Professional Council Report Per Halvorsen, Newton, MA
Recap: Joint AAPM-COMP meeting in Vancouver any thanks for the Meetings Coordination Committee and everyone who worked so hard to prepare for the Annual Meeting in Vancouver! The venue was fantastic, the meeting program comprehensive and interesting, and of course the opportunity to interact with colleagues was wonderful. Hopefully you found the Professional Track program to be relevant to your practice, and interesting.
CMS publishes 2012 proposed reimbursement rules The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed rules for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (physicians and outpatient centers) and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (hospital-based centers). The overall effect, if the proposed rules go into effect, is payment reductions of 4% for radiation oncology services in freestanding centers, 1% for radiation oncology services in hospital centers, and expansion of the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction in imaging, whereby additional advanced imaging procedures are reimbursed at 50% of the nominal rate when more than one such imaging procedure is performed in one session. For a detailed explanation, see the article by our consultant Wendy Smith Fuss elsewhere in this issue. New permanent committee to address medical physics workforce issues At its meeting in Vancouver, the AAPM Board of Directors approved the formation of a new committee within the Professional Council. The Workforce Assessment Committee will continue the AAPM’s efforts to better understand the many factors affecting the workforce trends in our profession. Recognizing the importance of this issue to our profession, the new committee will coordinate the Association’s various initiatives related to workforce, such as workforce studies, professional surveys, and the development and validation of predictive supply & demand models. The committee will initially be chaired by Michael Mills, and will begin its work on January 1st, 2012. AAPM Board approves the formation of AAPM Medical Physics Practice Guidelines At its meeting in Vancouver, the AAPM Board of Directors granted nal approval of the Professional Council’s proposal to develop Medical Physics Practice Guidelines. This proposal, which was developed over the past year with broad input from all Councils and many AAPM members, denes a formal framework for developing Practice Guidelines which can be referenced by clinical physicists, accreditation bodies, regulators, and hospital administrators when determining the minimum acceptable level of medical physics practice to support a clinical service. The Practice Guidelines Subcommittee of the Clinical Practice Committee will act as the clearinghouse for the development of these Guidelines, overseeing multiple Task Groups developing specic Guidelines. The process is designed to result in guidance documents which reect the medical physics community’s broad consensus whenever possible, following a similar philosophy as the ACR currently employs with its Technical Standards and Practice Guidelines. All AAPM Councils and all AAPM members will be invited to comment on draft documents during an Open Comment period before each Guideline is nalized and presented for Professional Council approval. The entire proposal, as approved by the Board in Vancouver, is shown below. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Lynne Fairobent at AAPM headquarters who will coordinate all responses and distribute to the leaders of the Council and committee. APPROVED PROPOSAL: 1.
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has long advocated a consistent level of medical physics practice, and has published many guidelines and position statements toward that goal, such as Science Council Task Group reports related to calibration and quality assurance, Education Council and Professional Council Task Group reports related to education, training, and peer review, and Board-approved Position