AANEM Attends AMA House of Delegates Meeting

Published July 06, 2023


The AMA’s House of Delegates (HOD) convened in Chicago, Illinois for its annual meeting in mid-June. The meeting ran for four and a half days, in addition to caucus meetings throughout the 2-3 weeks leading up to it. The meeting covered a wide range of important, timely topics currently affecting health care in the U.S. A significant emphasis was placed on the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.

AANEM was represented at the meeting by delegate Bill Pease, MD, alternate delegate Bill David, MD, PhD, young physician delegate Dan Pierce, MD, and Rachel Volbrecht, JD, staff liaison. The AANEM works closely with the delegations from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR). Drs. Pease, David, and Pierce also maintain close ties with their state and regional delegations. The AANEM participates in the Neurosciences Caucus, which consists of the specialty societies concerned with the nervous system, and the Specialty and Service Society Caucus.

AANEM co-sponsored two resolutions with AAPM&R. The first resolution related to wheelchair use on airplanes and the second to wheelchair repairs. The resolutions had widespread support throughout the House and were passed, with friendly amendments, and directed the AMA to:

  • Advocate to Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and other relevant parties to ensure accessibility accommodations for wheelchair users during air travel. The resolution specifically calls for modifications to aircraft that would allow passengers who rely solely on wheelchairs for mobility to safely travel while remaining in their personal wheelchairs throughout the flight, as well as during boarding and disembarkation processes.
  • Support health insurance coverage that removes barriers for patients to obtain wheelchair repairs by ensuring that repairs and services for both power and manual wheelchairs are safe, affordable, timely, and promote mobility and independence for users. The resolution calls for the elimination of unnecessary paperwork and prior authorization requirements for basic repairs, including proof of continuous needs. The resolution further encourages payers to cover temporary rentals, preventative maintenance, and transportation to and from the patient’s home and urges supplies of wheelchairs to service the wheelchairs they provide to patients and allow consumers to perform simple self-repairs and access necessary parts.

The HOD tackled a number of other important and timely health policy issues, including Medicare physician payment, prior authorization, scope of practice, and telehealth, all of which are pillars of the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians. The AMA website contains a detailed list of all of the major topics covered during the session.

The HOD will reconvene for its Interim Meeting in November 2023 in National Harbor, MD.