President’s Letter – December 2019

December 2, 2019

Fellow Pathologist,

The Washington State Society of Pathologists Board of Directors thanks you for your membership and is asking that you to renew your membership for 2020.
The WSSP has a prominent role as provider of pathology educational opportunities and has the important role of serving on your behalf as a representative and advocate to the Washington State Medical Association, the state legislature, and regulatory agencies. To do so we need your continued support!
Once again, we will be addressing an important legislative issue in 2020. Lawmakers are poised to develop policy around benefit managers during this upcoming session. Benefit managers dictate or limit health care provider decisions regarding the use of medical services, requiring health care providers to submit a notification in order for reimbursement of those services (e.g. preauthorization, medical necessity, etc.

Regularly, these benefit managers are making care decisions on behalf of carriers. Laboratory benefit managers are less well known to legislators but are now serving a bigger and bigger role for carriers, particularly with the implementation of targeted therapy in the realm of personalized medicine. More and more clinical and molecular tests are being denied by carriers, leaving patients and physicians in difficult and frustrating positions.

The WSSP in conjunction with the College of American Pathologists will be lobbying legislators during the 2020 session to include laboratory benefit managers as part of a more comprehensive bill aimed at regulating this industry.

We will also continue to monitor the rules making and implementation process for the Balance Billing Law (HB 1065) and the business and occupation (B&O) tax increase on health care both which go into effect in 2020.

In addition to our legislative efforts, we will continue to offer high quality CME through our Digital Pathology Slide Sessions. This innovative program is both practical and flexible and able to provide the SAM credits that you need to maintain your certification.

Your continued participation in the Washington State Society of Pathologists is essential as we continue to strengthen our organization.

Respectfully,

Dominique Coco, M.D.
President, Chair of Board of Directors

Facebooktwittermail

President’s Letter – December 2018

Dear Valued Member,

The Washington State Society of Pathologists (WSSP) Board of Directors thanks you for your membership and asks that you renew your membership for 2019.

The WSSP has a prominent role as a provider of pathology education and has the vital role of serving on your behalf as a representative and advocate to the Washington State Medical Association, the state legislature and regulatory agencies. To continue to educate and advocate for pathologists, we need your continued support!

Pathologists continue to face significant legislative challenges in our state. During the 2019 legislative session, the state legislature will discuss a bill that curbs our ability to Balance Bill out-of-network patients for services that we provide. This will be the third and likely last year that the legislature will consider this bill. There is a substantial likelihood of the bill passing both the State House and Senate. Previous versions of this bill have attempted to prevent direct out-of-network billing to patients. They have also set professional and technical reimbursement to a non-market rate benchmark such as Medicare. Both of the provisions would significantly hinder our ability to negotiate with insurance companies. The WSSP is fighting hard to make sure that our collective voice is heard on this Balance Bill issue.

Since 2017 we have participated in stakeholder meetings with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and have been an active member of a coalition with other hospital-based physicians. The WSSP has worked side-by-side with the College of American Pathologists to ensure an effective and united front. We have lobbied individual senators and representatives and testified in both the House and Senate Healthcare Committees. While progress has been made, our efforts are again needed to ensure that the legislative outcome is best for our patients and our practice. We need your support to make this happen.

We are also excited to announce that we will be offering an innovative CME program in 2019: Digital Pathology Slide Sessions. There will be four sessions each quarter beginning in February. Each session will consist of 3 one-hour lectures where three speakers will review cases within their specialty. The cases will be viewed on a digital platform, and the speakers will incorporate imaging and informational slides when appropriate to emphasize diagnostic entities and challenges. Digital slides will be available for preview and lectures can be attended personally but will also be broadcast over the internet for remote viewing. Your membership will give you a discounted rate for these sessions. More information about the program and each session including topics, speakers, location, and pricing will be available in January 2019.

Your continued participation in the WSSP is essential as we continue to strengthen our organization.

Respectfully,

Dominique Coco, M.D.
President, Chair of Board of Directors

Facebooktwittermail