A new decade integration and innovation
A new decade integration and innovation

Your january 2020 NEWSLETTER  

From the President

I’m very excited to be stepping into a larger role with the King County Medical Society (KCMS) this year at the turn of the decade.  It’s a great time to reflect on some truly amazing progress in the field of medicine.

Over this past decade, oncologists have been seeing some of the biggest strides in pharmacology with immunotherapy advances. This year, precision medicine was able to reach a new degree of precision with the development Milasen, a targeted oligonucleotide that was designed to treat a disease with an n of 1.  In less than one year from initial contact, researchers amazingly completed the development of effective treatment for a young girl who had an entirely unique form of the rare neurologic, progressive disorder of Baten’s disease. In an already unequal health care system, this $3million R&D funding that was raised through Mila’s Miracle Foundation (and other sources) provided some challenging ethical debates regarding the disparities in the ability of individuals to raise funds toward custom therapies. Additionally, the ethics of testing and treating with a personalized drug was questioned. Needless to say, nanotechnology research promises new and intriguing forms of drug delivery for the future. 

This fall’s WSMA annual meeting featured Health futurist Dr. Rubin Pillai MD, Ph.D. who presented some of the year’s most interesting new ventures in medical technology. The list included the usage of AI in evaluating dermatologic and ophthalmologic conditions to improve access and accuracy, 3D printing of human organs, and drones with defibrillators to potentially provide cardiac arrest patients their first shock sooner.  Having seen the devastating effects of delayed CPR in the field, this is intriguing, but I would also hope that someone on the scene was trained in BLS to provide the circulation for effective defibrillation.  

Physicians are also learning to work with patients in the adoption of 'wearables'. These great technologies, like Kardia and the Apple watch, provide opportunities for arrhythmia detection and much more. With all of this direct to consumer technology and many of us working a stone’s throw from Microsoft or Amazon, our patients seem to have high expectations for our Electronic Medical Records.  “It’s in the chart,” is often the chief complaint that I hear when admitting a patient from the ER/ED as if I have some kind of AI to guide me to the appropriate info.  I’m just glad that my life’s calling hasn’t been replaced by IBM’s Watson, yet. 

With all of this discussion about advancing medical technologies, my senior public health colleagues are quick to point out the importance of clean running water, sanitation systems, and vaccines among proven interventions that have already been scaled and have changed the modern world, and yet are still taken for granted.  In fact, these basic health interventions are still priority items for KCMS as we have spent the last year working with WA DOH on lead screening and now passed a pair of resolutions on vaccine reporting.  While we venture into new territory and forge new partnerships with our first annual HealthTech Summit this year, our public health committee remains a workhorse in our stable.  

Please join us as we continue our commitment to improving the health of our community.  Our Public Health committee is led by Dr. Amish Dave and meets bi-monthly on Tuesdays evenings. Please bring your ideas and energy to create and implement initiatives on Feb 18th at 6:30 p.m. Contact Salem Adisu for more information: sadisu@kcmsocidety.org 

Stay posted on these and other happenings at KCMSociety.org/events and we look forward to hearing from you. 


From the CEO

Vaccination Records Are Not Keeping Up with Technology
Seattle Public Schools made national news this month by stating that, “Student records must reflect updated immunization status or students cannot attend school until the required information is provided to the school”. This effort was enabled by a bill (effective July 28, 2019, per WA House Bill 1638) that removes the personal and/or philosophical exemption to the MMR vaccine required for school attendance. WA state law also requires that students are fully vaccinated, be in the process of completing immunizations or have a signed religious or medial exemption in order to attend school.

The schools have a simple system to document children’s immunization, “If your child has (a) verified record from your health care provider, please scan and email to immunizations@seattleschools.org”.

I wonder, why can’t physicians have the same simple technology for documenting immunization for themselves and their patients? When your patients go to the Walgreens or Safeway to get an immunization you may or may not be notified. This is simply bad medicine and yet the pharmacies are not required to notify a patient's primary care provider.

Dr. Richard Kaner wrote a resolution to the WSMA (see here) requesting that pharmacies be required to contact primary care physicians when their patients receive a shot. The resolution was presented at the 2018 and 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting and approved by the WSMA House of Delegates. We are now asking legislators to endorse, approve and pass a bill addressing this concern.

Adult immunization records in WA state are not compatible throughout the healthcare networks. How many of you have had to fill out a multitude of immunization records for yourself personally at each hospital/clinic you work in? Not only is this inconvenient, but it is also leaving open the potential for healthcare workers (HCW) to have inaccurate records potentially leading to unnecessary exposures for both patients and healthcare workers.

Dr’s Frank Riedo and Mark Vossler have written a resolution to get funding to complete the Washington State Immunization Information System (WSIIS/IIS) for adults. While the WSIIS is very effective for pediatric patients, it is not complete for adults. This is unacceptable.

Dr.’s Riedo and Vossler explain that the adult form of the IIS is nearly completed, but the funding for the completion of the technology dried up and the adult IIS system remains a patchwork of ineffective technology. There is a fix. Dr.’s Riedo and Vossler’s resolution (here) focuses on completing the IIS system – most importantly so that the HCW Vaccine Database can be streamlined and up-to-date.
I encourage you to contact your legislator regarding these immunization technology gaps
1) Pharmacy notification to primary caregivers, and
2) the completion of the adult WSIIS system. 

Please consider joining us on February 25th for the WSMA Legislative Day in Olympia.
The 2020 Summit will focus on WSMA's top advocacy priorities:
1) B&O tax surcharge – HB2158 - Repeal the tax on physicians and health care providers
2) Prior authorization – Collect data on insurer prior authorization practices and promote appropriate use criteria in lieu of prior authorization.
3) Telemedicine payment parity – Pass SB5385, requiring services delivered via telemedicine to be reimbursed at the same rate as if they were delivered in-person.
Contact Salem Adisu at sadisu@kcmsociety.org if you are interested and/or want to carpool. 

With great appreciation, 

Check your legislator here

Advocacy Update

King County Medical Society is proud to be the organizer for the Coalition of Healthcare Providers to Prevent Firearm Injury and Death. To learn more about the Coalition please click the link to the October 2019 JAMA Viewpoint, "Improving Availability, Accessibility, and Content of Firearm-Related Data Systems". 

Public Health Stakeholder Group

Please consider joining our Public Health Seattle & King County Healthcare Stakeholder Group and help shape policy for thousands of children in the area.

King County Medical Society is proud to announce a continuation of our work with Public Health Seattle & King County to increase prevention and awareness of childhood lead poisoning within King County. In partnership with the Somali Health Board and Horn of Africa Services, we are creating a community-driven stakeholder group to create strategies to prevent lead poisoning in our area.
This work is driven by community members in our area, but it is our hope that healthcare providers, such as yourself, can provide a context that community members may not have, and serve as a critical part of this conversation that is essential for policy development in the future.

This diverse group will consist of a wide range of healthcare professionals (MD, PA, RN, MA, clinic managers/directors, etc). Phone in conferencing options will be available. If you are not able to attend all of the meetings we understand!
These meetings dates are as follows:

1.            Monday, February 3rd, 5:30 pm - 8 pm 
2.            Monday, March 2nd, 5:30 pm -8 pm
3.            Tuesday, April 7th, 5:30 pm -8 pm
4.            Monday, May 4th, 5:30 pm -8 pm
5.            Monday, June 1st, 5:30 pm -8 pm
Members of this group will also have the opportunity to participate in a year-end Health and Housing conference attended by healthcare professionals, housing providers, landlords, and community members.  Please consider participating in this important healthcare initiative.
If you have any questions, please contact Salem Adisu at sadisu@kcmsociety.org, and feel free to forward this information to anyone you think might be interested. Thank you!

Upcoming Events


The 1st Annual KCMS Awards Ceremony will be in April of 2020. Please enter nominations TODAY!

Award Nominations are now open!
Nomination Form

In Memorium 

(Please click on their names for their full obituaries)

Dr. Leslie Barnette

Dr. John Lamey

Dr. Alan Morgan

KCMS Historic Building Update

Your historic KCMS Building has undergone many changes in the past two years, including getting the sewer completely repaired.
We feel very fortunate to have found a crew that came out and fixed the sewer at a fraction of the price all others quoted and they were great to work with. As a small nonprofit we are always looking for great service at a budget price.
If you have sewer/plumbing concerns I'd like to fully endorse Travis Brewer with Brewers Sewer (206) 371-0541 Thank you, Travis!
Brewers Sewer Repair

Information from the WA Medical Commission:
Non-WMC Rule-making Notice (as sent via email on 01.16.2020)
"During the 2019 Legislative Session, the legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5380, which included the addition of RCW 70.225.090. Specifically,   the bill requires that facilities, entities, offices, or provider groups with ten or more prescribers, that are not critical access hospitals, must demonstrate the ability to integrate their Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems with the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The bill directs the department to develop a waiver process for this integration requirement. 
The Department will write rules to create the waiver application process to establish the criteria for affected facilities, entities, offices, or provider groups to receive a waiver from the Department to exempt them from c
omplying with the EHR-PMP integration mandate which goes into effect on January 1, 2021.  The time-limited waiver will be available for those that can demonstrate an inability to integrate an EHR with the PMP due to economic hardship, technological limitations that are not reasonably in the control of the facility, entity, office, or provider group, or other exceptional circumstance demonstrated by the facility, entity, office, or provider group.

The department will hold stakeholder meetings to gather feedback on the rules. The first will be held on January 27, 2020, starting at 1:00 pm, at the department’s Town Center 2, room 166, located at 111 Israel Road SE, Tumwater, WA, 98501."
Contact Us
info@kcmsociety.org   | 206.621.9396
200 Broadway Suite 200 | Seattle, WA 98122 United States
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