Week In Review

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Spotlight on #AGS20 Virtual Sessions: Clinician Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research (Clin-STAR) Paper Session

Join us on Tues., Sept. 15, 4-5pm ET (1-2pm PT) for the latest virtual session stemming from #AGS20.

Clinician Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research (Clin-STAR) Paper Session

Moderator: Christopher Carpenter, MD, MS
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis

Register here. The password is 072895.


This Clinician Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research (Clin-STAR) Paper Session will present the latest peer-reviewed geriatrics research from four leading researchers in gynecology, nephrology, oncology, and trauma surgery. Questions and answers to follow.

Learning Objectives: (1) Discuss new and original geriatrics research; (2) describe an emerging concept or new scientific focus in aging research; and (3) summarize the key findings of projects with relevance to care of older adults. 


Rasheeda K. Hall, MD, MBA, MHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University
Research Topic: Potentially Inappropriate Medications (PIMs) and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Older Adults with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Vanessa P. Ho, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery, Associate Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Research Topic: Multimorbidity in Patients with Emergency General Surgery Conditions

Kah Poh (Melissa) Loh, MBBCh, BAO
Senior Instructor, Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology (SMD), University of Rochester
Research Topic: Association between Caregiver-Oncologist Discordance in Length of Life Estimates for the Patient and Caregiver Satisfaction

Nazema Y. Siddiqui, MD, MHSc
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University
Research Topic: Urinary Microbiome in Menopausal Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Summer Leadership Webinar Series for AGS Fellows in Training

The AGS/Association of Directors of Geriatrics Academic Programs (ADGAP) is excited to announce a new “Leadership and Life Skills Virtual Summer Program,” led by Helen Fernandez, MD, and Greg Paulson, MD. This free online program, designed exclusively for current fellows, will soon hold its second 90-minute virtual meeting, as described below:

  • Defining Emotional Intelligence and its Importance in Leadership Development
    Wed. Aug. 5, at 4pm ET
    Presented by: Mary Amory, MBA, and Lynn Flint, MD
    Register HERE

Please email questions to Elisha Medina-Gallagher at egallagher@americangeriatrics.org.


Join Our Webinar: Practical Solutions Using Telehealth for Older Adults in Community Based and Outpatient Settings

In this new webinar from the AGS, titled "Practical Solutions Using Telehealth for Older Adults in Community-Based and Outpatient Settings," experts will focus on practical suggestions and strategies for utilizing telehealth platforms in the home and ambulatory settings. Principles of triage, pre-screening for scheduled home-based and ambulatory visits, and recommendations for optimizing efficient use of this modality will be addressed. Knowledge gained through the rapid expansion of the use of telemedicine in these settings by two major health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic will be shared.

Speakers include:

  • Kristen Thornton, MD (Curavi Health, Rochester, NY)
  • Steve Handler, MD, PhD, CMD (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Veronica Rivera, MD (Mount Sinai Health Systems, New York, NY)

Register here.

Help AGS Retain its Seat on AMA Panels Influencing Medicare Reimbursement and Other Policies

Since 2011, the AGS has held a seat in the American Medical Association’s (AMA's) House of Delegates (HoD)—the AMA’s principal policy-making body, which provides tremendous opportunities for the AGS to represent the needs of older adults and geriatrics healthcare professionals. The AGS's seat in the HoD qualifies AGS members to run for important panels that influence Medicare reimbursement both through the development of new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and by ensuring all codes are properly valued.

AGS engagement in these panels—the RVS Update Committee (RUC) and the CPT Advisory Committee—has helped secure several key victories for geriatrics health professionals, including many profiled in our JAGS article on cracking the reimbursement code.

To retain our seat in the HoD, the AGS must meet certain key standards—including retaining at least 1,000 AGS physician members who are also members of the AMA. Please support critical AGS activities by joining the AMA or renewing your membership today. Visit www.ama-assn.org or call (800) 262-3211 to process your application before our HoD renewal deadline.


The AGS's Seat in the HoD...

  • Qualifies AGS members to run for a seat on the RUC, a volunteer group of more than 30 physicians who advise Medicare on how to value a health professional’s work.
  • Guarantees AGS a spot on the RUC Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the RUC.
  • Offers eligibility for AGS members to be appointed to the AMA's CPT Editorial Panel, which creates and revises the CPT codes valued by the RUC for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Guarantees a spot on the CPT Advisory Committee, which supports and advises the Editorial Panel by reviewing proposals for new codes from specialty societies like the AGS.

Current AGS members involved in key AMA activities include...

  • Eugene Lammers, MD; Craig Rubin, MD: Delegates to the AMA HoD
  • Alan Lazaroff, MD: AGS RUC Member (Holly Stanley, MD: Alternate RUC Member)
  • Audrey Chun, MD: AGS RUC Advisor (Michael Perskin, MD: RUC Alternate Advisor)
  • Robert Zorowitz, MD: AGS Representative to the CPT Advisory Committee

Submit Your PPE Photos for a Member Collage

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AGS members and healthcare professionals across the globe have stepped up in the face of tragedy to serve, protect, and provide compassionate care for all of us in a time of great need.

To honor these heroic efforts, we're looking for photo submissions of you and your care teams navigating the front lines of the pandemic. Send your submissions to Lauren Kopchik at lkopchik@americangeriatrics.org for a chance to appear in upcoming newsletters and other tributes. We're incredibly thankful for all that you do, both locally and within our AGS community at large!

Protecting American Homes From COVID-19 Means “Protecting Home For COVID-19 Data At CDC”: AGS Experts

The AGS this week expressed concern that a new process for sharing COVID-19 data risks fragile progress in our hard-fought national response to the pandemic. The AGS is particularly concerned that the new process, which would change the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not provide public access to the data at a time when the agency’s impartial expertise has never been needed more.

“Representing more than 6,000 experts who care for us all as we age, the AGS strongly believes the CDC is still best positioned to collect, analyze, and act on health data as we support age-friendly care in the face of pandemics,” noted AGS President Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF. “Instead of removing the country’s premier health protection agency from the equation, let’s focus on building the infrastructure it needs to remain ‘first among equals’ leading local, state, and other national partners in ending COVID-19."

At issue is the Trump administration’s order that hospitals and labs send data on coronavirus patients straight to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), instead of the CDC and its National Health Safety Network (NHSN). At the AGS and elsewhere across health care, the change raised questions about the quality and utility of data analysis, with several experts worrying that the move “could result in less transparent data,” especially since the CDC’s protocols are built around long-standing safeguards, like those included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Though the NHSN certainly can be modernized with bipartisan collaboration, geriatrics experts reiterated the network’s critical role—and that of the CDC, by extension—in addressing many other serious infectious diseases. In announcing the decision to have hospitals and states report directly to HHS, the Trump Administration did not announce any plans for access to the data for state and local governments, the public, and researchers.

Learn more.

FY 2022 Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Bypass Budget Released

Annually, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presents a Professional Judgement Budget for additional federal funds needed to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by 2025.

NIH estimates needing $3.107 billion for research in 2022, with a focus on identifying and testing new drug candidates, advancing comprehensive models of care, developing new biomarker tests, exploring disease risk and protective factors, and improving our understanding of genetics and other disease mechanisms. Read the Executive Summary here, and the full report here. The entire Bypass Budget is also available here.

USDeN Seeking Investigator Team for Data Harmonization Initiative

The U.S. Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN) seeks an investigator team to participate in a funded electronic data harmonization initiative related to deprescribing. Currently, four health systems will soon begin participation in a Data Harmonization workgroup to demonstrate approaches to using routinely available electronic health data in trials of deprescribing. The team is seeking a fifth site to join this workgroup. The project will span 24 months, with $70,000 of funding available for the new site. Please visit the USDeN website to view and submit an application.

Join Eldercare Workforce Alliance for 12-Year Update on Retooling for an Aging America

More than a decade after the initial 2008 Institute of Medicine report, Retooling for an Aging America, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) is hosting a webinar on current perspectives surrounding the issue.

Kevin T. Foley, MD, FACP, AGSP & Clare C. Luz, PhD will be presenting on where we are now and what still needs to be done to improve the eldercare workforce.

RSVP by emailing info@eldercareworkforce.org.

Virtual Workshop: Drug Research and Development for Adults Across the Older Age Span

There's still a critical dearth of information about the appropriate use of medications for older adults. To help address this challenge, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is hosting a public workshop will provide a venue for stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities in drug research and development (R&D) for older adult populations.

The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussions to:

  • Review the current landscape of drug R&D for 65+ and 80+ populations across public and private sectors;
  • Consider medication issues for older adult populations (e.g. dosage forms, adherence, polypharmacy differences in PK/PD);
  • Explore methodologies that are currently used or could be implemented to study differences in pharmacology for older adult populations (e.g. minimal sampling);
  • Examine barriers to conducting clinical research for 65+ and 80+ populations (e.g. funding, data, comorbidity, polypharmacy, recruitment, access); and
  • Explore approaches to engage 65+ and 80+ populations in clinical research and strategies generate evidence-based information on how to best optimize treatment for older adults.

Register here.

Nutritional Interest for Osteoarthritis Survey

One of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance's goals is to develop resources for individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) that provide them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively manage their condition. We are beginning to develop patient materials that relate to nutrition and OA management; we are seeking input from healthcare providers to help shape the content of these materials and the format that would be most effective for patients and providers.

If you are a healthcare provider and you work with people who have osteoarthritis, you may be eligible to take this 5-minute survey. Click this link to learn more about this research study and to take the survey. 

Register for a WPSI Webinar on Telehealth and Preventive Care During COVID-19

Join the Women's Preventive Services Institute (WPSI) on Wed., Aug. 19th, from 1:30-1:45pm ET for a webinar on Telehealth and Preventive Care During COVID-19. The speaker, Diana Ramos, MD, is an adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dr. Ramos will discuss how to continue providing preventive care during these unprecedented times and well-woman care services that can be facilitated through telemedicine. Register here.

Members & Geriatrics in the News

In an editorial for the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), AGS member Louise Aronson, MD, AGSF, and co-authors Dereck W. Paul, Jr., MS; Kelly R. Knight, PhD; and Andre Campbell, MD, reflect on the role of racism in medicine in the United States and forging a way forward to embrace antiracism in medical care.