The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) met in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 10-14. AANEM co-sponsored a resolution with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR) asking the AMA to oppose legislation amending the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as this legislation would increase barriers for disabled persons attempting to file suit to challenge a violation of their civil rights. After debate, the resolution was amended to include a directive to the AMA to also provide education to physicians about how they can make their offices more accessible to disabled patients. The resolution passed without objection. Other important issues reviewed included:
Effectively addressing the current opioid crisis while seeking to alleviate burdens for physicians who use e-prescribing;
Opposing harmful changes to Medicaid benefits and eligibility rules; and,
Working to ban prescription-drug “price gouging.”
In order to retain a seat at the AMA’s HOD, RUC, and CPT meetings, every 5 years, the AMA verifies that at least 20% of AANEM members are active AMA members. In 2017, the AANEM was found to be in compliance, with 24% of its members having an active AMA membership.
AANEM was represented at the meeting by William S. Pease, MD, delegate, and Enrica Arnaudo, MD, PhD, alternate delegate. The AANEM works closely with the delegations from the American Academy of Neurology and the AAPMR. Drs. Pease and Arnaudo also maintain close ties with their state delegations, Ohio and Delaware. Additionally, the AANEM participates in the Neurosciences Caucus, which consists of the specialty societies concerned with the nervous system.
During the opening session, AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, stressed the importance of physicians working together, as a team, to protect both the profession and the patients. He also focused on the many victories the AMA helped to secure this past year, including changes to MACRA/Quality Payment Program to ease regulatory burdens on physicians, lobbying efforts to stop insurance mega mergers, and encouraging Congress to find a bipartisan solution to health care reform.
The AANEM delegation is looking forward to the annual meeting of the HOD in June 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.