The program for the 2013 ASCRS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, April 27 – May 1, places a strong emphasis on practical knowledge to help surgeons run better practices and offers important new information necessary to treat patients in a fast-changing field, according to Program Chair Dr. Stephen M. Sentovich, Boston, MA. “The Program Committee has planned a fantastic meeting with a high quality, compact scientific program and easy logistics, with many direct flights and an airport close to our downtown hotel in warm, sunny Phoenix,” Dr. Sentovich says.
Symposia open to all registrants will begin on Saturday morning with the “Advanced Laparoscopic Symposium: ‘Pearls from the Pros.’” Following will be the new Saturday Luncheon Symposium, “Surgeon as a Leader”—Professionalism and Communication, featuring an expert on making clinical microsystems work, Dr. Matthew Facktor, Danville, PA, and ASCRS President Dr. Alan G. Thorson, Omaha, NE. “Leadership may be the most important skill for a surgeon, and yet many surgeons receive no formal training in leadership, and some surgeons have never had the benefit of a senior mentor figure,” says course director Dr. Michael J. Stamos, Orange, CA, the ASCRS President-Elect.
Dr. Sentovich and the Program Committee are excited to announce that the Bacon Lectureship will be given by one of the nation’s experts in healthcare economics and efficiency, Dr. Glenn D. Steele, Jr., President and CEO of Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA. On Sunday afternoon, Dr. Steele’s talk entitled Post Reform Value Re-engineering: the Geisinger Model will immediately precede the symposium on Healthcare Economics.
The Healthcare Economics symposium will bring participants up to date on how healthcare will be structured and reimbursed in new ways using accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments. “These structural changes will radically alter current economic incentives and care management. Surgeons need to understand these changes and their new role in the healthcare system,” says course director and ASCRS Past President Dr. H. Randolph Bailey, Houston, TX. The faculty includes Drs. David A. Margolin, Frank G. Opelka, Guy R. Orangio, all of New Orleans, LA, and Anthony J. Senagore, Los Angeles, CA.
Practical programs include a Sunday Symposium, Practical Solutions to Improve Your Colon and Rectal Surgery Practice, directed by Dr. Sharon L. Stein, Cleveland, OH. It covers marketing a surgical practice (Dr. David E. Rivadeneira, Huntington, NY), surgeon contracting (Dr. Guy R. Orangio, New Orleans, LA), making the practice clinically efficient (Dr. John H. Winston, III, San Antonio, TX), adopting meaningful use of electronic health records (Dr. Sang W. Lee, New York, NY), and using midlevel providers effectively (Dr. Steven J. Ognibene, Rochester, NY). “Surgeons need to have a comprehensive understanding of the tools and resources available to meet ever-demanding expectations outside of patient care,” Dr. Stein says.
On Monday, April 29, another very practical program is 2013 Ten Minute Updates: What You Really Need to Know, directed by Diseases of the Colon and Rectum Editor-in-Chief Dr. Robert D. Madoff, Minneapolis, MN. “Since outcome-directed research has continued at a fast pace, many surgeons may be unaware of new guidelines and how they should be incorporated into day-to-day practice,” Dr. Madoff says. The program includes new methods to improve abdominal and anorectal surgery pain control (Drs. Keith Lewis, Boston, MA, and Scott R. Steele, Fort Lewis, WA), how to improve quality in the endoscopy suite (Dr. John Allen, New Haven, CT), new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) steps and requirements (Dr. Martin A. Luchtefeld, Grand Rapids, MI), and the new CREST program and how to use it (Dr. Elisa H. Birnbaum, St. Louis, MO).
A program sure to impact the practice’s bottom line is How to Get Paid: Colon and Rectal Surgery Coding and Reimbursement (Saturday). “Surgeons have a poor understanding of how codes are created and assigned value and a limited understanding of basic coding principles. There is confusion regarding coding of complicated procedures; poor understanding of how to use coding tactics such as modifiers; and lack of basic understanding of coding compliance risk,” warns course director Dr. James I. Merlino, Cleveland, OH, Chair of the ASCRS Socioeconomic Committee. The expert faculty includes Drs. David A. Margolin and Guy R. Orangio, both of New Orleans, LA, and David P. O’Brien, Portland, OR. “We haven’t done anything on coding of this scale and comprehensiveness for many years,” says Dr. Sentovich.
A new Sunday program is The Surgeon’s Toolbox: Using Staplers and Energy Wisely. “The science of stapling and energy sources is a topic that most surgeons know very little about. Surgeons need to know the mechanics of these devices to use them properly. In addition, surgeons need to know the various ways staplers and energy sources can be used to optimize patient care,” says course director Dr. Scott R. Steele, Fort Lewis, WA. Participants will gain a clear understanding of the science and biology regarding the various modalities of energy (advanced bipolar, monopolar, ultrasonic) and tissue management (linear and circular stapling) to optimize outcomes and minimize complications. The two and one half hour program features 11 expert speakers.
Two programs, both directed by Dr. Stephen E. Goldstone, New York, NY, will help participants address an increase in anal cancer due to rising rates of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Saturday’s program is informational, AIN and HRA: What a Surgeon Needs to Know, and a hands-on course will be presented on Sunday. HPV infection can lead to anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) that can be identified with high resolution anoscopy (HRA). “While colon and rectal surgeons are very familiar with the evaluation and treatment of anal cancer, many do not know how to identify the anal cancer precursor, AIN, with HRA,” Dr. Goldstone says. The expert faculty includes Drs. J. Michael Berry, Naomi Jay, RN, NP, PhD, Joel Palefsky, all of San Francisco, CA, and Mark L. Welton, Stanford, CA.
An update on the latest rectal cancer treatments will be provided Sunday in How to Treat Rectal Cancer in 2013, directed by Dr. Thomas E. Read, Burlington, MA. “Optimal treatment of patients with rectal cancer continues to evolve, and includes both surgical and non-surgical treatments, and therefore a multidisciplinary approach to treatment is critical,” Dr. Read says. Speakers will cover the latest surgical techniques and both radiation and chemotherapy. Speakers include Drs. Lisa Kachnic, Boston, MA, Soren Laurberg, Aarhus, Denmark, Robert D. Madoff, Minneapolis, MN, Bruce A. Orkin, Chicago, IL, and Leela M. Prasad, Park Ridge, IL.
Two popular symposia return with new twists for 2013. The first is Nightmare at the Movies: The Remake. Course director Dr. Tonia Young-Fadok, Phoenix, AZ, has a new lineup of videos for this year’s nightmare, emphasizing the importance of understanding the complexity of the case before beginning treatment. The presentations feature eye-catching titles: I Can’t Find the Ureter – How Can I Regroup?, The Ileal Pouch Just Died – Now What?, Fifty Shades of Omentum – Different Approaches to the Omentum.
The second popular symposium is Worst Cases: A Global Perspective. A highlight of the 2012 Annual Meeting featured seven ASCRS past presidents questioning one another, as they offered senior management perspectives in a roundtable discussion of their “worst cases.” For this year, course director and ASCRS immediate Past President Dr. Steven D. Wexner, Weston, FL, has assembled an international cast for a similar exercise. Worst cases will be presented and discussed by Drs. André D’Hoore Leuven, Belgium (rectal prolapse), Chuan-Gang Fu, Shanghai, China (hemorrhoids), Paul Goldberg, Cape Town, South Africa (colon cancer), David Lubowski, Sydney, Australia (anal fistula), Robin S. McLeod, Toronto, ON, Canada (Crohn’s disease), Rodrigo O. Perez, Sao Paulo, Brazil (rectal cancer), Alon Pikarsky, Jerusalem, Israel (ulcerative colitis), Mario Trompetto, Vercelli, Italy (functional disorders), and Toshiaki Watanabe, Tokyo, Japan (Laparoscopy).
The program includes popular and very practical features such as “Meet the Professor” breakfasts, the CORE subject update, a general surgery forum, research forum, a young surgeons symposium, and a selection of in-depth, hands-on training sessions covering transanal endoscopic surgery, anorectal ultrasound and physiology, advanced laparoscopic colorectal surgery, and advanced endoscopic techniques.
No ASCRS Annual Meeting program would be complete without a program on the most common anorectal diseases colorectal surgeons treat: hemorrhoids, anal fissure, fistula, and condyloma. Dr. Richard P. Billingham, Seattle, WA, directs a Saturday symposium, Treatment of Common Anorectal Disorders. Expert speakers include Drs. Amir L. Bastawrous, Seattle, WA,Peter A. Cataldo, Burlington, VT, William C. Cirocco, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Bard C. Cosman, San Diego, CA, and Sergio W. Larach, Orlando, FL.