Week In Review

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Please Complete this Month's Quick Primary Care Survey

The Larry A. Green Center, in partnership with the Primary Care Collaborative, continues conducting a quick clinician survey to better understand response and capacity of U.S. primary care practices to COVID-19. 

Has this survey and your voice made a difference? Yes. Seven of the largest U.S. primary care physician organizations have united to share a common vision and invite all interested to join. The Pacific Business Group on Health—representing 40 of the nation's jumbo employers—issued a statement in support of primary care payment reform.

Click here to take the survey

This is your January survey, which takes four to five minutes to complete. There is only one survey for January. Responses are required by Tues., Jan. 19, 11:59pm PT

Spotlight on #AGS21: Register Today!

Our first-ever virtual annual meeting, scheduled May 13-15, 2021 (pre-conference day May 12) will remain an interactive, engaging and comprehensive educational program, providing the latest evidence-based clinical practice and scientific information that will improve your ability to care for older adults.

The virtual meeting will offer multiple concurrent sessions with opportunities for Q&A with speakers, networking events, virtual poster sessions, and much more. You will also be able to earn more continuing education credits than ever before!

Register today

Keep up with program updates and meeting news at Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org.

IHI and JAHF to Launch Promotion Campaign Celebrating 1,000+ Age-Friendly Health Systems

We are extremely #AGSProud of our GWEP and primary care partner teams who participated in our Age-Friendly Health Systems (AFHS) Action Community and who have been recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as follows:

  • 95 percent have achieved recognition as Age-Friendly Health System Participants (Level-1)
  • 9 percent have achieved recognition as Age-Friendly Health Systems – Committed to Care Excellence (Level-2)

Embarking on the journey to becoming age-friendly is just the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to work with GWEPs and their partners this year, starting next month.
In February, AFHS initaitive partners will launch a promotion campaign to celebrate exceeding their 2020 goal of spreading the 4Ms framework to 1,000 places of care. The campaign will recognize the commitment and achievement of 1,195 care locations identified as AFHS Participants, and inspire and invite more systems, office practices, retail clinics, and post-acute care facilities to join the successful movement by joining a March 2021 Action Community. 
Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for information about some easy ways GWEPS and their primary care partner teams can get involved in highlighting their accomplishments and growing the AFHS movement! 

This Week in Advocacy & Public Policy

  • PHE Extended Until Spring 2021. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration, which was set to expire on Jan. 20. The renewal is effective Jan. 21 for an additional 90 days. This means that all of the telehealth and other waivers and flexibilities that have been implemented during the PHE will remain in effect until at least Apr. 21, 2021.

Webinar Registration Open: Racism, Unconscious Bias, and Creating an Inclusive Environment

This webinar, which will be held on Tues., Jan. 26, 3:30-5:00 p.m. ET, is the second in a series sponsored by the AGS Ethics Committee addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This session will feature a discussion with Dr. John P. Cullen, director of diversity and inclusion for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Cullen will begin with an hour-long presentation that focuses on racism, unconscious bias, and strategies to engage in allyship. Attendees will learn how to: understand key concepts, such as racism, privilege, unconscious bias, microaggressions, and allyship; recognize how these concepts impact their work environment; and interrupt behaviors associated with unconscious bias to help create an inclusive environment. A 30-minute open-forum will follow Dr. Cullen’s presentation to address any questions from the audience.

Please note: this webinar will not be recorded in an effort to encourage organic and honest discussion from participants. It is only open to AGS members. Register here. The passcode is 813624.

Webinar Co-chairs
Jennifer Muniak, MD
University of Rochester

Aruna Josyula, MD, MPH, CMD
Mercy Health Muskegon, Michigan 

Webinar Speaker
John P. Cullen, PhD
University of Rochester Medical Center

Webinar Registration Open: Coding Changes in 2021

In December 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its Physician Fee Schedule rule for 2021, which includes a number of new and revised billing codes of interest for geriatrics health professionals. 
The AGS will host a related webinar on Wed., Jan. 20, from 3-4 p.m. ET, to review and discuss coding and payment updates under Medicare that took effect on January 1. The webinar will review changes finalized for 2021 to the office/outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) visits codes, including the addition of a shorter prolonged service code and a new Medicare-created G-code for visit complexity. We will also review changes to the Medicare telehealth list. Following the program, the attendee should be able to introduce these updates into their practices. 
The webinar will be hosted by AGS leaders, Drs. Peter Hollmann and Robert Zorowitz, and AGS consultant Denise Merlino, CPC, MBA, CNMT – all recognized for their expertise in payment and coding. 
The American Geriatrics Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The webinar comes with the opportunity to earn 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credit. Please click here to register.  

MGMA 2021 Provider Compensation Survey is Now OPEN!

The 2021 Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Compensation and Production Survey is now open through February 12, 2021.

 The AGS is partnering with the MGMA on this survey, which collects data on compensation for medical practice leadership and support staff, including physician and non-physician providers. It also benchmarks productivity by specialty, including provider collections, encounters, work RVUs, etc. By participating, you will be helping to create more geriatrics-specific benchmarking data. You will also receive complimentary access to the results.

It has been a challenging and unique year, and this is your time to ensure that you are reflected in data that will influence the medical industry for years to come. Plus, for the very first time, MGMA will be collecting telehealth data to assist in navigating the new normal.

 The survey link and resources to assist with completing the Compensation and Production Survey can be found here. You will need to create an account or log in to the MGMA website to participate. Please note that you do not need to be an MGMA member to create an account.

MGMA will also be hosting a free participation webinar on Jan. 12, 2021, 1:00 pm EST. Two data analysts will be in attendance to answer any questions or concerns you have about participation.

Additional questions or need one-on-one help?

MGMA data analysts are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MT.

Toll-free: 877.275.6462, ext. 1895



Last Chance to Submit Application for AGS-ADGAP Medicine-Geriatrics Integrated Residency and Fellowship

AGS/ADGAP is now accepting program applications for the Medicine-Geriatrics Integrated Residency and Fellowship. Applications are due January 15, 2021.This application cycle is for trainees starting in July 2022. The application is available on the ADGAP website here

The Combined Med-Geri Pathway is overseen by a Med-Geri Leadership Team, chaired by Drs. Angela Beckert and Ed Duthie from the Medical College of Wisconsin. The leadership team is available to answer questions and help with the application process. If you have any questions or would like to be connected to a member of the leadership team, please contact Marianna Drootin at mdrootin@americangeriatrics.org.

AGS Cognitive Screening Toolkit Now Available on GeriatricsCareOnline.org

The AGS Cognitive Screening Toolkit provides information about and links to free open access cognitive screening tests that are recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The toolkit can serve as a resource for clinicians to better understand and select cognitive screening tools that have been validated in primary care settings and are available for free. Recently cited by Frank Molnar, MSc, MDCM et. al. in a JAGS article discussing various tools and their levels of availability, the toolkit can help in selecting the appropriate cognitive screening tool to use with primary care patients. Access the free toolkit here.

Keep Spreading the Word! Share Your COVID-19 Vaccination Story

Calling all AGS Members! As the U.S. rolls out the largest vaccination program in our nation's history—a colossal, complex effort that can ultimately defeat the COVID-19 pandemic—healthcare professionals are playing an essential part in the initiative by getting vaccinated first and helping the general public understand the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.

Social media is a great platform for spreading that message, and the American Geriatrics Society is pleased to join with other national professional associations that are asking their members to share pictures of themselves getting a COVID shot. Use the hashtags #MyCOVIDVax and #ThisIsOurShot, tag our handle (@amergeriatrics on Twitter and Instagram; @AmericanGeriatricsSociety on Facebook), and, if you’re feeling inspired, tell us ONE thing you want other people to know about the vaccine!*

Here are some examples of messages you might share:

  • No one tool alone is going to stop the #COVID19 pandemic. Even if you’ve been vaccinated, you should wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from others, and wash your hands. #MyCOVIDVax
  • #COVID19 vaccines require two shots. When you get scheduled to get your second dose, make sure to keep that appointment. #MyCOVIDVax
  • #COVID19 vaccines in the U.S. don't use the live virus. Having symptoms like fever after you get a #vaccine is normal and a sign your immune system is learning to fight the virus. #MyCOVIDVax

For more ideas, visit the CDC’s page for Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccination.

*If you don't maintain a presence on social media and still want to contribute, email your photo and message to nlevy@americangeriatrics.com with the subject line #MyCOVIDVax, and we'll post them for you!

Reminder: Health in Aging Policy Fellows Applications are Open

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program creates a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy to ultimately improve the health care of older adults. The year-long fellowship offers a unique training and enrichment program that is focused on current policy issues, communication skills development, and professional networking opportunities to provide Fellows with the experience and skills necessary to help affect policy.

The program continues to make great strides in the context of COVID-19, with 2019-2020 fellows completing the program virtually by working on disability and transportation issues as advisors to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, serving as a lead on nutrition issues in older adults in a Congressional office, and working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve nursing home care and focus on COVID-19 infection rates. 

Applications are now open for the 2021-2022 program. Apply today! 

PHI Releases New Report on Future of Care

This week, PHI released its new report, Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America's Direct Care Workforce, which provides a comprehensive, current-day analysis of the direct care workforce and outlines eight concrete recommendations to improve jobs for this rapidly growing group. The report was made possible through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Woodcock Foundation, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.


Upcoming NIH Event: Alzheimer's Advisory Council

The next meeting of the NIH Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services will be held on Mon., Jan. 25, at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Advisory Council will hear presentations on the impact of COVID-19 on people living with dementia, health disparities in dementia research, and the implications of new technologies to identify Alzheimer’s disease through a blood test. Dr. Holly Massett, senior advisor for clinical research recruitment & engagement in NIA’s Division of Extramural Activities, will also be making a presentation on NIA’s clinical trial recruitment activities as part of this meeting. The meeting will be webcast here.