ACP Launches Quality Payment Advisor

American College of Physicians  pic
American College of Physicians
Image: acponline.org

A practicing physician board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, Dr. Soloman Shah, MD, has been with Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Reston, Virginia, since 1999. Alongside his daily work with patients, Dr. Soloman Shah, MD, is a member of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

In an effort to provide guidance to its members, ACP recently rolled out a new online platform, dubbed the Quality Payment Advisor, providing comprehensive information about the Quality Payment Program, a new facet of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Available for free to all ACP members, the new web tool will provide individualized information based on the specific aspects of a physician’s practice and quality initiatives, helping doctors decide which of the two payment models–Merit-Based Incentive Payment System or Advanced Alternative Payment Model–best suits their needs.

To see the web tool in action and learn more about what doctors need to do in order to prepare for the new payment program, visit www.acponline.org/macra/.

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Colonoscopy – What to Expect

Gastrointestinal Medical Associates pic
Gastrointestinal Medical Associates
Image: gastromedva.com

As a physician at Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Reston, Virginia, Soloman Shah, MD, draws on more than 20 years of practice experience. In this time, Dr. Soloman Shah has performed numerous colonoscopy procedures.

A colonoscopy allows a physician to view the interior of the patient’s large intestine. It is a common screening procedure for patients aged 50 years or older, though it may also serve as a diagnostic tool for patients who are experiencing such symptoms as rectal bleeding, bowel habit changes, or abdominal pain.

The procedure requires the physician to insert a flexible tube through the rectum. The physician then guides this tube through the colon and into the small intestine. The patient must prepare for this experience by emptying the bowel to clean the colon. This typically requires the individual to drink a solution or receive a sequence of enemas.

Once the patient arrives at the doctor’s office, he or she receives a sedative that helps the patient go to sleep. The physician then inserts the half-inch-wide colonoscope, the end of which features a light and camera used to visualize the colon. The procedure may only involve this kind of visual inspection, though some cases may require the surgeon to physically remove tissue for biopsy.

The full procedure lasts up to 30 minutes, though recovery from the anesthesia requires another 30 minutes. Most physicians recommend that patients secure a ride home and avoid operating heavy machinery, including cars, for a full 24 hours. The office sends the patient home with any relevant post-surgical instructions, including any necessary prescriptions.

Recent Study Highlights Importance of Board Certification

American Board of Internal Medicine pic
American Board of Internal Medicine
Image: abim.org

After earning his MD, Dr. Soloman Shah completed postgraduate training in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Now practicing alongside fellow physicians R. Allen Blosser, MD, and Leonard Fisher, MD, at Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Virginia, Dr. Soloman Shah maintains board certification in both of his initial fields of study from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Since 1936, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has sought to institute established standards for physicians with the goal of ensuring quality and transparency in medicine. To this end, the organization certifies medical professionals who practice internal medicine or any of the 20 subspecialties of the field. Board certification from the ABIM acknowledges that physicians have demonstrated the highest standards in patient care.

A 2016 study released by ABIM reaffirms the importance of board certification. Findings gathered from a study of 66,881 internal medicine residents suggest that board certification correlates with improved performance both during and after medical residencies.

Approximately 95 percent of allopathic internists go on to complete ABIM certification. Another 1.6 percent go on to attain certification in a different specialty from another organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties. Those who do not become certified are five times more likely to experience disciplinary issues with their local medical boards, and these infractions tend to be more serious than those of their certified peers.

The American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Quality Training

American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy pic
American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Image: asge.org

Soloman Shah, MD, has served as a physician with Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Reston, Virginia, since 1999. After completing his residency in 1996, Dr. Soloman Shah undertook a three-year fellowship in the department of gastroenterology at University of Maryland Hospital. He is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

The ASGE provides its members with clinical practice and management guidelines, as well as various educational programs. One such program is the ASGE Quality Course, entitled Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit, which teaches physicians and other medical personnel in the field of gastrointestinal endoscopy how to ensure exemplary care and treatment in their practice.

Offered every few months at locations around the country, the program covers four topics during the one- or two-day course. Students enrolled in the program are taught to quantify the quality of their current endoscopy practices and learn specific procedures that can improve this identified measurement. The course also establishes and explains the official quality guidelines laid out by ASGE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ASGE Quality Course is designed to benefit endoscopists and surgeons, medical directors, nursing staff, and other interested health care professionals. Certification for the course is accepted as foundational training for the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program.

Factors That Cause Liver Disorders

 Liver Disorders pic
Liver Disorders
Image: webmd.com

A doctor with more than 22 years of medical experience, Soloman Shah, MD, is a certified gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician who has worked with Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Reston, Virginia, for 17 years. Dr. Soloman Shah specializes in liver disorders.

There are many different liver disorders, which may be caused by a range of factors, including infection, an abnormal immune system, genetics, or cancer. The following gives examples of liver disorders that may stem from each of these influences.

Infection – Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that transfers through blood and bodily fluids. About three-quarters of people infected with hepatitis C develop a chronic form of the illness, which can lead to other liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer.

Immune system – Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) gradually destroys the bile ducts in the liver, interrupting the body’s ability to digest food and remove toxins. An autoimmune disease, PBC is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and environment. There is no cure for PBC, but if the disorder is caught early, medication can slow its progress and ease symptoms.

Genetics – Hemochromatosis is a disorder that forces the body to absorb too much iron. The excess mineral is stored in organs such as the liver and heart, and this overabundance can lead to various diseases. Though hemochromatosis is genetic, most people with the relevant genetic factors never develop serious problems. For those who do, the most common treatment is phlebotomy, regular removal of iron-rich blood from the body.

Cancer – Cancer of the liver often develops due to the presence of cancer elsewhere in the body. The liver filters blood from all over the body, which gives cancerous cells the opportunity to attach and spread in the organ. Tumors that develop in the liver may be benign or malignant.

Progression of Symptoms for Liver Failure

Liver Failure pic
Liver Failure
Image: liverfoundation.org

Soloman Shah, MD, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and doctor of medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School. For more than 15 years, Dr. Soloman Shah has practiced at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates, PC, in Vienna, Virginia, where he maintains a professional interest in treating and diagnosing liver disease.

Liver failure is when the liver has already lost or is in the process of losing its function; it’s a life-threatening condition demanding urgent medical care. Symptoms of liver failure include fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and nausea. Unfortunately, these symptoms can have multiple causes, and it can be difficult to know if they are related to the liver failing.

As liver failure progresses, the condition becomes more dangerous, and the symptoms more severe. Disorientation, confusion, and extreme sleepiness are commonly observed as the condition worsens. Typically, a part of the liver that still functions will try to be saved by medical professionals; however, this is not always possible, and a liver transplant may be required.

Cirrhosis – Its Causes and Progression

cirrhosis Image: Wikipedia
cirrhosis
Image: Wikipedia

 

Soloman Shah, MD, has practiced medicine at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates, PC, in Vienna, Virginia, for over 15 years. With multiple publications to his credit, Dr. Soloman Shah is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Internal Medicine and focuses on diagnosing and treating liver disorders.

A slowly progressing disease, cirrhosis is the replacement of healthy liver tissue by scar tissue. As scar tissue can impede blood flow, slowing down the processing of hormone drugs, naturally produced toxins, and nutrients, this process can eventually prevent the liver from functioning properly.

Alcohol abuse, fatty liver, and hepatitis C are the main culprits of developing cirrhosis. However, anything that potentially damages the liver can lead to cirrhosis, including diabetes, obesity, and viral infections. Less likely causes include parasitic infections, increased exposure to environmental toxins, and certain prescription drugs.

Cirrhosis has been identified as the 12th principal cause of death from a disease.