Recent Postings

  1. Eleven WVSSA members attended the recent ASA Legislative Conference and visited West Virginia congressional offices.

WVSSA Capito office visit - ASA Legislative Conference 2014

WV anesthesiologists in the office of Rep Shelly Moore Capito. (L-R) Drs. Drew Rodgers, Tom Whealton, Jeremiah Jeffers, Adam Tomlinson (Capito health legislative aide), Matt Jordan, Kyle Ritchie, Robert Johnstone, Jim Phillips, Tiffany Minehart, Ralph Harding and Ju Gao


  • ASA leaders reviewed the new communication campaign, “When Seconds Count…Physician Anesthesiologists Save Lives”. It explains: “Protect patients with safe, high-quality, physician-led care. Learn more at”. A campaign film tells the story of Stephanie Arnold who arrested after a birth complicated by placenta previa, and was resuscitated by an anesthesiologist. “Every surgery and procedure has risks, even having a baby. The unthinkable happened during the birth of Stephanie Arnold’s son. Her lungs shut down, her heart stopped beating and her blood pressure dropped to zero. She was dead for 37 seconds. The physician anesthesiologists leading her care saved Stephanie’s life. Do you know who is leading the team providing your anesthesia?”
  • One focus of the conference was reforming the rural pass-through program that allows small (critical access) hospitals to pay nurse anesthetists with Part A Medicare funds, but not physician anesthesiologists. This has led to nurse anesthetists monopolizing rural hospitals because they can get paid while physicians cannot.
  • Another focus was ensuring safe anesthesia care in Veterans Affairs hospitals. Administrators are considering eliminating requirements for anesthesiologists to supervise nurse anesthetists, as part of a program to provide primary care with advance practice nurses. Obviously anesthesia is not primary care.
  • A third focus was explaining the unfair treatment of anesthesiology by Medicare – the 33 percent problem. Medicare pays nearly all physicians 90 percent of commercial insurance rates, while paying anesthesiologists 33 percent. This makes anesthesiologists dependent on income support by institutions. Tied with this issue was explaining to legislators and regulators the perioperative surgical home model where anesthesiologists integrate care from pre-op to post-op, reducing waste and inefficiency.

WVSSA McKinley office visit - ASA Legislative Conference 2014
West Virginia anesthesiologists visiting the office of Congressman David McKinley

  1. 2014 WVSSA dues of $200 are now payable. To date 196 members (active, retired and resident) have renewed their memberships. WVSSA collects its dues in conjunction with ASA, so both can be paid with one check or credit card payment. To pay on line go to, and log into MyASA or click on Join ASA.
  1. The WVSSA will hold its Annual Meeting at The Greenbrier in conjunction with the state medical association on Aug 23-24. The Educational Meeting offering 4 hours of CME credit will be Saturday, and business meeting on Sunday. The Educational Program is free for all WVSSA members:

[ezcol_1third]7:30-8am [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Registration and Introductions
Robert Johnstone, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]8:00-8:30 [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Post operative nausea and vomiting:  Can we do better?
David Hardman, MD, MBA[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]8:30-9:00[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]New models of care: What anesthesiologists should know
Brian Caveney, MD, JD, MPH[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]9:00-9:50[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Perioperative Anesthesia and American Society of Anesthesiologists Update
Dan Cole, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]9:50-10:00 [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] Break[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]10:00-10:30 [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Obstetric anesthesia: New developments
Manny Vallejo, MD[/ezcol_2third_end] 
[ezcol_1third]10:30-11:00[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Nerve injury after your peripheral nerve block:  10 things you should know
David Hardman, MD, MBA[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]11:00-11:30 [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Consumerism in health care: Times are changing
Brian Caveney, MD, JD, MPH[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]11:30-Noon[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Round table discussion with speakers[/ezcol_2third_end]




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  1. ASA Political Action Committee. We have many urgent legislative issues this year. Thanks to the 34 WVSSA members who have already contributed, a great help in getting across our issues. If you have not yet done so please visit the ASA website under ASAPAC to contribute.
  1. WVSSA Officers

[ezcol_1third]President[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Michael Panger, MD   ([/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]President-elect[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] Seth Crislip, MD   ([/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]Sect-Treas[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Robert Johnstone, MD   ([/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]Asst Sect-Treas[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Brian Grose, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]ASA Delegates [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Alex Skaff, MD
Brian Grose, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]ASA Alt Delgs[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Michael Panger, MD
Richard Driver, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]ASA Res Delg [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Drew Rodgers, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]ASA Director[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Robert Johnstone, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]ASA Alt Dir[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Alex Skaff, MD[/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]Medicare MAC[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Alex Skaff, MD   ([/ezcol_2third_end]
[ezcol_1third]Legislative Rep[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Eric Persily, MD  ([/ezcol_2third_end]


Robert Johnstone, MD, Newsletter Editor

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