It’s enough to make you do a spit take,
Forget your healthcare congress, annual national institute or conference and exhibition, Spit Camp is a healthcare gathering that Outliers can really get behind.
While visions of such sessions as Saliva in Society, an Introduction to Loogies and the Dynamics of Drool were quickly dashed, Spit Camp includes lessons that may not leave a bad taste in your mouth, depending on your level of interest in spit.
One can learn how to properly collect saliva—it’s more than a matter of spitting in a can—and understand when is the best time to collect spit depending on which spit ingredient, called an analyte, is being analyzed. Some analytes show up in spit over the course of the day, so spit collection will have to account for that, says Chris Schwartz, marketing coordinator for Salimetrics, the spit analysis company mainly behind the spit camps. (Schwartz also reassured Outliers that the camps indeed are real.)
The spit camps also would be an ideal way to network and swap spit collection stories with like-minded spit researchers, one can assume.
For continued information on spit, check out Salimetrics’ free newsletter, The Spit Report.
Outliers can’t wait to see our first issue.
ACOS carry some Gingrich DNA
After being close to disowning its creation last year, the American Medical Group Association was back to touting its role in the creation of accountable care organizations at its annual conference last weekend in San Diego, and it even provided a little more context and back story— which included giving credit to a somewhat unlikely catalyst.
What George Roman, AMGA senior director of health policy, said and former AMGA Vice President of Public Policy Chet Speed later confirmed, was that, essentially, the Aco-creating provision might never have been included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if it wasn’t for former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
So, even as his presidential hopes may be fading, his lasting influence might be found in the growing interest in accountable care.
At a March 9 session updating members on current happenings on Capitol Hill, Roman said the genesis of ACOS began with an invitation to make a presentation on the concept at a program sponsored by Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation. After the presentation, Roman said a Senate Finance Committee staffer approached Speed and asked him “to give us some language on this,” at which point Speed’s knees almost buckled.
He recovered, however, and some draft legislation was written and presented. “What we proposed was largely included” in the final ver- sion of the law, Roman said. He also noted that this was the single largest law or regulation he ever personally had a hand in—adding, however, that the ACO provision amounted to only about 2,000 of the law’s 500,000 or so words.
Speed, now the Cleveland Clinic’s executive director of federal government relations, confirmed the story, saying that the AMGA had met earlier with the Center for Health Transformation staff and was told “Newt really wants to hear this sort of thing.”
So, Gingrich called for a meeting that was held in December 2008. Speed said Capitol Hill staffers were invited and it was attended by the AMGA along with representatives of some of its member organizations that participated in the CMS’ Physician Group Practice Demonstration: the Billings (Mont.) Clinic; the Everett (Wash.) Clinic; the Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pa.; the Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic; and Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis Park, Minn.
“They just had a great story to tell,” Speed said of the group practices. “And, lo and behold, one of the finance staffers said, ‘could you write it up and present it to us?’ ”
So, did his “knees buckle” as Roman said? Maybe not exactly, but Speed says that it’s a big moment in any advocacy association staffer’s career when he or she is specifically asked to contribute to developing legislation in such a way.
“It was a very happy moment, and I think we did a very decent job of providing draft legislation,” Speed said, adding that others—including the CMS and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission—later “touched it” before a final version was settled on.
“This is no joke. … (Jon Stewart has) evolved from being just a quote/unquote mere satirist to someone who weighs in on the serious topics of the day, whether it’s healthcare, gridlock in Congress ... a variety of different issues. But I was trying to make the connection more specifically with bioethics and healthcare.”
—Kayhan Parsi, an associate professor in the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy of Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, in the Chicago Tribune on
“The Daily Show” host. Parsi wrote about Stewart in the American Journal of Bioethics, where he was recently named associate editor.
Gingrich, shown campaigning recently in Illinois, can claim some credit for ACOS.