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Journal Club

July 18, 2018


Cleveland Clinic IDSA Members Host Visit with Congressional Staff


IDSA Members
Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA; Adarsh Bihmraj, MD, FIDSA; Steve Gordon, MD, FIDSA; Josh Prest

IDSA members at Cleveland Clinic, Steven Schmitt, MD, FIDSA; Adarsh Bihmraj, MD, FIDSA; and Steve Gordon, MD, FIDSA, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Department, recently hosted congressional staffer for U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) Josh Prest for a tour of the clinic’s ID department, and a discussion about the value of infectious diseases physicians to patient care and innovation in therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines. 

Senator Portman is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and physician reimbursement, including evaluation and management codes that cover over 90 percent of the services ID physicians provide. The tour and discussion provided the doctors an opportunity to showcase the role that ID physicians play in responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health emergencies.

The meeting focused on the ID impacts of the opioid crisis in Ohio and across the country and included a visit to the intensive care unit to observe a patient battling a cardiac staph infection due to opioid use. In conversation with Sen. Portman’s aide, Drs. Schmitt, Gordon, and Bihmraj urged the Senator to ask CMS to revalue E/M codes to more fairly compensate ID doctors. They look forward to continuing the dialogue on this issue with the Senator and his staff this year.

Are you interested in hosting your member of Congress at your institution or meeting with your Senators or House members this summer to help them learn more about the value of the work you do? IDSA and HIVMA are ready to facilitate site visits and meetings with your elected officials. To participate in our advocacy activities, and to join the Member Advocacy Program (MAP), contact Lisa Cox with IDSA or George Fistonichwith HIVMA.

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