Fall 2015  

ASCRS Congratulates New Committee Members, Highlights Latest Efforts

ASCRS LogoCommittees are a vital part of the Society’s work plan, and the Executive Council was thrilled to receive more requests this year than ever before from individuals interested in participating on a committee. In September, invitations were sent out to all 2015-2016 committee appointments. Every effort was made to include as many individuals as possible on the committees; those who did not receive a committee appointment are strongly encouraged to apply again next year.

To view all of our committees, visit the Leadership and Committees page on our website.

We’re pleased to spotlight the work of three of our committees in this issue of the newsletter.

Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee
Tasked with developing practice guidelines for the field, the Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) Committee published six new guidelines in 2015 on topics related to ostomy surgery, ambulatory anorectal surgery, Crohn’s disease, clostridium difficile infection, and the surveillance of patients after colorectal cancer treatment. The committee’s guidelines are published in Diseases of the Colon and Rectum and on the ASCRS website.

CPG Committee Chair Scott Steele, MD, notes the dedication of the committee’s members: “Our members are incredibly busy clinicians who have gone out of their way to provide highly scrutinized and vetted evidence-based reviews that we feel are extremely valuable not only to our members, but also for all health care providers taking care of patients with colorectal disease.”

The committee has no plans to slow down after an exceptionally productive 2015. “Currently, we are working on updates to past CPGs to include rectal prolapse, abscess/fistula-in-ano, and anal fissure, as well as pleased to announce the development of upcoming new CPGs such as volvulus and pseudo-obstruction, radiation injury, and bowel preparation,” Dr. Steele said. “Finally, we are excited to be embarking on a collaborative CPG with SAGES regarding enhanced recovery following colorectal surgery.”

Healthcare Economics Committee
With the new ICD-10 coding taking effect this fall, the Healthcare Economics Committee took on the task of simplifying the new codes for members. A crosswalk between ICD-9 and ICD-10 was developed for popular colon and rectal surgery codes and shared with the membership via the website to help provide a smooth transition.

“Even though many surgeons may be using their electronic medical record to find the appropriate ICD-10 diagnostic code, the ICD-9 to ICD-10 crosswalk was important to provide so that all of our members can see the magnitude of the coding changes for common colon and rectal diseases,” said Stephen Sentovich, MD, chair.

The goal of the committee is to keep members informed on legislative issues and to track developments in managed care, regulatory, legislative, and other issues that impact coding, billing, and reimbursement for colorectal services.

Public Relations Committee
To accomplish the ASCRS’s mission of increasing public awareness of colon and rectal diseases, the Public Relations Committee brainstorms and executes new campaigns each year. In 2015, 22 of the Society’s patient education brochures were revised and approved by Council to be redesigned and reprinted. The first half were completed in the fall, and the remaining half are expected to be printed by year end. This content is also updated on the patient diseases and conditions pages, which include some of the most frequently visited pages on the entire ASCRS website, and is provided in corresponding videos, some of which will be translated into Spanish.

The committee determines the awardees of the Society’s media awards and the Jagelman Award, as well as the newest award, Local Hero Award, all presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting. Last year’s Local Hero, Pat Spain, will be featured in an upcoming video advocating for colon cancer awareness and screening.

“We continue as a committee to come up with new and creative ways to disseminate information about not only colorectal disease but also colorectal surgeons and our organization,” said Dr. Roberta Muldoon, chair.

 
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