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Our Impact

Our Impact

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Protecting the house of medicine is the Washington State Medical Association's specialty.

We are the largest medical professional association in the state at more than 11,000 physicians strong and we're growing. We represent all physicians, physician assistants, residents, and medical students, regardless of specialty or practice setting.

Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. We are stronger and more effective together. Read on for a look at our efforts in 2020. With your partnership, we'll do even more now and in the future.

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 2020.

Representing you

Keeping your voice front and center in the public eye.

40 news stories, 6 op-eds, 1 television and 3 radio interviews, and 13 public service announcements spotlighting the WSMA and the physician voice.

6 Excel Awards recognizing WSMA’s flagship publication, WSMA Reports, for design excellence, general excellence, magazine feature article, magazine opinion article, and magazine redesign.

Preparing you

Preparing you to meet the demands of an evolving health care environment.

More than 200 physicians and providers attended one or more of WSMA’s leadership development courses in the last 12 months. The WSMA Center for Leadership Development has nearly 1,000 total graduates.

Supporting you

Providing personal service and support to help you navigate daily practice challenges.

Addressed more than 300 questions from members around physician practice, legal, payment, and policy issues.

Expedited WSMA member license applications during Washington Medical Commission backlog.

Protecting You

How WSMA's advocacy before the Legislature, regulatory agencies, the courts, and others protected physicians, the profession, and patients in 2020.

WSMA prevented

  • Inappropriate scope expansion efforts by acupuncturists, psychologists, naturopaths, and pharmacists.
  • Problematic opioid bills.
  • Administratively burdensome requirements for health system reporting and reproductive health services.
  • “Qui tam” legislation that would have constituted a massive liability expansion.

WSMA successfully

  • Advocated to require insurance carriers to reimburse for telemedicine services at parity with in-person care.
  • Allowed physicians to be reimbursed for services while their insurance credentialing application is pending.
  • Directed a report on health insurance carriers' prior authorization practices.
  • Modernized physician assistant practice.
  • Successfully opposed dangerous scope of practice bills.
  • Secured funds for public health services, family planning services, safe medication return, and costs associated with reconciliation for rural health clinics.

In the legislative arena

Tracked or engaged with hundreds of the more than 3,400 bills that were in play during the 2020 legislative session.

In the regulatory arena

Tracked more than 245 rules and formally submitted comments on items of importance to medical practice.

In the political arena

95% of candidates supported in the last election cycle by WAMPAC, WSMA's nonpartisan campaign arm, won their elections.

The COVID-19 Crisis

The WSMA's advocacy had immediate impact during the pandemic. We successfully:
  • Advocated to ease state restrictions on non-urgent procedures and surgeries.
  • Advocated for financial relief to support physicians and practices, including direct financial support, advance Medicare payments, other insurer support, and much more.
  • Supported $200 million set aside for COVID-19 response by the Legislature.
  • Convened calls with Washington's congressional delegation to advocate for personal protective equipment, test kits, financial assistance, and liability protections.
  • Advocated for immediate implementation of telemedicine payment parity bill SB 5385 ahead of its scheduled 2021 effective date, among other measures to support transition to telemedicine.
  • Provided information to practices about how to tap into federal financial assistance programs.
  • Advocated to ease state restrictions on non-urgent procedures and surgeries.
  • Advocated for financial relief to support physicians and practices, including direct financial support, advance Medicare payments, other insurer support, and much more.
  • Supported $200 million set aside for COVID-19 response by the Legislature.
  • Convened calls with Washington's congressional delegation to advocate for personal protective equipment, test kits, financial assistance, and liability protections.
  • Advocated for immediate implementation of telemedicine payment parity bill SB 5385 ahead of its scheduled 2021 effective date, among other measures to support transition to telemedicine.
  • Provided information to practices about how to tap into federal financial assistance programs.

Driving Change

A look at how WSMA's initiatives created real change in the lives of physicians and patients in 2020.

Better Prescribing, Better Treatment

Promoting safe prescribing guidelines for patients on acute opioids.

49 hospitals, health systems, and medical groups enrolled, representing over 10,773 prescribers.

Achieved a 15% reduction in acute prescriptions above guidelines over the last 12 months (and a 40% reduction since early 2018).

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

Strengthening physician wellness and restoring the joy of medicine.

Supporting eight health care organizations, in partnership with the AMA and Physicians Foundation, to research the effectiveness of wellness interventions.

Continuing Medical Education

Ensuring CME presented by our accredited providers meets the highest standards.

WSMA was awarded Accreditation with Commendation by the ACCME.

WSMA and WSMA-accredited providers provided 800 CME activities, 61% of all CME activities in Washington state.

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest

Leading the region on advance care planning conversations.

Facilitators from over 42 health care organizations and 13 community groups held over 20,000 advance care planning conversations.

Join or renew your membership today!