SGO Issues Feb. 9, 2017
Coding taskforce explores decline in surgical reimbursement
Gynecologic Oncology offers clinical commentary on OVCA treatment
SGO wants to see your creative side at the Annual Meeting
SGO Board election closes Feb. 10
Feb. 10 deadline for All In Donor Wall at Annual Meeting
This month’s issue of Gynecologic Oncology features an update from the SGO taskforce on coding and reimbursement: Since surgery isn’t getting any easier, why is reimbursement going down? The report by Shitanshu Uppal, MD; Mark Shahin, MD; Jill Rathbun and Barbara Goff, MD, explains why the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reduced payment levels of certain CPT codes and outlines the role that individual providers play in determining the reimbursement of a surgical procedure.
The article cites several examples of reductions in Relative Value Units (RVUs) by CMS over the past two years–including an 18% reduction in RVUs for CPT code 58571 (TLH+BSO)–and answers several important questions about this process:
- What are relative value units (RVUs) and how are they calculated?
- Why do RVUs matter?
- Why did the surveys filled out by gynecologic oncologists and general obstetrician/gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) result in such dramatic reductions in RVUs?
- How good are surgeons at estimating surgical time?
- Why is this important for gynecologic oncologists to understand the time it takes to care for their patients?
Barbara Goff, MD, and Mark Shahin, MD, Chair and Vice Chair of the SGO taskforce on coding and reimbursement, noted that an informed membership can prevent reductions in payment.
“If you care about reimbursement, then it is important to take the time to understand how relative value units are assigned and how they impact our reimbursement,” said Dr. Goff, who noted that hastily done surveys with incomplete data can also have a negative impact on the reimbursement that CMS assigns gynecologic oncology codes.
Dr. Shahin added that reimbursement should be an important component of education for residents and fellows.
“After a couple of years in practice members realize there is such an important item as reimbursement and then if time allows they try to first ask partners, associates and hospital coding staff,” he said. “This can result in many years of lost revenues and false coding which can leave you personally exposed and financially harmed.
“Members should educate themselves at least once but preferably multiple times through courses offered by ACOG, SGO, and even ACS, as well as collaborate and learn from educated members/partners and associates.”
Coding and Practice Management will be the subject of a preconference Special Interest Session to be held Saturday, March 11, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the SGO Annual Meeting. This post graduate course will teach fundamentals of Evaluation & Management (E&M) and surgical coding along with case-based presentations.
- Individualized Medicine in Ovarian Cancer: Are We There Yet? Shannon N. Westin, Robert L. Coleman
Clinical Commentary: Point-Counterpoint
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced-stage ovarian cancer: Are the ASCO and SGO recommendations warranted? Steven Narod, Victoria Sopik
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer: It’s all about selection Don S. Dizon
In keeping with the focus on member wellness by SGO president Jeffrey Fowler, MD, the SGO Wellness Taskforce is seeking ways to display this initiative alongside the science at the SGO Annual Meeting. The taskforce is calling for submissions of original artwork from SGO members to be displayed at the Annual Meeting, even if they are unable to attend the event. SGO members who use a creative outlet to seek solace or find balance in their lives can share their work with their colleagues by submitting it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions can take the form of photography, video, writing, painting, music, favorite recipes, or any other artistic expression that can be displayed via digital media. Entries will be reviewed for appropriateness for public display, and artwork can be displayed anonymously if requested on the submission email.
“SGO’s Annual Meeting has always been a source of inspiration for investigation,” said Dr. Fowler. “We hope that by highlighting your creative work in this arena that your fellow SGO members may be inspired to investigate art as an outlet for their own wellness practice. We thank you in advance for sharing, and we look forward to exploring the talents of our members.”
The deadline for the 2017-2018 SGO Board of Directors Election is tomorrow, Feb. 10 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Ballots were sent to all eligible SGO members on Jan. 9 from email@example.com. Candidate biographies are available on the SGO website.
Tomorrow, Feb. 10, is the deadline to make a pledge or donation to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer All In member campaign and be included on the Donor Wall at the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. This Donor Wall will be on display at the SGO/FWC booth #315 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14, during Exhibit Hall hours.