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Archive for October, 2017

MagMutual Hires Senior Regulatory Attorney in Response to Growing Risk of Government Scrutiny and Enforcement 

Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Emma Cecil

Emma Cecil

The delivery of health care services is more regulated than ever. For busy physicians focused on providing the highest quality of care to their patients, trying to make sense of the myriad legal and regulatory requirements by which they are bound is a daunting process fraught with both risk and uncertainty. Providers are expected to comply with a broad array of statutes and regulations, and those who don’t face a range of penalties, including exclusion or suspension from federal health care programs, draconian monetary damages and penalties, and even criminal prosecution.

Indeed, in fiscal year 2016 alone, federal initiatives resulted in health care fraud enforcement recoveries of over $3.3 billion, with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) opening 975 new criminal health care fraud investigations and 930 civil health care fraud investigations. Investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”) resulted in 765 criminal actions related to Medicare and Medicaid and 690 civil actions, and the exclusion from federal health care programs of 3,635 individuals and entities.

In today’s aggressive enforcement climate, business practices and financial arrangements that might not have raised red flags in the past are now creating significant problems for even the most compliance-conscious providers. Given the government’s enhanced oversight of the health care industry, it is more important than ever for physicians and healthcare organizations to have access to experienced health care attorneys who are knowledgeable about the specific challenges they face and who can help them navigate the increasingly complex legal and regulatory landscape.

In light of these trends, and in furtherance of its commitment to providing the best product to its policyholders, MagMutual has announced the addition of Emma Cecil as its new Senior Regulatory Attorney and Policyholder Advisor. Prior to joining MagMutual, Emma spent nearly a decade defending physicians and other health care providers in civil and criminal investigations and enforcement actions brought by DOJ, HHS, and other state and federal agencies. Her extensive experience includes representing physicians and physician group practices in False Claims Act investigations and litigation, and counseling health care clients on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters, including those involving the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, HIPAA, HITECH, and FDCA; self-disclosures to DOJ, OIG, and CMS; and reimbursement under Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health programs. Emma also regularly represented health care providers in administrative actions and appeals involving suspension, exclusion, and debarment; licensing board and regulatory agency investigations and proceedings; and complex commercial and business disputes.

Emma received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and her law degree from the University of Denver, where she graduated in the top 5% of her class and was admitted to the Order of St. Ives for excellence in academic achievement. Following law school, Emma clerked for the Honorable Stanley F. Birch, Jr. of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Emma is admitted to practice in Georgia (2007) and Colorado (2005).

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National Academy of Medicine Elects Emory Leaders in Neuroscience, Global Health

Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Allan Levey and Bob Breiman

Allan Levey (left) and Rob Breiman (right) represent two of Emory’s greatest strengths.

 

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has elected Allan I. Levey, MD, PhD, and Robert F. Breiman, MD, to its 2017 class of leading health scientists and international members.

Levey is a neurologist and neuroscientist internationally recognized for his work in neurodegenerative disease. He is professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, the Goizueta Foundation and Betty Gage Holland Endowed Chair for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, and director of the NIH-funded Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Breiman is director of the Emory Global Health Institute and professor in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. An infectious disease epidemiologist, he has led research programs in a variety of urban and rural surveillance systems, and is former director of the Kenya office of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC’s largest overseas field operation.

Membership in the NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine, is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

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Medical Association of Georgia President – Frank McDonald, Jr, MD

Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Dr. Frank McDonald

Dr. Frank McDonald

Frank McDonald Jr., M.D., MBA, was sworn into office as the president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) during a ceremony that took place during the organization’s 163rd House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Savannah on October 21.

“I am truly honored and excited to be given the opportunity to serve my patients, my profession, and my community,” says Dr. McDonald, who is a board-certified neurologist and the chair of operations and the Management Board at the Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville. “We face some significant challenges as a profession, but I also believe that Georgians continue to have access to some of the best medical care in the world.”

Dr. McDonald pledges that during his one-year term as president, “I will work with my fellow physicians and key stakeholders – including hospitals, insurers, and legislators – to reform our health care system in important ways, including stabilizing the insurance market, reducing the heavy administrative burden that has been placed on physicians so they can focus on patient care, and ensuring that Georgians have access to the care they need.”

He says that areas of emphasis will include addressing increasingly-narrow health insurance networks, the adequacy of the health insurance products that are available in the state, unreasonable “third party payer-driven EHR metrics,” the Medicaid program, and patient safety issues – including opioid abuse and distracted driving.

He adds that, “As MAG’s president, I believe that I also have an obligation to help patients and physicians in the state navigate what have become the treacherous waters of the health care third party payer and insurance system.”

Finally, Dr. McDonald stresses that, “MAG will not deviate from its efforts to ensure that every patient in this state has access to the highest quality health care across geographic settings and specialties.”

Dr. McDonald served as the speaker of MAG’s HOD for the last two years. He is a graduate of the MAG Foundation’s Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy. Dr. McDonald recently completed a term as the president of the Georgia Neurological Society, and he still serves on its Board of Directors.

Dr. McDonald received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical School, and he completed his residency and fellowship at University Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

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Mobile PET/CT scans now available Piedmont Henry Hospital

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Piedmont Henry Hospital is now home to Henry County’s first mobile PET/CT scanner. The mobile service, provided through Insight Imaging, offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer, cardiovascular concerns and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

“We are pleased tobe one of the first in the area to offer this advanced imaging technology to patients in Henry County,” said James Atkins, chief operating officer atPiedmont Henry. “With PET/CT, doctors at Piedmont Henry can make more accurate diagnoses, develop more targeted treatment plans, anddo better, less-invasive treatment monitoring, which should result in improved patient outcomes.”

Positron emission tomography (PET) and computerized tomography (CT) are both state-of-the-art imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. Each scan records a different part of the body providing a complete picture of the tumor’s location, size, andshape. For oncology patients, PET/CT can determine the exact location and stage ofcancerous tissue, which helps prevent unnecessary surgery and biopsies andinappropriate treatments.

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Minoo H. Hollis, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon, Joins OrthoAtlanta Stockbridge

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
Minoo H. Hollis, M.D., OrthoAtlanta orthopedic surgeon.

Minoo H. Hollis, M.D., OrthoAtlanta Orthopedic Surgeon

Minoo H. Hollis, M.D.recently joined OrthoAtlanta’s orthopedic andsports medicine practice in Stockbridge, Georgia. Dr. Hollis brings expertise in foot and ankle surgery and orthopedic trauma patients inHenry, Clayton and Spaulding counties.

Dr. Hollis’ practice includes general orthopedics and orthopedic foot and ankle care. Nerve-related problems, including nerve pain, nerve entrapment and compressive neuropathy are among Dr. Hollis’ special interests. She treats traumatic and sports injuries, including acute fractures, as well as degenerative conditions. She is experienced intreating work-related injuries.

“My practice is focused on the treatment of the foot and ankle,” stated Dr. Hollis. “I am particularly interested in treating neuropathy and nerve compression or entrapment. These conditions are oftentimes associated with diabetes, but also with disorders in other parts of the body. I utilize both minimally invasive arthroscopy and opentechniques to correct deformities with the goal of returning normal function to the limb.”

“Fellowship trained in foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Hollis ran her own orthopedic practice in Navarre, Florida, for many years,” stated Dr. Michael Behr, OrthoAtlanta Medical Director. “Dr. Hollis recently expanded her expertise with fellowship training in orthopedic trauma from the renowned BG Unfallklinik in Tübingen, Germany, one of the largest and most advanced, state-of the-art trauma centers in Germany.”

Board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Hollis received her foot and ankle surgery fellowship at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. She also holds a fellowship in Orthopedic Trauma from BG Unfallklinik in Tübingen, Germany. Dr. Hollis completed her Orthopedic Surgery Internship and Residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Hollis received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno, Nevada and she also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada in Reno. Professional memberships for Dr. Hollis include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Hospital affiliations for Dr. Hollis will include Piedmont Henry Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

Dr. Hollis has participated on medical missions in countries including Honduras, Belgium, Germany and Vietnam. She has been involved in disaster relief efforts, and most recently completed an assignment with a federal disaster medical team serving victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Dr. Hollis is fluent in Farsi and welcomes Farsi-speaking patients.

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October 25-28

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Georgia Academy of Family Physicians – Annual Scientific Assembly

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The Emergence of Sports Cardiology

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The Emergence of Sports Cardiology

By Walter E. Mashman, M.D.*, Kathleen Turchin, BSN*, and Jonathan H. Kim, M.D.#

*Piedmont Heart Institute, Atlanta Georgia

#Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Atlanta Georgia

 

In 490 BC, after the Greek town of Marathon successfully defended Persian attack, the messenger Pheidippides is said to have run to Athens to deliver the news. Upon arrival, as he exclaimed “Nike!” (victory, win), Pheidippides collapsed and perished.

While this legendary story represents the premise for the modern-day marathon, it can also be said to lay claim to the first documented case of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the athlete. Two millennia later, tragic cases of sudden death in athletes still garner significant and appropriate media attention and public scrutiny.

Moreover, the impact of intense exercise on cardiovascular function, cardiovascular disease, and long-term health outcomes remain controversialin certain populations of highly conditioned individuals. As elite athletes, such as Benoît Lecomte (who swam across the Atlantic Ocean and plans to swim across the Pacific Ocean next year), continue to challenge the limits of human physiology and embrace the extremes of physical performance, practitioners charged inthe cardiovascular care of athletes are challenged with providing the most appropriate and evidence-based care to these fittest of individuals.

In 2002, the World Health Organization warned that physical inactivity is a global problem associated with major causes of death and disability in the world.(1) It is well established that physical inactivity correlates with significant cardiovascular morbidity in the United States,including obesity, diabetes, and most cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, as many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributed to a lack of regular physical activity (2), and a scant few Americans achieve 30 minutes of daily physical activity.(3)

Despite the ongoing epidemic of physical inactivity and obesity present within western society, there is also an expansive growthgroupof individuals who are engaged in high levels of exercise and athletic training far beyond the recommended American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. Perhaps best representative of this exercise “boom”are the number of individuals participating in U.S. recreational road races.

From 1990-2013, the number of road race participants rose from just over 5 million to 19 million finishers, with female runners now representing the majority of race participants. While these statistics have leveled over the last several years, the interest in fitness and recreational exercise events will likely continue to grow.

Notably, as aging recreational athletes grow in number, cardiovascular disease and risk remain present. Appreciating that the cardiovascular counseling, guidance, and clinical management of athletic patients are different compared to members of the general population represents an important tenet of sports cardiology.

Sports cardiology is generally defined as the preventive cardiovascular care for athletes. While the definition of an athlete is debatable, we choose to define an athlete broadly, as any individual who places a high premium on exercise and athletic performance. As such, competitive athletes at any level (secondary school, collegiate, professional), recreational athletes (participating in community- sponsored events or have a commitment to fitness), and athletes of all ages (youth to master) are consistent with an “athletic patient” who may seek care and counseling in the sports cardiology clinic.

The prevention of SCD in young, competitive athletes represents one of the most important mandates for the sports cardiologist. The causes of SCD during vigorous exercise in young athletes can be divided into structural etiologies (e.g. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, congenital coronary anomalies, Marfan syndrome), primary electrical disorders (e.g. WPW, long QT syndromes, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia), and acquired cardiac abnormalities (e.g. myocarditis, commotio cordis, drugs).(5)

While it is reassuring that these events remain rare in occurrence, pre-participation cardiovascular screening represents an essential process for the athlete prior to competitive athletic training. Whether the addition of the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) to the standard targeted history and physical provides additional sensitivity and leads to improved clinical outcomes remains a significant source of controversy.

In the U.S., pre-participation cardiovascular screening guidelines for competitive athletes, endorsed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and AHA, currently consist only of a targeted history and physical.(6) However, with recent data suggesting differential risk of SCD in specific collegiate athletic populations,(7) the uncertainty of the best evidenced-based strategy in the cardiac screening of youthful athletes persists.

While screening for occult cardiovascular disease in youthful athletes represents a point of emphasis in sports cardiology, master athletes (in general >35-40 years old) typically represent the majority of patients cared for in the sports cardiology clinic. For master athletes, occult coronary atherosclerosis underlies “the sports paradox” that has been described for many years.

Despite the established cardiovascular health benefits of exercise, there is a small transient increased risk of acute myocardial infarction or SCD during vigorous exercise. More recent data suggest that, in rare cases, extreme endurance exercise in master runners with cardiac risk factors and stable coronary disease may also precipitate a cardiac event.(8)

Additional controversies surrounding master athletes have recently arisen, including the loss of overall mortality benefit for those engaged in extreme levels of exercise, early onset atrial fibrillation, the development of arrhythmogenic and pathologic cardiac remodeling, and accelerated coronary atherosclerosis. (See Figure 1.).(9) While intriguing and provocative, it is important to recognize the limitations of the current available data. Most studies are observational and cross-sectional in nature, limited in subject numbers, and potentially confounded by the lack of carefully controlled data. It remains imperative that we emphasize the overwhelming prognostic benefit of exercise and the lack of causal evidence implicating a truly ‘pathologic’ exercise dose.

Figure 1. Controversies surrounding increased exercise dose from light/moderate to excess and possible pathologic outcomes associated with long-term exposures to strenuous levels of exercise (taken from Kim JH et al. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2017)9

Figure 1. Controversies surrounding increased exercise dose from light/moderate to excess and possible pathologic outcomes associated with long-term exposures to strenuous levels of exercise (taken from Kim JH et al. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2017)9

Open physician-patient dialogue and shared decision-making should guide the exercise prescription for active patients presenting with concerns or diagnosed cardiac issues. Athletes who question the safety of ultra-endurance exercise should be provided unbiased counseling based on the most recent evidence and allowed to make the best decisions that fit with medical standards of care and their own expectations and psychological well-being.

In 2011, the growth and recognition of sports cardiology led the ACC to launch its Section of Sports and Exercise Cardiology. Not surprisingly, this section was received with immediate enthusiasm, and current membership has grown to overmore than 4,000 practitioners. This strategic and important step from the ACC has catalyzed intense scientific inquiry in the field and further contributed to the development of the ACC’s annual Care of the Athletic Heart Conference. In 2014, the ACC further highlighted the emergence of sports cardiology in a State-of-the-Art paper.

Within the field of sports cardiology, there remain many important areas of uncertainty that impact the cardiovascular care provided to athletes of all ages and competitive levels. For youthful athletes, refining athletic ECG interpretations and determining the benefit of athlete ECG screening continue to represent critically important future directives.

Many unresolved controversies also exist for master athletes. Future studies will require the inclusion of “athlete-specific” risk factors, detailed phenotyping including imaging and biomarkers, and perhaps most importantly, the development of long-term master athlete registries.

In the Atlanta cardiology community, we are building programs and working with universities, professional sports teams, and rehabilitation, and local athletic organizations aimed at addressing the core tenets and directives of sports cardiology.

REFERENCES

1. Physical inactivity a leading cause of disease and disability. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/release23/en/.

2. Myers J. Cardiology patient pages. Exercise and cardiovascular health. Circulation. 2003;107:e2-5.

3. Pucher J, Buehler R, Merom D and Bauman A. Walking and cycling in the United States, 2001-2009: evidence from the National Household Travel Surveys. Am J Public Health. 2011;101 Suppl 1:S310-7.

4. http://www.runningusa.org/statistics.

5. Chandra N, Bastiaenen R, Papadakis M and Sharma S. Sudden cardiac death in young athletes: practical challenges and diagnostic dilemmas. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61:1027-40.

6. Maron BJ, Friedman RA, Kligfield P, Levine BD, Viskin S, Chaitman BR, Okin PM, Saul JP, Salberg L, Van Hare GF, Soliman EZ, Chen J, Matherne GP, Bolling SF, Mitten MJ,Caplan A, Balady GJ, Thompson PD, American Heart Association Council on Clinical C,Advocacy Coordinating C, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Y, Council onCardiovascular S, Anesthesia, Council onE, Prevention, Council on Functional G, Translational B, Council on Quality ofC, Outcomes R and American College of C. Assessment of the 12-lead electrocardiogram as a screening test for detection of cardiovascular disease in healthy general populations of young people (12-25 years of age): a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64:1479-514.

7. Harmon KG, Asif IM, Klossner D and Drezner JA. Incidence of sudden cardiac death inNational Collegiate Athletic Association athletes. Circulation. 2011;123:1594-600.

8. Kim JH, Malhotra R, Chiampas G, d’Hemecourt P, Troyanos C, Cianca J, Smith RN, Wang TJ, Roberts WO, Thompson PD, Baggish AL and Race Associated Cardiac Arrest Event Registry Study G. Cardiac arrest during long-distance running races. N Engl J Med. 2012;366:130-40.

9. Kim JH and Baggish AL. Strenuous Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2017;19:1.

10. Lawless CE, Olshansky B, Washington RL, Baggish AL, Daniels CJ, Lawrence SM, Sullivan RM, Kovacs RJ and Bove AA. Sports and exercise cardiology in the United States: cardiovascular specialists as members of the athlete healthcare team. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63:1461-72.

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Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Provides New Option for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
David A. Kooby, MD

David A. Kooby, MD

Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital has expanded surgical options for pancreatic cancer patients with minimally invasive robotic surgery.

“Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer. If there are five people diagnosed, only one of the five is a candidate for surgery,” says David Kooby, MD, director of surgical oncology at Winship at Emory Saint Joseph’s, explaining that pancreatic cancer is often not discovered until it is too late for surgical intervention to have a curative effect. Until recently, patients who were candidates for surgery only had two options: traditional open abdominal surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.

“Robotic surgery is a newer surgical option,” says Kooby. The technical aspects of this surgery are pretty similar to open abdominal surgery, but without making a big incision.” During robotic surgery, the surgeon controls surgical instruments on thin robotic arms from a specially-designed computer console with three-dimensional viewing that provides increased depth perception.

“The robot can handle very complex tasks such as suturing blood vessels and peeling tumors away from structures,” says Kooby. Patients benefit from this type of surgery by experiencing less pain and having a faster recovery time. “The key with pancreatic surgeries is to catch it early and follow up,” says patient Helen Byrne, a nurse who knows the importance of early detection.

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ExtraCorporal Membrane Oxygenation

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

by Dr. Peter Barrett 

More than 40 years since it was first used in 1971, ECMO has become an integral part of treatment in the adult critical care community

Extracorporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a rapidly advancing form of mechanical circulatory support. ECMO was first used in 1971 by Dr. Robert Bartlett in the neonatal population for meconium aspiration. The evolution of the technology in terms of pumps and oxygenation membranes has allowed for the adoption of this technology in the adult critical care community.

ECMO is divided into two types of support. VA-ECMO (venoarterial) support consists of draining blood from the right side of the circulation, usually from the femoral vein, and passing the blood through a membrane oxygenator, then returning the blood to the arterial side of the circulation usually via the femoral artery. This can also be done via central cannulation from the right atrium to the ascending aorta. VA-ECMO provides full support for the cardio-pulmonary system.

VV-ECMO (veno-venous) support involves draining blood from the ve-nous circulation, oxygenating it and returning the blood to the venous side of the circulation. VV-ECMO is used when there is isolated respiratory failure. This form of support depends on normal cardiac function.

Indication for VA-ECMO support include but are not limited to cardiogenic shock, septic shock where more than two vasopressors are required, massive pulmonary embolism, acute myocarditis, stunned myocardium post cardiopulmonary bypass and primary graft failure post-orthotopic heart transplant, among other causes. Most often, cannulation is performed at the bedside or in the cath lab. The procedure is performed via the percutaneous approach using the Seldinger technique.

Cannulation does require an initial bolus of heparin, so active GI bleeding or recent neuro-surgery or recent stroke are contraindications for the procedure.

VV ECMO and VA ECMO

Once the patient is on VA-ECMO support, we move rapidly to wean all vasopressors and inotropic support usually within a 4-6 hour window, but this is where an experienced team is important. We work for rapid extubation and early ambulation of these patients.

In our experience at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, which includes 434 patients since 2009, an average time of sup-port is between 7-14 days for myocardial recovery. De-cannulation is generally performed at the bedside, but depending on circumstances may involve going to the operating room for open cut down and direct surgical repair.

VV-ECMO support involves the same percutaneous cannulation approach but does not involve arterial cannulation. Once we have established adequate oxygenation and carbon dioxide removal, we again work toward rapid ex-tubation if clinical circumstances allow. In our experience, the most common indications for VV-ECMO support are Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), pulmonary embolism with in-tact cardiac function, near drowning and gastric aspiration.

The time to recovery is longer in VV-ECMO support. We have maintained support up to 67 days, and centers across the country have gone out to several hundred days with lung recovery. If we cannot obtain early extubation, we move to early tracheostomy.

The main contraindication to VV-EC-MO support is an irreversible pulmonary process, for example idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Our experienced team of pulmonary physicians and critical care physicians work closely together to make the determination of suitability for VV-ECMO.

The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) maintains the largest database on volumes, outcomes and quality for ECMO support in the world. The volume, outcomes and quality of the ECMO program at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital has earned it a Gold designation from ELSO. The most recent data from 2016 bear this out.

ECMO is a rapidly advancing form of mechanical circulatory support that is used for either cardiopulmonary sup-port or respiratory support. It has a steep learning curve, therefore the benefits of an experienced team of ECMO specialists is invaluable in obtaining excellent quality outcomes.

PAH Outcomes 2016

Program Recognition

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VillageMD and Quality Care Providers Team up to Form VillageMD-Georgia

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

VillageMD, a national primary care provider, in collaboration with Quality Care Providers, Inc. (QCPI), an independent primary care physician network in Georgia, has formed VillageMD-Georgia. This new organization will support providers across Georgia.

QCPI, located in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1993. With over 1500 physician members, it is the largest independent network of primary care physicians in Georgia.

VillageMD-Georgia continues VillageMD’s expansion into the Southeast, and contributes to the growth of the VillageMD network of primary care physicians throughout the country. VillageMD partners with over 2,000 primary care providers across six states.

Michael J. Kinstler, MD

Michael J. Kinstler, MD

“Our relationship with VillageMD marks a critical next step in helping our physician members enrich and expand their high-quality services to support the total patient across the continuum of care leading to better outcomes and lower costs,” said Michael J. Kinstler, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer, QCPI. “VillageMD’s mix of technology, enhanced contracts and an advanced business model will also enable physicians to succeed under value-based care, and for the first time, access rewards for providing great patient care.”

VillageMD-Georgia will leverage VillageMD’s data analytics, physician-based care coordination, and on-the-ground support resources. VillageMD’s clinical care model also aids its physician partners in providing personalized attention, education, and support to patients via integrated care teams of health coaches, diabetes educators, pharmacists, and resource coordinators to address patients’ medical, emotional and social needs.

“We joined forces with QCPI because we share a common mission—to lead physicians into an era of primary care delivery that is more proactive, highly coordinated and complete,” said Tim Barry, chief executive officer, VillageMD.

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