November 2008 Newsletter

College News

Industry Updates


ACHM Opens Membership: Recruitment Drive Initiated
Effective August 1, 2008, The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM) opened its membership to all US healthcare providers, including Doctors of Medicine (MD), Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), Nurse Practitioners (NP), Physician Assistants (PA), Registered Nurses (RN), Physical Therapists (PT), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and hyperbaric oxygen therapy or wound care technicians. This change will allow the College to focus on clinical and operational challenges of US healthcare providers. The decision to have only one level of membership for any type of healthcare provider facilitates input, leadership and expertise at all levels of the hyperbaric and wound care community. By opening our membership we are able to tap into the resources of a variety of healthcare providers practicing wound care and hyperbaric medicine and will benefit from a broad perspective. Open membership reinforces our mission to provide an association that meets the needs of the entire hyperbaric team as well as the wound care industry. For more information on ACHM membership or to join or renew please visit us online.
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New Membership Parameters for 2009
New membership parameters have been established for 2009. To learn more about our membership benefits, visit our website.

Active Clinician/ Individual An individual in a healthcare environment who specializes in wound care or hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or related field of medicine, or who is actively involved in the practice, administration or promotion of these areas. Includes MD, DO, DPM, PT, RN, NP, CHT, DMT, EMT, educators, researchers, pharmacists, and other allied healthcare professionals. $175
Student Clinician An individual currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning, and seeking a degree in a healthcare profession. Limit of 4 years at student membership rate. $50
Emeritus An individual retired from wound care, hyperbaric or related healthcare field. $50
Clinic/ Healthcare Facility A wound care/hyperbaric clinic or other healthcare facilities including but not limited to hospitals, home health agencies, independent practices, long term care centers, management/ counseling centers, not for profit healthcare organizations & outpatient programs. Must designate three individuals within the organization as primary membership holders. Membership can be transferred to another individual within the organization, but only 3 total transfers can be made annually. $500
Corporations & Manufacturers A corporation/ manufacturer of wound care or hyperbaric related products, devices and/or services. Must designate three individuals within the organization as primary membership holders. Membership can be transferred to another individual within the organization, but only 3 total transfers can be made annually. $500

Back to topSponsorship Opportunities
The ACHM welcomes the membership and participation of organizations dedicated to the advancement of hyperbaric oxygen. In an effort to partner with industry, manufacturers, healthcare and professional organizations, the College is excited to announce the formation of new membership categories, 1) Clinic/HealthCare Facilities and 2) Corporations & Manufacturers. Your sponsorship will provide the benefits of ACHM membership, while allowing the College to grow and work for you to continue to promote the clinical utilization of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in wound healing. For more information about Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact the ACHM.
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Radiation Registry Update
The ACHM is nearing completion of a large scale research registry to provide outcome data regarding HBOT in Radionecrosis. The results of an interim analysis of the Radiation Research Registry (RRR) Database were recently presented at the 23rd Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care, October 27-30, 2008 in Las Vegas. The registry project currently stands at 1472 enrolled cases from 177 facilities. Initial review of the outcomes of patients enrolled in the RRR very favorably supports the utilization of HBOT for this group of patients. All ACHM members are advised that the use of HBOT in patients with Radionecrosis is currently in jeopardy as it is currently being denied by many insurance carriers. The RRR will be the largest reported collection of clinical outcomes for patients with radiation injury treated with HBOT. For more information about the RRR please visit the ACHM website. To download a pdf copy of the data presented at the Vegas meeting, please visit
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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
The ACHM Executive Committee held its second meeting since the election of the new officers on Wednesday October 29th, 2008, at the 23rd Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care, in Las Vegas. The highlights of discussion pertained to organizational growth by providing enhanced membership benefits. The new EC will focus significant attention to this area with a major effort aimed at providing increased opportunities for education. The EC approved endorsements of several offerings which will provide educational opportunities for ACHM members at discounted rates. Two of these offerings are: WebCME’s Principles and Practice course and Southwest General Hospital’s “7th Annual Wound Management Conference”. To review the entire set of ACHM EC Meeting Minutes, please
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APWCA-ACHM 2009 National Clinical Conference
Wound Care and the Related Sciences
The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine announces that the ACHM 2009 National Clinical Symposium will be held in collaboration with the APWCA National Clinical Conference, April 2nd – 5th, 2009, at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, Philadelphia, PA.

The ACHM Annual Membership Meeting will be held immediately after the CLI Course. Members of the ACHM who attend this joint meeting will be offered a partial rebate off the price of the full conference registration. This rebate can be applied toward the cost of joint membership in both the ACHM and the APWCA. Members who take advantage of this offer can enjoy the benefits of both organizations at a reduced membership fee. For more information, visit
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ACHM Announces Critical Limb Ischemia Sub Symposium
ACHM members are invited to attend the APWCA National Clinical Conference, April 2nd – 5th, 2009, at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, Philadelphia, PA. As part of this clinical conference, in collaboration with the APWCA, the ACHM will present a special course titled Critical Limb Ischemia: An Integrated Approach to Limb Salvage and the Hypoxia Wound on Saturday, April 4th.

CLI ABSTRACT: This conjoint conference offering will be an intensive and focused presentation of an integrated approach to limb salvage. The course is designed for clinicians and will focus on advanced wound care. The discussion will explore the causes, diagnosis, prognosis and state-of-the-art treatments for hypoxic wounds that often lead to loss of limb. Topics include the pathophysiologic processes that lead to limb threatening ischemia and wounds, methods for assessment of ischemia, vascular interventional treatments of arterial insufficiency, and advanced wound care modalities that can be utilized for patients with critical limb ischemia.

For conference registration and additional information, visit
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ACHM Hyperbaric Certification Exam Update
The ACHM will administer the Hyperbaric Certification Exam on Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at the conclusion of the APWCA/ACHM National Clinical Conference in Philadelphia. Stay tuned for more details.
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ACHM Annual Membership Meeting
The ACHM annual membership meeting will be held on Saturday, April 4th, 2009, in Philadelphia, PA, immediately following the Critical Limb Ischemia Course being coordinated by the ACHM at the 2009 APWCA National Clinical Conference. Stay tuned for details.
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Congratulations to the 2008/2009 Board of Directors
A new Board of Directors was elected September, 2008.

Board of Directors

Pictured from left: Dr. Jeffrey Niezgoda – President; Dr. Thomas Serena; Kathy Furnas, RN; Kevan Corson, DMT,CHT; Dr. Robert Bartlett – Past President
Not pictured: Dr. Jayesh Shah – Vice President; Dr. Caroline Fife

For Board of Director bios, click here.
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Conference Video Now Available
Work Smart: Simple Steps to Improve Patient Care
Filmed from the ACHM’s Annual Conference on August 23, 2008

The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine presents this vital information which explores the many operational issues that face hyperbaric and wound care practices. From billing and coding to strategic planning and staff management, each one-hour session is filled with valuable information for both the medical practitioner and administrative team. Six continuing medical education credits are provided.

  1. Wound Care and Hyperbaric Coding: Part 1
  2. Wound Care and Hyperbaric Coding: Part 2
  3. Educating the Community
  4. Strategic Planning
  5. Staff Management: Recruit and Retain the Best
  6. Legal and Compliance: Employment, issues

Members of the ACHM pay only $79.95 (regularly $99.95). Click here to download the brochure.
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Physician Certification in Wound Care
The ACHM endorses a physician specific wound care certification process. Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Niezgoda co-chaired a committee to create this comprehensive examination. The American Professional Wound Care Association also recognizes this as the physician certification process. This examination was developed after leadership of the ACHM and APWCA identified that hospital administrators and physicians alike were looking for physician specific certification. This is the first step in attempting to obtain wound care recognition as a subspecialty in medicine. The exam is administered by the Council for Medical Education and Testing (CMET). Physicians who successfully pass this examination are recognized and provided with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Wound Care. We encourage all physicians to sit for the certification process so that we can demonstrate interest that exists for specialty recognition.

The next CMET Examination will be offered in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 5th, 2009 from 8:30am – 1:30pm in conjunction with the APWCA2009 National Clinical Conference – “Wound Care and the Related Sciences”.

Registration for the certification exam can be found online at Call (215) 364-4100 if you should have further questions.
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Wound Care Review Course – A Great Prep for the Physician Certification Exam
The APWCA is developing a new course “The Essentials – A Comprehensive Review and Refresher Course on Wound Care Management and Intervention”, as a thorough review and refresher course. This is a great two-day review for all providers and excellent for certification examination preparation. The course is scheduled for Saturday, January 10, 8am – 6pm and Sunday, January 11, 8am – 1pm. The course offers two days of intensive review, to be held the Marriott Renaissance Concourse Airport Hotel, Atlanta Airport – so weather will not be a problem with attendance! Further information and registration available on line at
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Call for Abstracts – APWCA 2009 National Clinical Conference
Applications for the submission of poster and oral abstracts for presentation at APWCA 2009 National Clinical Conference are currently being accepted and are available on the APWCA web site. Abstracts submitted by ACHM members will be separately judged and recognized by the ACHM. Guidelines for presentation have been revised for this year. All abstract applications must be submitted as an e-mail attachment using the forms available on the APWCA website. The deadline is February 2, 2009, for all Oral and Poster abstract application submissions. APWCA2009 will be held at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel, April 2-5. More information is available or by calling, 215-364-4100.
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CMS Update: Nosocomial Pressure Ulcers
The ACHM is an active member and participant in the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders. The Alliance, directed by Marcia Nusgart (Executive Director), is proactive in monitoring and reacting to CMS policy decisions that impact the practice of wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Some of the recent efforts of the Alliance were in reaction to the Proposed Rule published in the April 23, 2008, Federal Register titled, “Medicare Program; Proposed Changes to the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems and Fiscal Year 2009 Rates”. The Alliance raised concern regarding the code descriptions for hospital acquired pressure ulcers and the proposed quality measures.

The Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) provisions in Medicare regulations required hospitals to begin reporting on their Medicare claims on October 1, 2008, whether certain specified diagnoses, including pressure ulcers, were present when the patient was admitted. CMS proposed to create new codes to better identify pressure ulcers. The opinion expressed by the Alliance was that the new codes and descriptions did not accurately reflect pressure ulcers and that there was a need to establish specific codes for deep tissue injury and unstageable ulcers. The Alliance also expressed concern that Stage III and Stage IV pressure ulcers should be a measure of quality care and be considered for non-payment should they occur during a hospitalization as not all hospital acquired pressure ulcers are preventable.

The ACHM will continue to work within the Alliance and work to foster improved healthcare policy that accurately reflects the standard of care for hyperbaric and wound care services.
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NIH Grant Awarded to Study HBOT
Dr. Neil Hampson, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Dr. Michael Martin, University of Washington School of Dentistry, were recently awarded an R21 grant by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for radiation-induced xerostomia (dry mouth resulting from radiation injury to the salivary glands). The two-year, $500,000 NIH grant proposes to examine changes in salivary flow among 40 patients receiving hyperbaric treatment and with a history of head and neck cancer, radiation therapy and chronic xerostomia. Basal and stimulated salivary flow will be measured prior to hyperbaric therapy, after every 10 hyperbaric treatments, and then every 3 months for 18 months. Standardized xerostomia questionnaires will also be serially administered. For comparison, the patients will be matched to 40 similar patients not receiving hyperbaric treatment.

“Xerostomia is the number one complication affecting quality of life in patients following head and neck radiation”, notes Dr. Hampson. “If we are able to demonstrate that hyperbaric oxygen treatment is effective therapy, we have the potential to significantly help many thousands of individuals.”

The ACHM congratulates Dr. Hampson and Dr. Martin on this outstanding accomplishment.
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Online Training Available
Hyperbaric Medicine: Principles and Practice

This 40 hour ACCME accredited comprehensive course provides the required training for physicians, nurses, and technicians to begin practicing hyperbaric medicine. Course graduates have access to direct peer to peer faculty interaction by teleconference to reinforce best practice guidelines. An optional onsite practicum is available which provides hands-on operational and practice experience. This is an industry first which is not offered by any other training programs! Hyperbaric Medicine: Principles and Practice is endorsed by the ACHM. Members of the ACHM may be eligible for a discounted price for this course. Contact us today to learn more.

The course has been produced by WebCME, an independent organization dedicated to delivering medical education and certification to qualified practitioners. For more information or to view the trailer, visit their website –
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Southwest General Hospital’s Wound Management Conference
The ACHM is proud to announce its endorsement of Southwest General Hospital’s “7th Annual Wound Management Conference”. This meeting is an excellent educational opportunity and will present many excellent topics in advanced wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy including:

  • Bioburden, Biofilm, and Stalled Out Wound
  • Wound Infections: Antibiotic Choice in this Era of Resistance?
  • Dealing with The Complex Refractory Pressure Ulcer
  • Dealing with The Complex Refractory Venous Stasis Ulcer
  • Salvaging the End Stage Diabetic Foot
  • Unusual Wounds Case Presentations
  • Hyperbaric Medicine, Safety, Operations
  • Hyperbaric Nursing
  • For more information call 210.921.3372 or go to
By | 2008-11-01T19:46:25+00:00 November 1st, 2008|Newsletter Archive|0 Comments

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