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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

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