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The 2018 Policy Meeting gives you a chance to impact the future of pathology and gain crucial insight about the current policy landscape, and earn 6.5 CME credits.

Pathologists who register and attend will also earn 6.5 CMEs at the Policy Meeting, from April 30 – May 2, 2018.

During the three days, you will:

  • Identify current issues in the field with a focus on practical issues for pathology (e.g. payment challenges, new delivery models, value-based purchasing, laboratory regulation)
  • Describe the role of pathologists in care coordination activities
  • Identify emerging practice delivery models to improve health care quality.
  • Prepare and effectively communicate messages in a manner that advocates for pathology.
  • And much more!

The College of American Pathologists is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The CAP designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Donald Karcher, MD, FCAP

It’s not too late to be heard and make a difference at the 2018 Policy Meeting.

In the latest CAPCast, Donald Karcher MD, FCAP, who is the Chair of the Committee of Government and Professional Affairs, chatted about his experience in advocacy, what motivated him to get involved, what he is looking forward to the upcoming Policy Meeting. Like Dr. Karcher, CAP members can use their voices to advocate for the profession during the Policy Meeting. In addition, attendees will receive policy updates from leaders at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and hear from featured keynote speakers like Judy Woodruff, Charlie Cook, and William Kristol.

Over 100 of your colleagues will gather at the 2018 Policy Meeting on Monday, April 30, which ends with Hill Day on Wednesday, May 2. The Policy Meeting, which will take place at the Washington Marriott in Washington, DC, is a benefit of CAP membership and there is no fee to register. View the full meeting agenda and Register today.

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As part of the CAP’s ongoing efforts to educate policy influencers—members of Congress, congressional staff, regulatory agency officials, and health policy experts—digital advertisements will run in the Washington area starting April 26 through mid-May, including during the 2018 Policy Meeting.

The advertisements are intended to bring greater attention to the role of pathologists in patient diagnosis and the health care system. The CAP’s digital ads will appear in several national and local media outlets based in Washington.

A core function of the CAP’s overall messaging is that policy influencers, among others, recognize the value of pathologists in bettering patient care. The advertisements ask “What Will a Pathologist See?” and focus on three diseases: breast cancer, prostate cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.

Another message reads “Pathologists are the physicians behind the microscope who make the diagnosis. By examining tissue samples and specimens, pathologists provide diagnoses to guide health care decisions made by patients, primary care physicians, and surgeons.”

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The Food Drug Administration (FDA) finalized guidance to support clinical validity for next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing for suspected germline diseases on April 12. The FDA final guidance reflects the CAP’s NGS positions and will further provide test developers with a more efficient path to go to market.

Prior to finalizing the two guidance documents, the CAP had encouraged the FDA to focus on the analytic performance standards for NGS while allowing the medical community to use well-curated, robust clinical databases to support clinical claims.

The FDA’s guidance document Considerations for Design, Development, and Analytical Validation of NGS) – Based In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) Intended to Aid in the Diagnosis of Suspected Germline Diseases offers recommendations for designing, developing and validating NGS tests for suspected germline diseases. The guidance also encourages community engagement in developing NGS-related standards by organizations since standards can more rapidly evolve with changes in technology and knowledge and can, therefore, be used to set appropriate metrics such as specific performance thresholds for fast-growing fields such as NGS. This final guidance aligns with the CAP’s position for the FDA to use industry-wide standards for NGS.

The second guidance document, Use of Public Human Genetic Variant Databases to Support Clinical Validity for Genetic and Genomic-Based In Vitro Diagnostics, allows developers to use data from FDA-recognized public databases of genetic variants to help support a test’s clinical validity. It also outlines how database administrators can seek recognition for their databases if they meet certain quality recommendations. The FDA may allow the use of third-party review programs to assist with the genetic variant database recognition. The CAP’s position for the FDA to use graded curated databases to establish clinical validity is captured in the document.

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Do you wonder if your pathology practice has the same issues as other practices across the nation? If so, the CAP 2018 Practice Leader Survey (PLS), which opens on April 30, will collect information from practice leaders about practice demographics, patient case mix, staffing trends, impacts of mergers and acquisitions, and the impact from regulatory issues and an evolving healthcare marketplace.

Since 1994, the CAP has fielded a Practice Characteristics Survey or Practice Leader Survey to gather socioeconomic data about CAP members. Data from these surveys are critical to helping the CAP understand the services pathologists are providing, where they are providing those services, how long they have been in practice, their income, and retirement plans. These data, in turn, help CAP to understand which Advocacy issues are most important to our members and to help us provide data to support our positions with lawmakers and regulators.

The 2018 PLS is the second CAP Policy and Advocacy survey targeting pathology practice leaders. Practice leaders will receive an email with the survey link the week of April 30. The link will also be sent to many practice managers and administrators, with a request that they bring the survey to the attention of their practice leader. CAP members should encourage their practice leader to take the survey, which only takes 20 minutes to complete. There will be one survey per practice. Those practices that complete the 2018 PLS will be eligible to win one of three $150 Amazon gift cards. The PLS is confidential. Anyone taking the survey will remain anonymous and results will only be shared in aggregate form.

All survey participants will be able to view an exclusive webinar that will review the findings later this year.

For questions about completing the survey, or if you want to make sure that your practice leader received the survey, please email practicesurvey@cap.org.

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