Category Archives: News

WVAFP Membership Benefit — Save you money!

Providing Immunizations with Atlantic Can Benefit Your Practice!

The WVAFP has a strong resource to help our members more effectively provide immunizations to patients.  Atlantic Health Partners provides the lowest prices for a wide range of immunizations along with valuable customer service and support.

Furthermore, with pre-booking for the 2014 flu season underway, now is the best time to contact Atlantic, as they also offer the lowest prices and best terms for Sanofi Fluzone vaccines.  Participation with Atlantic will help you better prepare for flu season, save you money on vaccines throughout the year, and enhance patient satisfaction with your practice.

In addition to helping your practice save money on all Sanofi, Merck and Medimmune vaccines, Atlantic also provides vaccine reimbursement support and advocacy and other discount programs.

We encourage you to contact Cindy or Jeff at 800-741-2044 or info@atlantichealthpartners.com to see how Atlantic Health Partners (www.atlantichealthpartners.com) can benefit your practice.

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Kimberly Becher, MD Blog Post …

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

Chemical Spill Puts Resident, Hospital to Test
Jan. 9 was like any other Thursday. I worked a full, busy and ordinary day as a family medicine resident at my hospital in Huntington, W.Va. Then I drove 30 minutes home to Culloden, W.Va.
It’s worth noting that A) Huntington and Culloden are served by two different water treatment plants, and B) I didn’t listen to news radio in the car.
On the way home, I stopped to buy groceries for the coming weekend. Although busy grocery stores are nothing unexpected, what I saw on this night was different. It was a new level of frenzy. Still, I didn’t think much of it. Many people in my community had been without power for a few days because of a recent storm. I thought maybe they were restocking their freezers and refrigerators.
I finished my shopping and went to the check-out line. That’s when another shopper said to me, “You don’t have any water. Why don’t you have any water?”
I’m not accustomed to having my shopping cart critiqued, but I was willing to play along.
“Why do I need water?” I asked.
That is how I found out that an estimated 7,500-gallon spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol — a chemical used to treat coal — had been detected in the Elk River, less than two miles upstream from our area’s water treatment plant.
At that point, I was too late. There was no bottled water left on the shelves in that store or any other store in town. I went home to a weekend without water — me and 300,000 other people.
A state of emergency was declared for a nine-county area that includes Charleston, the state capital and West Virginia’s largest city. We were told not to use tap water for any reason, which meant no consumption, no bathing and no cleaning anything.
Schools and businesses closed. The West Virginia National Guard was activated to distribute drinking water and assist residents affected by a chemical spill. Volunteers, like the Poca High School students in the photo above, handed out cases of bottled water to people in need.
Fortunately for me, my hospital and residency program weren’t affected. I was able to shower at the hospital and fill water bottles to take home. My fellow residents were wonderful, watching my 6-year-old during his unplanned vacation while I was on call, and they also allowed my husband and son to shower or bathe at their homes.
In the bigger picture, it was fortunate for others in the area that the hospital was unaffected because without water, other health care facilities in the nine-county area were unable to care for their patients.
To transfer patients from one facility to another, you have to have an accepting physician on the receiving end. Although other academic and private admitting services at my hospital declined to accept transfers from the affected facilities in Charleston, our family medicine service did. If we hadn’t taken these patients, they would have been sent to facilities in Ohio or Kentucky, and we didn’t want that to happen to them.
And although I feel good about the care we were able to give, we were quickly overwhelmed. In addition to patients transferred from other hospitals (after being admitted for reasons unrelated to the spill) we also treated numerous patients who were exposed to the tainted water and were suffering with nausea, rash, headache, diarrhea and vomiting.
We also experienced a surge in patients suffering from influenza. Without access to water, people couldn’t wash their hands, and the flu spread rapidly within a few days.
Soon, our hospital was full. People were admitted with no bed to go to, so gurneys were set up in the hallways with makeshift bed numbers taped to the walls.
People pitched in and helped out because in a crisis situation you have to adapt and be flexible. Residents who weren’t on call offered to help. We stepped up and took care of patients who needed help.
Finally, on Jan. 15, patients from Charleston started going back to the facilities they came from.
This past weekend, people in my community were allowed to flush their pipes — running faucets and showers, dishwasher and washing machines — to clear the tainted water from the system. The process made the house smell, and the stuff coming out of the pipes was awful. But it’s progress and a step closer to getting back to normal.
Would you be ready if a crisis affected your community? The AAFP has resources available to help families, medical practices and communities prepare for disasters.
Kimberly Becher, M.D., is the resident member of the AAFP Board of Directors.
Editor’s Note: Photo is courtesy of Staff Sgt. De-Juan Haley via Wikimedia Commons.
Posted at 02:31PM Jan 21, 2014 by Kimberly Becher, M.D.  |  Comments[0]

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BMS Co-Pay Webinar — effective January 1, 2014

BMS will be hosting a webinar to discuss the cost sharing initiative, which is effective January 1, 2014.  This webinar is applicable to the following provider types:
•             Practitioner
•             Hospital
•             Pharmacy
•             Rural Health Clinic
•             Federally Qualified Health Clinic
•             Ambulatory Surgical Center
Agenda:
•             Overview of cost sharing initiative
o             Cost sharing structure
o             Maximum out of pocket
o             Member populations/services exempt from cost sharing
•             Eligibility response from the Molina web portal
•             Member proof of coverage
•             Questions and Answers
Conference Access Information:
Call the conference number using the information below:
•             US Toll-Free: 855-665-4629
•             Meeting number:  808 858 244
Click on the link below to attend the WebEx:

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Update on the WV e-Directive Registry as of Nov 2013

Update on the WV e-Directive Registry

 

Since its inception in October 2010, the Registry has received over 22,000 forms. In the last year the percent of forms received each month is up over 30% with the largest increase in POST forms which are up over 40% per month. There are now 50 institutions or agencies including hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, hospices and private practice physician offices that have obtained Registry use status and the number is increasing every month.  The West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care staff are often called with the four questions that appear below and their answers. The Center encourages you to submit advance directive and medical order forms (DNR card and POST forms) to the Registry so that your patients’ treatment wishes will be known and honored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently received questions about the Registry –

 

1.            Must I be a Registry user to submit forms to the Registry?

No, you do not need to have access to the Registry to submit forms.  You can submit DNR cards, POST forms, advance directive documents, surrogate selection forms, guardianship papers, and durable powers of attorney with a health care clause by FAX to the Registry.  You can also call the WV Center for End-of-Life Care during regular business hours (877.209.8086) if you are searching for an advance directive, medical order, or other document.  We do, however, encourage you to complete the documents necessary to access the Registry on your own.

 

2.            Can I still obtain documents from the Registry while I am waiting for my facility to complete the documents necessary for Registry access?

Treating health care professionals can request Registry documents from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday by sending the request on your facility FAX cover sheet or letterhead, the face sheet from the patient/resident chart from your facility, and a signed copy of the Health Care Provider Request for Registry Information that can be found on the e-Directive Registry page of the WV Center for End-of-Life Care website (www.wvendoflife.org)  or clicking on the link in this answer.

 

 

3.            If my facility is considering signing up for full service with the WV Health Information Network (WVHIN), can we sign up for Registry access while we are waiting for the additional documents to be completed?

Yes, you can sign up for the Registry individually.  Access to the Registry requires the completion of the WVHIN Participation Agreement, WV e-Directive Registry Agreement, and the Business Associate Agreement.  If you are considering services other than the Registry, contact the WVHIN offices at 304-558-4503 for assistance.

 

4.            Can my facility have more than one Authorized Administrator to assign usernames and passwords to the Registry?

Yes, you can.  Several facilities have done this because of an anticipated extended medical leave of one Administrator.  New Registry users can be provisioned in a timely manner and employees who leave the facility can have their access removed.

www.wvendoflife.org

Toll-free number – 877-209-8086

WV e-Directive RegistryFAX 304-293-7442

Description: Description: Description: DHHR logo

 

Supported by funding from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources

 

 

 

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Improving the Health of your Patients and your Practice – Vaccine Purchasing Program

According to the CDC, many seniors are still not being vaccinated for the potentially fatal conditions of influenza and pneumonia.

Effectively addressing this problem is just one of the key reasons we are working with Atlantic Health Partners, the nation’s leading vaccine buying group.  Atlantic offers our members the most favorable pricing and terms for Merck and Sanofi vaccines, along with outstanding customer service.  Atlantic’s mission is to positively impact medical practice performance and public health outcomes by empowering physicians to more cost-effectively and efficiently provide immunizations to patients.

Atlantic’s program is especially effective for Family Physicians, and can help you with everything from back to school immunizations and the influenza season, to more effectively immunizing Medicare patients including vaccines covered under Part D.

WVAFP members currently participating with Atlantic are most satisfied with the pricing, support, and ease of administration.   We strongly recommend you contact Cindy or Jeff at Atlantic at 800-741-2044 or email at info@atlantichealthpartners.com to better determine how Atlantic can help your practice.   You can also visit their web sitewww.atlantichealthpartners.com

Download (PDF, 55KB)

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Kimberly Becher, MD — Marshall Family Medicine Resident elected to AAFP Board of Directors

imberly R. Becher, MD, a family physician in Culloden, W.Va., serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. Becher was elected to a one-year term by the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents and was confirmed by the governing body of the AAFP, the Congress of Delegates.

As the resident member of the board of directors, Becher represents the interests and opinions of the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents to the AAFP Board of Directors and Congress of Delegates. In addition, she will advocate on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.

As the resident member of the board of directors, Becher represents the interests and opinions of the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents to the AAFP Board of Directors and Congress of Delegates. In addition, she will advocate on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.

A member of the AAFP since 2008, Becher has served in several leadership positions at the university, state and national level. As a fourth-year medical student, she served on the AAFP Commission on Governmental Advocacy. She also was selected to serve as a resident spokesperson for the AAFP’s 2012 visit to the White House, where participants from around the country discussed care coordination efforts that improved health outcomes and reduced fragmentation and duplication of care.

On the state level, Becher served as the student member of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors and as a member of the chapter’s Legislation and Government Affairs Committee.

Active in the Family Medicine Interest Group at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, she served as the group’s president in 2011.

Passionate about health policy and reform advocacy, Becher was named one of Marshall University’s Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellows. In this capacity, she participates in key health policy meetings of the West Virginia state legislature and serves as a physician resource to legislative leaders.

In addition, Becher has served as a volunteer physician at the Marshall Medical Outreach homeless clinic and as a volunteer at The Health Sciences and Technology Academy of West Virginia University summer camp, a math and science program that aims to empower minority, rural and underrepresented high school students. She also went on a medical mission to Honduras in 2008 as part of Global Brigades Honduras.

Becher, who grew up in West Virginia and received her medical degree from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 2011, is in her third and final year of residency and serves as one of the department’s chief residents. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in biology from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, in 2002.

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Michael Lewis, MD — ‘Celebration of Life’

Dr. Mike Lewis – Medical Treasure
West Virginia has lost a true medical treasure. Mike Lewis, MD, died with peace and dignity at the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, where he received compassionate comfort measures for his end-of-life care. This is reflective of his dynamic medical career advocacy for hospice services and end-of-life care through advanced directives. Mike was beloved by his wife Mino, daughters Beth and Tana, six grandchildren, immediate family, friends, colleagues and patients. A “Celebration of Life” service is planned for 1 PM on Saturday at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home in Charleston.
A rural Raleigh County native and distinguished family physician, he resigned as the Department of Health and Human Resources cabinet secretary for health reasons a little over a year ago. He headed the agency for 18 months and upon leaving this position Governor Earl Ray Tomblin described Lewis as “a compassionate healthcare advocate who has provided outstanding service since he accepted the position of cabinet secretary. . . a man who is kind, intelligent, patient and dedicated to his profession and the health of all West Virginians.”  Well, that just about says it all.
In his DHHR letter of resignation, Mike expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve West Virginia. “My life has come full circle, from the chronically-ill child raised in southern West Virginia in need of healthcare to heading the department responsible for delivery of the same,” he wrote. “Serving West Virginia has been the greatest honor of my life.”
Thom Stevens, WVAFP’s Lobbyists in a column for the Sunday Gazette-Mail on June 24, 2012, “It seems like Mike was preparing for the DHHR cabinet secretary position during his entire medical career. With his degree from the WVU School of Medicine, he also served there as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Associate Dean of the Charleston Division and Associate Vice President for Health Sciences.  He also was the Director of Graduate Medical Education at CAMC, Board Member of the WVU Hospitals/United Health System, and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at the Higher Education Policy Commission.”

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Take Five (5) Minutes to give WVSMA Your Thoughts on their Journal

Please take this short survey about the West Virginia Medical Journal (WVMJ) to help improve the usefulness of the Journal. The WVSMA wants to meet the needs and expectations of WV physicians.–Thank you!

Click Here For Survey

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61st WVAFP PRESIDENT INSTALLED

Dr. John A. Parker Jr., a family physician from Huntington, was installed April 19th as president of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians during the 61st Annual Scientific Assembly held at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. Parker is an associate professor of Family Medicine at the Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Parker serves as the medical director for the Marshall University Department of Family and Community Medicine’s Rural Residency program at the Lincoln Primary Care Center in Hamlin. Prior to his employment at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, he was employed as a community physician at Tug River Health Center in McDowell County.

He has a certificate in Tropical Medicine and served more than 12 years with the U.S. Army as a physician and 12 years as a missionary serving patients in South American countries.

A board-certified family physician, Parker earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and his medical degree from University of Virginia Medical School. He completed a family medicine residency at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.

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2013 Family Doctor of the Year

James Becker, MD a family physician from Huntington, WV was the recipient of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians highest award – Family Doctor of the Year for 2012.  The award was presented by John Parker, MD during the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (WVAFP) 61st  Annual Scientific Assembly held on April 19th, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston, WV.   Thom Stevens, WVAFP Government Affairs liaison made the oral presentation.  Mr. Stevens noted that Dr. Becker has served for the past several years as the Medical Director for the WVAFP’s Doc for a Day at the WV Legislature.  During his tenure as Medical Director was responsible for establishing medical protocols for emergency care that are responsible for saving lives.  Mr. Stevens noted, ‘Jim has been a strong physician leader that has made a difference in the health and welfare of not only the legislative body when their in session but the capitol employees.”

The Family Doctor of the Year Award honors an outstanding, community-minded family physician that provides compassionate, comprehensive care.  In addition to his role as Medical Director for the Doc for a Day program Dr. Becker was recognized for being a role model to medical students and resident physicians as well as to his physician colleagues.  He is noted for his tireless devotion to improving the quality of life for his patients and bettering his community.

A board-certified family physician, Dr. Becker completed medical school at the Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 1993.  He did his family medicine residency at Marshall University in Huntington, WV .

Founded in 1948, the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians represents more than 1,000 physicians and medical students statewide.  It is the largest medical specialty society devoted solely to primary care.  The West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians is a chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP’s positions on issues and clinical are, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media.  For information about healthcare, health conditions and and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer Web site, www.FamilyDoctor.org

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