Donald J. Krpan, DO
Sadly, the osteopathic profession lost a treasured member with the passing of Donald J. Krpan, DO. Dr. Krpan collapsed at his home early this morning and passed away in the hospital with family by his side. A 1967 graduate of the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Krpan was one of the first DOs to receive a California license following the Supreme Court decision reauthorizing osteopathic licensure in the state. He enjoyed a varied career ranging from service in the US Air Force to private practice in Arizona and California, Provost of Western University of Health Sciences and COMP Dean, and most recently Executive Director of and consultant to the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. Dr. Krpan was generous with his resources and tirelessly volunteered his services. He served as President of both the American Osteopathic Association and OPSC. Dr. Krpan's booming personality and fiery passion for the osteopathic profession will be sorely missed. A funeral mass for Dr. Krpan will be held next Friday, January 12 at 10:00 am at Santa Clara de Asis in Yorba Linda, immediately followed by a lunch reception at the Yorba Linda Country Club. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Osteopathic Foundation, 142 East Ontario Street, Suite 1450, Chicago, IL 60611.
The NJAOPS Community is saddened by the news of the passing of Alexander Schachter, DO, on January 6th, 2018. Mr. Schachter was the father of NJAOPS' Past-President Todd Schachter, DO, and served on the NJOEF's Board of Directors for many years.
Edward Wozniak, DO
We regret to inform you that the Edward Wozniak, DO, has passed away. Dr. Wozniak was an active member of not only our association, but with TriCounty Association of Osteopathic Physician's and Surgeons. Dr. Wozniak was also a recipient of NJAOPS' Special Service Award in honor of his 53- year career practicing osteopathic physician.
New Jersey Healthcare Headlines
New Jersey DHS seeks to expand coverage of diabetes services
The New Jersey Department of Human Services is seeking approval to provide coverage of diabetes self-management education, diabetes prevention and medical nutritional therapy for Medicaid beneficiaries in the state.
The DHS estimates that the new coverage will cost $1.8 million in 2018 and $7.3 million in 2019. The request is being made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Coverage will only be provided if a diabetes patients is referred to a qualified provider of the three services by a licensed doctor or health care provider, and they can only be provided by professionals certified by the National Certification Board of Diabetes or the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
"These services shall promote optimal metabolic control, prevent and manage complications, and ultimately maximize beneficiary quality of life," according to a prepared statement by the NJDHS.
Roughly 9.2 percent of adults in the state suffer from diabetes, according to the most recent data from stateofobesity.com, while 24.7 percent suffer from obesity, the most common cause of adult diabetes.
Virtua fined $418,000 for patient data breach
The data breach of more than 1,600 medical patient files will cost nonprofit Virtua Medical Group almost $418,000, according to a settlement announced Monday by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
Marlton-based Virtua Medical Group, a network of physicians affiliated with more than 50 South Jersey medical and surgical practices, agreed to pay $417,816 and improve data security practices. The settlement follows allegations Virtua Medical patient records became viewable online due to a server misconfiguration by a private vendor.
The data breach involved three Virtua facilities in Hainesport and Voorhees in January 2016. Potentially affected patients were notified in early March 2016.
Officials said the privacy breach occurred when Best Medical Transcription, a Georgia-based vendor, updated software on a password-protected website. During the update, the vendor accidentally misconfigured the web server, making content accessible without a password. Afterwards, anyone using certain search-engine keywords could access the records.
"Although it was a third-party vendor that caused this data breach, VMG is being held accountable because it was their patient data and it was their responsibility to protect it," said Sharon Joyce, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. "This enforcement action sends a message to medical practices that having a good handle on your own cybersecurity is not enough. You must fully vet your vendors for their security as well."
In the settlement, VMG agreed to implement a corrective action plan that includes hiring a third-party professional to conduct a thorough analysis of security risks associated with the storage, transmission and receipt of electronic protected health information.
Advocare forms urgent care partnership with AtlantiCare
Advocare, the largest multispecialty physician network in South Jersey, has signed a deal with AtlantiCare, a member of Gesigner, to operate urgent care centers throughout the state.
According to an email to employees from Advocare CEO Dr. Howard Orel, AtlantiCare urgent care centers in Clementon, Hammonton, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel and Sicklerville, and a new facility in Marlton will operate under both the AtlantiCare and Advocare names.
"This partnership is about achieving the Triple Aim goals of improving quality, patient experience and reducing cost for the community," Orel said in the email. "Current Advocare patients will gain access to AtlantiCare's Urgent Care Network during off hours and our organizations will share patient data electronically. Additionally, AtlantiCare Urgent Care Center patients will have access to Advocare's network of primary and specialty care providers for ongoing needs. This will allow all patients to experience improved continuity of care."
Advocare had been planning to expand into the urgent care market since the end of 2017.
Study: Health in New Jersey Ranked by County
A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationhas found Cumberland County to be the least healthy county in the New Jersey, while Hunterdon County is the healthiest.
The two chief categories in which the state's 21 counties were rated included health care quality and health care outcomes. Factors considered included diet and exercise; tobacco, alcohol and drug use; sexual activity; access to clinical care; and the quality of available health care. The study incorporated social determinants such as education, employment, income and the quality of housing and transit, while other metrics also included the number of deaths before age 75 and the percentage of residents reporting poor or fair health. The full study can be found here.
Developments in New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program
New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal will give a round of 40-minute special lectures on the state Health Department's medical marijuana program. Elnahal will present guidelines to practitioners and patients on the program, which was expanded by Gov. Phil Murphy to include the treatment of anxiety, migraines, Tourette's Syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain of visceral origin. Elnahal will also discuss the various forms of medicinal marijuana available at New Jersey's Alternative Treatment Centers, as well provide an overview of reforms that have been made under the Murphy Administration, including the reduction of registration fees for patients and caregivers. There are currently 22,000 patients, 614 physicians and 940 caregivers participating in the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program.
The number of New Jersey residents receiving medical marijuana could more than double in the next year to as many as 50,000 patients, health officials said Tuesday. The announcement was part of a budget presentation laid out by Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. Currently, more than 21,000 patients receive medical marijuana, while 600 physicians and 900 caregivers participate in the program, Elnahal said in his testimony to lawmakers. Some 5,000 patients enrolled in the program since Gov. Phil Murphy took office in January.
In March, the Murphy administration proposed that patients qualify for medical marijuana if diagnosed in five additional areas: anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome, chronic visceral pain or chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders.
"As a physician, I have spoken to patients who have described how medical marijuana relieved their pain and reduce their reliance on opioids," the health commissioner said. "In states with marijuana program, there have been 3.7 million fewer daily doses of opioid prescriptions filled, and an almost 6 percent decrease in opioid prescribing."
The health department is also looking at how to roll out a series of 20 short- and long-term recommendations on how to reform the medicinal marijuana industry, which included the five new medical categories.
Unveiled in March, the proposals will look at easing restrictions on who can operate a dispensary, or alternate treatment center; increasing the limit for how much marijuana a patient can purchase in a month; and eliminating the 6.6 percent sales tax on the drug. The state already reduced the biennial patient registration fee from $200 to $100 for veterans and seniors 65 and older.
"We've reduced patient and caregiver registration fees, allowed dispensaries to submit waivers to add satellite locations and added mobile access so that patients, caregiver and physicians can register, make payments and upload documents on their smartphones and tablets," Elnahal said.
© 2018 New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons
The Journal is the official magazine of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS). NJAOPS is the sixth largest state affiliate of the American Osteopathic Association. NJAOPS represents the interests of more than 4,700 active osteopathic physicians, residents, interns and medical students. Founded in 1901, NJAOPS is one of the most active medical associations in New Jersey with 12 county societies.