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From a limited first meeting in the late 1990s that included the leaders of a dozen large group practices, LUGPA has grown so much that its annual meeting this November will include up to 550 physicians and 200 administrators, filling the organization's usual Chicago venue to capacity and necessitating a move to a larger space next year.
Neal D. Shore, MD
From a limited first meeting in the late 1990s that included the leaders of a dozen large group practices, LUGPA has grown so much that its annual meeting this November will include up to 550 physicians and 200 administrators, filling the organization’s usual Chicago venue to capacity and necessitating a move to a larger space next year.
As always, the November 6-8 meeting of the organization of community-based urology groups at The Drake Hotel will offer insights into practice-management issues. A keynote speaker will give a talk on leadership, and additional speakers will address the psychology of change management; options for independent practice; group collaboration and subspecialization; and how practices can prepare for regulatory visits by state or federal investigators.
The meeting will also offer workshops, reports on LUGPA business, a larger exhibitor space than ever before, and a continuing medical education (CME) course focused on diagnostics and prognostics in prostate and bladder cancers.
“Maintaining and enhancing the independent and integrated practice of urology is our mission, and we will continue to promote excellence in leadership, strategic clinical vision, and a culture of success in the ever-changing healthcare landscape,” said Neal D. Shore, MD, of Atlantic Urology Clinics in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and chair of both the annual meeting and its CME. “We will discuss the political, cultural, and administrative aspects to successfully administering an independent practice as best as one can in an environment where there are multiple competing entities.”
Shore, who is also secretary of the executive committee of LUGPA’s board of directors, added that the meeting represents “a tremendous opportunity to communicate with your colleagues who are facing similar issues and concerns within their practices. It provides a great opportunity to interact, not only with physicians from all over the country with similar issues, but with key industry senior leadership, as well.”
The conference will open with three separate programs for practice administrators, lab directors, and medical directors, and also with the CME, which Shore said delves into “a very important and expanding arena within the diagnosis and management of urologic oncology.”
“We propose to further educate our membership on the validation of these assays, where they are most applicable, what the health-economics issues are, and how to use each assay or diagnostic test most effectively for the betterment of patient care,” he said.
The meeting’s only full day will occur on November 7, and will include updates on LUGPA business as well as two keynote lectures, one of them representing the latest in the industry-sponsored LUGPA Partnership in Leadership Series.
The second keynote address will be given by Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy & Associates, Inc, in Washington, DC. A regular LUGPA speaker, Laszewski will follow up on a talk he gave last year by offering his latest insights into US healthcare policy under the Affordable Care Act.
“Robert Laszewski has been very well-received, and he’s well-regarded and knowledgeable,” Shore said. “The ACA is incredibly intricate and complicated, and he continues to update us on where it’s evolving.”
A talk on sub-specialization by Steve Berkowitz, MD, president of SMB Health Consulting in Austin, Texas, will emphasize the fact that “one of the greatest benefits of group practice, particularly in larger groups, is the ability to have collaboration and subspecialization. Being a generalist is becoming more difficult, not only because of the requirements to be up to date with so many educational advances, but also because of the need to have the administrative expertise within a practice to maintain an effective and successful model of excellence,” Shore said.
Advice on preparing for visits by government inspectors will be given by attorneys from the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, of Washington, DC. The issue is important, Shore said, because “there are tenets of the ACA which have created committees to review practices in the community, academia, and hospitals. They are looking for areas of malfeasance, much like the IRS is looking for people who are not adequately and appropriately documenting tax returns.”
Workshops that same day will touch on topics including online marketing of urology practices, branding, and understanding the implications of Medicare’s physician value-based payment modifier. On the final day of the meeting, an additional slate of workshops will include an update on ICD-10 coding, a discussion about challenging partnership/practice scenarios, and advice about mergers and acquisitions.
Overall, Shore said, the meeting will help keep community-based, independent practice moving in the right direction.
“One of the most important aspects to LUGPA is to maintain and ensure that we have healthy independent practice for urologic care,” he said. “Allowing for a diverse array of career options will continue to maintain the vitality of the specialty, as well as providing appropriate and cost-efficient care to our patients.”