Highlights from the May 5 PAMED Board of Trustees Meeting

Last Updated: May 6, 2021

The Pennsylvania Medical Society Board of Trustees met virtually on May 5, 2021. Here is a brief recap.

New Trustee Appointment

T. Clark Simpson, MD, was appointed to the PAMED Board to fill the vacancy of Ninth District Trustee after the retirement of Mark Piasio, MD, from the Board. Dr. Simpson is the Director of Acute Care Services at Punxsutawney Area Hospital in Punxsutawney, Pa.

PAMED welcomes Dr. Simpson to its Board, and thanks Dr. Piasio for his years of service.

Legislative & Regulatory Update

David Thompson, PAMED’s Senior Director of Government Relations, gave a legislative update.

A regulatory update also was provided by Andrew Harvan, PAMED’s Assistant Legal Counsel.

Regionalization

PAMED’s Regionalization Task Force provided a report to the PAMED Board. The Board discussed several issues brought up by the Task Force, and took the follow actions:

  • The Board will forward to the PAMED Bylaws Committee the proposal of a bylaws amendment that would provide a path for a new component society in the case that two or more groups merge to create a new entity.

  • Starting with the 2022 membership cycle, PAMED will ask all students and residents to actively renew by confirming all pertinent information and providing updates on data such as their projected residency end year. These two categories are the only members not currently asked to renew.

Hazard Pay for Essential Health Care Workers

  • This issue was sent to the PAMED Board for decision by the 2020 House of Delegates (HOD) via Resolution 20-301.

  • Given that there is a greater likelihood that hazard pay for essential health care workers during a pandemic will garner more attention at the national level than the state level, the Board decided that the best avenue is for the PA Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) to introduce this issue as a resolution at the AMA’s 2021 Annual Meeting.

Exclusive Contracting

  • This issue was sent to the PAMED Board for decision by the 2020 HOD via Resolution 20-404.

  • The Board decided that PAMED should seek the introduction of legislation that would prohibit, to the degree possible, the practice of closed hospital medical staffs as a result of exclusive contracting. It also recognizes that any proposed legislation should include provisions that establish uniform standards for physician due process when denial of medical staff appointments, as well as the denial of reappointments or the curtailment, suspension, or revocation of medical staff privileges is executed.

Employment of Residency/Fellowship Grads During the Pandemic

  • This issue was sent to the PAMED Board for decision by the 2020 HOD via Resolution 20-501.

  • In regard to this resolution, PAMED will:

    • Support residency and fellowship graduates by publishing the following statement: “The Pennsylvania Medical Society applauds the strength of our medical students and residents as they continue to train amidst a pandemic. As job insecurity looms for our highly trained physicians, PAMED encourages lawmakers and regulatory bodies to fully support the upcoming generation of health care providers by providing programs that help place new physicians in jobs while working to forgive extensive debt incurred during training.”

    • Send a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommending that receiving hospitals be eligible for additional direct GME and IME payments to train graduating residents and fellows for an additional year to aid opportunities to bolster their search for employment.

    • Send a letter to members of the General Assembly requesting a funding increase for Pennsylvania’s student loan forgiveness program. However, it was noted that expectations must be tempered with the understanding that, due to the significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing any budget line item within the state’s budget will be a significant challenge.

Assistant Physicians

  • This issue was sent to the PAMED Board for study by the 2020 HOD via Resolution 20-408.

  • The resolution asked PAMED to seek legislation to allow for the licensing of medical school graduates without residency training to provide care in underserved areas while under the supervision of a residency trained physician.

  • At its February 3, 2021 meeting, the PAMED Board formed a subcommittee to further study this issue, and report back to full Board.

  • Given PAMED’s unwavering position on scope of practice, even with providers who already practice independently, it was determined that PAMED’s support for the creation of a special license for medical students to practice medicine as suggested in this resolution could be detrimental to our continued efforts on other scope of practice proposals.

  • In lieu of supporting an alternative practice model for unmatched medical students, the PAMED Board is recommending to the HOD that PAMED lead the effort, through the AMA and with our state’s congressional delegation, to increase Federal funding to expand current residency programs, which would not only benefit those medical students who are unable to successfully “match,” but also help alleviate a recognized physician shortage across the country.

The next PAMED Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Aug. 11, 2021.

1 comment

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  1. Stephanie Mackey | May 08, 2021
    I am not sure why resident physicians need to have loan forgiveness just because of Covid.  They should be able to get jobs in spite of the pandemic, and in your assistant physician section you even comment on the physician shortage!  Unless this refers to expanding the FQHC type program.

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