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August 2012 Special Meeting Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

On the hottest day of the summer to date (reported high 114° F), a special meeting to allow Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ 5th) to attend the Arizona Thoracic Society meeting was held on 8/8/2012 at Scottsdale Shea beginning at 6:30 PM. There were 27 in attendance representing the pulmonary, critical care, sleep, infectious disease, radiology, and thoracic surgery communities.

Representative Schweikert arrived slightly before his scheduled time of 7 PM and spoke for about 20 minutes predominantly on the budget process. Major points of his remarks included that:

  • Money leads to the disagreements in Congress.
  • If unchanged SGR will result in about a 73% reduction in physician payments in 14 ½ years.
  • There is considerable concern that baby boomers will lead to increased health care consumption as they age.
  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, will direct medical care to achieve specified savings in Medicare/Medicaid.

This was followed by about a 20 minute question and answer session where questions were asked regarding ACA, healthcare finance and several other issues. Representative Schweikert was presented with handouts from the ATS regarding three issues: SGR, Clean Air Act, and the exemption of cigars from FDA regulation (click on issue to be directed to ATS handout.

After Rep. Schweikert’s question and answer session, 3 cases were presented:

  1. Tim Kuberski, an infectious disease specialist from Maricopa Medical Center, presented a young man who presented with left upper quadrant pain and fever which eventually proved to be disseminated coccidioidomycosis.
  2. George Parides, a pulmonologist from Phoenix, presented a case of a patient with ulcerative colitis and bronchiectasis. Infliximab therapy is planned for the patient’s ulcerative colitis and Dr. Parides raised the question if infliximab would affect the patient’s bronchiectasis. The consensus was that the answer was unknown.
  3. Andrew Goldstein, a thoracic surgeon, presented a case of young man with multiple bullae and a spontaneous pneumothorax. Multiple etiologies were considered but the cause remains unknown.

At the end of the meeting Dr. Steven Farber gave a brief presentation on docs 4 patient care ( This is an organization of concerned physicians committed to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, promotes quality of care, supports affordable access to all Americans, and protects patients' freedom of choice.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8 PM. The next meeting is scheduled for August 29 at Scottsdale Shea 6:30 PM.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

CCR Representative

Arizona Thoracic Society

Reference as: Robbins RA. August 2012 special meeting Arizona thoracic society notes. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care 2012;5:82-3. (Click here for a PDF version of the notes)


Addendum: Rep. Schweikert sent the following letter to George Parides thanking him for the opportunity to speak at the Arizona Thoracic Society.

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