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.
We need your help. As you likely know, the Emergency Medicine Action Fund (EMAF) was established in 2011 to coordinate federal regulatory, advocacy, and legal strategies across the specialty and the industry, making use of large-scale resources through pooled funding sources that have made ALL of us more effective as changes in health care financing and delivery continue. Since its inception, the EMAF has helped to advance the needs of emergency medicine by addressing crucial federal regulatory issues, especially those that were issued under the Affordable Care Act, and has also focused on many other important issues and challenges to the profession, some at the state level, some involving litigation at the federal level, and others involving sophisticated policy analysis and public affairs/advocacy strategies.
You can find a detailed description of such accomplishments here – but there is more work to be done. We ask that you join us in fighting for the future of emergency medicine with a contribution.
The EMAF provides a unified and influential voice to define how emergency physicians practice. As we prepare to move into the second half of the Trump Administration and the beginning of the 116th Congress, we anticipate an active year at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming midterm Congressional election, we could also see renewed efforts to change the laws governing access to emergency care, and reactive efforts by the Administration to preserve its current strategy. It is important that EMAF supporters maintain their involvement in this effort by again, contributing to the Fund to support our ongoing and planned advocacy activities.
Below is just a sampling of activities that EMAF will be supporting in the coming year:
1. Fund a public affairs campaign to change perception of emergency care by the public and lawmakers – the campaign will be centered around development and publication of scholarly thought leadership pieces by trusted policy experts that emphasize its value.
2. Support enforcement of prudent layperson standards and fight back through PR, advocacy, legal, and regulatory tactics against efforts by private insurers like Anthem to erode it with new policies that aim at scaring patients away from seeking emergency care; counter the effects of the proliferation of state Medicaid MCO non-emergent screening programs.
3. Identify and evaluate policies and programs that reflect the administration’s health policy themes and messaging (e.g. reduction of administrative burdens, provider price transparency requirements, continued weakening of insurance rules and coverage requirements, and Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver Programs such as Healthy-Indiana 2.0). Further strengthen the relationship with HHS Secretary Alex Azar, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, and CMS administrator Seema Verma.
4. Continue to support access to emergency medical services as a covered essential health benefit for any insurance plan in a post-ACA replacement environment. In doing so, we seek to ensure that fair coverage and payment standards are protected, particularly in instances where emergency care is delivered out-of-network.
5. Promote and fund efforts related to MACRA driven payer/population-based views of EM’s role in optimizing hospital care, including development of MIPS quality and practice improvement measures.
6. Continue to fund the ACEP Alternative Payment Model (APM) Task Force’s development of models that enable emergency physicians to play a leading role in the APM track of the MACRA program.
7. Fund research to support ACEP efforts to ensure fair and accurate valuation of emergency services codes.
8. Fund specifically documented requests to assist ACEP State Chapters and/or other EMAF stakeholder and coalition efforts in implementing constructive state legislation on fair and transparent benefit coverage, network adequacy, and fair OON payment standards; block deleterious efforts related to restrictive balance billing prohibitions built on payer driven efforts to implement unreasonable OON reimbursement standards; support coalition efforts in securing minimum benefit standards in accordance with appropriate physician charge based database benchmarking tools and standards (e.g., FairHealth)
9. Continue to fund research to assess EM claims and payment data in select states that have implemented balance billing prohibitions or other alternative dispute mechanisms.
10. Continue financial support for retained consultants and legal counsel as identified to monitor and advise EMAF and ACEP on federal regulatory issues impacting acute care and develop advocacy strategies to address them. Engage with them on special projects as determined by EMAF Board of Governors.
The Emergency Medicine Action Fund accepts contributions of all sizes from anyone interested in supporting its efforts to advance emergency medicine. Individuals, chapters, sections and others are encouraged to combine their resources to form a coalition that could be eligible to have representation on the Action Fund’s Board of Governors.
The EMAF Board of Directors has established the following contributions levels for all eligible EMAF members:
Note that many small-to-mid sized groups have found a way to leverage their contributions by forming coalitions that result in a seat on the Action Fund Board of Governors.
Aron P. Goldfeld, JD