MAPA Newsletter July 2014

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MAPA Newsletter

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President’s Letter

Julie Purcell, PA-C 
MAPA President 2014-15


Dear Members:

What an exciting time to be a PA! Our profession continues to grow and has become an integral part of the modern healthcare system.  The Affordable Care Act has become reality and can only succeed through the use of PAs as medical providers.

MAPA advanced the practice of PAs in Massachusetts through the passage of the Health Care Cost Containment Act 2 years ago.  Moving forward our goal is to continue to provide for the best practice environment possible by working with agencies such as the Department of Public Health and the PA Board of Registration to update regulations impacted by HCCA.  In addition MAPA will continue to lobby the legislature to ensure Physician Assistants are included on bills that impact healthcare delivery.

With the increase in our numbers at hospital and organizational settings, one of the challenges facing our profession is to establish a PA hierarchy at these institutions.  Many of you have approached BOD members at our conferences and social events to ask how to go about this process.  One of the goals that MAPA has set forth for the next year is to assist our members in getting involved at the administrative level at their institutions so that PAs will have “a seat at the table” regarding policies that impact their practice as PAs. At our Fall Conference (at the Hyatt Cambridge/Boston October 23-26, 2014) we plan to hold a workshop to discuss methods to advance the PA hierarchy in the workplace.

As the incoming President I wanted to extend my gratitude to the work done by Pam McColl in her term as President.  Pam worked tirelessly through the year to guide MAPA and did an outstanding job representing us at the AAPA Conference in Boston.  On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sean Robinson for his many years of contributions to MAPA.  GWU now has the benefit of Sean’s leadership and devotion to the profession.

Our Board meetings are held monthly and are open to any member wishing to attend.  Please see the website for details.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the MAPA events planned this year.

Best regards,

Julie Purcell

President 2014-15

Outgoing MAPA President Expresses Thanks

Pam McColl, MHP, PA-C 
MAPA Past President 2013-14

It has been a whirlwind year for MAPA being the host organization to the annual AAPA Impact Conference. I have had the opportunity to work with a great board and together we all helped to portray the strong PA talent we have in our state. MAPA has grown and strengthened over the years and I look forward to remaining involved and seeing how much more we can all do together to empower our profession in this ever-changing health care climate.  We are extremely lucky to have Julie Purcell as our incoming President. She has experience both as having already served as President and having been a strong MAPA participant for a decade. I hope to provide as much support to her as she did for me during my term. Sean Robinson has finished up his MAPA involvement and we wish him well in his new Washington DC environment.

I am looking forward to our upcoming Fall CME Conference at our new venue at the Hyatt Boston/Cambridge October 23 through 26. On Saturday, October 25 we will be having our third Student Track program from 1PM to 4PM with the Massachusetts PA Student Challenge Bowl at 4:30PM. This program was honored with an award for Growth in Profession for constituency organization at the AAPA conference.

New to the fall conference will be our first ever Leadership Track. This will also be on Saturday, October 25 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM followed by Networking Social Hour from 3:30 to 4:30PM. A facilitator who specializes in leadership development will help identify and strengthen latent skills. Our profession has gained experience and maturity opening the doors to new roles and opportunities. This event will provide you with skills, confidence and connections to help attain and excel in these positions.

Thanks to all my fellow board members Sheri Talbott, Meredith Johnson, Bianca Belcher, Heather Trafton, Cathy Hamel, David Probert and Tony Pellegrino, as well as our Executive Director Jay Chamberlain for all the strong work and dedicated commitment over this past year. I could not have survived this past year without all of you.

Happy Summer to All!

Election Results

Julie Purcell, PA-C

President 2014-2015

Chair of the Membership Committee

The Board is pleased to announce election results for the upcoming year. Congratulations and thank you to those who ran for office.




Heather Trafton

Sarah Christie

Cathy Hamel


David Probert

Oren Berkowitz

Brian Katz

Ina Cushman (alternate)

Call For Poster Submissions For The MAPA Fall CME Conference 

Boston 2014!

Open Call for Poster Submissions

Guidelines for the MAPA Fall 2014 Conference

MAPA Poster Session Author Information Form

Attention PA students, graduate PAs, and affiliates:

Here is a chance to showcase your scholarly work at our annual MAPA Fall CME Conference in Boston 2014! We will be organizing a poster session to demonstrate activities in areas such as: original research (clinical and educational), master’s projects, quality improvement projects, global health experiences, community outreach and advocacy, etc. This will be a great opportunity to achieve exposure for your work, network with peers, and add scholarly activities to your CV. In addition, there will be two poster competitions: one for students, another one for graduates and affiliates. Awards will be handed out to the winners along with a chance to give an oral presentation about your projects at the conference.

Please see the submission guidelines for further information and important dates.

Blue Cross PA Credentialing Deadline – October 1st

Blue Cross Blue Shield sent the following memo to BCBS Providers. Please contact your credentialing office or billing office and ensure you are enrolled!

Physician Assistant (PA) contracting required by October 1, 2014

Date Issued: May 12, 2014 Effective Date: Oct 1, 2014

To: The hospitals, physicians, urgent care centers, and community health centers that employ or reimburse PAs, and the PAs who provide care to our members

From: Stephan Katinas, Vice President, Network Contracting In response to Massachusetts’ Health Care Cost Containment law, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA*) will credential and contract with all physician assistants (PAs) who bill for services on a CMS-1500 paper claim or 837P electronic claim.

What this means for you and your practice For dates of service starting October 1, 2014:

* All PAs who provide professional services and whose services are billed on a paper(CMS-1500) or electronic (837P) claim form must apply to credential and contract with BCBSMA.

* We will enroll credentialed and contracted PAs in our HMO, PPO, Medicare Advantage, and Indemnity products.

* The PA’s supervising physician must be a BCBSMA credentialed and contracted provider.

* You may not bill for professional services provided by non-contracted PAs after October 1, 2014. To allow sufficient time for the credentialing and contracting process, please submit applications as soon as possible.

* We will not contract with independently practicing PAs in bordering states.

Must designate whether PA provides primary care or specialty care services As part of the contracting process, the PA must designate whether he or she will provide primary care services or specialty care services. This designation will indicate how the PA is listed on our Find-a-Doctor online directory.

Note: PA – primary care means a PA who renders primary care but DOES NOT maintain a panel of patients. A PA – primary care is not a PA-PCP. For information about contracting as a PA-PCP, please refer to our F. Y./. dated July 1, 2013.) Reimbursement will be at:

* 85% of the MD fee schedule

* 100% of MD fee schedule for drugs, vaccines, and clinical laboratory services


* Only bill for codes on the PA fee schedule.

* Use the PA’s NPI and the AS modifier when billing for assist at surgery services.

Bill this way when the PA renders care under direct supervision of the physician. This means that the physician must:

* Be on-site when the care is rendered by the PA; * Be actively involved in the decision-making process of the patient’s care; * Provide documentation/attestation of the collaboration in the medical record by signing and dating the patient’s chart on the date that the service is rendered.

You cannot bill under the MD’s NPI for the PA’s assist-at-surgery.

The MD’s NPI with the AM modifier 100% of the physician fee schedule If billing


The PA’s NPI Billing for PA services For dates of service on or after October 1, 2014, you can bill for services provided by contracted PAs in two ways.

How to Become a BCBSMA PA To apply to become a participating BCBSMA PA, please follow these steps; see the Resources section below to learn how to access the documents.



1. Review the BCBSMA Professional Credentialing and Re-credentialing Requirements.

2. Complete the Physician Assistant Contracting Application online, then print and fax to us.

Ensure that the PA can meet the credentialing requirements.

Apply to become a PA.

We will carefully review the information to ensure that the applicant meets our PA network requirements, and send the applicant an Agreement to sign. The effective date of the PA Agreement will be the date BCBSMA executes the Agreement; this will be the date shown on the welcome letter.

PA Program News

Bay Path College is excited to announce its first class of PA Graduates! Congratulations and best wishes for the Board Exams.

Membership Report

Julie Purcell, PA-C

President 2014-2015

Chair of the Membership Committee

Membership remains stable and thanks to you, our dedicated members! We have made great strides using our membership income to support our legislative team in moving forward legislation that impacts PA practice.

We appreciate your support and THANKS for renewing your membership when the reminder comes to your inbox!  Members receive discounts for our MAPA CME sessions and other benefits listed on the website.

Treasurer’s Report

Meredith Johnson, PA-C

Treasurer 2014-2015

Strong support of our MAPA CME sessions and assistance from AAPA at the conference  this year have made finances very stable. Along with our membership support, MAPA remains “in the black”, and we are able to support the ongoing efforts of our legislative team and add additional support to our CME programs. In addition, we have been able to support new PA student programs and a very well attended MAPA reception at the AAPA Conference. Over 200 PAs attended and enjoyed refreshments.  Thanks to our members once again!

Please let us know if you have any suggestions to help us improve MAPA for you.
Don’t hesitate to call us any questions or concerns you might have.  We hope to see you at an upcoming MAPA event.

(508) 998-6000

Posted in Member Newsletter.