Rheumatology Association of Iowa 6th Annual Meeting

Cedar Rapids, IA US
February 21, 2020 to February 22, 2020



  • Complimentary: Member - Physician
  • $50.00: Nonmember - Physician
  • Complimentary: Member - Non-physician
  • $25.00: Nonmember - Non-physician
  • Complimentary: Student, Fellow, Resident

Click here to register.

Target Audience

Healthcare professionals who work in Rheumatology. 

Educational Need

Scleroderma remains a poorly understood and heterogeneous entity with challenges for diagnosis, classification and management. Early diagnosis and intervention for prevention of late complications is very important but poorly defined.

Early RA remains a focus of diagnosis and management given the window of opportunity to treat to remission. Challenges remain in recognizing the optimal strategy for early diagnosis, risk stratification and best management.

Today’s challenging health care environment is affecting the way physicians manage their practices, interfering with access to care and forcing them to make difficult decisions. Rheumatologists need to be aware of emerging trends in practice management, payer reform, and administrative simplification of impact to the success of their practices and quality of patient care.


  1. Recognize federal efforts to improve value in healthcare delivery and payment through programs established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)
  2. Distinguish and contrast pathways for Rheumatologists to be reimbursed under the Quality Payment Program (i.e., the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
  3. Evaluate the potential impact of MACRA on Rheumatology practices and estimate the significance of engagement in current and future value-driven delivery and payment models.
  4. Identify opportunities for state and national advocacy, legislative action and our need for representation at the state national level.
  5. Identify the clinical features of ANCA-associated vasculitis.
  6. Describe the approach to diagnosis for ANCA-associated vasculitis.
  7. List the treatment options for ANCA-associated vasculitis.
  8. Describe the diseases that can be associated with large vessel vasculitis.
  9. Identify the clinical features associated with giant cell arteritis and Takayasu arteritis.
  10. Discuss the treatment approaches to giant cell arteritis and Takayasu arteritis.


All sessions will be located in the Amphitheater unless otherwise noted. Speakers and times are subject to change.

5 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks

5:05 pm

Advocacy Update

Emily L. Graham, RHIA, CCS-P
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Hart Health Strategies

6 pmAdjourn
9 amWelcome and Opening Remarks
9:15 am

SSc Lung Disease Screening: Time for a Paradigm?

Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases, University of Minnesota

10:15 am


10:45 am

Forecasting Rheumatoid Arthritis: Mostly Cloudy with A Chance of Prevention

Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases, University of Minnesota

11:45 am

RAI Annual Business Meeting

12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm


2 pm

Advocacy Panel

Emily L. Graham, RHIA, CCS-P
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Hart Health Strategies

Brian Henderson
WJWeiser & Associates, Inc.

Bharat Kumar, MD, MME, FACP, RhMSU
Immunologist, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Dennis Tibben
Director, External Affairs, Iowa Medical Society

3 pm

Understanding the Rationale for Newer IL-17-Targeted Arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis Therapies: Essentials for Clinicians

* This session is accredited separately through the joint  providership of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and RockPointe; all CME information will be available on-site. 

5 pmAdjourn

    Questions and Accommodations Requests

    RAI Executive Office

      Course summary
      Available credit: 
      • 4.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
      • 4.00 AOA Category 2­A
      • 4.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
      • 4.00 IBON
      Course opens: 
      Course expires: 
      Event starts: 
      02/21/2020 - 5:00pm CST
      Event ends: 
      02/22/2020 - 4:00pm CST
      The Hotel at Kirkwood Center
      7725 Kirkwood Blvd. S.W.
      Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
      United States
      +1 (877) 751-5111

      Room Rate:$135.00
      Reservations:(877) 751-5111
      Hotel Deadline:January 31, 2020

      The Hotel Kirkwood Center is offering RAI attendees a special conference rate of $135.00, plus applicable state and local taxes. This discounted group rate applies until the reservation deadline of January 31, 2020, or until all so-designated rooms are booked, whichever occurs first. RAI encourages you to make your reservations early, as after this date reservations will be accepted based on hotel availability and/or higher rates may apply.

      Attendees are responsible for making their reservations by calling the hotel at (877) 751-5111. Please be sure to mention the RAI 6th Annual Meeting to receive these discounted rates.

      Hotel Deposit and Cancellation Policy: In order to avoid penalty, cancellation must be made by 4:00 p.m. (CST) day of arrival.


      Airport Information: The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is approximately four miles from The Hotel at Kirkwood Center or six minutes by car.

      Taxi Cab Services: Several taxi companies operate at the Eastern Iowa Airport and are located outside of the baggage claim area. Taxi rates for a one-way transfer to the hotel cost approximately $15.00.

      Rental Car Information: Avis® Rent-A-Car is the official rental car company for the RAI meeting. For reservations, please call (800) 331-1600, and use the code “J901055” to receive the discounted rates.

      Parking: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center offers complimentary parking for registered guests and valet parking for $4.00 per day plus tax for day guests. Please note that rates are subject to change.

      Emily L. Graham, RHIA, CCS-P

      Ms. Graham is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Before her move to Hart Health Strategies Inc., Ms. Graham served as the Assistant Dean and Program Director for the Health Information Management (HIM) and Clinical Data Coding (CDC) Programs at Northern Virginia Community College's (NVCC) Medical Education Campus (MEC). Ms. Graham continues to serve as an adjunct faculty member for the traditional HIM/CDC programs, as well as the Office of the National Coordinator's (ONC) Community College Consortium Health IT Workforce Development Program.

      Prior to her time in academia, Ms. Graham served as the Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), where she focused on a variety of regulatory issues, including Medicare physician reimbursement, Medicare's quality improvement initiatives and advancements in health information technology. In that role she had regular dealings with representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services, to include the CMS, the ONC, and the FDA. She also served as Chair of the Quality and Health Information Technology and Regulatory Committee's for the Alliance of Specialty Medicine and as a staff liaison to the AMA's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel and Relative Value System Update Committee (RUC), the NQF, SQA, and AQA Alliance.

      Ms. Graham previously held a position at the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head Neck Surgery as a Practice Management Coordinator, where she focused on coding and reimbursement issues. She has also held positions in an acute care hospital billing office and in a physician practice.

      Ms. Graham is a Past President of the District of Columbia Health Information Management Association (DCHIMA). Ms. Graham obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in HIM from Stephens College.

      Brian Henderson

      Brian Henderson is a Senior Government Affairs Specialist at WJ Weiser & Associates, where he helps handle state government relations and legislative advocacy for the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations. He has worked on a variety of patient access issues including step-therapy, non-medical switching, and pharmacy benefit managers. Prior to working with CSRO, he worked in the Canadian Federal Government on analyzing health and energy policy issues. Brian graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History.

      Bharat Kumar, MD, MME, FACP, RhMSUS

      Dr. Kumar is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. After attending college at the University of Pennsylvania, he went to Saba University School of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of Kentucky. He arrived in Iowa in 2014 and completed fellowships in both rheumatology and allergy/immunology in 2017, as well as a master’s degree in medical education and certification in musculoskeletal ultrasonography. His clinical interests include the intersection of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency, musculoskeletal ultrasonography, and ocular inflammatory diseases. As the Associate Program Director for the Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, he is also driven by a desire to improve the quality of medical education as well as the value of clinical work for both patients and practitioners. Outside of clinic, Kumar has a keen interest in medical journalism, quality improvement, and humanism, and is the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism-in-Research Associate Editor. Full biography. 

      Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD

      Dr. Molitor is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Molitor earned his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at Duke University, where he helped develop evidence of a family of NF-kappa B nuclear transcription factors in T lymphocytes. He completed his MD at the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine. Dr. Molitor completed his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency, as well as a Rheumatology Fellowship, at the University of Washington. Dr. Molitor conducted numerous clinical and translational research projects through the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, where he was Director of the Arthritis Clinical Research Unit from 2001-2007, and Associate Director of Clinical Research from 2004-2007. He joined the University of Minnesota in 2007, where he heads the multidisciplinary Scleroderma clinic. He has participated in the Scleroderma GWAS, and in multiples studies of Systemic Sclerosis biomarkers and natural history, as well as in various aspects of drug development. Dr. Molitor has clinical research interests in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Sclerosis pathogenesis and disease prevention, and has been a consultant or investigator in multiple trials of candidate therapies for these conditions. His translational research focuses on understanding the interplay between impaired immune responses to infections and associated autoimmunity. He leads current studies examining this phenomenon in individuals with periodontal disease and the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis–associated autoantibodies.

      Dennis Tibben

      Mr. Tibben is the Director of External Affairs for the Iowa Medical Society.In this role, he leads policy development and advocacy efforts with the Iowa General Assembly, Congress, and Executive Branch agencies, as well as communications efforts on behalf of the Society. Prior to joining the Iowa Medical Society, Dennis served as Correspondence and Judicial Appointments Coordinator in the Iowa Governor’s Office, as well as a Legislative Assistant in the Iowa Senate. Dennis received his bachelor's degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in American Government, from Iowa State University and his Master of Public Administration, with an emphasis in Public Policy, from Drake University.


      Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individuals have no conflict of interests with commercial interests to disclose.

      • Bogdan Cherascu, MD, MS, Activity Director and Planning Committee Member
      • Emily L. Graham, RHIA, CCS-P, Speaker
      • Lorene Harder, Activity Coordinator and Planning Committee Member
      • Brian Henderson, Panelist
      • Bharat Kumar, MD, MME, FACP, RhMSUS, Speaker
      • Dennis Tibben, Panelist

      Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individuals a conflict of interest with commercial interests to disclose.

      • Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD, Speaker
      Company Role with Commercial InterestNature of Relationship
      Eicos Sciences, Inc.ConsultantClinical Trial Steering Committee
      Boehringer IngelheimConsultantConsultant
      PfizerGrants/Research SupportInvestigator
      Shire PharmaceuticalsConsultantConsultant

      Accreditation Statements 

      • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this program for a maximum of 4.0 AOA Category 2-A credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
      • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) through the joint providership of Des Moines University (DMU) and the Rheumatology Association of Iowa. DMU is accredited by IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
      • Nurse: Des Moines University is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This live activity has been reviewed and approved for 4.0 continuing education contact hour(s). No partial credit awarded.
      • Other: This live activity is designated for 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM


      No commercial interest company provided financial support for this continuing education activity.


      Everyone in a position to control the content of this educational activity will disclose to the CME provider and to attendees all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. Firms providing financial support did not have input in these areas.


      The information provided at this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

      Available Credit

      • 4.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
      • 4.00 AOA Category 2­A
      • 4.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
      • 4.00 IBON


      Please login or Create an Account to take this course.


      • Complimentary: Member - Physician
      • $50.00: Nonmember - Physician
      • Complimentary: Member - Non-physician
      • $25.00: Nonmember - Non-physician
      • Complimentary: Student, Fellow, Resident

      Click here to register.

      Registration Cancellation and Refund Policy: Registration refund requests must be submitted in writing to the RAI Executive Office no later than 1/31/2020. All refund requests will be subject to a $5.00 processing fee. No refunds will be made after 1/31/2020.