June 19, 2019

Councillor's Corner

By John R. Corker, MD – YPS Councilor, and Ben Karfunkle, MD – YPS Alternate Councilor

June has been a busy month in the policy and advocacy world, and things are only going to ramp up from here as we begin to focus on our upcoming ACEP Council Meeting in October in Denver!
Recently, ACEP President Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on the issue of out-of-network (OON) billing. Dr. Friedman’s testimony focused on the framework ACEP created, the unique nature of the care provided in the nation’s emergency departments, and urging Congress to use an independent dispute resolution model to determine reimbursement rates when there is a dispute between physicians and insurers. You can see a video of the committee meeting
There have been a number of bills introduced in both the Senate and the House over the last month. Congressmen Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Phil Roe’s (R-TN) bipartisan proposal, entitled “Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act” most closely resembles ACEP’s proposed framework.  Stay tuned for ACEP advocacy communications to see how you can help communicate with our elected officials regarding this important bill.
Meanwhile, our other main priority at the recent Legislative and Advocacy Conference (LAC) – mental health legislation – unfortunately lags behind our current goals for co-sponsorship. Our sources are telling us that this important legislation will likely have to take a backseat until the fall, as most members’ offices are solely focused on the OON billing issue at the moment.
The American Medical Association (AMA) held its annual meeting in Chicago this month. EM physicians took leadership positions in both the Young Physicians’ and Residents and Fellows Sections, while the AMA at large inaugurated Dr. Patrice Harris as president of the organization. This is the first time that the immediate past president, current president, and president-elect of the AMA have all been women! The AMA’s House of Delegates - their deliberative body - took new stances on a huge range of topics. They’ve expanded their efforts to protect the public against vaccine-preventable disease, to spread evidence-based practices for safe discharge of homeless patients, and to tackle physician burnout and suicide with a large study of the issue. Our very own Dr. Corker put forth a resolution through their YPS allowing mature minors to consent for vaccinations that was passed by affirmation at this meeting as well! For more highlights, visit the AMA’s press release page. 
So, now we turn our attention toward our ACEP Council Meeting in October in Denver! This will be a fantastic opportunity for your voices to be heard through the resolutions you put forward to the ACEP Council. We will be representing you and advocating on behalf of your passions, so please come forward with your ideas on how to improve our EDs and our health system! For more information on the resolution writing process and deadlines, please visit this dedicated page. The resolution deadline is fast approaching at the end of July.
We are planning to organize a video chat/conference call where interested resolution authors can bounce their ideas off of us, and we can help you transform them into resolutions. Please stay tuned for another communication soon with further details! In order to be officially supported by our Young Physicians’ Section (YPS), these resolutions will need to be submitted to us for review at least two weeks prior to the formal submission date. Now is the time to get started! If you already have ideas for a resolution, you’re welcome to email us now and get the process started.
Please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions, and we look forward to being in touch soon!

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