The Medical/Legal Summit is a Huge Success

Co-sponsored by the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio (AMCNO), the Academy of Medicine Education Foundation (AMEF), and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA), the 2015 Medical/Legal Summit began Friday, April 17, at One Cleveland Center with opening remarks by Dr. James Coviello, President of the AMCNO; Bruce Hearey, President of the CMBA; and Ray Krncevic, Associate General Counsel, University Hospitals, Law Department, and Summit co-chairman. 

The keynote speaker, the Honorable Michael Leavitt, Founder and Chairman of Leavitt Partners and former Governor of Utah, delivered a compelling message about “Healthcare Reform 2.0: Navigating Uncertainty and Anticipating What’s Next.” He noted that the transition to a value-based payment (VBP) system is the most significant change in the U.S. healthcare system since the widespread adoption of health insurance, and that VBP will become the norm in healthcare—we need to act now to make sure we head off a major healthcare crisis. He said that the transformation has already begun from fee-for-service (FFS) to VBP. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has aggressive goals: 30% of Medicare FFS payments will tie to alternative payments in 2016 and at 50% by 2018; 85% will be linked to quality.   The full transition to a VBP system won’t happen overnight, but it will happen sooner than anticipated. Factors that are driving the change are politics, health IT adoption, vertical integration, market viability, and Medicare/Medicaid. And, Leavitt said the environment is changing at different speeds and rates in every U.S. medical marketplace. “If we want to remain a great nation, we have to accomplish this change,” he said. “We have three choices: fight it and die, accept it and have a chance to survive, or lead it and prosper.”

The sessions on Saturday, April 18, covered several topics of importance to physicians and their practice.   Saturday’s plenary session began with a session about the use of telemedicine. Seated on the panel were David Chmielewski, VISN 10 Cleveland Facility Telehealth Coordinator, Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA); Brook Watts, MD, CMIO, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center; Kevin McCarter, Director, Retail Strategy, CareSource Management Group; and Kimberly Anderson, Esq., Assistant Executive Director, State Medical Board of Ohio.  The second plenary session dealt with the use of physician extenders, and panelists included Sallie Debolt, Esq., General Counsel, State Medical Board of Ohio; Thomas Dilling, JD, Adjudication Coordinator/Legislative Liaison, Ohio Board of Nursing; Ed Taber, Esq., Tucker Ellis LLP (moderator); and Rajesh Chandra, MD, Division Chief, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, UH Case Medical Center.

Attendees were then given the choice of four breakout sessions, all of which were designed to address the different issues facing physicians and their legal counsel. The first two sessions covered End-of-Life Issues and Medical Marijuana. The End-of-Life panel consisted of Monica Gerrek, PhD, Director of Ethic Education at MetroHealth; May Al-Abousi, MD, UH Parma Medical Center; and Kim Bixenstine, Esq., VP & Deputy General Counsel, UH. The Medical Marijuana breakout session was moderated by Dr. Robert Hobbs and featured several presenters: Jason Jerry, MD, Staff Physician, Cleveland Clinic Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU; Attorneys Barry Maram and Richard Hu from the law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP; and Tim Cosgrove, Esq., an attorney and government relations representative with Squire, Patton Boggs, LLP.

The next two sessions covered issues related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Opioids and Pain Medicine. In the ACA breakout session, David Valent, from the Cleveland Clinic, served as the moderator. Also on the panel were Thomas Campanella, Esq., Baker Hostetler, LLP; Michael Hughes, MD, Summa Health System; Donald Ford, MD, VP of Medical Affairs, Hillcrest Hospital, Cleveland Clinic; and Patricia Decensi, Esq., Medical Mutual of Ohio. Issues related to prescribing pain medications and regulatory issues were addressed in the breakout session on Opioids and Pain Medicine. Joan Papp, MD, FACEP, MetroHealth Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Cuyahoga County Project DAWN Medical Director, moderated the session and introduced the panel. 

Over 200 physicians and attorneys from across the Northern Ohio region signed up to attend this informative session. The AMCNO would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the 2015 planning committee and all of the event sponsors. The 2016 planning committee will be meeting in the near future, and AMCNO members are encouraged and welcome to submit topics and suggest presenters for the 2016 Medical/Legal Summit. Please submit your comments or suggestions to To view photos from the Summit, click here. For more coverage of the 2015 Medical/Legal Summit, see the May/June issue of the Northern Ohio Physician

The Pollen Line is now closed. See you in the spring!

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