A Word from the President
You are not going to want to miss this year’s ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting, New Frontiers - Advocating for Patients, Practices and Research, Nov. 7-11 in Houston. This one-of-a kind opportunity for professional development is going to be out of this world.
One of our Vision 2020 initiatives has been to reimagine and enhance the annual meeting. As you know, last year we created a new College meeting experience with expert roundtables, clinical conundrums, interdisciplinary panels and practice application seminars. These new session types were so well received that we will be offering them again this year.
We are a small specialty with a big voice, especially when we join with like-minded organizations to express our views on issues of importance and work on projects that benefit from joint efforts. The College collaborates with AAAAI, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Thoracic Society (ATS), CHEST and others on a variety of advocacy and member initiatives.
Our collaboration with the AAAAI is strong. We want to be sure we are working together on projects of joint interest, such as our new Joint Task Force on Telemedicine, the long-standing Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters, the joint annual Program Directors Assembly Winter Meeting and biennial Joint Board Review Course. These are all very successful programs.
You’re already acutely aware of how incredibly complex the health care landscape has become – and more change is on the way to continue shaking things up. Health care disrupters – including nontraditional partnerships, new direct-to-consumer companies and even public outcry – aim to change the traditional health care status quo. Basically, this is the health care version of what Lyft and Uber did to taxis. The genesis of this change isn’t totally off-base. Traditional health care can be slow to deliver new innovations and treatments, and until the last few years, has remained relatively stagnant, at least in terms of delivery methods.
I have written a few of these columns since becoming College President last November, but I realized that for many of you, we haven’t been introduced. With that in mind, I want to take a moment of your time to say “hello,” and share a few of my thoughts.
Believe it or not, the holidays are here already! While many of you are no doubt looking forward to time out of the office to relax, the holidays can be a challenging time for our patients and us.
From lurking food allergens at the dinner table to festive decorations, it can be difficult for our patients to enjoy this time if they are sneezing and wheezing (or worse). Here are some last-minute holiday tips to share on social media, in patient newsletters, your website or in-person:
Although it’s only been a short time since I’ve “officially” become president of the College, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. It’s no small task to be president, but I’m already gearing up to start working on my plans for the upcoming year.
During this past year, the College has continually built upon the strong foundation we first laid out in Vision 2020. And since there will always be new challenges facing the specialty of allergy, the College is prepared and ready to support the practicing allergist at every new hurdle.
With so many new regulations and issues affecting the practicing allergist, our Advocacy Council and College leadership are fighting to make sure your voices are heard. Since strength comes in numbers, we also work alongside the AAAAI and other related medical societies on some issues.
In the last few weeks, the College has written extensively about the proposed changes to the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. In brief, reimbursement under Medicare Part B would suffer a 6% decrease for allergy services in 2019. Our Advocacy Council analyzed and reported on the proposed E&M changes.
This spring, the College’s thought-leaders in education gathered in Chicago for the second Education Summit. On the agenda was a review of our current professional development offerings, and a goal to develop a three-year blueprint to guide the College’s future education activities.
Background for the work during the summit included what we heard from College members about their needs and wants and collected from evaluations, surveys and more. We looked at not only your feedback, but also gaps in our existing programs to make sure that our professional development offerings are shaped just for you.