Terms and Conditions

Welcome to MAC – AVLS’s New Online Community

The American Vein & Lymphatic Society is proud to present MAC (My AVLS Community). This online community will bring AVLS members together to drive awareness, engagement, and growth in efforts to advance vein and lymphatic care. In collaboration with Higher Logic, members will have the ability to ask questions, participate in discussions, and share resources like never before. With a growing network of members, MAC will help connect each member across the globe, allowing everyone to grow together. To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established guidelines for participation.

MAC User Code of Conduct

By joining and using MAC, you agree that you have read the following rules and guidelines. You also agree to reserve discussions and shared files and content only to MAC users.

To ensure the best possible experience for our members, we have established guidelines for user participation. Users should be aware of MAC Moderators who are put in place to monitor the online forum and have the power to delete posts based on participant content. Failure to follow the MAC User Code of Conduct will result in an enforcement action (refer to pg. 3).

To protect the AVLS members who choose to use MAC, the AVLS reserves the right to suspend or terminate access to MAC for anyone who violates these rules. However, the AVLS is not responsible for any defamation or malpractice of any company, individual(s), practice, etc. should it occur.

Guidelines

  • Users will discuss and comment in a manner that is appropriate, no spam is allowed.
  • Users will not post commercial messages on any area of MAC in which it is visible. Contact people directly with product and service information only should they request specific information.
  • Users will use caution when discussing products. Information posted on MAC is available for all users to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws. 
  • Users will not post any materials or photos that may have copyright protection or otherwise violate the rights of third parties without permission from the copyright holder. You may include links to such materials on other websites, as long as the materials are properly/legally posted on those websites.
  • Users will not advertise, promote products, or services via affiliate links. This includes referrals/invites to an external link with the intent to create traffic or make a profit.
  • Posts using defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials or statements are strictly prohibited. These posts will be removed by MAC Moderators and users will receive a warning.
  • Posts on MAC are not intended to be medical advice. Users needing medical advice or attention should seek the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider.
  • Users will not discuss fees, charges amounts that are reimbursed by third-party payors, salaries you pay your physicians and other employees, prices for medical equipment or services, or any other similar fee or price-related practice matters.
    • Avoid discussions that could be interpreted as planning or facilitating joint responses to or group boycotts of particular payors or companies that sell products or services to you or your colleagues. Such discussions may implicate and/or violate federal and/or state antitrust laws.
  • MAC users will not post any information that would compromise the privacy or confidentiality of your patients. All patient identifiers must be removed, including those contained in patient images.
  • Do not spam several online communities on MAC with the same message. Post your message, documents, etc. only to appropriate parts of MAC. If you are unclear where to do this, please post this in the AVLS Members section.
  • MAC reserves the right to reject, delete, and remove any message at any time for any reason to benefit the users of MAC.
  • No MAC member may speak on behalf of MAC or the American Vein & Lymphatic Society, without prior consent from the AVLS President or AVLS Executive Director.

Discussion Group Etiquette

  • MAC users will have the option to include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, and location if desired. 
  • State concisely the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. 
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list.” Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing e-mail addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new e-mail address. Simply change your settings. 

Enforcing the MAC User Code of Conduct

MAC Users who choose to not follow the guidelines should be made aware by the following methods:

  1. Warning
    1. Moderators will send a message to the user who is not following the Code
  2. Follow Up Warning
    1. Moderators should notify the AVLS Staff Member within the community and the staff member will do a secondary follow up warning
  3. Dismissal of MAC User
    1. MAC Moderators should notify Amanda Godwin at agodwin@myavls.org and the MAC User will be dismissed from the online community platform

 

The Legal Side of MAC

MAC is provided for members of the American Vein & Lymphatic Society (AVLS). Except when specifically noted, any views or opinions expressed on MAC are those of the individual contributors. The views and posted content/comments unless specifically noted do not reflect those of the AVLS. The AVLS makes no promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, etc. of the information in MAC unless specifically noted otherwise.

No MAC member may purport to speak on behalf of the American Vein & Lymphatic Society either on mac or in any other public forum, without the prior written consent of the American Vein & Lymphatic Society President or Executive Director, respectively.  The views and posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of MAC and/or the American Vein & Lymphatic Society. MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society aim to provide quality and accurate information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to on the community site.

Considering the real-time nature of the discussion forums, we can't review messages or confirm the validity of information posted before it appears on the forums. MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society does not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and is not responsible for the contents of any message. We cannot ensure prompt removal of offending posts. To preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to delete posts and suspend or terminate access to mac for anyone who violates these rules.

MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society specifically disclaim any and all liability for any claims or damages that result from postings by participants.  Although the forums may include links providing direct access to other websites, MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society has not participated in the development of these other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over them.  Any hypertext links and any reference to any products, services, or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation by MAC and American Vein & Lymphatic Society. MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society expressly disclaim liability related to the accuracy and content of other sites and use of any products or services referenced in any posting or any linked site.

Participants who post materials on mac (including but not limited to papers, presentations, images, and videos, etc.) shall retain their rights to such materials with the understanding that the materials are being posted for educational purposes and may be reproduced, retransmitted, or reprinted for other Site participants’ personal and non-commercial use. As noted above, participants should refrain from posting such materials unless they own the copyright or have authority or permission from the copyright holder to do so.  Such posting participants shall be wholly responsible for and shall hold MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society harmless from the inappropriate use of copyrighted material they post on mac.

The American Vein & Lymphatic Society owns all rights, titles, and interests in any and all materials posted on MAC that have been created by MAC and AVLS and are subject to copyrights owned by the AVLS otherwise. MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society hereby provide limited permission for users of mac to reproduce, retransmit, or reprint, for such user's personal use only, part or all of any document on the MAC. All other reproduction, retransmission, or reprinting of all or part of any document found on MAC is expressly prohibited unless the American Vein & Lymphatic Society has expressly granted its prior consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or reprint the material. All other rights are reserved.

Medical information published here on MAC or by any participant is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, nor does it replace consultation with a qualified health care provider. Please consult an appropriate health care provider for such guidance. MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society do not answer specific medical questions or refer persons to specific health care providers.

All information collected from MAC and the American Vein & Lymphatic Society members will be used solely for membership purposes and will not be disclosed to third parties without the express written consent from the member.

MAC Antitrust Policy

The American Vein & Lymphatic Society (AVLS) is a premier nonprofit association for physicians and allied health professionals dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of venous and lymphatic disease. As the industry’s leading experts, the AVLS seeks to improve the standards of medical practitioners, the quality of patient care, and the level of assistance practitioners can access. Health professionals can use MAC as an online community forum to exchange medical knowledge and health

MAC has a strict policy of compliance with federal and antitrust laws. The antitrust laws of the United States prohibit agreements, combinations, and conspiracies that restrain trade among competitors. MAC members may be considered to be competitors for purposes of antitrust challenges even if their practices are not in the same geographic areas.  The penalties for violations of the antitrust laws are severe for medical societies and their members.

In all MAC activities, each member shall be responsible for following the association’s policy of strict compliance with the antitrust laws. The MAC Moderators and committee chairs shall ensure that this policy is known and adhered to in the course of activities pursued under their leadership.  Antitrust compliance is the responsibility of every MAC member and MAC Moderator.

General Antitrust Compliance Principles

MAC will not become involved in the competitive business decision of its members, nor will it take any action that would tend to restrain competition. MAC is firmly committed to the principle of competition served by the antitrust laws, and good business judgment demands that every effort be made to assure compliance with all applicable federal and state antitrust laws and trade regulations.

MAC members in separate practices cannot come to understandings, make agreements, or otherwise concur on positions or activities that in any way tend to raise, lower, or stabilize prices or fees, allocate or divide up markets, or encourage or facilitate boycotts. Individual MAC members must make decisions regarding the amounts they charge for their services and other terms of dealing with patients, vendors, and third-party payors on their own and without consultation with their competitors or MAC.

The antitrust laws are complicated and often unclear. If any member is concerned about being in a “gray area,” the member should consult with an antitrust attorney. If the conversation among competitors at a MAC meeting or on mac turns to antitrust-sensitive issues, participants should discontinue the conversation until legal advice is obtained or leave the meeting or mac immediately.

Discussions of pricing or boycotts as part of MAC-scheduled programs, at MAC-sponsored meetings or on mac could implicate and involve the MAC in extensive and expensive antitrust challenges and litigation. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that an association can be held liable for statements or actions in antitrust-sensitive areas by volunteer leaders who claim to speak for the association, even if they are not authorized to speak in that area. Directors and officers of must, therefore, make clear whether they are speaking in their official capacity when they address such issues; by contrast, if they are making personal remarks outside of the MAC setting, the speaker should clearly state that he or she is speaking for him or herself, and not on behalf of the MAC.  No MAC members, including MAC Board members, may purport to speak on behalf of MAC without the prior written consent of the AVLS President or Executive Director.

Specific Rules of Antitrust Compliance

  1. MAC activities shall not be used to bring about, or attempt to bring about, any understanding or agreement, written or oral, formal or informal, expressed or implied, among competitors concerning prices or fees, terms or conditions of sale, discounts, territories or customers. For example, any agreement by competitors to “honor,” “protect,” or “avoid invading” one another’s geographic areas, practice specialties, or patient lists would violate the law.

 

  1. MAC activities and communications shall not include discussion or actions, for any purpose or in any fashion, of prices or pricing methods or other limitations on either the timing of services or the allocation of territories or markets or customers in any way. For example, MAC members cannot come to understandings, make agreements, or otherwise concur on positions or activities that are directed at fixing prices, fees, or reimbursement levels. Likewise, MAC members cannot collectively make agreements as to whether they will or will not enter into contracts with certain managed care plans. Even if no formal agreements are reached on such matters, discussions of prices, group boycotts, or market allocations followed by parallel conduct in the marketplace can lead to antitrust scrutiny or challenges. Members may, however, consult with each other and freely discuss the scientific and clinical aspects of the practice of medicine.

 

  1. MAC shall not undertake any activity that involves exchange or collection and dissemination among competitors of any information regarding prices, pricing methods, cost of services or labor, or sales or distribution without first obtaining the advice of legal counsel when questions arise as to the proper and lawful methods by which these activities may be pursued. For example, caution should be exercised in collecting data on usual and customary fees, managed care reimbursement levels, workforce statistics, and job market opportunities. While the mere collection of data on such matters is permissible if certain conditions are met, antitrust concerns may arise if the data become the basis for collective action.

Any violation of the antitrust policy will be brought to the attention of AVLS staff who will deal with it in a timely and appropriate manner. AVLS will consult with legal counsel when questions arise as to the manner in which the antitrust laws may apply to the activities of MAC.

In general, MAC activities and communications shall not include any discussion or action that may be construed as an attempt to: (1) raise, lower, or stabilize prices; (2) allocate markets or territories; (3) prevent any person or business entity from gaining access to any market or any customer for goods or services; (4) prevent or boycott any person or business entity, including managed care organizations or other third-party payors, from obtaining services freely in the market; (5) foster unfair trade practices; (6) assist in monopolization; or attempts to monopolize, or (7) in any way violate applicable federal or state antitrust laws and trade regulations. The actual purpose and intent of MAC’s policies and programs are important in this regard. They cannot be aimed at accomplishing anti-competitive objectives.

If you see what you believe is a violation of these rules in any of the MAC forums, please notify your community MAC Moderator by messaging them through the online platform.

The American Vein & Lymphatic Society thanks you for your contribution to MAC. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Godwin at agodwin@myavls.org.



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