Colorado physicians travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators, get updates on national health care issues

by Kate Alfano, CMS Communications Coordinator

The American Medical Association (AMA) National Advocacy Conference was held Feb. 12-14, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and brought together physicians from around the country, industry experts, political insiders and members of Congress to discuss the latest health care issues. Colorado had a strong showing, with most areas of the state represented by their respective physicians, and these physician delegates had the opportunity to meet with all members of the Colorado congressional delegation or their key health policy staff.

During the group-session portion of the conference, AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, and senior advocacy staff unveiled the 2018 advocacy agenda:

  • Protect and expand access to coverage to help patients live longer and with a higher quality of life.
  • Reform Medicare physician payment systems to provide better support for coordinated, high-value care.
  • Modernize state laws regarding the adoption of telemedicine and ensure physicians are paid for this kind of care delivery.
  • Encourage transparency in pharmaceutical pricing through our TruthinRx campaign.
  • Address short-sighted insurer policies that undercut physicians’ ability to practice medicine and create waste in the system.
  • End the opioid epidemic by eliminating prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment, working with payers to remove barriers to multidisciplinary pain care, and more.
  • Target the inefficient, opaque prior-authorization policies that cost physician practices time and money, delay treatments and may harm patient outcomes.
  • Eliminate and streamline the many federal regulations that contribute to doctors spending two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they spend with patients.
  • Protect patient well-being that is threatened when health care practitioners are allowed to practice beyond their education, training or experience.

Keynote speakers included Erik Wahl, an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker and No. 1 bestselling author, and Chris Wallace, an award-winning journalist and host of Fox News Sunday. Attendees also heard from Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) – cofounders of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group in Congress that includes approximately 40 members from both parties who are committed to forging bipartisan solutions.

Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director and chief medical officer of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, provided an overview of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Year 2 and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). The federal CMS is working on developing more advanced APMs. The agency has also made efforts to simplify the data submission portal for MIPS by giving immediate feedback to users and allowing multiple opportunities to submit data.

Interested in federal advocacy? Save the date for the 2019 AMA National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 11-13, 2019, and contact your component society staff or CMS’s Dianna Fetter at dianna_fetter@cms.org for opportunities to attend on behalf of your region.


Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, Resources, Initiatives, Advocacy, AMA