Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) physician leaders met on Feb. 6 in Harrisburg, Pa. to address current issues affecting health care in the commonwealth.
During the meeting, the Board of Trustees set PAMED’s legislative priorities for 2019. PAMED’s Board of Trustees has approved the following issues as equal priorities for 2019:
- Scope of Practice – Each year, non-physician health care professionals lobby lawmakers and regulatory boards to expand their scope of practice. PAMED advocates for team-based care within a physician-led team, and we will oppose bills that would allow non-physician health care professionals in the state to practice independently.
- Prior Authorization – PAMED will support legislation that would streamline the prior authorization in order to curb patient care delays and ease physician burdens. Learn more about how prior authorization delays hurt Pennsylvania physicians and patients at www.pamedsoc.org/priorauth.
- Maintenance of Certification (MOC) – Many physicians feel that MOC has become a time-consuming and expensive process that is out of touch with the current practice of medicine. PAMED is committed to and will continue to advocate for practical, evidence-based, and affordable life-long learning. Get MOC updates at www.pamedsoc.org/MOC.
- Narrow Networks/Any Willing Provider and Out-of-Network Billing – Patient protections from “surprise” and other out-of-network health care billings should begin by addressing the root cause of the problem—tiered and narrow health insurance provider networks as well as a lack of insurance product transparency.
- Physician Wellness – The problem of burnout and caregiver fatigue among physicians is real and immediate. According to the American Medical Association, the administrative burden of modern medicine is a root cause of physician burnout. PAMED will advocate for legislation that reduce burdensome administrative requirements so that physicians can get back to the Art of Medicine and caring for patients.
The Board’s decision was informed by the results of a survey PAMED conducted in December 2018 in order to determine which advocacy issues are of greatest importance to practicing physicians in Pennsylvania. The survey was emailed to nearly 23,000 member and non-member physicians, and we received 1,926 responses.
PAMED will continue to address additional advocacy issues affecting Pennsylvania physicians and patients as these issues arise. One such example of an emerging issue is the recent proposal by Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee that would allow medical liability lawsuits to take place outside of the county where the alleged malpractice occurred. If passed, this change would allow attorneys to cherry-pick venues, resulting in more lawsuits and higher premiums for all physicians. This WILL critically affect the bond between physician and patient.
The venue rule proposal is also a current priority for PAMED. We will continue our strong advocacy efforts to oppose it, in cooperation with our coalition of 40 organizations, including the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform.
Learn more about the proposed venue rule and share your opposition to the proposal at www.pamedsoc.org/venuerule.
PAMED’s Board of Trustees will meet next on April 30-May 1, 2019 in Harrisburg. You can find out more about PAMED’s Board, including minutes from previous meetings, at www.pamedsoc.org/board.