Update: 2016​ ASM | 9-11 June | Las Vegas, Nevada | USA

The Preliminary Program Schedule has been updated with the accepted abstracts and their presentation times (schedule is still subject to change). The Non-Physician Track will be posted within the next week.  Also, look for the full Abstract Program Book to be posted shortly.

Continuing Education Credits are currently in the approval process and will be posted soon.


Preliminary program: https://www.uhms.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=236

Register now: https://www.uhms.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/register&Itemid=233&id=62&reset=1

Location & Accommodations
Las Vegas, Nevada: A desert metropolis built on gambling, vice and other forms of entertainment, Las Vegas has drawn millions of visitors and trillions of dollars in wealth to southern Nevada in just a century of existence. The city was founded by ranchers and railroad workers but quickly found that its greatest asset was not its springs but its casinos. Visitors came to partake in what the casinos offered: low-cost luxury and the thrill of fantasies fulfilled.

Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort: Prepare to be surprised. Located on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, the Tropicana Las Vegas is redefining the expectations of today’s global travelers, with a recently completed $200 million transformation that provides a casually elegant resort experience. In addition to a South Beach rhythm and vibe, the transformation of the resort includes a fresh redesign of its best-in-class hotel rooms and suites, the 50,000-square-foot casino, more than 72,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, several new restaurants and bars, a new race and sports bar, and Glow®, a Mandara Spa and fitness center. First-class entertainment includes the Laugh Factory comedy club and live music in the Tropicana Lounge.

Please support the Society by booking at our host hotel!  Thank you! 

Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort
3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Room rate:  Sun—Thurs: $85 / Fri-Sat: $145

Reservations: 1.800.GO2.TROP (1.800.462.8767) or 1.800.634.4000
In order for you to get the group rate you must give the reservations department our 
unique group code: SUHM16.


UHMS Call for abstracts deadline extended

THE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society’s 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting has been extended to Friday, April 1, midnight Eastern Time.


Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada













Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society 
631 Highway 1, Suite 307
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: +919-490-5140/877-533-8467; Fax: +919-490-5149
Email: uhms@uhms.org; website: www.uhms.org


UHMS is gearing up for the 2016 ASM

I am excited to tell you about the upcoming 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting: It’s at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9-11, 2016.

While the conference is not until June, it is important to remember that abstracts are due on March 27, and award nominations are due by April 15.  Get more information on the UHMS website http://www.uhms.org.

We have some great precourses and postcourses this year. We will have our annual pre- and postcourses dealing with accreditation by Tom Workman. In addition, we have two fantastic precourses being held on Wednesday, June 8.

Our hyperbaric precourse will be “Hyperbaric Medicine Skills and Emergency Management” led by Dr. Enoch Huang and Dr. Sandra Wainwright. This will include lectures and demonstrations of hyperbaric-related emergency scenarios and procedures. It will include hands-on simulations of infrequently performed emergency procedures as well as peer-reviewed management of emergency hyperbaric scenarios.
The diving precourse will be “Harvesting and Aquaculture Divers Safety (HADS) Workshop” led by Dr. Neal Pollock and co-sponsored by DAN. This one-day workshop will promote understanding, education and safety within and concerning the worldwide harvesting and aquaculture diving community. Presentations will consider history, range of practice, operational guidance, accident patterns, clinical management, ongoing and emerging risks, and mitigation strategies.
We have some spectacular keynote speakers this year.  Dr. Richard Moon, the Lambertsen Lecture speaker, will be presenting “Investigations into Living and Working under the Water: Where Have We Been and Where Do We Need to Go?”  Dr. Michael Bennett, the Kindwall Lecture speaker, will be presenting “Medicine or Marketing? What We Need to Do to Survive in the 21st Century.”

We have multiple plenary sessions, with some great topics and speakers lined up.  We will have an extended plenary called “Access to Emergent Hyperbaric Therapy in the United States” which features two speakers: Dr. James Chimiak from DAN and Walter Chin, Past PacUHMS President from UCLA.

Dr. Folke Lind, our current Vice President, will lead a panel discussion on “International Perspectives on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.”  Dr. Richard Baynosa, PacUHMS President and Chief of Plastic Surgery at UNLV, will present on “Flaps, Grafts, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.”  Dr. Simon Mitchell will be speaking on “Guidelines for Prehospital Management of Diving Injuries.”

Dr. Enoch Huang, our current President-Elect will present “Understanding Hyperbaric Dosing.”  Dr. Enrico Camporesi, our new UHM Journal editor, will speak on “The History and Evolution of UHMS Journals and Publications.”  We will have an optional noon plenary by Drs. Caroline Fife, Helen Gelly, and Marc Robins on “The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, the National Hyperbaric Registry and the Future of US HBOT Reimbursement.”

The final plenary will but the very popular “New Pearls of Wisdom in the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Literature.” Two current UHM Fellows to present a summary of the most valuable articles in the field from the last several years. Brad Hickey (LSU) and Peter Ceponis (Duke/IMC) will be the presenters this year.

In addition, Valerie Short, Matt Schweyer and Kip Posey will be organizing the Associates (Non-Physician Track) Break-Out Session scheduled for June 9.  This should be a great program as well. They will be sending out information about that program soon.

I look forward to seeing you all in Las Vegas.  Start working on your abstracts, and register soon at https://www.uhms.org/annual-scientific-meeting/registration.html.

Dr. Jim Holm, President, UHMS


The UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting’s primary goal is to provide a forum for professional scientific growth and development of the participants to improve knowledge and competence in order to further patient outcome. The meeting provides a basis for exchange of ideas, both scientific and practical, among physicians, researchers, and other health professionals. The UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting consists of abstract and poster presentations, plenary sessions, the annual Kindwall and Lambertsen Lectures, and other social events. There will be exhibits from a number of hyperbaric, diving and wound care vendors. The Annual Meeting also affords an opportunity for participants to meet and interact with past and present leaders of the Society and to become active in Society affairs.

Important Changes in Medicare Code for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: FAQs & Answers


Removal of C1300/emergence of G0277

Main Point: Payment methodology will be changing in hyperbaric medicine, and although the final interpretation and decision by CMS will not be published until March 2015, there are some points that can be shared with some certainty.

  • Will the reimbursement change for 99183 (“physician supervision of HBOT”)?

Answer: Yes

Code 99183 has never been valued by the American Medical Association Relative Value Update Committee (AMA RUC). It was given a value by CMS in 1994, and has remained unchanged since that time, with a work value of 2.34 RVUs (relative value units). This year, due to increased utilization (many more hyperbaric treatments being billed), 99183 was selected for review. The process of valuing a code includes a physician survey, a defining of the practice expense, and then a presentation in front of the RUC defending the request for keeping the value unchanged. The typical code that comes up for review is decreased about 20%. After much debate, the RVUs were determined to be 2.11. This represents approximately a 9% decrease in the payment for hyperbaric chamber supervision.

The reimbursement for physicians is comprised of three elements: work, indirect practice expense, and malpractice. When combined, the total RVUs for a facility based provider will be 3.13 RVUs. Those RVUs, multiplied by the conversion factor (CF) and your Geographic Price Index will give you the final amount. Nationally it should be in the range of $112.06. Currently the total RVUs for 99183 in a facility setting is 3.45 (CF $35.8228) for a national payment of $123.59.

  • How many units of 99183 does an advanced practitioner bill for supervising a hyperbaric treatment?

Answer: ONE

Physicians, or other qualified healthcare providers, will continue to bill for this professional service on a per session/treatment basis. FOR THE SUPERVSION OF HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY, PRACTITIONERS WILL CONTINUE TO BILL ONE (1) CODE 99183 FOR EACH HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY TREATMENT.

  • What will happen to C1300, the code previously used for billing the FACILITY (hospital) COMPONENT of hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Answer: This code will be deleted.

C1300, Hyperbaric oxygen under pressure, full body chamber, per 30 minute interval will be deleted.

  • What code will be used to bill the facility component of hyperbaric oxygen?

Answer: G0277

In place of C1300, a new code was created, G0277. It will have exactly the same description as C1300, but will not be limited to outpatient hospital sites of service (OPPS).

  • Why did CMS delete C1300?

Answer: As part of the AMA RUC process, the evaluation of 99183 resulted in a review of the DIRECT practice expense that is incurred by physicians providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a non-hospital based setting. The last time this was addressed was in 2004/2005 by CMS, and the inputs were not validated by the AMA RUC process. In that assessment, the value of oxygen for an ENTIRE monoplace hyperbaric oxygen treatment was $0.54. Air utilization was valued at $4.68 for air breaks. After rigorous debate at the AMA RUC meeting, revised direct practice expense inputs were recommended.

Interested stakeholders had been meeting with CMS to discuss the issue of physician supervision and the inequality of “practice expense” when compared to hospital based reimbursement. When CMS looked at the RUC recommendation, and took stakeholders comments concerning the discrepancy into consideration, they chose to create a code, G0277, which can be billed across all places of service.

  • What is the payment for the OPPS APC code 0659 / G0277

Answer: Currently, the OPPS APC code 0659 / G0277 will be paid at about $109.24 for a 30 minute segment. When billed at a place of service non-facility, the RVU value will be 1.32 x CF ($35.8013)/ 30 minutes.

  • When will we know the final decision of CMS?

Answer: CMS posted the first version of the Final rule with a comment period on physician reimbursement on October 31, 2014. The comment period ends December 30, 2014, and CMS will most likely release the final version with changes in March 2015.

  • Where can I find this information?

Answer: The Final Rule for OPPS is at:


The Final Rule for physicians is at:



The AMA has a large section that describes in detail all the relevant issues. The CF is based on a calculation that is influenced by the Sustainable Growth Rate. This is the “doctor fix” that keeps getting raised in Congress.



The UHMS CPG Oversight Committee, chaired by Dr. Enoch Huang, is at work on the first clinical practice guideline for the UHMS:  Clinical practice guideline for the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as adjunctive treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

The UHMS recently posted the public comment draft of the document on the UHMS website http://www.uhms.org and this blog, along with a companion file with all of the Figures and Tables. The public comment period remained open until the end of the day on October 31, 2014. The original draft and accompanying tables are still accessible; the new draft will be announced when it is received.

At this point, the CPG Oversight Committee is addressing suggestions and refining the text.

“We’d like to thank those of you who took the time to submit public comments,” said Dr. Huang, who is serving as the lead reviewer on this CPG. “We are working hard to address all of the great points that were brought up.”

Some background: The goal of the project is to perform systematic meta-analyses of the hyperbaric literature for UHMS-approved indications and create clinical guidelines that will be readily available on the UHMS website.

In addition to having this information available on the Society website, the UHMS plans to post CPGs relating to hyperbaric oxygen therapy on http://www.guideline.gov, the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a public resource for evidence-based medicine under the aegis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“With the evidence-based support for hyperbaric oxygen available on http://www.guideline.gov, we believe that we can adequately refute insurance denials for reimbursement and provide guidance to our colleagues in other specialties on the appropriate request for hyperbaric medicine consultation,” noted Immediate Past President Dr. John Feldmeier in his Pressure column a year ago. Pressure is the bimonthly electronic newsletter for UHMS members.

The completion and publication of these guidelines is a complex and time-consuming effort. The UHMS has targeted these indications for initial work:

• diabetic foot ulcers;

• radiation soft tissue and bony necrosis;

• carbon monoxide poisoning; and

• compromised flaps and grafts.

CPGs for our other indications will follow. Watch for updates on this CPG in Pressure and UHMS social media.

With reports from:

Enoch Huang, M.D., Chair, CPG Oversight Committee, Lead Reviewer, Clinical Practice Guideline on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

DFU CPG Public Comment TextDFU CPG rev Combined Figures and Tables

UHM author fees are now suspended for all submissions

UHM 38-3 OFC-tsp.inddThe Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society announces a change in its policy on fees for papers submitted to the Journal. Effective immediately, authors whose original papers are accepted for publication in the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal can now publish for no fee.

“We feel this is a positive move for the Society and its membership,” said Executive Director John Peters. “This should pose no financial barriers to entry, but we ask for the same high quality of papers that UHMS members have enjoyed through the years.”

In the past, UHMS has asked for a flat fee of $250 for all published papers, with an extra $30 per page for color illustrations. Papers currently in process – i.e., papers scheduled for publication in the November-December 2014 issue and onward  – will have no fees. UHMS has historically granted a waiver on fees upon request.

Author guidelines are being revised to include this change and will be posted on the UHMS website (www.uhms.org) and the UHMS blog (https://uhmsblog.wordpress.com).

Here’s a reminder of what you’ll see in the UHM Journal.


To meet its responsibilities to its readers and to the public at large, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal strives to provide unbiased scientific information and fair analyses through its publication of the following types of papers.

  1. Research Reports: Results of experimental, theoretical and clinical investigations on topics important to the understanding of undersea, submarine and hyperbaric medicine. Short reports that make a substantial scientific contribution as well as extensive studies will be considered.
  1. Clinical communications and clinical case reports: Observations of an exceptionally revealing nature.
  1. Review articles: May cover scientific and practical subjects and may express personal opinions of the author.
  1. Current issues: Well-reasoned essays on topics of interest to the journal’s readers; may draw on new or published experimental data and may be controversial in nature.
  1. Technical communications: Descriptions of new methods or equipment; must include data to support contentions.
  1. Proceedings of symposiums or workshops: Usually a group of short communications that have the flavor of reviews.
  1. Letters to the editor: Discussion of scientific papers that have appeared in the journal or scientific issues of interest to the journal’s readers; should include an informative title and be as short as possible. References may be used if necessary, but tables and figures are discouraged.

Please direct questions to Renée Duncan, UHM Managing Editor, at renee@uhms.org.




Longtime UHMS member Dr. George Hart died peacefully on Sept. 26 with Sarah, his wife of 60 years, his five children and extended family at his side.

George ‘Babe’ Hart, M.D., FACS, was a giant in hyperbaric medicine, a thoracic, vascular and trauma surgeon as well as an expert in diving medicine. He received his specialty training in the U.S Navy, where he became the Director of Clinical Services and Chief of Surgery at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. He retired after 20 years of active duty as a captain.

In 1974 Dr. Hart established the Hyperbaric Medicine Program at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, California. Under his stewardship, the program gained worldwide recognition as a preeminent center for clinical expertise, research and educational programs. Dr. Hart made innumerable contributions to hyperbaric medicine, including defining the appropriate uses of hyperbaric oxygen, establishing chamber safety protocols with the National Fire Protection Agency and refining the monoplace chamber to the modern counterparts universally used today. He also set the standard for treatment protocols for the clinical uses of hyperbaric oxygen as well as generating more than 100 published articles and almost a dozen book chapters. Dr. Hart has received almost every award that exists in the field of hyperbaric medicine, including serving as the keynote speaker at the 2013 Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society meeting.

Dr. Hart’s presentations, which account to more than a thousand, have always been characterized by wit, enthusiasm, personal experiences and sound scientific data. Many of his observations and theories about how hyperbaric oxygen works are just now being verified with advancing scientific information. Dr. Hart was truly a giant in his field, known for his contributions to hyperbaric medicine, highly respected by his colleagues at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and much loved by his patients and the people with whom he worked.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Dr. Hart’s memory be made to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation Hyperbaric Medicine Fund (www.memorialcare.org/mmcf) or to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (please contact the Executive Office to donate).

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center will hold a memorial service on October 21 at 2pm.

Important Notice to UHMS Members: Email Spearfishing Scheme

Dear UHMS Members:

We are informing you that the UHMS was the victim of an email “spearfishing” scheme where documents were disclosed to an unknown party consisting of the names and emails of our membership. This unfortunate event has been reported to Federal authorities and they along with the UHMS board of directors and management believe that we should urge each member to be very cautious if you receive any suspicious emails from anyone claiming they are from the UHMS.

UHMS emails coming to the membership will come from staff using only their name@uhms.org (example jpeters@uhms.org), and not a personal email like name@gmail.com or name@hotmail.com.

Do not respond to any email that comes from a team member of the UHMS that contains a non UHMS email and if you do please, contact the UHMS offices immediately.

Additionally, we will continue to communicate with our membership through electronic means (eBlasts) such as the UHMS@UHMS.org email, as well as our social media accounts LinkedIn and Facebook and also our UHMS Blog at https://uhmsblog.wordpress.com/.

Always, if you have questions or are concerned about any email correspondence you receive please call us at

877-533-UHMS. Thank you!


John S. Peters, FACHE

Executive Director, Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society

Coming Soon: Gulf Coast Chapter Meeting and Special Diver’s Day Pre-Course

Join us September 11-13, 2014 for a unique and dynamic 2 1/2 day CME/CEU accredited event that will give you the tools you need to create an exceptional practice in diving and undersea medicine, hyperbaric medicine, and wound care.

The upcoming Gulf Coast Chapter Meeting of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is taking place this year in beautiful and relaxing Delray Beach, Florida. The UHMS considers the Gulf Coast Chapter Region the states from NC south to FL and west to NM. We would love for you to join us in sunny Florida!

Your local UHMS chapter meeting is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest leaders in the fields of diving and undersea medicine, hyperbaric medicine, and wound care. You will leave with all the education you need to take your clinical practice to the next level of success. Now through September 3rd save $50 off your registration! Register www.UHMS.org/event/GCC14

At the Gulf Coast Chapter meeting, industry pioneers will lead the charge, offering insight and education on the following:

  • Case Studies in Wound Healing and Updates in Wound Care
  • Updates in the Treatment of Radiation Injuries
  • A Panel Discussion on Updates in Vessel Pressure Testing, Equipment, and Regulations
  • A Novel Wound Scoring System
  • A special pre-course Diver’s Day on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 11 focused on the latest developments in dive medicine and practical applications for divers.
  • And a whole lot more!!!

The mouthwatering lecture schedule is online at https://uhms.site-ym.com/?GCC_schedule

As we are flying in leading experts from all over the U.S., we can guarantee there will be something to appeal to every practitioner hungry for more knowledge.

Take advantage of the special savings now through September 3rd and save $50 off your registration!


Online: www.UHMS.org/event/GCC14

Phone: +1-919-490-5140/877-533-8467

Email: uhms@uhms.org