Pediatric ID clinicians spend many hours providing unreimbursed consultations to community providers. The PIDS Telehealth Working Group wants to understand the current burden of unreimbursed consultations currently provided and explore how telehealth can be used to improve patient care and increase revenue. Please take 15 minutes to complete a survey (by clicking here) to tell us how telehealth* (telemedicine) is currently being used in your practices, what potential barriers exist, and how we can adapt telehealth as a billable service in the future. The deadline to respond is Tuesday, April 9th.

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), whose membership constitutes individuals dedicated to the treatment, control, and eradication of infectious diseases in children, opposes legislation or regulations that would allow children to be exempted from school and childcare immunization requirements based on their parents’ personal or religious beliefs (non-medical exemptions). Exemptions from school and childcare requirements can lead to outbreaks of disease.

One of the most exciting aspects of our Society is our mutual commitment to discovery, education, patient care, and advocacy. This month, we highlight two ways in which advocacy and discovery intersect: the Stanley and Susan Plotkin/Sanofi Pasteur Fellowship Award and the Pichichero Family Foundation Research Development/Vaccines for Children Award.

The 10th Annual International Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference, jointly sponsored by Washington University in St. Louis Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists will occur on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, 2019 in St. Louis, MO.

The PIDS Training Program Committee (TPC) consists of 20 volunteer members whose main goals are to enhance training of Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellows and serve as a resource for fellowship program directors. Our committee achieves these goals in several ways, and we have continued to evolve in order to address trainees’ and Program Directors’ (PDs) needs as they arise.

The Publications Committee is responsible for:

Considering the high rate of unnecessary antibiotic use, several pediatric health organizations have banded together to create new tools for health care providers in order to reduce these prescriptions and fight antibiotic resistance.

A quickly growing measles outbreak that began in southwest Washington, near Portland, Oregon, has caused local officials and the state’s governor to declare a public health emergency. The latest outbreak comes as 2018 saw the second highest number of reported measles cases (349) in the U.S. since 2000, according to a recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The members of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) are delighted to provide an update to the PIDS Membership regarding our activities in 2018. The mission of the IAC is to develop and foster pediatric infectious disease global health activities. PIDS is very fortunate to have numerous domestic and international members and interest and the IAC welcomes the ideas and interest of the PIDS membership. The IAC is also looking forward to welcoming and engaging our new members in activities.

The use of antibiotics drives the development of antibiotic resistance, a major threat to public health worldwide. But these drugs also carry the risk of harm to individual patients, including children. According to a new analysis published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, antibiotics led to nearly 70,000 estimated emergency room visits in the U.S. each year from 2011-2015 for allergic reactions and other side effects in children. The study helps quantify the risk posed by specific antibiotics in children across different age ranges.

“For parents and other caregivers of children, these findings are a reminder that while antibiotics save lives when used appropriately, antibiotics also can harm children and should only be used when needed,” said lead author Maribeth C. Lovegrove, MPH, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “For health care providers, these findings are a reminder that adverse effects from antibiotics are common and can be clinically significant and consequential for pediatric patients.”

Discussions regarding “cost” and “value” seem to dominate every conversation about healthcare these days. In a recent editorial in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, PIDS immediate past-president Dr. Gilsdorf and colleagues commented that pediatric infectious disease physicians’ “compensation, which is determined by leaders of pediatric departments and hospitals, does not take into account our overall value to the hospital in clinical and nonclinical work as well as in potential cost-saving activities.” This is an appropriate lead-in to an article published in the June 2018 issue of JPIDS by researchers from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon entitled “Utilizing a Modified Care Coordination Measurement Tool to Capture Value for a Pediatric Outpatient Parenteral and Prolonged Oral Antibiotic Therapy Program.” This article sought to determine the amount of time spent by pediatric infectious disease providers on non-reimbursable care coordination activities in the context of a pediatric outpatient antimicrobial therapy program (OPAT).

As we begin the 2019 program planning process, the PIDS Program and Meetings Committee (PMC) would like to encourage all members to consider submitting Invited Science session proposals for the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) and IDWeek Meetings. If you can recall, the society’s strategy for our major meetings changed to align with our priorities. For the PAS Meeting, we are encouraging programming that focuses primarily on sessions serving the clinical and educational needs of a broader audience, especially ID topics that will be useful to both ID and other specialties represented at this meeting. For the IDWeek Meeting, session proposals should focus on cutting-edge science and emerging infections. Example topic areas for both meetings are listed below.

For several years the AAP Section on Infectious Diseases has been working with the AAP Committee on Coding and Nomenclature to promote the publishing of values for the Interprofessional Telephone/Internet Consultation CPT codes (99446-99449) for specialties that frequently provide telephone advice without formal consultation from other physicians. Infectious Diseases is among the specialties most frequently providing such advice.  We are happy to announce to the PIDS membership that CPT codes for this activity approved in 2014 now have wRVUs assigned for the four codes below which vary only in the amount of time spent in consultation.

“The Challenges of Viral Respiratory Healthcare-Associated Infections in Pediatrics”
Quach C, Shah R, Rubin LG. Burden of healthcare-associated viral respiratory infections in children’s hospitals. JPIDS. 2018; 7(1): 18-24.

Many parents have questions about their children’s vaccines. Although you may not provide routine immunizations as an infectious disease specialist, you can still serve as a trusted information resource for parents. CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) has a number of resources available to help you talk with parents about vaccines:

Pediatric ID specialists are viewed by administrators and other physicians as valuable contributors to the delivery of high quality medical care, according to a new study published in Hospital Pediatrics. Their contributions in many areas, however, can be difficult to measure, which may lead administrators to overlook their value and under-allocate resources, the findings suggest.