Gasline Newsletter May 2009

Volume 11, No. 1

Report on the CSA Annual Meeting

The two-and-a-half days of scientific lectures featured a wide variety of such timely topics as Acute Pain Management, Regional Anesthesia, Pediatric Anesthesiology, Neuroanesthesia, and more. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, listing among the strengths of the program that it incorporated new practices that are coming up, along with a review of common potential complications in anesthesia, it had excellent speakers and topics, and the talks were applicable to their practices.

Dr. Myer (Mike) Rosenthal from Stanford was the annual Leffingwell lecturer. He delivered an intellectually engaging and potentially controversial talk on the role of physiology as it applies to how we manage clinical care. After a moving presentation from Stephen Jackson, M.D., R. Lawrence Sullivan, Jr., M.D., was awarded the CSA's Distinguished Service Award.

Resident Research Competition Winners

At the CSA Annual Meeting, Saturday, May 16, the winners of this year's CSA Resident Research Competition were acknowledged for the quality of their research. Dr. Hong Liu, M.D., Resident Research Chair and Director of Clinical Anesthesia Research Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, UC Davis Health System, presented the awards to the winners:

First Place: Patrick J. Guffey, M.D., University of California San Francisco 
Title: Current results of an anonymous near-miss reporting system at a large, academic, multi-campus anesthesia department

Second Place: Steve Lee, M.D., Loma Linda University
Title: The effects of osteopontin in surgically induced brain injury in rats

Third Place: Matthew A. Jolley, M.D., Stanford University
Title: Optimization of Electrode Configurations for Subcutaneous ICD Using Finite Element Modeling

Dr. Liu also thanked the following doctors for serving as CSA Resident Research Competition judges: John Brock-Utne, Stanford; Jeanette Derdemezi, Harbor-UCLA; Clinton Kakazal, Harbor-UCLA; Eric Hsu, UCLA; Mary Joseph, USC; Tobias Moeller-Bertram, UCSD; Manuel Pardo, UCSF; Mark Rollins, UCSF; Gary Stier, Loma Linda; and Roya Yumul, Cedars-Sinai.

CSA House of Delegates

The House of Delegates met on May 16, 2009, in its new one-day format. The traditional House of Delegates dinner was held the evening before with guest speaker Dustin Corcoran, Vice President of Government Relations of the CMA, who spoke to the group about the legislative scene in Sacramento, focusing mostly on the budget deficit and its potential impact on health care legislation. Of interest were bills affecting peer review and attempted changes to the bar on the corporate practice of medicine. CSA will continue to work closely with the CMA on these and other issues. On Saturday the House of Delegates met for a brief one hour session where Drs. Champeau and Hertzberg spoke and the business of the House was introduced. The HOD adjourned immediately to the Reference Committee (now also known as the Issues Discussion Forum).

In the afternoon the HOD reconvened and Alex Hannenberg, President-Elect of the ASA, addressed the delegates regarding current initiatives at the ASA. Three resolutions were considered by the Reference Committee and the HOD. A resolution suggesting the abolition of the HOD and the creation of a new governance structure for the CSA was defeated. A second resolution suggesting dividing the educational and governance (HOD) portion of the Annual Meeting into two distinct meetings after 2011 was referred to a task force for further consideration. Factors such as expanding the pool of available meeting sites, more flexibility in scheduling, as well as cost containment and meeting the needs of HOD members, in addition to CME registrants, are to be considered. A final resolution regarding equitable pay for Medicaid services was introduced by Dr. Stanley Brauer. The resolution instructs the CSA to work with the ASA to advocate for a solution to the regional disparity in California relative to other parts of the U.S. in Medicaid rates.

The new one-day governance meeting was unanimously preferred by attendees who responded to the HOD survey. Without having to rush off to the reference committee, the House of Delegates dinner also provided a good venue for attendees to socialize with peers.

New Initiatives for the Upcoming Year

In addition to the task force looking at the separation of the educational and governance portions of the Annual Meeting, a new work group comprised of members of the Educational Programs Division and the Board of Directors will be preparing a strategic plan for the educational programs of the CSA. Considerations will include the financial viability of California and Hawaii meetings, online and other modes of presenting CME, future needs of learners, learning methods and complying with accreditation requirements. The work of this EPD group will be considered by the task force examining issues specifically related to the Annual Meeting.

In addition, the Communications Committee has been charged with reviewing all the programs of the CSA that provide information to members and the general public. This will include an evaluation of the Bulletin, the Web site, electronic media, the listservs and forums, e-mail, and other communications. The committee will consider a plan to make a more integrated use of electronic media and ways that members can interact with and contribute to the work of the CSA.

CSA Fall Hawaiian Seminar

Don’t miss the CSA's Fall Hawaiian Seminar, October 26-30, 2009, on the Garden Isle of Kauai. CSA is offering a world-class scientific program in one of the most gorgeous locations on earth. Bring the family and earn CME in the morning, and play in paradise in the afternoon. Topics will include:

What We Can Learn From Closed Claims in Obstetric Anesthesia
Echocardiography for the Non-Cardiac Anesthesiologist
Sugammadex: Do We Need It: Will We Get It?
Depth of Anesthesia and Awareness
Prevention and Management of Pediatric Cardiac Arrest
New Options to Optimize Labor and Cesarean Delivery Analgesia
How to Avoid a Lawsuit
New CSA Home Page Survey

The CSA is gathering information about the effects of the balance billing prohibition enacted in 2008 on payments for non-contracted HMO emergency services. Go to the CSA home page at and let us know if you have used the DMHC Independent Dispute Resolution Process and, if so, whether it was satisfactory.

CSA Dues Statement

No dues increase in 2009! CSA dues statements for the new fiscal year (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010) will be mailed the first week of June. Please look for the statement in your mailbox. For convenience sake, members may pay their dues and make contributions online. Many group practices have set up a “Group Billing Account” for their members. In this way, one check is written for everyone, saving both time, administrative hassle and mailing expense. If your practice does not already have a Group Billing account, simply ask your Group Administrator to contact Tom-Philip Baclagan at 650-345-3020 for more information.

As you consider your dues for the new fiscal year, remember the profession depends on your support. In the words of our Immediate Past President, Michael W. Champeau, M.D., “Without unity we cannot protect the public from those who endeavor to limit patient access to an anesthesiologist's care or compromise patient safety with cost-cutting measures designed by those who stand to profit most.”

Linda B. Hertzberg, M.D.

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CSA Gasline archives are available online at under Publications.