
Draft Definition of Meaningful Use of HIT Needs Better Recognition of Pathologists
Congressional Laboratory Tour
 

Photo: Rep. Luetkemeyer of Missouri Visits Pike County Memorial Hospital

Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) peers into a microscope with James R. Miller, MD, FCAP during a laboratory tour at Pike County Memorial Hospital in Louisiana, Missouri.

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Late Breaking News: College Responding to House Health
Reform Proposal

The College, as of press time, is currently preparing a response to the U.S. House Tri-Committee Proposal on Healthcare Reform released June 19. As soon as it is available it will be posted on the CAP Advocacy website.

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Announcement: CAP Expanding CAC Partnership, Seeking Out State Reps

CAP is expanding its partnership with pathologists who serve as Carrier Advisory Committee (CAC) members by utilizing College subspecialty committees to assist with review of local coverage decisions and act as a repository of communication and information for CAC network members.

The College is in the process of updating its Carrier Advisory Committee list of representatives.

Please forward your contact information to nwilson@cap.org if you are a pathology CAC representative, or alternate representative, in any of the following states: Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.

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New Reports Address National Priorities and
Comparative Effectiveness

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (FCC-CER) have released reports to Congress and the President outlining national priorities and strategic framework for the implementation of comparative effectiveness research (CER).

The reports are further indicators of the Administration’s commitment to moving forward with CER implementation, and outline several priorities that may have an impact on pathologists.

  • The IOM report calls for research on genetic and biomarker testing, and on standards of care in the prevention and treatment of breast, colorectal, prostate, lung and ovarian cancer, as well as other possible clinical condition for which promising biomarkers exist. The report also proposes comparative effectiveness research for adding information about new biomarkers, including genetic information, in order to motivate behavior change and improve clinical outcomes.
  • The FCC-CER report identifies personalized medicine and patient subgroups as key priorities in an effort to reduce a “trial and error” approach and to make patient care more precise and effective.

The release of these reports follow a letter to members of Congress signed by CAP urging legislators to continue advancing this initiative as a key component of any strategy designed to reform health care. CAP, along with more than 60 partnering medical associations, issued the letter June 25 to members of Congress supporting a robust, federally sponsored, independent Comparative Effectiveness Research enterprise, however cautioning that more evaluation is needed to best implement the program.

“The goal of the health care system should be to provide accessible quality health care to patients. This requires getting the right test, to the right patient, in the right time, to provide the right care,” said David Witte, MD, FCAP, chair of the CAP Patient Safety and Performance Measures Committee.

“Selecting the appropriate test for a specific patient to institute optimal care is critical for achieving this goal. CAP believes that it is necessary advocate for additional research to give health care providers, patients and the health care system tools that can be used to deliver on the promise of patient-centered care and enhanced patient satisfaction.”

The College is actively engaged in informing these and similar efforts as pathologists play an important role in weighing the benefits and harms in preventing, diagnosing, and treating patients and in determining which treatments and tests are appropriate best for patients.

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Draft Definition of Meaningful Use of HIT Needs Better Recognition of Pathologists

A draft matrix defining the “Meaningful Use” of Health Information Technology released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology does not yet take into full consideration the unique and essential role of pathologists in patient care delivery, according to comments provided to the agency by the College.

The matrix, mandated by a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, does not appear to recognize that pathologists, including those whose practices are located in hospitals and who are not currently eligible for incentives under ARRA, need to have full access to patient records across settings of care in order to provide optimal service.

In the comments provided by CAP President Jared Schwartz, MD, PhD, FCAP, the College urged the ONC’s HIT Policy Steering Committee to address the consultations between clinicians and pathologists in a way that allows for collaborative consults that can benefit the patient and reduce inappropriate testing and unnecessary costs.

“The College believes that the definition of meaningful use should be realistic and scaleable to accommodate practices with varying IT adoption levels and with different capabilities so as to not create undue burdens on practices,” said Dr. Schwartz in the letter. “The definition should also incorporate flexibility so that practices can tailor their adoption plan in a progressive manner capable of expansion over a specified period of time.”

CAP will continue to work with the ONC HIT Policy Steering Committee and others to ensure that HIT adoption will not prevent pathologists from fully participating in clinical care, thus ensuring optimal health care delivery in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

To view the College’s complete recommendations go to the CAP’s Advocacy website under “Letters to Policymakers.” To view the ONC’s matrix, visit their website.

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Congressional Laboratory Tour

James R. Miller, MD, FCAP hosted Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) for a laboratory tour at Pike County Memorial Hospital in Louisiana, Missouri. The tour gave Rep. Luetkemeyer the opportunity to see first hand the role of pathology in patient care and discuss key issues in healthcare reform.

For more information on how you can host your Senator or Representative on a laboratory tour, contact Chris Sherin either by phone, 202-354-7129, or email.

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STATLINE Archive

Contact: statline@cap.org
202-354-7100  •  202-354-7155 (fax)  •  800-392-9994

 

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