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President’s Report 
July 2016 through September 2016



Luis Alvarado, MD
President, 2016-2017

Board of Governors
The LSMS Board of Governors met on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the LSMS offices in Baton Rouge. Below are the agenda items discussed at the meeting. If you want to know the specific outcome of a particular agenda item, please address your request to your district councilor, the appropriate staff liaison, or me. We are open to address your question(s) in a timely manner.
 - Update on Resolution 102-15 (local independence)
 - Update on Resolution 105-15 (broadcasting meetings via electronic media)
 - Update on current vacancies on state-wide boards and commissions
 - Update on the Louisiana Patients Compensation Oversight Board
 - Update from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
 - Establishment of a LSMS Disaster Relief Fund/Effort
 - The Future of the LSU Medical School in Shreveport
 - Update on LDH’s attempt at a state-wide health information exchange
 - Update on the modernization of the Journal of the LSMS
 - CMS update on MACRA and MIPS
 - CMS update on proposed 2017 Medicare fee schedule

- Discussion of LSMS Mission Statement, vision statement, core values and guiding principals
- Reports of officers
- Reports from affiliates and subsidiaries

Legislative Updates
LSMS executive staff, including Jeff Williams (EVP/CEO), Jennifer Marusak (VP of Government Affairs) and Wes Hataway (VP of Legal Affairs) were busy over the last three months traveling the state and providing a legislative update to members and non-members on the 2016 Regular Legislative Session, as well as, the two Extraordinary Sessions from February and June. Updates were provided in Alexandria to the Rapides Parish Medical Society, Lake Charles to the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, Monroe to the Ouachita Medical Society, Lacombe to the St. Tammany Parish Medical Society, and New Orleans for the Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish Medical Societies.

Federal Legislation (MACRA)
The LSMS Council on SocioEconomics has been charged with monitoring and educating members on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. We are currently awaiting the final rule, which should be published around November 1, 2016. However, in the interim, if anyone is interested in having a member of the council and/or executive staff provide an overview and update on MACRA to their local society, medical staff, etc. please email Jeff Williams at Additionally, CMS has deferred the January 1, 2017 implementation, to some degree, and the LSMS will take advantage of that time to gather additional materials and educational sessions to help physicians avoid negative payment adjustments within MACRA/MIPS.

Educational Programming
On Wednesday, September 21, LSMS President Elect, William “Beau” Clark, MD was the speaker for “Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives Clinicians Making a Difference”, which was hosted
by the LSMS in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health. A second program will be held in Shreveport on Friday, November 11.


In late August, I had the opportunity to attend the LAMMICO Defense Counsel Seminar in Point Clear, Alabama. The meeting was very refreshing and full of new ideas and data exchange between physicians and attorneys. Guest speakers discussed various strategies and tactics related to different situations and procedures, while the LSMS presented a legislative update, specifically discussing the most recent attempts to change the medical malpractice act.

Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
LSMS executive staff members attended the July 18 meeting of the LSBME but were unable to attend the August 15 meeting do to the historic flooding around the Greater Baton Rouge area. The September 19 meeting was canceled do to a lack of a quorum. Eric Torres, Executive Director of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, attended the September meeting of the LSMS Board of Governors and provided a detailed summary of the items discussed and actions taken during the public portion of each meeting. The LSMS is the only physician/medical organization to attend these meetings on a regular basis.

Louisiana Patients Compensation Fund Oversight Board
LSMS executive staff members attended the July 14, August 4, and September 1 meetings of the Louisiana Patients Compensation Fund Oversight Board on behalf of LSMS members and provided the LSMS Board of Governors with a summary report on the items discussed and actions taken during the public portion of the meeting. The only other guests to attend these meetings, in addition to the LSMS, were LAMMICO and the Louisiana Dental Association. At its July meeting, the PCF Board approved lowering and/or maintaining current surcharge rates for 2017. The new rates for 2017 are as follows:
       Physicians Class 7 (Surgery – Cardiology, OBGYN, Head & Neck) – 3.6% decrease
      Physicians Class 4 & 6 (Surgery – General, Orthopedic, Thoracic, Traumatic, Vascular) – rate remain the same as 2016/no change
       Physicians Class 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 5, 8 (All other specialties) – 1.1% decrease

Additionally, the PCF filed an emergency rule in September allowing any physicians in a parish designated as a disaster area from the August floods has an additional 30 days to remit 2017 surcharges.

As always, if you have additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me directly.



Luis M. Alvarado, MD

Contact Us

Louisiana State Medical Society

6767 Perkins Road, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Ph: 800.375.9508 | 225.763.8500
Fax: 225.768.5601
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