ISSUES FACING THE CAP/PATHOLOGY
Below is a list of current issues I foresee:
- Continuous reimbursement cuts will remain a major issue for our fellow pathologists. The Clinical Lab Fee Schedule (PAMA) is in effect now and will continue to have an increased impact.
- Many states do not have an organized voice to represent them at the state legislature level, as they lack a pathologists’ society to represent them.
- Our fellow pathologists need help at all stages, from training/early practice to late career. There is the constant need to stay updated, particularly with regards to the integration of constantly changing molecular tests into our practice.
- Regulatory rules are constantly being proposed by the government. CAP needs to ensure that our voice is heard in legislature. We need to be flexible and innovative as we mold our practice to the ever-changing medical field.
- We are now facing stronger competition in the areas of proficiency testing and accreditation, which are core components of CAP. One of the key issues is our IT, which is showing positive signs; however, gaps need to be filled.
- New and emerging technologies including digital pathology, AI, and molecular tests are overwhelming. CAP is in the position to work with our members in validating the new methodologies and making guidelines, offering practical aids to our members.
My Areas of Strength That Will Benefit CAP
Based on my prior experience, I feel that I can most effectively contribute to the following areas:
- State Pathology Societies
I have served for many years in both the HSCP and the FSP. In collaboration with my colleagues, we have made a significant and positive impact on membership, annual meetings, and financial security. These factors have allowed us to advocate more effectively within the state legislature. As an elected CAP official, I can coordinate the efforts to organize and strengthen the state pathology societies.
I would be interested in coordinating the efforts among CAP and state pathologists to form regional gatherings and organizations to facilitate the communications between pathologists and their state legislative bodies, particularly among those who have no official society to represent them.
- Innovative Education
I have been actively involved with education at both state and national levels. Facing the ever-increasing amount of new medical information, I strongly believe that we need to be creative in disseminating validated updates and guidelines to our fellow pathologists. We must also educate our lawmakers. They must understand that pathology is the foundation of medicine and directly affects patient care. We must maximize our exposure in order to achieve our goals.
I like to explore new methods of education and communication, not only in scientific areas, but also to help our members communicate more effectively on new policies, billing codes etc. to federal and state legislators, public media, and patients. This would encourage more pathologists to become CAP members and provide better penetration of information among members.
- International marketing for CAP accreditation and proficiency programs
I went to medical school and graduate school in China. I took the lead in editing the current textbook of Pathology (English version), which is widely popular with medical students, graduate students, pathology residents, and practicing pathologists. I understand the culture, networks, and politics there. With the bridging function, I can help to expand our existence and our market share with the ultimate goal of improving lab service qualities and strengthening our financial status.
I will work hard with the Board members to continue the efforts in maintaining the reasonable payments to sustain our patholgists’ livelihoods and pathology profession. Meanwhile, sufficient attention is needed to make our accreditaion and proficiency programs competitative, which is the main revenue source for CAP. This is essential for our CAP missions. The international market is one of our major growth areas.
What I Hope to Accomplish
I have several initiatives to pursue:
- Organize and strengthen our state pathologist societies
More and more legislation continues to occur at the state level. Some bigger states, such as Texas, Florida, and California, have the resources to respond to some of the adverse regulation proposals. Some smaller states, however, do not have the infrastructure in place to make their voices heard. I have ample experience in this area and if elected to the board, will be in an even better position to strengthen and organize our state societies.
- Develop innovative ways to disseminate new information
Science and technology move fast and new information is explosive. The traditional method of education is not going be sufficient to keep up. We need to develop innovative ways to disseminate validated research knowledge to bedside. We should keep the personal touch in the education, and meanwhile develop more efficient and interactive ways to disseminate the educational information among our members.
- Provide valuable tools and guidelines for our fellow pathologists
New tests are being developed all the time, particularly in molecular pathology. These new tests offer tools for diagnosis and options for personalized therapy. In our ever-changing field, it can be difficult to remain current. We ought to take advantage of modern technology (such as AI and telepathology) for the purpose of disseminating important and updated information to our members.
- Continue to expand our CAP international market share
Proficiency tests, accreditation and quality programs are the cornerstone for CAP missions and major financial source. We have been fortunate and successful in expanding our brand and existence; we should continue our exposure by overcoming barriers and improving the international lab service qualities. This might be one of the diversified measures to rely totally on domestic accreditation programs.