Arizona Urological Society
2017 Meeting Sept 17-20
Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass
Click here for photo gallery
The 44th annual meeting of the Arizona Urological Society is now behind us and based on the evaluations, I am happy to report that our 50+ attendees gave the program high marks and good feedback.
The scores were excellent with 5.0 being the best. Meeting value (4.82), Quality of speakers (all between 4.5 to 5.0), and location at the Sheraton Grand Resort (4.62).
This was a weekend power-packed meeting featuring a total of 8.5 hours of CME as well as a good deal of discussion and active engagement by all attendees. Click here to see the program book.
The meeting was attended by our community urologists and academic leaders including both Mayo and ASU with participation by Benjamin Lee, Erik Castle, Eric Zeidman, Mike Darson, Scott Swanson, John Hansen, Ali Boran, John Lin, the AZUS officers of course, and our fantastic Residents.
It was a pleasure to see a good deal of networking with our Industry friends and exhibitors – to whom we wish to acknowledge and thank for their support. There were 23 companies participating including a fully functioning daVinci Robot. Click here to see the list of exhibiting companies.
Friday evening the meeting kicked-off with a beautiful evening reception, supported in-part by the Phoenix Urologic Society – which we greatly appreciate.
The CME portion began on Saturday morning with a urologic cancer session, featuring both of the keynote speakers and a panel discussion. Dr. Rene Sotelo from USC gave an excellent talk on complications of robotic surgery, with incredible videos that no one wants to experience firsthand. And Dr. Fernando Bianco from Miami reported on his cutting edge techniques and results of MRI-guided focal cryotherapy of prostate cancer. Dr. Parminder Singh, a GU oncologist from Mayo Clinic, discussed the exciting advances in immunotherapy in bladder cancer.
The highlight of the morning was the presentation of the 2017 Distinguished Member Award to Dr. Wilfred “Bud” Potter, one of the founding members of AZUS. He truly is a “Physician of Many Firsts”, a pioneer of urology in Arizona. Please continue to congratulate him for his lifelong commitment to the AZUS!
The rest of Saturday morning focused on practice management and advocacy. A panel discussing regulatory challenges included insight from John O’Roarke (administrator from Urological Associates of Southern Arizona, Tucson), Eva Samtmann (past Washington State Urology Manager’s President), and former AZUS President Michael Darson (Scottsdale). Both federal and state legislative updates as well as advocacy tips were provided.
It was an honor to have AZ State Representative Heather Carter (district 15) at the conference for the third time—she was the sponsor for the Urology Telemedicine bill last year as well as the Bladder Health Month resolution. She has been a true friend of Urology and we look forward to working with her again during the next legislative session.
Some of the advocacy tips included simple techniques such as effective use of email by: 1) making it immediately clear your are constituent in the subject line of the email; 2) giving your cell phone number; 3) inviting the legislator to grab a coffee together; or 4) better yet, inviting the legislator to see your practice and the issue first-hand.
After a full afternoon of free time, the evening CME included talks on genetic biomarkers by Dr. David Crawford and an excellent medical malpractice session on vaginal mesh litigation with Dr. Matt Karlovsky (East Valley) and Cal Raup, JD (Phoenix). It was my honor introducing and hearing from Navy Captain Dr. Steve Ferrara, born and raised in AZ, who is an interventional radiologist running for U.S. House, District 9. His short talk was both inspiring and motivational. We can never have too many doctors in congress! The evening concluded with a superb “Wine and Dine” dinner and a boat ride along the resort’s river.
Sunday morning included two more talks from the keynote speakers: Dr. Sotelo presented robotic repair of GU fistulas, and Dr. Bianco gave an excellent review of some of the latest prostate cancer trials, including PIVOT and ProtecT.
Practice management talks were given by AZUS Members, including Al Borhan (Implementing Scribes into Your Practice), Michael Darson (Rezum Update), and John Lin (Pearls of Solo Practice). Dr. Sameer Keole, a radiation oncologist from Mayo Clinic, discussed IMRT Reimbursement and possible Advanced APM’s urologist may use to meet CMS requirements.
Residents from the University of Arizona and Mayo Clinic presented their research, and the meeting concluded with a session of “Interesting, Bizarre, and Difficult Cases” presented by members of AZUS and residents.
I wish to thank my fellow officers for all their hard work, which was distributed more this year than ever: Matt Gretzer, Past President; Tony Woodruff, President-elect; Mitzi Barmatz, Sec/Treas; Erik Castle, Program Chair—we had numerous phone conferences and an officer’s retreat to plan this meeting, resulting in a great meeting.
As many of you know, there was a small one-time registration fee this year associated with the added costs of outside speakers, increased CME and a top resort, including amenities and excellent food and beverages. We appreciate the feedback and understanding of all members on this surcharge.
And last but certainly not least, I want to thank the entire DeSantis Management Group for organizing one of the best AZUS meetings ever. They truly are one of the best management companies I have ever worked with!
On behalf of all the officers, I thank all of you for your membership and continued support—we want to hear your thoughts and suggestions as we strive make AZUS a valuable asset to everyone!
President’s Post-Meeting Report
Arizona Urological Society
2016 Meeting April 8-10
Scottsdale McCormick Ranch Resort
Click here for photo gallery
Dear Members and Colleagues,
Many thanks to all the members, guests and speakers who were able to attend the annual meeting this past weekend in Scottsdale. Overall, the meeting feedback has been very positive and the participation was excellent.
Dr. Matt Gretzer, outgoing president, and program chair Dr. Erik Castle organized a fantastic slate of speakers for the scientific/academic program:
Dr. Tom Lue from UCSF gave State-of-the Art lectures on Priapism and Peyronie’s Disease;
Dr. Mitch Humphreys from Mayo Clinic discussed the challenges of setting up an MRI fusion biopsy program and the initial results at his institution;
Residents from the University of Arizona (Alex Jule, Chris Brown) and Mayo Clinic (Austin Critchlow, Catherine Chen) presented Point/Counterpoint positions on stone disease and urethral trauma.
In the health policy segment, we were honored to have Arizona State Representative Heather Carter (District 15) and Chic Older, ArMA Excecutive Vice President with us to discuss the increasingly robust state level activity, the various legislative issues that affect Arizona urologists and the importance of our role as patient advocates. Issues discussed included the Medical Compact Bill (HB 2502), reimbursement for telemedicine (SB1363), physician shortage/scope of practice, and how we can be effective in the legislative process. The take home message from this segment: Get involved because there are lots of new seats coming up for election this year and the outcome will likely have a huge impact on your practice.
Special note: Our sincere gratitude goes to Rep. Heather Carter who is clearly a friend of organized medicine and has been the key “go-to” person in the legislature looking out for our interests and that of our patients on many fronts.
The business meeting was well attended and included both regional reports and institutional updates. The report from the secretary-treasurer indicates we are in good financial health and have exceeded our membership goal of 75% of Arizona urologists. Thanks to all members for helping us achieve that goal!
The meeting could not occur without the continued support of industry, and it was great to see many familiar faces at the booths. Many of the companies have sponsored the meeting year after year. A huge thanks to those attendees who had significant interactions with industry representatives.
As usual, the DeSantis Management Group arranged a great meeting–from the venue, to other industry-sponsored talks, great meals/social events, prize drawings—it really was an incredible event. They truly are the lifeblood of the organization.
Working together with Dr. Tony Woodruff (President-Elect), Dr. Mitzi Barmatz (Sec/Treas) and Dr. Erik Castle (Program Chair), we will continue to strive to improve the organization. The DeSantis Management Group is already working on possible venues for next year, and I personally encourage you to contact me directly if you have any thoughts or suggestions. My goal is to increase interaction with our members and utilize all the great talent and expertise found within our state!
Finally, I wish to invite all Arizona attendees coming to the Western Section Meeting in Kauai to a social reception and get together for ALL providers from Arizona, even non-members. This will be a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and introduce them to our Society! There will also be a short planning session for the officers and any interested members as we continue to plan next year’s annual meeting. A notice will be sent soon with the time and date.
Also check out our website for the meeting photo gallery and other news at www.azurological.org.
Any feedback, thoughts or ideas? I look forward to hearing from you!
Jason Jameson, MD
President, Arizona Urological Society
I hope everyone enjoyed the 2015 Arizona Urological Society’s Annual Meeting. The meeting was held at the Lowes Ventana in Tucson, and provided a family friendly destination and casual venue. This year’s meeting provided a variety of relevant clinical, management, and legislative updates. Once again, attendees were eligible to earn 5.5 Level 1 CME credits.
The residents from the Mayo/Scottsdale and the University of Arizona did a stellar job presenting the updates on the management of renal masses as well as the point-counterpoint discussions. I especially enjoyed the audience participation during the discussions following the resident debates on urethral stricture disease, localized prostate cancer, and small renal masses.
We were fortunate to have the current President of the AUA Dr. Bill Bohnert, as well as the President-Elect Dr. Bill Gee in attendance. Dr. Gee’s discussion on financial survival and the future of Urology was timely and well received.
Dr. Michael Farrigamo was our keynote speaker this year. All in attendance benefited from his vast knowledge on urology coding. He presented many coding tips that will benefit our clinical practice and reimbursement.
New to the program was a case presentation session. I would like to thank Drs. Susan Kalota and Tony Woodruff for presenting difficult/interesting patient cases. I have already received positive feedback from many members who enjoyed the collegial nature of this management discussion.
Our Vice President Dr. Jason Jameson’s legislative update provided insight into the various State and National legislative issues confronting medicine in 2015. Arizona urology is fortunate to have active members at the local and state level providing representation on all of our behalf. We plan to send out an email asking all AZUS members to join the “Right to Speak” registry.
The social events Friday and Saturday night provided a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and meet new friends. The accommodations could not have been better and were enjoyed by all.
Without a doubt this years meeting was a success! I would like to thank all of the industry organizations that attended whose support is vital to our annual meeting. In addition I would like to acknowledge Jeannie, Chris and Kathy DeSantis for their professional expertise, support, and friendship, without which our meeting could not be possible.
Thank you! I look forward to seeing you all next year in Scottsdale.
Matthew Gretzer, MD
President Arizona Urological Society
Results of AHCCCS Provider Rate Analysis
The Legislature enacted Laws 2015, Chapter 14 (SB 1475) on March 12, 2015, which authorized AHCCCS to reduce rates for providers up to 5% in aggregate for dates of service October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. In this process, the Legislature also authorized the agency to account for changes in utilization that were less than the amounts appropriated, as long as the fiscal impact of final decisions on provider rates did not exceed the amount appropriated for capitation rates for fiscal year 2015-2016.
On April 1, the agency opened up a public comment period seeking feedback on the impact a potential 5% rate reduction could have on providers. The agency reviewed comments submitted from 145 different providers and associations representing thousands of providers statewide. Based on the data and information provided through these public comments, along with lower than forecasted utilization and other available funding, AHCCCS has, working with the Governor’s Office, determined that no provider rate reductions are required at this time. The agency will continue to monitor access to care, as well as state budgetary issues and utilization trends. The agency appreciates the time and effort taken by the many providers and organizations that submitted comments. These comments were critical to informing the agency’s final decision.