SGO Issues Mar. 19, 2015
RSVP for coding and reimbursement meeting March 29
Practice Survey available at Annual Meeting and SGO store
SGO Latin America Symposium encourages collaboration
Orr matching funds reach 2015 goal
Gyn Onc Wellness Retreat offers tips on avoiding burnout
Department of Defense Ovarian Academy Abstract Session March 30
Member attendees at the 2015 SGO Annual Meeting in Chicago are invited to attend a special coding and reimbursement meeting on Sunday, March 29, at 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. to discuss possible CMS codes that could reset the Relative Value Units (RVUs) for many of the surgical procedures performed by gynecologic oncologists. RSVP to SGO’s Manager of Governance and Membership, Jennifer Ocampo, at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 23.
In a letter to committee volunteers, Barbara A. Goff, MD, Chair of the SGO Task Force on Coding and Reimbursement, and Mark Shahin, MD, Vice Chair of the SGO Task Force on Coding and Reimbursement, expressed concern that due to technologic advancements and other factors, additional codes may need to be surveyed.
“We would like to talk further about the possibility of our Society needing to do additional surveys,” they said. “In addition, other major changes in coding reimbursement are occurring which may require help from our membership.”
During the 90-minute session at the Annual Meeting, Drs. Goff and Shahin will present an AMA-approved slide deck on how to complete RVU surveys for CPT codes, provide a coding update and answer questions. There will also be an overview of the changes that SGO is undertaking in the area of Heath Policy and Socio-economics, which will allow SGO to place more focus and concerted effort on all of the important aspects that impact members’ practices.
The 2015 State of the Subspecialty Practice Survey will be featured at the SGO Annual Meeting during the SGO Member Forum and be available for purchase at SGO Booth #117 in the Exhibit Hall. Orders can be placed through the store at sgo.org starting March 23.
The print version is $120 for SGO members, $535 for non-members, and the PDF file—for SGO members only—is $60. Members who participated in the Practice Survey will receive a complimentary PDF by the end of this week.
“Special Interest Session VI: SGO Latin America Symposium – The Current, Present & Future of Gynecologic Oncology in Developing Countries – A Call for Future Partnerships,” on Monday, March 30, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., will encourage attendees to create collaborations with Latin American cancer centers. Led by course directors Rene Pareja, MD, and Pedro Ramirez, MD, this course highlights the accomplishments of young fellows and faculty in Latin America who are eager to initiate studies and collaborations with investigators in the U.S.
Dr. Ramirez, who is the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Research & Education in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, noted that there are very limited fellowship programs in Latin America, so the care of most women with gynecologic cancers is done by general surgeons or general gynecologists.
“We selected key figures in gynecologic oncology in Latin America to provide updates in the areas of clinical practice, research, training and education,” he explained. “We selected individuals who are key components in the progress to move forward. This symposium will primarily focus on strategies to build a stronger force of young gynecologic oncologists who will be the visionaries and thought leaders for the future of the specialty in Latin America.”
Dr. Ramirez added that those attending this course will be introduced to a wide range of opportunities in Latin America.
“We will showcase some of the key studies that are currently being conducted by major cancer centers in the United States in collaboration with sites in Latin America,” he said. “We will feature brief discussions on the process of initiation, implementation, and completion of current prospective trials in Latin America. We will discuss strategies to overcoming barriers and solutions to obstacles that may be encountered when considering collaborations with centers in Latin America.”
The Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology and the Wilma Williams Education and Clinical Research Award are pleased to announce the fulfillment of the SGO Member Match. At the 2013 SGO Annual Meeting, Dr. James and Vicki Orr challenged membership to support the SGO Foundation, and offered to match any donations of $5,000 or more to the Foundation up to $150,000 by the 2015 SGO Annual Meeting. As of March 2015, that match has been fully met, resulting in a total donation of $300,000 for the Foundation.
“SGO and the Foundation would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the generosity of each of the individuals who contributed and to Jimmy and Vicki for making this possible,” said SGO Executive Director Mary C. Eiken, MS, RN. “Their generosity is helping to fulfill SGO’s mission to support the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology, and eventually see a day when women’s cancers are eradicated.”
Neutralizing physician stress while avoiding mental and emotional burnout is the subject of SGO Annual Meeting “Special Interest Session IX: Gyn Onc Wellness Retreat: Reinvigorating the Joy and Compassion in Your Practice” on Monday, March 30, at 5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Led by course director David Kushner, MD, with course faculty Jeffrey Fowler, MD, and invited guest Kell Julliard, this session encourages attendees to cultivate attention and awareness, so that even the most difficult situations and emotions can be transformed into sources of inner peace and joy.
“Most of us have not received formal training to deal with the stressors related to patient care, needs of our families, and the demands put upon us as physicians,” said Dr. Kushner, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. “Working harder and faster is not sustainable and places us at risk for burnout.”
“SGO can play a role in pulling this all together: Understand the stressors, devise interventions, help to protect this rewarding career,” said Dr. Fowler, from The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, OH.
For members of the SGO Wellness Taskforce, the Gyn Onc Wellness is a topic that is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
“Our youngest members are among the most professionally gifted of any segment of the medical profession,” said Larry Copeland, MD, of OSU. “Appreciate this, preserve this, and continue to advance our sub-specialty.”
Andrew Berchuck, MD, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, noted, “The mindfulness/resiliency movement has been valuable in helping us understand that one is not alone and the mind can be trained to keep a proper perspective.”
Beth Karlan, MD, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, added that SGO members have a unique perspective in avoiding burnout. “One of the greatest fringe benefits of being a gynecologic oncologist is learning from our patients that every day is a gift and they should all be celebrated,” she said.
Jeff Boyd, PhD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, and Douglas A. Levine, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, will moderate “Special Interest Session VIII: The First Department of Defense Ovarian Academy Abstract Session,” on Monday, March 30, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the SGO Annual Meeting. This course focuses on the latest science coming from the Department of Defense’s Ovarian Academy. Abstracts will be presented by the scholars of the Ovarian Academy as a collective forum, promoting dialogue in the research and treatment of gynecologic cancers.