MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Orlee Panitch, MD, FACEP
Welcome to the new and improved website of the Emergency Medicine Action Fund (EMAF)! I am so excited that we will have a centralized location to make information and resources regarding EMAF activities easily accessible for EMAF members and interested stakeholders. We endeavor to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information and share our knowledge and expertise as we navigate the regulatory landscape.
As you know, following passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), leaders in emergency medicine quickly convened to explore new and enhanced opportunities to influence ongoing health care reform efforts. While working with legislators will remain a top priority, this coalition of organizations and individuals is dedicated to improving the state of emergency medicine agreed that many of today's issues would need to be addressed by working directly with the federal regulatory agencies responsible for implementing the health care reform law.
Through the development of regulations, generally referred to as the "rulemaking" process, federal agencies issue requirements that can apply to individuals, businesses, or others. Stakeholder input, such as that from emergency physicians, is critical to ensure federal regulations will not have an adverse impact on health, welfare, and safety.
With an improved understanding of how Congress enables federal agencies to issue regulations, how regulations are developed and made available for review and comment, and how emergency medicine can influence the rulemaking process at every stage, EMAF continues to invest heavily in regulatory advocacy.
Experts in health care regulation from Health Policy Alternatives and Hart Health Strategies, Inc., along with a dedicated team of staff from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), are working with EMAF leadership to address a host of challenges facing emergency medicine physicians in the current health care environment. Key areas of focus include:
§ Medicaid Claims and Managed Care Contractors
§ Care Management provide by EM Physicians
§ Out-of-Network Payments (Greatest of Three)
§ Performance and “Value-Driven” Health Care Payment and Delivery Models
§ Graduate Medical Education (GME)
This spring, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will release a proposed rule that will outline new physician payment programs established under the Medicare Access and CHIP; the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and physician-focused alternative payment models (APMs). The proposal is also expected to address ongoing challenges with the “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHR) systems with an emphasis on interoperability. To inform the implementation of these programs, CMS has sought feedback through multiple pre-rulemaking processes on the several aspects of its existing and pending quality improvement initiatives. Through a collaborative effort between EMAF leaders, consultants and ACEP staff, emergency medicine weighed in with thoughtful and substantive comments.
Working out of the ACEP DC offices, Orit Sager, EMAF Executive Coordinator, continues to support our efforts, to include handling the day-to-day administrative aspects of EMAF, organizing the monthly EMAF conference calls and face-to-face meetings with our consultants, as well as planning for our bi-annual EMAF Board of Governors (BoG) meetings. Orit can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
As always, please contact me if you have ideas to improve the work we are doing on your behalf!
Contribute to the EM Action Fund™ and help us impact regulatory change.
Designed to allow our specialty to speak with one voice and one message, delivered by one team of physician leaders, consultants, lobbyists, attorneys, and staffers, the Emergency Medicine Action Fund® represents unsurpassed value no individual group or organization could obtain on its own.
To effect a meaningful change, emergency medicine needs more than a single champion. It needs a collective body like the EM Action Fund that can pool limited resources and become a compelling force that can impact the emergency medicine practice environment.