The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) met in Atlanta, GA on November 14-17, 2015, for its interim meeting. Important issues reviewed by the HOD included: opposition to health insurance company consolidation, addressing rising price of pharmaceuticals, banning ads for prescription drugs, addressing opioid abuse with abuse-deterrent medicines, and continued discussion of the modernization of the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics.
AANEM testified in support of two resolutions brought forth by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:
Resolution 816: Protect Medicare Beneficiary Access to Complex Rehabilitation Wheelchairs. This resolution asked the AMA to “strongly encourage CMS to refrain from implementing policies on January 1, 2016 that would curtail access to complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) wheelchairs and accessories by applying competitively bid prices to those specialized devices; and in the event that CMS does not refrain from implementing policies limiting access to CRT wheelchairs, asked that our AMA encourage Congress to support legislation (e.g. H.R. 3229) that would provide a technical correction to federal law to clarify that CMS cannot apply Medicare competitive bidding pricing to CRT wheelchairs.” It was adopted.
Resolution 818: Oppose Local Coverage Determination for Lower Limb Prostheses. This resolution asked the AMA to “oppose local coverage determinations on lower limb prostheses that undermine physician judgment and compromise patient access . . . “ and asked the AMA to “request that CMS expeditiously host a national meeting open to all interested parties to focus on appropriate standards for lower limb prostheses that optimize patient care.” The substitute resolution was adopted.
AANEM was represented at the meeting by Bill 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 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Drs. Pease and Arnaudo also maintain close ties with their state delegations, Ohio and Delaware. The AANEM also participates in the Neurosciences Caucus, which consists of the Specialty Societies concerned with the nervous system.
The AANEM delegation is looking forward to the Annual meeting of the HOD this coming June in Chicago, IL.