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Prior Authorization, Health Care Reform, Drug Costs, and More at AMA National Advocacy Conference

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Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) physician leaders attended the National Advocacy Conference (NAC) hosted by the American Medical Association (AMA) in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 27-March 1, 2017.

The NAC offers physician leaders and key state medical society staff a high-quality program of speakers who provide a perspective on health policy issues from inside the Beltway. It also encourages Capitol Hill visits with members of the congressional delegation from each state. 

AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD, a PAMED member from Altoona, Pa. opened the program on Monday as part of an AMA leadership view of the Washington scene on health care reform.

NAC attendees heard a politically balanced roster of congressional leaders give their insight on issues ranging from health system reform, efforts to address the opioid crisis, professional liability reform, pharmaceutical drug cost transparency, the need to increase Medicare residency slots, to the impact of immigration restrictions. U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA-15th District) spoke at the conference.

Pa. Physicians Meet with Legislators

PAMED leaders met with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) during their Tuesday Hill visits and discussed the wide spectrum of challenges that physicians face in their practices. In Sen. Casey's (D-PA) office, the group met with the senator's senior policy advisor.

On the U.S. House side, visits were held with Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA-2nd District), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA-3rd District), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA-7th District), Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA-12th District), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13th District), as well as senior staff from several other Pennsylvania Congressional offices.

Reducing prior authorization burdens and stopping the Independent Payment Advisory Board (S. 251, S. 260, and H.R. 849) were also among the priority federal legislative issues that were discussed by NAC program speakers and in Capitol Hill meetings.

PAMED Members at the NAC

Peter Lund, MD, the chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service, moderated the panel discussion on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the program. Dr. Lund is a past president of PAMED. 

Other PAMED member physicians in attendance included PAMED President Charles Cutler, MD; PAMED Immediate Past President Scott Shapiro, MD; PAMED Vice President Theodore Christopher, MD; PAMED Past President Marilyn Heine, MD; Jaan Sidorov, MD; PAMED Past President James Goodyear, MD; John Williams, MD; Carl Sirio, MD; Stephen Permut, MD; and Michael Suk, MD.

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