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Our Impact

By standing together, we’ve already affected notable change — read on for a look at our efforts in 2018. With your help, we’ll do even more now and in the future!

At the WSMA, we are united by a bold vision: Make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.

There is strength in numbers and power in a unified voice. More than 11,000 members strong, the WSMA is Washington’s premier physician professional association, representing physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students throughout the state, from all specialties and practice settings.

We spend every day working to position the profession, protect patients, raise the physician voice and improve the practice of medicine, so that you can focus on what matters most: your patients.

Serving You

How we represented the physician's voice to influencers, prepared medical professionals for changes coming to health care, and provided service and value in 2018.

Representing you

Keeping your voice front and center in the media and with influencers.

  • 35 news stories published spotlighting the WSMA and the physician voice.
  • 2 press releases, 1 press statement, 11 news stories and 2 op-eds published covering WSMA's efforts to solve the opioid crisis.
  • 4 op-eds from WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom published, covering physicians as economic drivers; rising drug costs; physician leadership; Medicaid reimbursement and practice viability.
  • 3 news stories, 1 press statement and 1 press event covering WSMA efforts to address gun violence.
  • 4 news stories and 1 press release highlighting WSMA's advance care planning efforts.

Preparing you

Guiding your success with value-based payment models.

  • More than 40 in-person presentations by WSMA leadership and staff.
  • Partnered with stakeholders to provide guidance on state and federal payment initiatives.
  • Provided four webinar based presentations on value-based care.

Supporting you

Providing service and value.

  • More than 200 hours of guidance on coding and general inquiries via the Physician Practice Helpline ($12,000 value).
  • 20 charts analyzed to ensure coding accuracy ($1,000 value).
  • 600+ hours of legal support ($225,000 value).
  • 135 members completed WSMA's 40-hour Physician Leadership Course ($378,000 value).

Protecting You

How WSMA's advocacy before the Legislature, regulatory agencies, the courts, and others protected physicians, the profession, and patients in 2018.

WSMA advocacy overview:

  • 89% success rate for WSMA's legislative advocacy.
  • 400 bills and budget items tracked during state legislative session.
  • 100+ members attended the WSMA Legislative Summit.
  • 97% of candidates supported in the last election cycle by WAMPAC (WSMA's nonpartisan campaign arm) won their campaigns.
  • 17 rulemaking proposals prepared and formal comments submitted.
  • 1 amicus ("friend of the court") brief filed (Reyes v. Yakima Health Dist et al), in which we advocated successfully for preserving expert witness standards in medical malpractice cases.
  • 20 requests for assistance with insurance claims processed, returning over $80,000 to those practices.

WSMA advocacy successfully:

  • Ensured that going forward, all counties in the state will have at least one commercial health insurance option available to consumers on the individual market.
  • Established a statewide drug take-back program to help reduce diversion of opioids and other drugs.
  • Ensured board certification cannot be considered a condition for state licensure or licensure renewal.
  • Ensured access to contraception and reproductive services.
  • Tracked more than 250 rules — a 22 percent increase since 2017.
  • Protected the physician community’s interests during the state’s implementation of the Clinical Data Repository.

WSMA advocacy prevented:

  • A prohibition of balance billing.
  • Legislation limiting opioid pill counts (placing a standard of care into state statute).
  • A check of the PMP on every opioid prescription.
  • Required prior authorization on all narcotic prescriptions in new Medicaid opioid prescribing policy.
  • A scope of practice expansion for naturopaths.

WSMA advocacy secured:

  • Nearly $14 million to increase Medicaid's primary care provider reimbursement rates for pediatric care and vaccine services, helping to improve access to care for Washington's most vulnerable population.
  • $6 million to increase Medicaid's reimbursement rate for medication-assisted treatment, to encourage more physicians and other providers to provide this critical service to patients suffering from opioid use disorder.
  • $160,000 for staffing to help coordinate the integration of the state's prescription monitoring program into electronic health records.
  • $1.2 million to support the UW TelePain program's provider clinical phone consults, a resource for community clinicians who treat patients with chronic pain (WSMA and WSHA Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force recommendation).
  • $4.7 million for student loan repayment for health professionals.
  • $8 million continued funding for medical education/residencies.

Driving Change

A look at how WSMA's initiatives created real change in the lives of physicians and patients in 2018.

WSMA-WSHA Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force

Providing clinician-driven solutions to help end the opioid epidemic.

  • Submitted 10 comment letters detailing specific physician concerns on state opioid prescribing rules.
  • Reduced non-compliant acute prescriptions to Apple Health patients by 65 percent through our Washington Opioid Reports.
  • Pilot tested an overdose notification system on the Olympic Peninsula with plans to go statewide in 2019.

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

Reducing administrative red tape and increasing physician satisfaction.

  • Launched WSMA Prior Authorization Navigator to help you understand new rules that went into effect Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Prohibited the state from requiring board certification as a condition of licensure.

Choosing Wisely®

Encouraging conversations with patients and clinicians about appropriate care.

  • Launched "Drop the Pre-op" campaign to promote the message that all patients need pre-op evaluation, but a low-risk patient having a low-risk procedure does not need pre-op testing.

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest

Leading the region on advance care planning conversations.

  • 51 teams from 30 health care and community organizations conducted more than 3,400 ACP conversations to date, with health care agents present at 61% of those conversations (gold standard). 40% of participants returned a completed advance directive, a 66% increase over the state baseline of 24%.
  • $5.5+ million raised of an $8 million fundraising goal.

Join or renew your membership today