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Our Impact

By standing together, the members of the WSMA have already affected notable change. Read on to learn how we impacted medicine in 2017. With your help, we’ll do even more in 2018!

Vision, Impact, Influence

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. Almost 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 nearly 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.

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

  • 10 Principles for Health Care Reform developed and shared with members of Congress and others as federal attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act got underway.
  • 5 press statements and 1 op-ed published in response to efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.
  • 4 op-eds published, covering rising drug costs; professionalism in medicine; mergers and access to care; and physician leadership.
  • 34 news stories published spotlighting the WSMA and the physician voice.

Preparing you: Helping you transition to value-based care.

  • 10 presentations given.
  • Partnered with Qualis Health and other stakeholders to provide guidance on the transition to MACRA’s payment pathways.

Supporting you: Providing service and value.

  • 100 charts analyzed to ensure coding accuracy ($6,000 value).
  • 230 coding and general inquiries ($8,000 value).
  • 100+ hours of education provided ($20,000 value).
  • 660 hours of legal support ($231,000 value).
  • 100+ members completed WSMA’s 40-hour Physician Leadership Course ($280,000 value).

Protecting You

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

  • 91% success rate for WSMA’s legislative advocacy.
  • 213 bills and budget items tracked during state legislative session.
  • 90+ members attended the WSMA Legislative Summit.
  • 97% of candidates supported by WAMPAC (WSMA’s nonpartisan campaign arm) won their campaigns for terms starting in January 2017.
  • 15+ official comments submitted on state and federal rulemaking.
  • 2 amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs filed.
  • 20 requests for assistance with insurance claims processed, returning over $80,000 to those practices.

WSMA Advocacy Successfully:

  • Directed the prescription monitoring program to create an overdose feedback system and provide data to clinicians to support appropriate opiate prescribing.
  • Clarified that telemedicine services qualify for reimbursement no matter where the patient is located.
  • Authorized Washington to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, enabling expedited multi-state licensing.
  • Streamlined prior authorization of medical services, establishing uniform timeframes and more.
  • Reduced the impact of suicide prevention CME requirement, allowing exceptions for physicians who have no, or limited, patient contact.
  • Protected the established burden of proof in medical malpractice cases (Dunnington v. VMMC, the Washington Supreme Court).
  • Maintained that only physicians may testify about a standard of care in a medical negligence lawsuit (Frausto v. Yakima HMA LLC, the Washington Supreme Court).
  • Protected the physician community’s interests during the state’s implementation of the Clinical Data Repository.

WSMA Advocacy Prevented:

  • A prohibition of balance billing.
  • A 20% business and occupation (B&O) tax increase impacting physician services.
  • Legislation limiting opioid pill counts (placing a standard of care into state statute).
  • Mandated annual CME on opioid prescribing.
  • Required prior authorization on all narcotic prescriptions in new Medicaid opioid prescribing policy.
  • A scope of practice expansion for naturopaths.

WSMA ADVOCACY SECURED:

  • $1.39 million for enhancements to the prescription monitoring program.
  • $1.2 million for the University of Washington TelePain program.
  • $12 million to support the state’s public health system.
  • $140,000 to study the effects of the Washington Supreme Court’s Volk v. DeMeerleer decision.
  • $100 million to invest in the state’s mental/behavioral health infrastructure.
  • $4.7 million for student loan repayment for health professionals.

Driving Change

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

WSMA-WSHA Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force: Providing clinician-driven solutions to help end the opioid epidemic.

  • Supported clinicians’ ability to identify and help prevent drug abuse and overdose by leveraging data in the prescription monitoring program.
  • Secured funding for UW TelePain program and UW Pain & Opioid Hotline.
  • Negotiated an exemption in new Medicaid opioid prescribing policy allowing physicians to exercise clinical judgement and avoid unnecessary paperwork.

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients: Reducing administrative red tape and increasing physician satisfaction.

  • Streamlined prior authorization of medical services.
  • Expedited multi-state licensing.
  • Reduced paperwork for DSHS behavioral health services.

Choosing Wisely®: Opening conversations with patients and clinicians about appropriate care.

  • Introduced clinical toolkit for primary, specialty and urgent care settings and school-based clinics.
  • Shared learnings and resources through April webinar and October summit.

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest: Leading the region on advance care planning conversations.

  • 47 teams from 26 health care organizations conducted nearly 1,000 ACP conversations to date, with health care agents present at 46% of those conversations (gold standard). 35% of participants returned a completed advance directive, a 46% increase over the state baseline of 24%.
  • $5+ million raised of an $8 million fundraising goal.

Join the WSMA today