UHMS member alerts the Society on problems with CMS coverage of radiation proctitis

The Case of the Disappearing Indication

Thomas M. Bozzuto, DO, FACEP, FFACHM, UHM

            On May 15, 2018, Palmetto GBA conducted an “Ask the Contractor Teleconference” (ACT) with Dr. Leland Garrett, Medical Director of Palmetto GBA of Columbia, South Carolina. On a side note, several times it appeared that Dr. Garrett did not know the difference between transcutaneous oxygen measurements and topical oxygen therapy – commenting several times that TCOM was not covered under the national coverage determination (NCD). A clarification update had to be issued on July 6, 2018, stating that Dr. Garrett “misunderstood the question” and that TCOM is covered.

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ABEM Subspecialists No Longer Required to Maintain EM Certification

ABEM Subspecialists No Longer Required to Maintain EM Certification

Physicians certified in EM by ABEM who also hold an ABEM-issued subspecialty certificate are no longer required to maintain their Primary Emergency Medicine (EM) certification as long as they are participating in ABEM-accepted MOC programs.

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Summary: 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Final Rule

On Nov. 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 23, 2018. This is the first year CMS combined the Medicare PFS and QPP rules. CMS published several fact sheets on the final rule including a fact sheet on the QPP changes and a fact sheet on the PFS changes for 2019.

One week later, CMS released a snapshot of physician performance during the first year of the QPP, 2017. These data indicate that 93% of clinicians who were MIPS-eligible in 2017 will get a positive MIPS incentive payment in 2019.

AMA is continuing to review the rule and will work with its colleagues in the Federation to further analyze these policies in the coming weeks. Below is a summary of the key policies included in the final regulation and the QPP performance results.

Read the full summary here:


Unique Specialty Code for Physicians who specialize in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Physicians who specialize in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine have been assigned a unique specialty code by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.

That specialty code is D4.

The code goes into effect on January 1, 2019.


The Department of Defense-sponsored clinical trial on hyperbaric oxygen for mild traumatic brain injury has yielded promising findings for future research.

The Emmes Corporation of Rockville, Maryland, recently announced that scientists and health professionals from Emmes; LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah; Lovelace Biomedical Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Development Activity at Fort Detrick, Maryland, have completed a multiyear clinical trial testing hyperbaric oxygen as an intervention for U.S. military service members who have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries with persistent symptoms.

Eleven researchers, as well as members of the study team, collaborated to write a paper that summarized these most recent comprehensive findings in the series of studies. ‘Hyperbaric oxygen for post-concussive symptoms in United States military service members: a randomized clinical trial’ was published in March-April 2018 issue of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, the bimonthly member publication of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society

The Department of Defense-sponsored study included both active-duty soldiers and veterans in the military who suffered from mild traumatic brain injuries.

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UHMS welcomes Derall Garrett as new UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Director

Derall GarrettDerall Garrett has joined the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society as Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Director. His appointment became effective Monday, December 4, when he began work with retiring accreditation director Tom Workman and HFA coordinator Beth Hands.

Mr. Garrett has been working in the field of hyperbaric medicine for more than a decade. He is a graduate of the College of Oceaneering, certified as a commercial diver and a diver medic. He is a Certified Hyperbaric Technician through the National Board of Diving Hyperbaric Technologist since 2000.

Garrett has experience working with both Class A and B hyperbaric systems in a variety of settings. He is certified by two hyperbaric chamber manufacturers to provide service and maintenance to their Class B hyperbaric systems.

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AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship

NOGI LogoThe Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (AUAS) Announces the
AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship

The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) is pleased to announce, with matching funds from Divers Alert Network (DAN), the creation of the AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Research Scholarship.  This annual scholarship will encourage research on topics that expand the body of knowledge of human physiology in the marine environment. “The scholarship was created through a generous initial donation from a NOGI Fellow and with the matching funds from DAN, will support important diving medicine research into the future,” stated Dan Orr, President of the AUAS. This annual scholarship provides financial support of up to $10,000. Requests for information or an application for the AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship can be sent to info@auas-nogi.org

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Sechrist Industries is our First Diamond Level Corporate Partner

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Sechrist was founded over 35 years ago in 1973, by Ron Sechrist, a mechanical engineer with a passion for the research and development of new life-saving medical technologies.  

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Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee at Work

The UHMS CPG Oversight Committee, chaired by Dr. Enoch Huang, has completed work on the first clinical practice guideline for the UHMS: ‘A clinical practice guideline for the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.’ The paper is available here: https://www.uhms.org/cpg.

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Safety Time Out/Pause - "Stop"

UHMS Position Statement 
Safety Timeout and Pause “STOP” 

The Safety Committee of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society recommends that a Safety Time Out / Pause (STOP) be performed prior to the start of every hyperbaric treatment. A STOP should be completed regardless of multiplace or monoplace operations. A STOP will be performed in order to be compliant with safety goals, to combat complacency, and document completion of our unique safety practices. We recommend that the STOP be modeled after the timeouts performed before surgical procedures. 

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UHMS Credentialing and Privileging Guidelines for Hyperbaric Medicine Physicians in the U.S.A.

UHMS Credentialing and Privileging Guidelines For Hyperbaric Medicine Physicians in the U.S.A. 
Revised: 26 June 2014 
Principles Intrinsic to Ensuring Patient Access to Safe, High‐Quality Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO2) Therapy HBO2 therapy entails medical risks and should be provided only by physicians with specialized training in hyperbaric medicine and facilities properly equipped and maintained to do so.  For physicians, experience in both routine and emergent HBO2 treatment situations is expected.  For facilities, formal accreditation through a facility accreditation program recognized by the Joint Commission, such as the UHMS accreditation program, is recommended.  A 5‐year transition period is recommended to enable all hyperbaric medicine physicians and facilities to meet these certification, privileging and accreditation guidelines.  However, during this transition period, patient access to HBO2 therapy for approved indications should not be limited. 

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