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2021 House of Delegates Wrap Up

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2021

On October 30, the Pennsylvania Medical Society held its 2021 House of Delegates (HOD) meeting virtually due to pandemic caution. While some may have missed the camaraderie of past in-person meetings, the teamwork of our Speakers and staff and the flexibility of our delegates, the meeting was held successfully. In fact, the HOD survey results told us most attendees enjoyed the virtual platform and thought it was handled efficiently.

Delegates had a healthy and productive debate on many of the issues that face health care today. Here is a look at some of the resolutions that delegates either adopted or directed to PAMED's Board for decision or further study. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. Information on all the resolutions addressed at the 2021 HOD will soon be available online at www.pamedsoc.org/HOD.

Advocacy for Syringe Service Programs in Pennsylvania 
PAMED supports advocacy for syringe service programs across the Commonwealth. Delegates voted to support the legalization and public funding of syringe service programs and harm reduction programs throughout Pennsylvania.

Promotion of Sexual Orientation in EMR and Intake Forms
PAMED supports as appropriate, the introduction and collection of gender identity, sexual orientation, chosen pronouns, and chosen names in the EMR, personal health records, and intake forms, insurance, and legal documents. PAMED will also identify available LGBTQ-focused cultural competency educational resources for members addressing the collection and use of sexual orientation and gender identity data in a confidential, sensitive, and respectful manner.

Remove PAMED Opposition to Single-Payer Health Care
Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) amended current policy 165.997 Managed Competition to remove language opposing single-payer systems.

Expanding Access to Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
PAMED will support efforts to eliminate the requirement for physicians to obtain a waiver while continuing training requirements to prescribe and administer buprenorphine for the purpose of treatment of opioid use disorder. Additionally, PAMED is directed to support the elimination of the yearly patient cap on the number of patients one provider can prescribe buprenorphine to in the emergency room setting. Lastly, PAMED will support ACGME expanded residency training opportunities on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in the acute outpatient setting.

Medical Use on Psilocybin in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth
Delegates voted in favor of PAMED supporting the revaluation of psilocybin’s status as federal Schedule I controlled substance and further directed PAMED to support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in implementing administrative procedures to facilitate grant applications and the conduct of clinical research into other medical utilities of psilocybin.

PAMED Support for Women’s Reproductive Health
Delegates voted to have PAMED acknowledge support of women’s reproductive health and role of physicians in providing said care. More specifically, delegates directed PAMED to support decision-making with respect to reproductive rights and education so that women fully understand both the physical and psychological effects of their decisions in their reproductive health. PAMED has been directed to oppose legislative measures which interfere with medical decision making or deny full reproductive choice, including abortion, based on a patient’s dependence on government funding. Delegates also voted to reaffirm exiting PAMED policies protecting the physician/patient relationship and supporting comprehensive health coverage.

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