The Renal Physicians Association has long held the position that nephrologists are the leaders of the kidney care team. However, many practitioners do not possess essential skills or formal training required to be successful leaders.

To help remedy this situation, the RPA has planned a one-day leadership workshop the day before its 2018 annual meeting. This workshop will be co-facilitated by RPA president Michael D. Shapiro, MD, MBA, and a former president of the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL), which is co-sponsoring this program. Workshop participants will receive CME and MOC credits.

The leadership theme will permeate the annual meeting as well. The Louis Diamond Lecture will be presented by William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, who served as president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association, vice president for quality and managed care standards at the AMA, vice president of the Joint Commission and CEO of a regional integrated delivery system. Jessee is a physician leader who will share with RPA attendees what qualities and characteristics are essential for nephrology practitioners to embrace their roles as leaders in health care.

The RPA has demonstrated its leadership role in the nephrology community by developing an advanced alternate payment model which was under review by the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) in December. The RPA’s Health Care Payment Committee Chair, Jeffrey Giullian, MD, MBA, one of the lead authors of this model, will describe how it would work in practices of various sizes in diverse geographies during the annual meeting.

Now more than ever, physicians must be positioned to embrace practice transformation and lead their care teams to appropriately implement processes and systems to participate in pay-for-performance initiatives. Sessions at the annual meeting are planned to address this timely and relevant topic so attendees can take home practical ideas to implement in their practices. The president of the American Association of Kidney Patients will present a talk highlighting the importance of physicians as leaders in advocacy to influence changes in legislation and regulatory policies.

One of the most important roles of dialysis facility medical directors is the leadership position entrusted to them. For attendees who are or aspire to be medical directors, a session has been planned to focus on the leadership aspects of their jobs. A workshop is also planned to address women in leadership with an impressive panel of female nephrologists who have diverse experiences serving in leadership roles.

The management of nephrology practices continues to get more complicated and challenging. To assist nephrologists and practice administrators with efficiently managing the business aspects of practice, the RPA has sessions planned on population health, benchmarking, revenue cycle best practices, ESCO management strategies and opportunities to maximize utilization of advanced practitioners to improve patient outcomes.

Clinical topics will also take center stage for a portion of the meeting with sessions devoted to CKD and nutrition, home dialysis therapies, self-care in the dialysis unit and transitional dialysis. Keeping the patient at the center of the care, the RPA has invited speakers to address various aspects of the patient experience of care including patient-reported outcomes.

With burnout due to numerous administrative burdens placed on nephrologists, the RPA hopes its meeting site in the “Happiest Place on Earth” will make the year ahead more bearable and successful. Against the backdrop of annual sessions on legislative and regulatory developments, changes in the Medicare physician fee schedule and Quality Payment Program, and recognition of excellence in nephrology practice, the RPA’s annual meeting promises to continue its tradition of delivering relevant, timely and practical education that attendees can use in their practice settings.

Registrants will also can participate in RPA committee meetings to help shape policies and positions related to health care payment, clinical practice, quality, safety and accountability and government affairs. Contributors to the RPA’s Political Action Committee will attend a reception with a distinguished member of Congress who will share an insider’s perspective of pending legislation affecting kidney care.

For more information:
Dale Singer, MHA, is the executive director of the Renal Physicians Association, based in Rockville, Maryland. Disclosure: Singer reports no relevant financial disclosures.