Winter 2012

In this issue: 

  • Advocacy Update -  IPAB Repeal Bill Advances in House
  • Hottest Clinical Practice Issue - Needlestick/Sharps Injuries
  • Residency Highlight - Washington University in St. Louis
  • Free CME Credits

All New and Even Better 

Introducing the all new CME Tracker on My ACEP.  Now you can print your ACEP CME Certificates, store other CME activities and even keep a transcript of all your past CME activities.  Visit to check it out.

IPAB Repeal Bill Advances in House

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee considered ACEP-supported legislation, the “Medicare Decisions Accountability Act” (H.R. 452), sponsored by Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN), which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The committee approved the measure (17-5) with the support of all Republicans and two Democrats, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ed Towns (D-NY).  The full E&C Committee is scheduled to mark-up the bill next week and members’ opening statements will begin on Monday. 

ACEP and many other physician specialty groups are advocating for the repeal of the IPAB – an unelected panel which is empowered to make recommendations to cut spending in Medicare if its spending growth reaches certain levels. The 15-member Board is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. By 2015, it must cap Medicare spending at a rate of per capita gross domestic spending, plus 1 percent. The board can make changes to Medicare reimbursement without the approval of Congress, but is largely limited to meeting cost goals by cutting costs to providers.

Last week, ACEP co-signed a
letter along with a host of medical organizations representing more than 350,000 physicians, to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee outlining our concerns with the creation of the IPAB.

Also next week, the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to begin action on H.R. 452.  The W&M Health Subcommittee will conduct a hearing on the proposals on Tuesday and we expect the subcommittee to mark-up the legislation later in the week.

House leadership has announced their intention to hold a floor vote on this issue sometime this month.  It will likely coincide with the timing of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate that was included in the ACA.

Needlestick/Sharps Injuries

Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries which expose workers to bloodborne pathogens continue to be a significant hazard for hospital employees. OSHA estimates that 5.6 million workers in the healthcare industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV),Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and others. 

Any worker handling sharp devices or equipment such as scalpels, sutures, hypodermic needles, blood collection devices, or phlebotomy devices is at risk. Nursing staff are most frequently injured. Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINET) data shows that needlestick injuries occur most frequently in the operating room and in patient rooms.Read more... 

Washington University in St. Louis Emergency Medicine ResidencyWashington University School of Medicine is a leader in improving human health throughout the world. As noted leaders in patient care, research and education, our outstanding faculty members have contributed many discoveries and innovations to the field of science since the founding of the School of Medicine in 1891. The School of Medicine is one of seven schools of Washington University in St. Louis.Learn more ... 




Free CME credits for Focus On

You asked, we've responded.  ACEP Members can now earn FREE CME by taking the Focus On quizzes online.  these quizzes are based on ACEP News articles that address new approaches to common presentations or a refresher on topics that might fall into a learning gap.  Certificates can be printed instantly after completing the quiz.  Sign in at and explore this new member benefit.  Non-Members still pay $10 a quiz.  Sorry, no refunds for quizzes already purchased.


Click here to
send us feedback