ASPS President's Page: BIA-ALCL answers, coding and ISE updates
Welcome to the second installment of our President's Page email to inform you, the members of ASPS, what kind of work is being done at all levels of our Society.
Last month, BIA-ALCL came back into the media spotlight following a report in JAMA Oncology, and ASPS maintained its place at the forefront of understanding and finding answers to the problem. We're committed to making sure you have scientific research and information on the disease as quickly as possible. In conjunction with ASAPS, we recently issued an updated FAQ page that can not only answer some questions you might have, but also help provide answers to your patients.
Moving forward, we expect gluteal fat-grafting to also come into sharp focus. On that front, just this week, we issued a joint statement with members of the intersociety gluteal-fat grafting task force (which includes ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, IFATS and ISPRES). The important takeaway from this release is that surgeons need to critically evaluate their technique as we learn more about the cause of the high mortality rate associated with this procedure. We have a intersociety, fully-funded scientific study underway that will help provide answers in the near future.
As part of our continuing effort to provide you with some behind-the-scenes looks at what our Society's committees and task forces are working on, this month we feature Paul Weiss, MD, who will inform you of what the Coding & Payment Policy Committee is up to, and Sean Bidic, MD, who provides an update on the Plastic Surgery In-Service Training Exam Committee's efforts. Given that the ISE is quickly approaching, this should be timely information (see below).
Finally, I'd like to remind everyone that Aesthetica takes place in Las Vegas March 1-3. This will be a fantastic meeting that provides an "all-you-can-eat educational buffet" of informative and innovative content. As an added bonus, ASPS is offering a members-only special that offers registration for both Aesthetica and Plastic Surgery The Meeting for $1500 – a savings of $595. If you haven't registered, do so now – this is an amazing offer. I look forward to seeing you out there!
Yours in service,
Coding & Payment Policy Committee Update
The main efforts of the Coding & Payment Policy Committee continue to be the "CPT Corner" corner articles for PSN, continuous updating of the Coding Workshop Workbook and courses, as well keeping up with changes in ICD-10 and CPT codes through our participation in the RUC and CPT committees through the AMA. The committee also helps create educational products for members, including the QuickCodes for ICD-10 and the soon-to-be-launched Plastic Surgery Coding Guidebook for CPT coding. One of the longer-term projects we're currently working on is a proposal to introduce a new code for fat grafting that would make it separate from other types of bone, skin and soft-tissue grafts. Obviously that would have to go through both the committee and a whole process before taking effect, but it's something we want to see in the future. We are also trying to update policy to allow a tissue expander to be coded with a latissimus dorsi flap for breast reconstruction. As always, the committee will continue evaluating code changes for our benefit and taking care that we don't lose value in the process.
-Paul Weiss, MD, Chair
ISE Committee Update
The 2018 In-Service Exam is quickly approaching, with registration open through March 2. The exam will be held for residents on March 1, and the exam for surgeons will be held March 5 through April 9. There are five modules, and each module which attains a minimum passing score of 30 percent or better will be eligible for 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, of which 1.5 credits pertain to patient safety. The entire successfully completed exam is worth 37.5 credits, of which 7.5 are patient safety. We're hoping to build on the wide reach we achieved last year, which, according to our statistics, saw, 1,122 residents take the exam (including 110 U.S. and Canadian training programs, as well as two programs from Lebanon), and 2,058 surgeons take the exam, including 70 from 13 international countries. In addition to bringing in more participants, the committee is looking to add new members to support new "lifelong learning" modules. The goal of these modules is to create a 200-question exam designed specifically for cosmetic and craniofacial practitioners. We hope to launch this exam in 2019, although a 100-question exam might be more likely as we work to build toward the larger exam.
-Sean Bidic, MD, Chair