PSG Rumblings - Spring 2019

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Spring 2019



President’s Message

Projects Past, Present and Future By Richard E. Moses, DO, JD @MOSESMEDLAW | @THE REALGIDOC Daylight Savings Time has arrived! Summer is knocking at our door…you can feel the energy from the extra daylight! I am well into the end of my term as your President. We have accomplished so much and have not “hibernated” over the winter and spring. There is so much more to do! Our potential is limitless. I will try to bring you up to speed with all the projects we completed, those that are in progress, and those we have/ are initiating. I credit our fabulous staff, engaged board, and invigorated membership who back me in making the exponential changes for our PSG! I continue to maintain an open dialogue with PSG members and non-members to highlight issues affecting the gastroenterology arena. We appreciate your phone calls and e-mails. The open line of communication will continue so we can meet your membership needs. Since my last President’s Message, the healthcare arena has been active both in Pennsylvania and nationally. The November election was a mixed bag for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans held the majority in the U.S. Senate while Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives and made significant net gains in districts across

the country. Democrats had significant wins in state governor races as well. These results may halt any additional efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The idea “Medicare for All” is getting a lot of attention among other health care issues. One thing is for sure…this is going to get interesting. Pennsylvania saw the re-election of Governor Wolf. The 203rd Legislative Session for the General Assembly commenced January 1, 2019. The Governor wasted no time in reviving the ASC/AEC tax. This year’s proposal is ~ 1.5%. It is projected to generate $12.5 million in revenue. PAMED and 17 other PA medical organizations oppose this FY2019-20 tax proposal. I have been in contact with some of these organizations and PAMED to confirm PSG’s opposition support. You are receiving Action Alerts and other communications on what we need to do to have our voices heard! The PSG successfully opposed the City of Philadelphia’s proposed “Gift Ban” ordinance in late 2018. This would have required registration of PHARMA agents and other requirements in addition to banning gifts to health care practitioners. Specifically, this would have put an end to educational and meal support for health care practitioners in the city of continued on page 2

ACG Update


FIT Update


Medicare Contractor Update


Cologuard 7 SoMe So What?


Annual Meeting


Guide to Online Dues


PRESIDENT Richard E. Moses, DO, JD Phila. Gastroenterology Consultants, Ltd. 700 Cottman Ave., Suite 201 Philadelphia, PA 19111 (215) 742-9900 (Phone) PRESIDENT-ELECT Ravi Ghanta, MD Digestive Disease Associates 1011 Reed Ave., Suite 300 Wyomissing, PA 19610 (610) 374-4401 (Phone) SECRETARY David L. Diehl, MD Geisinger Medical Center Mc21-11, 100 N. Academy Ave. Danville, PA 17822 (570) 271-6439 (Phone) TREASURER Karen Krok, MD Penn State Hershey Gastroenterology 200 Campus Drive, Suite 2400 Hershey PA 17033 (717) 531-4950 ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE Robbi Cook 777 East Park Drive, P.O. Box 8820 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8820 (717) 558-7750 ext. 1584

Rumblings Editor Manish Thapar, MD

2 President’s Message continued from page 1

Philadelphia. It was presented as an attempt to combat the opioid crisis for which we have been incorrectly and inappropriately blamed. My thanks to our Philadelphia and surrounding membership who helped express the negative impact, and fallacious argument that it would help “solve” the opioid crisis, in supporting this proposal.

control of our profession in Pennsylvania and nationally. Your calls and emails to our legislators are heard loud and clear. We are in the process of developing a plan to meet with members throughout Pennsylvania to let them know we are in the trenches advocating on your behalf and that joining the PSG strengthens our presence.

The Pennsylvania Civil Procedures Rules Committee has proposed a change in the rules that would determine appropriate venue in medical professional liability actions. This would change the intent and success of Mcare (Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act) of 2002. If implemented, these changes will allow venue shopping once again. Prior to the passage of Mcare, personal injury attorneys were able to easily move claims to counties that had a history of awarding higher payouts to plaintiffs. Thanks to the efforts of the PSG, the hospital community, health care leaders, business leaders, and policymakers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee announced on February 14, 2019 that it would delay making these changes until it has reviewed the results of a mandated legislative study. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lisa Baker (R–Luzerne) directed the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to perform the study of the proposed rule’s potential impacts on access to health care and medical liability rates under Senate Resolution 20. We will hear more on this once the impact study is done in late 2019/early 2020.

Your PSG Board met on Saturday, January 12 and May 11. We discussed a number of GI practice issues and our upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting at the Kalahari Conference Center in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania. The conference begins Friday evening, the weekend of October 11, 2019, with another great cocktail reception. The agenda is shaping up under the guidance of this year’s program director, Dr. Harshit Khara. Our thanks to Dr. Neil Nandi, our 2018 program director, for his constructive input for this year’s event. The conference will be family friendly again with access to the water park and other fun facilities for children of all ages. (You do not have to swim to have plenty to do and a lot of fun). Our expert staff is busy planning activities – GO, JESSICA!

We need

your support

and involvement

in the PSG efforts

Finally, a number of opioid bills were introduced during the 2018 legislative session directed at combating the opioid epidemic and heroin abuse crisis. The PSG was directly involved with our like specialty societies and PAMED in closely following the proposed legislation. We advocated for bills that did not infringe on our ability to deal with the medical needs of our patients. The legislation signed into law was vetted to ensure it was in the best interest of our patients and clinically sound. As I have mentioned in previous messages, we need your support and involvement in the PSG efforts to regain

A number of new Board members and Chairs were also introduced at the January Board meeting subsequent to my appointments. Recall that one of my goals was to invigorate our already fabulous and engaged Board with some of our brilliant and younger GI physician talent in Pennsylvania. Join me in welcoming to our Board Drs. Jen Maranki, Zubair Malik, David Sass (Past President), and Neil Nandi, in addition to our new FIT Board members: Drs. Allison Baragona and Aaron Martin. Our Social Media (SoMe) Task Force met on February 26, 2019. Under the tutelage of Drs. Nandi and Patel, we are picking up this baton with the intent of moving our membership, and beyond, to connect at the next level. Shortly after the meeting, a new staff member with SoMe expertise joined our team. Please welcome Samantha Dougherty to her new position as Marketing and Communications Specialist at PAMED! She will be working with us on our SoMe project. (#excited). Recall that we planned to rewrite our antiquated Bylaws. Job accomplished! Thanks to Executive Director Robbi Cook (who also happens to be a paralegal in another life) and Dr. Ghanta for working with me to get this herculean task done. The Board discussed the changes and they were continued on page 3

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subsequently passed by an overwhelming majority eVote by the Board. As some suggestions were made post-vote by a very small minority of Board members, our new Bylaw Committee Chair, Dr. Malik, held a Bylaws meeting to address outstanding issues on March 4, 2019. We are in the process of putting these changes into language to present to the Board. Our goal is to get them to the membership for a vote or eVote as we cannot open up our membership categories or redo our membership application until our new Bylaws have passed. Delaying passage is in the way of moving us forward with regard to membership categories in particular. In the membership growth arena, I have had discussions with gastroenterologists across the state to update them on the PSG and encourage their membership. Dr. Fraser Stokes continues to carry the baton in the western part of the state. By the way, we created a third category of membership chair to cover the state. We now have west, central, and east state membership chairs instead of just east and west. We are exploring acceptable funding options with some of our corporate sponsors, and others, to help accomplish our membership goals. Please solicit all of your colleagues to join! Just print my eMessages or RUMBLINGS to show everything we are doing for GI’s in Pennsylvania.

Membership [dues] includes

registration for the

annual scientific

educational meeting

I also want to mention our website. I attended a recent CME program in Philadelphia and had the opportunity to see a number of our corporate sponsors. They gave me a lot of positive feedback on our website. In particular, it was felt to be engaging and “up to date with the legislative issues” potentially impacting GI in Pennsylvania. Kudos again to our executive staff and Brian Raybin, our website master.

WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING DUES RENEWALS! Remember that membership includes complimentary registration for the October 11-13, 2019 annual scientific educational meeting as a member benefit. Encourage your partners, associates, and other GI colleagues outside your practice to join our organization (See page 10 for information on how to renew online). Membership is also open to Advanced Practice Providers (our Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant colleagues). Once the new Bylaws pass, membership will be opened further to new categories to broaden conference attendance. Reserve Friday, October 11 through Sunday, October 13 to join us for a wonderful weekend of education and fun. As I noted, Dr. Khara has an excellent slate of topics and speakers confirmed for our October 11-13 scientific meeting. There are many family-friendly events planned for the weekend at Kalahari. PSG is striving to continue our annual meeting as an ongoing family-inclusive event. You can attend the educational sessions, earn CME credits, and spend quality time with your family. Friday evening’s Welcome Reception will remain extended to accommodate your travel time to Pocono Manor. Throughout the weekend, we have special food and events planned to entertain your children, grandchildren, and the kid in all of us! Swimming is not a requirement. There are plenty of activities and our staff is actively planning. Their creativity is truly overwhelming! If you are engaged, we are engaged! Get involved in our PSG SoMe project. Post and tweet information about what is going on from a GI and/or medical standpoint in Pennsylvania in your geographic area, in your practices, and at your institutions. Tag the PSG. Thanks to those of you who have done so already… please, KEEP IT UP! Continue to forward your information on upcoming conferences and meetings so we can post the material on our website and social media platforms. If you are unsure how to share your information, just email, the PSG staff team, for assistance. They want to help you to be engaged. Enjoy the rest of your spring. I have more daylight hours to get more things done. The PSG is more energized than ever. Stay with us.

4 ACG Governor Update By Randall Brand, MD and Joyann Kroser, MD On April 4, 2019, your ACG Governors joined more than 100 ACG leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for the 2019 ACG Board of Governors Fly-in, constituting the largest single day of legislative meetings in College history. Your Governors met with the offices of 11 Pennsylvania legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, shedding light onto the issues affecting GI practices and patients. During their visits on Capitol Hill, the ACG Governors continued the College’s longstanding fight to advocate for a better future for clinical gastroenterology practices and for GI patients. The ACG leaders brought a few key messages to the table for members of Congress: We discussed the importance of the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening” Act (S.668/ HR.1570). The bill prohibits cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries when a screening colonoscopy turns therapeutic. This quirk in the law must be addressed to ensure access to potentially lifesaving colorectal screenings under Medicare. ACG leaders also discussed other initiatives impacting GI practices and patients, including ensuring proper Medicare reimbursement for GI procedures, and issues with “Step Therapy” requirements by insurers and other prior authorizations. Your Governors also brought attention to local issues including concerns about Governor Wolf’s tax proposal on Ambulatory and Endoscopy Surgical Centers, the importance of increasing NIH spending and Highmark-UPMC situation. The following day, the Board of Governors met to discuss local and state issues impacting clinical gastroenterology and independent GI practices. Among these issues were the costs of prescription drugs, commercial insurer contracts, negotiating with hospital systems, and on-call schedules. The Board of Governors was updated on the latest developments with maintenance of certification (MOC). ACG President Sunanda Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG and ACG Secretary Dan Pambianco, MD, FACG reviewed the latest with ABIM’s “knowledge check-in.” They also reviewed the GI societies’ proposed MOC alternative, currently under consideration by the ABIM. All four GI societies have come together to develop a new assessment

pathway through which gastroenterologists and hepatologists can maintain board certification. The goal for this innovative approach would be to enhance the range of options for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) available to gastroenterologists and hepatologists. The discussions are ongoing. We know that MOC is still among the most important issues facing ACG members. Throughout these discussions, it was stressed that the College will adhere to the following core principles: • MOC needs to be simpler, less intrusive and less expensive • We continue to support ending the high-stakes, every-10year exam • We do not support closed-book assessments, as they do not represent the current realities of medicine in the digital age • We support the concept that, for the many diplomates who specialize within certain areas of gastroenterology and hepatology, MOC should not need to include highstakes assessments of areas in which the diplomate may not practice • We support the principles of lifelong learning, as evidenced by ongoing CME activities, rather than lifelong testing As always, please reach out to either Governor if you have any concerns that you believe need to be brought to the attention of the ACG. Randall Brand, MD (Western Pennsylvania) Joyann Kroser, MD (Eastern Pennsylvania)

5 Medical Training – A FIT’s Perspective By Aaron Martin, MD @AMARTIN187 Medical training is a series of milestones, all with the same goal in mind: to become an independent, knowledgeable, and caring physician. Throughout my training I have been provided with amazing mentors and educators to help me along the way, but once I graduate fellowship, this well-established structure of mentorship and education disappears. As I move on to my own practice, I have found myself wondering whom I can turn to for this same level of support and knowledge. The Pennsylvania Society of Gastroenterology (PSG) offers a community of fellow gastroenterologists and leaders in all clinical fields and practice settings. This is the group that I can turn to. As a fellow in-training (FIT) member of the PSG Board, I have had the opportunity to experience just how valuable this group is to gastroenterologists practicing in Pennsylvania. One obvious benefit is the annual PSG Scientific Conference. Last year’s conference in Hershey was a huge hit both for those who attended the conference and those who came for the chocolate. The physicians who attended were treated to practice-changing lectures from national content experts, while their families were treated to an amazing day of fun at Hersheypark. The society’s commitment to professional improvement and family is

refreshing, especially for someone who has a newborn on the way! I am also excited to announce that, in addition to the annual poster competition, select FIT members will have the opportunity to showcase their research in oral presentations during this year’s conference. I am looking forward to attending the conference with my family in the Pocono Mountains this October. Throughout my training, I have been privileged with program leadership who support and defend the interests of their trainees. The PSG also provides this much-needed voice and support for gastroenterologists practicing in Pennsylvania. As a FIT member of the PSG Board, I have had the opportunity to attend quarterly board meetings and have seen the far reach that the society has, not only in the fields of gastroenterology and medicine, but also in the political and legal arenas. The PSG is a way for Pennsylvania gastroenterologists to defend what we believe in and continue to provide our patients with the best care possible. As I prepare to transition from fellowship to independent practice, I am excited and relieved to have found the PSG. At times this transition has seemed daunting, but having a network of experienced and approachable colleagues at my back will certainly make the transition easier. I look forward to serving another year as a FIT board member, and to starting my profession as a gastroenterologist with the PSG by my side.

6 Medicare Contractor Advisory Committee Update

Fecal PCR Stool Test By F. Wilson Jackson, MD CMS uses Regional Medicare administrators, Novitas in our case, to develop Local Coverage Determinations to determine criteria around diagnostic testing and procedures as they apply to Medicare beneficiaries. Novitas is reviewing the GI Pathogen test. Many of you are familiar with the newer PCR based point-of-care stool testing that enables accurate and prompt results for infectious causes of diarrhea. These have proven their usefulness as supported in published literature. Novitas is exploring whether to revise the Local Coverage Determination policy around the Fecal PCR test to determine whether new criteria should be applied.

The Contractor Advisory Panel, CAC, is a medical advisory panel to the various CMS jurisdictions. The Novitas CAC met in late April 2019 and the merits and value of the GI Infectious panel testing were reviewed. Your PSG organization has a representative to the CAC within our jurisdiction. Novitas will decide whether to issue a draft Local Coverage Determination which would then be further reviewed at an open meeting in July 2019 prior to final ratification. PSG will remain active in these discussions and advocate for appropriate utilization of this important test. Within our Commonwealth, we have a wide range of expertise around PCR testing and the GI Pathogen test itself. We will engage these thought leaders to provide further input to Novitas to help them create a policy that supports appropriate utilization of the GI Pathogen test.

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7 Will Cologuard® Replace Colonoscopy as the Gold Standard for Colon Cancer Screening? By Ravi K. Ghanta, MD @RAVIGHANTA5 While most health care providers would agree that colonoscopy still remains the “gold standard” for colon cancer screening, there is clearly a disruption occurring in this area. From my personal experience in private practice, I have seen a definite increase in the use of Cologuard® as a screening modality. Just in the past few weeks, I have had patients refuse to schedule their colonoscopies, stating that their doctor ordered a Cologuard® test. Unfortunately, the test was ordered for improper indications. Several of the patients that I have seen with this test ordered had a personal and/ or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps in a firstdegree relative. This should be of concern to all of us. We know that primary care providers are often overburdened and may not know the proper indications for this test or even the proper screening guidelines. In fact, a couple of the patients requested that their doctor ordered this test after they saw the commercials. Their doctors did not look at their history and went ahead and ordered the test. Cologuard® is a reasonable choice as a noninvasive screening test for colon cancer in average risk patients. However, it is not considered a first line test. In fact, it is not even considered a second line test. The Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT) is the preferred second line test, over Cologuard® based on test characteristics and much cheaper cost. However, there is growing concern among gastroenterologists that the overly aggressive direct-toconsumer marketing of the product is overstating its role in helping to solve a serious public health problem. Recently, the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA) lobbied on behalf of gastroenterologists regarding the marketing of Cologuard® and wanted to make sure that Exact Sciences (makers of Cologuard®) modifies its multimillion-dollar ad campaign of Cologuard®.

Colonoscopy remains the gold standard for CRC screening and study results clearly demonstrated that colonoscopy was superior to Cologuard®. In fact, the Multi Society Task Force (MSTF) ranked colonoscopy in the top-tier of screening tests because it is the only test that not only detects colorectal cancer, but more importantly, prevents it by removing polyps. It is the only test that is appropriate for people who have risk factors such as a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. From a practical point of view, Cologuard® is convenient for the patient as well as the primary care provider. If the patient is led to believe that it is equivalent to colonoscopy, and the ads are suggesting that Cologuard® is easier to do, then it makes sense that patients will choose the easier option. Primary care providers are measured on whether they meet various quality metrics, with one of the main metrics being colorectal cancer screening. Ordering a colonoscopy and waiting for the results takes time. Primary care providers can quickly meet that quality metric by ordering a Cologuard®, making it easier for them to fulfill their quality metrics. As physicians, we need to better delineate the options to our patients, and make sure they understand that convenience should only be one of the factors included in their decision-making. We must make sure patients have enough information to base their decisions on what science says is the best screening option. Unfortunately, the aggressive marketing campaign by Exact Sciences has greatly influenced our patients as well as primary care providers to utilize this test in inappropriate situations. Patients also need to understand that while Cologuard® is convenient, it will fulfill the insurance screening benefit covered for most patients. If the Cologuard® is positive, the patient will need a follow-up colonoscopy which will then be considered a diagnostic procedure. This may result in more out of pocket expense to the patient. With the high rate of Cologuard® tests being false positive, many patients continued on page 8

8 SoMe Committee Update

SoMe? So What? Why I Tweet & Engage on Social Media By Neilanjan Nandi, MD, FACP @FITWITMD There is no doubt in my mind that you have had a patient consult with Dr. Google or seek medical health information from a social media outlet. While some clinicians may hold great apprehension for Social Media (SoMe), you should not be surprised to learn that many other health professionals have taken to SoMe themselves to engage and reap the many benefits of being an online physician. In this article, I relay a few reasons why I Tweet and how it has enhanced my clinical and professional practice to Connect, to Educate and to Learn in the Twitter-verse.

interdisciplinary caregivers. The wealth of networking and information sharing surpassed that which you could enjoy at any one academic conference because Twitter transcends geographic bounds. A recent evolution of our IBD Twitterverse has evolved into #MondayNightIBD, a sort of play on Monday Night Football. Every Monday evening, an IBD specialist tweets a vignette or query designed to engage conversation and debate amongst our brethren. While one goal is to achieve consensus, I find the professional controversy refreshing. No one - and I mean no one - has all the answers. That is comforting to know, but as you follow and engage in the discussion, you find your knowledge base continually more refined and robust.


I’ll be honest. I was bashful at first to share my ideas or to announce our publications and research into the Twitter Ether. Who could possibly be listening and who would care enough to respond? However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my work and insights were met with great enthusiasm from colleagues and appreciation from patients. Tweeting banter gave way to innovative ideas that paved the way for collaborative research with colleagues. Hosting Twitter Livestreams focused on demystifying healthcare misinformation earned heartwarming thanks from patients in search of trustworthy health educators. I found that advocating online for better patient education and access to care also gave way to opportunities offline in the real world by being invited to lobby as part of Day on the Hill for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (@CrohnsColitisFn) where I will engage our legislators!

Engage with specialty thought leaders in your field. Broaden your community. Well after our academic conferences were over, I found that I could continue the conversation with my IBD comrades via Twitter. Twitter enabled me to digitally join an IBD community that boasts not just expert physicians and innovative scientists, but also dedicated IBD psychologists, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists and many other

Medicare Contractor Advisory continued from page 7 may have to pay excessive copays and other costs that they wouldn’t have received if a screening colonoscopy was their first screening test of choice. As specialists in colon cancer screening, we will need to dedicate time to educate our patients about this issue, but more importantly, we need to educate our local healthcare providers who are often getting information directly from advertising as well as from company representatives who come to their offices. If we do not act soon, the colon cancer screening initiative will no longer be driven by specialists in the field, but rather by corporate interests.


An opportunity to Educate, Collaborate and Advocate.


Twitter keeps you current while learning from each other! As you have likely discerned, Twitter allows for an active exchange of perspectives from which you can’t help but learn! Tweets make the rounds at lighting fast speeds. New guidelines, breakthrough research, novel discoveries – all continued on page 9

9 Welcome New Members PSG on Facebook and Twitter Social media is an important way to network, stay current on news and new studies, and build your reputation and circle of influence. The world of social media can be overwhelming, but it is also informative, engaging, and leads to relationship building. Click on the icons below to keep up with what is going on and join the discussion.

Active – Full Members Raman Battish, MD Matthew D Coates, MD, PhD Marcus R Happe, DO Sarina Kapoor, MD Jennifer L Maranki, MD Stephanie M Moleski, MD Ann Ouyang, MD Sanam Razeghi, MD Guoxiang Shi, MD

Affiliate Member Marcus Shin, PhD

Associate Members

SoMe? So What? continued from page 8

are in reach of your fingertips as they dance over your smartphone in less than a nanosecond. Following the CDC (@CDCgov) empowers me to know that my patient with diarrhea may have succumbed to the latest E. coli or Salmonella outbreak. When measles began to outbreak in Philadelphia, I developed a protocol to train my staff to help me handle the inevitable deluge of phone calls that I knew we would field from our large IBD population. Being in the know has its benefits!

In Summary:

Twitter dramatically enhances your opportunities to Connect, to Educate and to Learn. The beauty of SoMe and Twitter engagement is that you can turn it on or off and engage as much or as little as you desire. Search your GI niche today and I have no doubt that you will find your community waiting. Sign up today and be sure to follow the great content and Tweets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Society of Gastroenterology (@PaGastroSoc).

Nabeel M Akhtar, MD Yousif Al-Saiegh, MD Gurneet Bedi, MD Jessica Dahmus, MD Ishita Dhawan, MD Jeffrey M Dueker, MD Lori-Ann Glasgow, BA Erkanda P Ikonomi, MD Raymond A Janowski, MD Navneet Kaur, MD Keerthana Kesavarapu, DO Neal M Patel, MD Sahil R Patel, MD Vishal Patel, MD Stephanie L Romutis, MD Jennifer Schwartz, DO Ruchit N Shah, DO Ajay Singhvi, MD Kashif Tufail, MD

Non-Physician Clinician Members Michaela Breski, PA-C Dana C Campetti Jacqueline Edwards, PA-C Christine Hanna, PA Melissa S Jamison, PA-C Nicole McAndrew Tara L Meyer, PA-C Ashley N Miller, PA-C Kathryn N Semans, PA-C Sarah Yadlosky

10 Plan to Attend the 2019 Annual Meeting By Robbi Cook, Executive Director @ROBBIANNCOOK

The PSG Annual Scientific Meeting is fast approaching. Online registration will be opening soon, and you will not want to miss this year’s line-up of top-notched speakers and topics. Thanks to Dr. Harshit Khara for stepping in as this year’s program chair. PSG’s conference is a familyfriendly event with special family events happening throughout the weekend to provide you with time to reconnect and re-energize. The Conference will kick off with our Welcome Reception on Friday, October 11, which has been extended to accommodate your travel schedules. The PSG Board and staff look forward to welcoming you on the Veranda and River Patio for an evening of networking. It is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet new members. Your families are invited! Saturday’s lecture series will kick off with our “Guts ‘n Butts” session, including a debate on “Endoscopic Treatment of GERD vs. Surgery” with Dr. Hiral N. Shah of the Lehigh Valley Health Network and Dr. Jon D. Gabrielsen of Geisinger Medical Center. Dr. Benjamin Krevsky of Temple University will lecture on the “Role of Capsule Endoscopy in the Management of Small Bowel Disorders” and Dr. Kimberly J. Chaput of St. Luke’s University Health Network will provide timely information on “New Techniques to Improve Your ADR.” Closing out the “Guts “n Butts” series will be Dr. Jessica

PSG Regional Councilor, Ayaz Matin, MD (St. Luke’s Gastroenterology in Allentown) updates members of the Lehigh Valley Gastroenterology Gut Club at their inaugural meeting on the benefits of being a member of the PSG and what PSG is doing on their behalf.

L. McKee of Geisinger Medical Center, who will discuss “Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.” Our second series on Saturday, “IBD & Hepatology,” will feature Dr. Neil Nandi of Drexel University discussing “New and Emerging Therapies in IBD”; Dr. Meenakshi Bewtra of University of Pennsylvania will present “Baby and Me: The Pregnant IBD Patient”; Dr. Sandeep Khurana of Geisinger Medical Center will discuss the “Evaluation of Acute Kidney Injury in a Cirrhotic Patient”; and Dr. Karen Krok of Penn State Hershey Medical Center will close out the morning session with a lecture on “Reactivation of Hep B in Immunosuppressed Patients”. Our Fellows-in-Training will have an opportunity to participate in the annual GI Jeopardy Tournament and in a special Video Editing Course with Dr. Harshit Khara of Geisinger Medical Center and Dr. Truptesh Kothari of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Enjoy your Saturday afternoon with your family at the waterpark or check out one of the offsite excursions. Rumor has it the PSG Staff is working on a mini golf challenge competition! Saturday evening will include a family-friendly welcome reception and dinner with activities for the kid in all of us. Sunday’s sessions kick off with our 2nd Annual FIT Lecture Series, followed by Dr. Austin Chiang of Jefferson University discussing “Endobariatrics”; and Mellissa Hunt, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania will lecture on “GI Psych: Management of Pain in GI Disorders.” The early morning session will conclude with the PSG Annual Business meeting. Rounding out the weekend of lectures will be the final series on “New Frontiers in Gastroenterology.” Dr. Christina Tofani of Jefferson University will discuss “New Frontiers in Barrett’s Ablation” and Dr. Shyam Thakkar of Allegheny Health Network will discuss “The Role of Interventional EUS for Luminal Access.” Closing the conference will be Dr. David Diehl of Geisinger Medical Center who will discuss “New Frontiers in Colon Polyp Management.” Don’t forget, membership in PSG provides you complimentary registration to the Annual Scientific Meeting!

11 A Quick Guide to Paying Your Dues Online By Robbi Cook, Executive Director Have you remitted your PSG Membership Dues? Fear not, there is still time and it is as easy as “1-2-3 Click” to get your membership back on the right track. Sign on to your PSG Membership Portal. Your login is your preferred email address, and your password would be the last four digits of your preferred phone number. If you have lost this information, or have difficulty signing in, please call the PSG staff office at 717-558-7750, ext. 1584 or email Once you have entered the member-only portal, select “PAY BILLS/VIEW HISTORY.” Your screen should show your open invoices and contact information (see box). Before entering your payment information, you must click the box or boxes for the items you wish to renew or purchase. Once selected, click the “VIEW” button to create an invoice. Review the invoice, make sure all information and amounts are correct, and then select “ACCEPT.” Once

the invoice has been generated, complete the payment portion and hit “ACCEPT PAYMENT(S).” You will receive an automated receipt for your payment. If you do not, please contact the PSG office and we will email you a receipt. If you have questions or cannot process your online dues payment, call the PSG office at 717-558-7750, ext. 1584.



777 East Park Drive PO Box 8820 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8820

Plan to Attend

Attendee Registration will be available in July.

​​Exhibitor registration is now open: Information

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