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 SAVE THE DATE
November 13, 2014

Mark your calendars now for the Statewide ID Rounds scheduled for Thursday, November 13, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, MEB108B. There will be a light dinner and free valet parking. We anticipate 6 presentations, 2 from North, South and Central NJ. You will be notified as more information is available.

 

SAVE THE DATE
November 19, 2014

Infectious Diseases Society of New Jersey
APIC - NNJ & APIC - SNJ
Annual Conference - click for more info


Forsgate Country Club

For additional information, please contact the Society Office at 973.538.2354.

 

New Jersey Gets Smart…and Interactive!

Antibiotic Resistance has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the key microbial threats to health in the U.S.In response to this, the CDC has developed a national awareness campaign entitled "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work... Click Here to Read More.

IMPORTANT UPDATES!!!!!


Hydrocodone Combination Products rescheduled as a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance, Effective October 6, 2014

Click here for official notice from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General


Enterovirus‐D68 (EV‐D68) Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for complete information from the New Jersey Department of Health
Click Here for PDF version


Prescription Blanks Final Extension

The Division of Consumer Affairs (Division) is granting a final extension through November 2, 2014 for prescribers to issue prescriptions on the old prescription blanks (blue on the front). Effective November 3, 2014, all prescriptions must be issued only on the new prescription blanks (green on the front). Please see the attached document from the Division of Consumer Affairs. Please see the attached document from the Division of Consumer Affairs.


Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Clinical Guidelines for Initial Evaluation of Suspect Cases of Ebola Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Society office. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


End-of-Life Care Continuing Medical Education Update

The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners requires 100 continuing medical education credits, of which at least 40 of such credits shall be in Category I. Commencing with this biennial renewal period which started on July 1, 2013, two of the 40 credits in Category I courses shall, pursuant to P.L. 2011, c. 145 (C.45:9-7.7), be in programs or topics related to end-oflife care. The Board is aware that many hospitals and a wide variety of other CME providers are offering a variety of courses that will satisfy this 2 hour requirement.

If a licensee believes that this mandate has little applicability to his/her practice area, waivers or extensions can be requested. The licensee, within 60 days of the expiration of the biennial renewal period, (i.e., by April 30, 2015) needs to send to the Board office, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other proof of delivery, a letter explaining why such waiver/exemption is applicable. If granted, the extension or waiver is effective for the biennial licensure period in which the extension and/or waiver is granted. If the reason(s) which necessitated the extension and/or waiver continues into the next biennial period, the licensee shall apply to the Board for the renewal of such extension and/or waiver for the new biennial period.


SGR UPDATE!
            President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 on April 1, 2014. The new law prevents the scheduled payment reduction for physicians who treat Medicare patients. This new law maintains the 0.5% update for services from January 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014 for the period of April 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. It also provides a zero percent update to the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule through March 31, 2015.
          Section 212 of the Law allows for an extension of the ICD10 implentation to not before October 1, 2015.


NEW JERSEY  PRESCRIPTION BLANK UPDATE!!
          The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs has revised the security of NJ Prescription Blanks. All physicians must begin using the new blanks on August 18, 2014. Approved vendors will be able to continue to sell the old blanks until May 18, 2014.
          A separate NJPB must be utilized for each prescription written for a controlled dangerous substance.
          Each new prescription blank must include: a unique 15 digit identifier and barcode for each blank; the name of the prescriber or healthcare facility; address; license of the authorized prescriber; NPI number, thermal activated ink in the Rx logo; (microprint viewable at 5 times magnification or greater that is illegible upon photocopying); the word "VOID" that is only visible upon photocopying or scanning of the blank.
          A list of approved vendors can be obtained by calling the Society office.


New Jersey Department of Health Reminds Residents To Take
Precautions to Avoid Norovirus

As expected, New Jersey is experiencing an increase in norovirus outbreaks and Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd reminds residents to take precautions to protect their health. Colds and flu are not the only infections that thrive in the winter. Norovirus - sometimes called the stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis, or food poisoning - also likes the colder weather.  
"The best way to avoid the norovirus is to wash your hands often using soap and water," Commissioner O'Dowd said. "Alcohol-based hand cleansers are not effective against this virus." 
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness, which begins suddenly and usually causes stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some people may also experience low-grade fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Most people recover quickly, but serious complications can occur - particularly in those with other medical conditions.  Those infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin to feel sick until as long as two weeks after recovery. 
There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection and there is no drug to treat it. The best way to reduce the risk of getting norovirus is to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene.  Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and changing diapers.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables and cook oysters and other shellfish before eating
  • Do not prepare food while infected or while you have symptoms of norovirus
  • Foodhandlers should wait 3 days after they recover from their illness before returning to work.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.  After throwing up or having diarrhea, immediately clean surfaces by using bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label or a diluted bleach solution (5-25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water). Never use undiluted bleach.
  • Remove and wash clothing and linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool.  Handle soiled items carefully to avoid spreading the virus. If available, wear rubber, disposable gloves while handling soiled clothing or linens and wash your hands after handling. Items should be washed with detergent at the maximum cycle length and machine dried.
  • Report all outbreaks to the local health department. 

Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the US. It is estimated that each year, more than 20 million cases of gastroenteritis are caused by norovirus. That means that 1 in every 15 Americans will become ill from norovirus each year.  In New Jersey, approximately 100 norovirus outbreaks are reported to the health department each fall-winter season. 
Noroviruses can spread quickly from person to person in crowded, closed places like long-term care facilities, daycare centers, schools, hotels, hospitals, family dinners, student housing, restaurants, and cruise ships. In other words, places where people often eat food that is prepared or handled by others.  
Noroviruses are found in the stool and vomit of infected people. People can become infected by:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus.
  • Touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated with norovirus, and then placing your hand in your mouth.
  • Having direct contact with an infected person; for example, by exposure to the virus when caring for or when sharing food, drinks, or eating utensils with an infected person. 

For additional information about norovirus please visit:  nj.gov/health/cd/norovirus/index.shtml or www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html




January 2013 Medicare Physician's Fee Schedule - New Jersey Locality 01


January 2013 Medicare Physician's Fee Schedule - New Jersey Locality 99

IMPORTANT MEDICARE UPDATE/SGR fix
Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012This new law prevents a scheduled payment cut for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking effect on January 1, 2013.  The new law provides for a zero percent update for such services through December 31, 2013.  This provision guarantees seniors have continued access to their doctors by fixing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) through the end of 2013.  

The new law extends several provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Job Creation Act) as well as provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  Specifically, the following Medicare fee-for-service policies (with January 1, 2013, or October 1, 2012, effective dates) have been extended.  Please note that these provisions do not reflect all of the Medicare provisions in the new law, and more information about other provisions will be forthcoming.

Section 601 – Medicare Physician Payment Update – The new law provides for a zero percent update for claims with dates of service on or after January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently revising the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) to reflect the new law’s requirements as well as technical corrections identified since publication of the final rule in November.  The 2013 conversion factor is $34.0230.

In order to allow sufficient time to develop, test, and implement the revised MPFS, Medicare claims administration contractors may hold MPFS claims with January 2013 dates of service for up to 10 business days (i.e., through January 15, 2013).  Those claims should be released into processing no later than January 16, 2013.  Claims with dates of service prior to January 1, 2013, are unaffected.  Medicare claims administration contractors will be posting the MPFS payment rates on their websites no later than January 23, 2013.

CMS is extending the 2013 annual participation enrollment period through February 15, 2013.  Therefore, participation elections and withdrawals must be post-marked on and before February 15, 2013.  The effective date for any participation status changes elected by physicians during the extension remains January 1, 2013.

Additional information will be disseminated as it is received. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Society office.