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Abstract Site for VAM Opens in Mid-November

Dr. Matt EagletonDo you have insights to share on trauma? Diabetes? Perhaps you’ve completed research on AAAs and possible treatment differences for men and women you want to highlight, or you want to help others with the intricacies of coding and billing.

Whatever members’ area of interest, the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Program Committee wants to see your work in the form of an abstract submission to the 2018 Vascular Annual Meeting. Abstracts will be accepted beginning Nov. 13.

Many physicians tend to focus on aortic issues and, indeed, there are plenty of aortic topics presented at VAM. Don’t forget the other abstract submission categories, urged Matthew Eagleton, MD, now in his first year of a three-year stint as chair of the Program Committee, which oversees much of the meeting.

He advised members to think about the issues they confront every day, be it dialysis access, imaging, trauma, practice management issues AND aortic complications.

He pointed to a 2017 abstract on endovascular AAA repair, with a focus on the financial implications of coding inaccuracies in patients undergoing the procedures. During that same plenary session, another abstract discussed surgical management of pediatric renovascular hypertension. A third covered a physicianled initiative to improve clinical documentation, which resulted in an improved case mix index and increased contributions to the margin.

Planning for VAM is now in full swing and follows meticulous review of feedback following the 2017 meeting, from detailed focus groups, on-site surveys and other member recommendations and comments.

"We’re trying to optimize VAM programming for every participant: surgeons who focus on academics, surgeons in private practice, and all members, of the vascular team, including nurses, nurse practitioners, PAs, technologists," said Dr. Eagleton.

"For example, our members in community practice told us they need more than pure science," he said. "They need help with practice management issues: coding and billing, reimbursement, how to run a business, human resources, even negotiations.

"So, for 2018, we hope to add sessions that will be of use to these members, who are a majority of the SVS membership," he said. "We want them to be able to get information they can put into use when they get home."

Dr. Eagleton said members should think carefully about lessons learned from their own experiences that can be taught to others, including improving cost-effectiveness, quality, outcomes, patient satisfaction and efficiency. With documentation in improvements part of the Quality Payment Program, perhaps members want to share what has helped them keep up with data collection requirements that will impact Medicare reimbursements, he suggested. "That’s a vitally important topic right now and one that is affecting virtually all our members," he said.

Abstracts will be accepted from Nov. 13 through Jan. 17, 2018. Learn more at vsweb.org/2018abstracts.