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weekly_rounds_september_16_2019_five_things_to_know_while_prepping_for_seahawks_seasonWeekly Rounds: September 16, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Prepping for Seahawks SeasonLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_september_16_2019_five_things_to_know_while_prepping_for_seahawks_season<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>September 16, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Prepping for Seahawks Season</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> I'm beginning to appreciate the demands of a grueling travel schedule. While my travels are nothing like those of an NFL team, it sure has been busy lately. Over the past three weeks, I've traveled to Spokane, Vancouver, and Bellingham with our <a href="">WSMA Road Trips</a>, designed to connect with our members face to face. As always, it was great to connect in person with the people who make the WSMA what it is! </p> <p> At the moment, I'm on the East Coast. I'm at The Heller School at Brandeis University to participate in an annual Physicians Foundation leadership program, to be followed by a trip to North Carolina with several WSMA members and their dyad partners to work on physician wellness (see below). And when I return to Washington, I'll be meeting with physician and medical group leaders throughout the state, sharing WSMA's 2020 agenda, learning what's on their priority list, and hopefully, gaining their commitment for a group investment in WSMA membership. </p> <p> We are a member-driven organization and as such, we focus our resources on areas where we can help improve your professional development and the practice of medicine in Washington state. We believe this will lead us to our vision of making Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. Here are some of the areas where we are focusing our attention. </p> <h3>Working on physician wellness</h3> <p> As part of our work to test practice interventions that could improve wellness, I'll be heading to Charlotte, NC, this week along with our eight grantee organizations for the American Conference on Physician Health. The <a href="">WSMA and our pilot practices are seeking to drive improvements through the Practice Transformation Initiative being led by the AMA with support from the Physicians Foundation</a>. Our groups will work with national experts to identify solutions and share best practices for improving the clinician experience and meaningful change at the practice level. Check out the <a href="">September/October edition of WSMA Reports</a> to learn more. </p> <h3>Opposing B&O tax increase</h3> <p> We are as distressed by the 20 percent surcharge on business and occupation taxes as are the businesses—and physicians—impacted by it. We are aggressively opposed to the surcharge, which impacted independent physician practices and clinics. I realize it's small comfort to know that the tax could have been much higher—an increase of 67 percent was originally proposed. While the legislature reduced the impact to a 20 percent tax hike, it's still a significant financial burden for independent physicians and practices. </p> <p> Rest assured, the WSMA has not given up. We will continue to vehemently oppose this surcharge and intend to use the interim to build momentum to overturn the surcharge in the 2020 session. It will take a village to get that done, so we will need your help to make it happen. We are asking you to keep the pressure on local legislators by meeting with them now to express the impact this tax will have on your practice and on access to care for patients in our communities. Nothing moves legislators more than personal stories of how the ripple effect of their actions impacts your business and the lives of your patients. <a href="">Talking points can be found here</a>. If you are unsure how to connect with your local legislator, contact Alex Wehinger at <a href=""></a>. </p> <h3>Raising the physician voice…and PAC funds</h3> <p> In many ways, the state Legislature wasn't friendly to physician interests in the 2019 legislative session. This must change in 2020. One way we can make that happen is through WAMPAC, the nonpartisan campaign arm of WSMA that builds relationships and connections between our members and their elected officials. WAMPAC works to ensure the physician's voice is heard, but it takes resources to do this effectively. </p> <p> With the 2020 election just around the corner, we need to double down to ensure candidates hear the physician voice loud and clear on the campaign trail. To that end, we're mounting a campaign to bolster the coffers. We're asking you to give $20 today to make a difference in 2020 – and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Take action right now to join our <a href="">$20 for 2020 Campaign by clicking here to donate</a>. </p> <p> Whether your gift is a one-time donation or ongoing commitment, help us advance an advocacy agenda that bolsters the profession and improves patient care throughout Washington. Your contribution really does make a difference! </p> <h3>Preventing acupuncturist scope expansion</h3> <p> The Department of Health is conducting a sunrise review of a proposal from the Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association to <a href="">increase the scope of practice for acupuncturists and Eastern Medicine practitioners</a>. The proposal would broaden these practitioners' ability to diagnose and treat disease, treat substance use disorder, include additional substances for point injection therapy, and more. </p> <p> While the WSMA supports and encourages the use of integrative modalities like acupuncture, especially in the context of pain management, we have serious patient safety concerns with some of the proposed scope expansions under consideration and are on the record in opposition. In fact, WSMA Policy Director Jeb Shepard testified at a recent public hearing on the proposal and the WSMA submitted a formal comment detailing our concerns. Proponents of the sunrise review have been responsive to our concerns and are working with WSMA staff to address them. </p> <h3>Holding the Medical Commission accountable for licensure delays </h3> <p> Our members brought us concerns about licensure delays and we've taken action. We reached out to the Medical Commission to learn more about the cause. In a formal response to our inquiry, the Commission indicated staffing shortages and an increasing number of applications and delegation agreements have created challenges for them to keep their application times under their average time of approximately 10 weeks. </p> <p> Subsequently, the Commission took several steps to mitigate the situation, including reassigning staff from different areas to assist with applications, completing recruitment for current openings, and authorizing overtime until performance returns to normal. </p> <p> However, if you continue to have trouble with the licensing process, hearing from you helps us advocate for you. Contact Jeb Shepard at <a href=""></a> with your experiences. </p> <p> Also, the Commission noted that ensuring you've submitted a complete application is key to swift licensure. They recommend that you use the Federation Credentials Verification Services provided through the Federation of State Medical Boards. Applicants who use the FCVS establish a permanent portfolio of verified credentials and all their records are kept in one repository. </p> <p> With that, I'll refocus my thoughts now on the leadership development experience at Brandeis. Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for your engagement with the WSMA. I'm grateful for our partnership! </p> </div>9/16/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
countdown_to_the_2019_wsma_annual_meetingCountdown to the 2019 WSMA Annual MeetingLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/countdown_to_the_2019_wsma_annual_meeting<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Events/2019-Annual-Meeting-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>Countdown to the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</h2> <p> The 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting, WSMA's premier policymaking and networking event, is nearly here. If you have yet to register for the meeting, scheduled for Oct. 12-13 in Seattle, <a href="">do so today</a>. The meeting is free for WSMA members and members of the Washington State Radiological Society, which will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 12, and has joined the WSMA in co-sponsoring a series of educational sessions throughout the day. Here's what members should know as the meeting approaches. </p> <ol> <li>Today (Sept. 11) is the deadline to receive the special discounted room rate at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.</li> <li>Tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 12) is the final deadline for WSMA delegates to submit resolutions to the WSMA Seattle office. </li> <li>The 2019 Delegate Handbook—the compilation of resolutions and other business to be considered by the House of Delegates at the meeting—is now available for <a href="">download from the WSMA website</a>.</li> <li>40 resolutions are now available in our password-protected <a href="">"virtual" reference committees</a>. WSMA members are encouraged to take a moment to review these proposals and provide input, which is crucial to shaping good policy.</li> </ol> <p> For a full agenda, speaker and activity detail and to register for the WSMA Annual Meeting, visit the <a href="">WSMA website</a>. </p> <p> The WSMA would like to thank our corporate partners for helping to make the meeting possible: exclusive premier partner <a href="">Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company</a>, and silver partners <a href="">Premera Blue Cross</a>, <a href="">First Choice Health</a>, <a href="">Hall Render</a> and <a href="">Kaiser Permanente</a>. The WSMA also wishes to thank the following meeting sponsor for its generous contributions: platinum sponsor <a href="">Providence Health & Services</a>. </p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
new_effective_date_for_changes_to_apple_health_opioid_prescribing_policyNew Effective Date for Changes to Apple Health Opioid Prescribing PolicyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/new_effective_date_for_changes_to_apple_health_opioid_prescribing_policy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/opioid_hydrocodone_bottle-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>New Effective Date for Changes to Apple Health Opioid Prescribing Policy</h2> <p> The Health Care Authority has changed the implementation date from Oct.1 to Nov. 1, 2019 for updates to its Apple Health (Medicaid) opioid clinical policy intended to align the policy with the federal SUPPORT Act passed in 2018. </p> <p> While the prescribing policy remains largely unchanged, there are some significant new requirements, including: An attestation that chronic pain best practices are being followed when prescribing more than the acute policy limit within a 90-day period, and prior authorization on claims that exceed 120 morphine milligram equivalent (MME) limit. The expedited prior authorization provision, secured by the WSMA, remains in effect. </p> <p> Visit the <a href="">HCA website</a> to review the changes. </p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_joins_the_ama_in_new_practice_transformation_initiativeWSMA Joins the AMA in New Practice Transformation InitiativeLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/wsma_joins_the_ama_in_new_practice_transformation_initiative<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Sept-Oct-Reports-Cover-Story-Image-RGB-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Joins the AMA in New Practice Transformation Initiative </h2> <p> The AMA has announced a new effort to fight the causes of physician burnout and dissatisfaction with the launch of the Practice Transformation Initiative. The ambitious initiative is a collaborative effort that includes the Physicians Foundation and state medical societies, including the WSMA. </p> <p> While the frequency, causes, and impact of professional fatigue and burnout among physicians have been well researched, actionable solutions have had much less rigorous analysis. As a result, information on effective interventions remains limited. The mission of the Practice Transformation Initiative is to fill the knowledge gaps regarding effective interventions to reduce burnout. </p> <p> The AMA and the Physicians Foundation are collaborating with the WSMA, among other state associations, to recruit health systems and practices within their states for field testing and studying results, with the goal of generating evidence-based research and accelerating the spread of innovations that support clinician satisfaction. </p> <p> The WSMA has convened eight health care organizations in Washington to test burnout interventions as part of the initiative. For an in-depth look at this work, be sure to read the cover story from the latest issue of WSMA Reports, mailed to members last week. The cover story is also <a href="">available online</a>. </p> <p> For more information on the initiative, visit the <a href="">AMA website</a>.<br /> <br /> <em>Illustration by Erin Foster with images from</em></p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
lead_is_still_a_public_health_culpritLead is Still a Public Health CulpritLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/lead_is_still_a_public_health_culprit<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/News/WSMA-Reports-S-O_Website-Graphic_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA Reports cover" /></div> <h5>September 10, 2019</h5> <h2>Lead is Still a Public Health Culprit</h2> <p> </p> <p> By Amish Dave, MD, MPH </p> <p> At a recent meeting of the Somali Health Board in Seattle, concerned parents raised questions about the prevalence of lead in their communities. They wondered if their children's low birth weights and hyperactive behavior might be associated with the age of their apartments, paint on the walls, or what they were eating. </p> <p> Even though lead-based paint was banned by 1978, lead remains an issue today. Lead is everywhere, from older plumbing fixtures, soil, imported medicines, and ceramics. It is found adjacent to highways and via occupational exposures. Even more concerning, the attorney general's office in Washington recently found lead in children's school products. Further, many of Washington's counties have a high percentage of homes with lead paint, lead piping, and environmental lead exposures. </p> <p> There is no safe level of lead in the human body. Even low blood lead levels (<5 micrograms/deciliter) can harm a child’s ability to learn and increase behavior problems. Research shows an association of childhood lead exposure and later risk of poorer educational attainment and incarceration. </p> <p> Lead has also been causally linked with attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis. Most children exposed to lead remain asymptomatic, as longterm effects of lead exposure manifest later in life. Importantly, pregnant mothers with elevated lead levels can transfer lead from their blood to the fetus. </p> <p> Massachusetts and New York are leading the way in screening for lead and conducting blood testing in 50 percent of their children. By comparison, in Washington, we test fewer than 5 percent of our children, making this state one of the five worst in the country for that metric. In King County, we estimate more than 6,000 children are likely lead poisoned, are not tested, and don’t receive services that could support their development. </p> <p> Besides the personal toll on affected children, there are hard costs as well. One study estimates that for children born in 2014, with lead exposure, they would experience a total loss of $195 million in lifetime earnings and 393,000 healthy years lived. When long-term lead-exposure effects (hypertension, organ damage, reproductive problems, behavioral impacts) are factored over a five-year period, the costs expand to $1 billion in financial loss and 2 million healthy years lost. </p> <p> </p> <p> We have a responsibility to advocate for the health and well-being of vulnerable children. For the past two years, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the King County Medical Society Board of Trustees partnered with the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington Poison Center, and the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit to highlight the seriousness of lead poisoning. We introduced a comprehensive resolution at the 2018 WSMA Annual Meeting to increase awareness about lead poisoning, which was adopted by delegates and is now association policy (<a href=""></a>). </p> <p> But we need to do more. To get involved, contact Salem Adisu at <a href=""></a>. </p> <p> <em><strong>Amish Dave, MD, MPH</strong>, is a rheumatologist with Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, in addition to being chair of the Public Health Committee for King County Medical Society and a delegate to the WSMA House of Delegates.</em> </p> <p> <em>This article was featured in the September/October 2019 issue of WSMA Reports, WSMA's print newsletter. WSMA Reports is a benefit of membership. Non-members may <a href="">purchase a subscription</a>.</em> </p> </div>9/10/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
ending_death_by_a_million_clicksEnding Death by a Million ClicksLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/News/WSMA-Reports-S-O_Website-Graphic_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA Reports cover" /></div> <h5>September 6, 2019</h5> <h2>Ending Death by a Million Clicks</h2> <p> By John Gallagher </p> <p> Every physician knows the problem: an additional box to check in the EMR, a flurry of prescription refills, lab results that arrive after the patient's visit. Individually, each item may require just a few minutes. But collectively, the minutes add up to hours that rob physicians of time with patients and contribute to the epidemic of burnout. </p> <p> The WSMA has been working on this problem for more than four years with its Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients initiative. Because of Washington state's role in the forefront of addressing the issue, the WSMA was one of just three medical associations in the nation awarded a grant from the Physicians Foundation to work with the American Medical Association to test potential projects to improve physician wellness. (New Jersey and North Carolina are the other states participating in the grant.) </p> <p> "We know a lot about the degree of burnout, the drivers, and the impact, but there's been little research on interventions," says Jessica Martinson, director of clinical education and professional development at the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement. </p> <p> Eight organizations in Washington are participating in the project. The grant covers four subject areas—pre-visit planning, pre-visit labs, synchronized prescription renewal, and implementing team-based care—with participants in Washington tackling the first three. (Implementing team-based care presents unique challenges for a time-limited grant, including the need for additional staff.) </p> <p> The interventions will run for one year, with results to be shared nationally. To test the effectiveness of the interventions, the participating organizations conducted baseline surveys of physician burnout at the clinics where the interventions are implemented, with a follow-up survey once the intervention is completed. Organizations also are frequently pairing the intervention site with a control clinic. Each organization has a team that is composed of both physicians and administrators working on its project. </p> <p> The grant builds upon the AMA's STEPS Forward program, which offers a free collection of interactive educational modules developed by physicians to help address common practice challenges. Each module offers real-world solutions, practical steps for implementation, case studies, and downloadable resources for anyone to use. </p> <h3>An ongoing struggle with serious consequences</h3> <p> The need for the interventions is obvious; 43 percent of Washington's physicians are experiencing burnout, according to a recent physician and advanced practitioner wellness survey conducted by Stanford University's The Risk Authority (TRA) and commissioned by the WSMA and the Washington State Hospital Association. (For comparison, the TRA national benchmark is 36 percent.) </p> <p> Moreover, studies have found that the impact extends to patient care; doctors suffering from burnout have poorer patient outcomes. </p> <p> "We're struggling to meet the demands of modern medicine," says Scott Itano, MD, a family medicine physician at Washington Permanente Medical Group. "Regardless of the model you're in, people are having a tough time. We are the most highly trained clerical workers in the country. It's death by a million clicks." </p> <p> Dr. Itano and other leaders testing interventions attended a boot camp hosted by the AMA in April. What they learned there was that 80 percent of burnout was related to the way the health care system affects doctors in their work. </p> <p> "I thought burnout was pretty touchy-feely and that you just needed to get tougher," Dr. Itano acknowledges. "But when you see the data and see how widespread the epidemic is, you realize that no matter who you are, it affects your day-to-day life." </p> <p> The AMA research aims to make small but impactful improvements to the system; Dr. Itano is part of the team at Kaiser Permanente working on pre-visit labs. "We wanted to focus on something simple that we could execute in a year," he says. "We want to show that whatever staffing model you have, this is something you can do." </p> <p> Having a patient get lab tests before a visit gives physicians the opportunity to discuss the results during the visit, instead of reviewing results afterward and then coordinating follow-up care. Something as simple as scheduling a patient's next set of labs at the end of each visit can save precious time. So can empowering staff to manage a physician's inbox. Even these small changes can have a big impact, according to AMA calculations. </p> <p> "I was really surprised that pre-visit labs increase patient satisfaction, decrease cost by $26 per visit, and decrease the number of calls a clinic receives," says Dr. Itano. </p> <p> In planning its project, the Kaiser Permanente team realized that physicians don't need to do many of the tasks of pre-visit labs. "My medical center manager and medical assistants are going to be doing the bulk of the work because we will be shifting a lot of day-to-day work from physicians to staff," Dr. Itano says. </p> <h3>Small changes yield big time savings</h3> <p> Labs aren't the only pre-visit intervention being tested. Four organizations, including The Everett Clinic, are testing ways to improve pre-visit planning so that visits themselves are more productive and don't add time to the doctor's day. </p> <p> "We're doing a small checklist to have in the exam room for orders," says Michael Rohrenbach, DO, associate medical director of clinician engagement at The Everett Clinic. "When we're done with the visit, we can check off what we want the medical assistant to do with follow-up labs, visits, and referrals." </p> <p> The assistant—not the physician—will then enter that information into the computer. "We'll sign the checklist at the bottom, and they'll be able to order for themselves," says Rohrenbach. "They will scan the orders into the EMR." Dr. Rohrenbach estimates this one change will save physicians 15 minutes a day, or about 91 hours in a year. </p> <p> Even something as straightforward as a having a checklist required a significant amount of work, a sign of the challenges inherent in the system. </p> <p> "It has been no small undertaking," Dr. Rohrenbach says. "We had to get corporate compliance to buy off on this. We had to get the Epic team to make changes so medical assistants could do the ordering. We had to get quite a few people in the room to change processes." </p> <p> Synchronizing prescription refills presents its own problems, as the team at UW Valley Medical Center knows. </p> <p> "It sounds simple, but it's a challenge," says Michele Despreaux, MD, medical director of senior care and internal medicine clinics at UW Valley Medical Center. "We're trying to reduce phone calls and frustration for the clinicians, staff, and patients, so that patients get their meds and we get way fewer messages." </p> <p> Dr. Despreaux and her colleagues are trying to tackle three issues. The first is relatively straightforward: getting doctors to renew all of a patient's stable medications for the maximum duration period. The other issues are thornier. </p> <p> "It's ingrained in many medical office cultures and in many patients that the refill is contingent on them having an appointment," Dr. Despreaux says. </p> <p> But patients often don't realize that their prescription needs renewal until they are almost out of their medication. That leads to a stopgap request for a 30-day refill until they can get in for an appointment—all of which takes time. </p> <p> The actual synchronization is the most difficult problem to solve. The AMA estimates that if 1,000 patients taking five meds call their doctor twice a year for each medication, with a call lasting just two minutes each time, the doctor and staff spend more than 330 hours a year on refills alone. </p> <p> Theoretically, patients taking multiple medications for chronic conditions should be able to have their refills on the same schedule. But insurance and pharmacy issues make it hard to line up refill times. </p> <h3>Physicians need to lead the process</h3> <p> Each of the areas of intervention in the grant share a common thread: the importance of having physicians at the table to make the changes that improve their work lives. Many of the systemic problems affecting physician wellness—especially the additional work EMRs require—are the result of changes made without input from the doctors who would have to live with them. </p> <p> It can feel like a losing battle at times. "Someone comes up with great idea, but they don't realize the downstream effect on the workflow for the clinical teams," says Dr. Rohrenbach, who in his role is responsible for physician engagement and satisfaction. "We don't realize how much that does to the teams working on the front line doing clinical care." </p> <p> The grant participants are optimistic that the interventions can reduce burnout rates and increase satisfaction. </p> <p> "My hope is that when our teams look back, they can say it took effort, but was well worth it," says Martinson. "The hope is really in physicians reclaiming their role as decision-makers within health care organizations." </p> <p> Besides, doing nothing to improve physician wellness is no longer an option. </p> <p> "This is probably one of the biggest crises in the health care profession," Dr. Itano says. "I see physicians leaving their jobs because they're just burned out. It's almost akin to climate change. We have to be aggressive now to prevent those downstream effects from occurring.". </p> <p> <em>John Gallagher is a Washington state-based freelance writer who specializes in covering health care.</em> </p> <p> <em>This article was featured in the September/October 2019 issue of WSMA Reports, WSMA's print newsletter. WSMA Reports is a benefit of membership. Non-members may <a href="">purchase a subscription</a>.</em> </p> </div>9/6/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
prioritizing_wellnessPrioritizing WellnessLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/prioritizing_wellness<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/News/WSMA-Reports-S-O_Website-Graphic_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA Reports cover" /></div> <h5>September 6, 2019</h5> <h2>Prioritizing Wellness</h2> <p> By Kim Moore, MD and Kent Hu, MD, MPH </p> <p> Physician and advanced practitioner wellness have always been priorities for the members of the Medical Officer Collaborative. We have worked over the years to address issues that contribute to burnout and overwhelm because we see the harmful effects to our colleagues on a daily basis. Now, Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients - the WSMA physician wellness and administrative simplification initiative - joins Better Prescribing, Better Treatment, Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest, and Partnership for Patients as one of our "Call to Action" initiatives, making it a central element of our work as physician leaders. </p> <p> Call to Action initiatives are health care quality and safety initiatives that aim to improve patient care, health care delivery, and ultimately the health of our communities. The members of our collaborative have robust discussions about developing statewide strategies and implementation plans to advance improvements in these areas. </p> <p> The word "statewide" is key. As a joint initiative of the WSMA and the Washington State Hospital Association, the Medical Officer Collaborative provides physician leaders from hospitals and medical groups throughout the state the opportunity to work collaboratively to improve care and make Washington known for its achievements in safety and quality. </p> <p> Adding Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients to our Call to Action initiatives recognizes the importance of this issue; a 2003 study published in JAMA ("Confronting Depression and Suicide in Physicians") estimated 300 physicians die by suicide in the U.S. each year. Wellness demands our ongoing attention, and we will build on our discussions of this important topic at every meeting. </p> <p> The recent data from our physician and advanced practitioner wellness survey, based on Stanford WellMD's model of burnout and fulfillment, gave us valuable insights into what physicians in our state are experiencing and what is driving burnout. Being able to compare our health care organizations and our state with the rest of the country was very meaningful. With these results in hand, many of us are taking action. </p> <p> That change is palpable. We now are moving from a conversation about burnout to pursuing a series of small, medium, and large initiatives to address the systemic issues that can improve wellness. </p> <h3>Open and honest dialogue</h3> <p> Our Medical Officer Collaborative Safe Tables are regularly scheduled events at which physician leaders can have open, honest dialogue on key issues and how they affect their staff, patients, and their health care organizations. It's clear from our meetings that health systems are continually looking for ways to support the wellness of their physicians, whether it's by providing scribes, reducing the number of clicks needed to reach information in EMRs, or handling physicians' laundry and grocery shopping. </p> <p> At a Safe Table meeting earlier this year, we heard about health systems that: </p> <ul> <li>Restructured employee contracts to promote wellness.</li> <li>Addressed workplace inefficiencies using Kaizen and Lean principles so that physicians could finish documentation faster and leave work on time.</li> <li>Changed the name and focus of the Impaired Physician Committee to a Wellness Committee.</li> <li>Offered peer mentorship with young, up-and-coming leaders.</li> <li>Provided peer-support volunteers to distressed physicians.</li> </ul> <h3>A history of effectiveness</h3> <p> A prime example of the effectiveness of the work of the Medical Officer Collaborative is its success in addressing the opioid epidemic. We have been monitoring opioid safety for many years. Members of the collaborative encouraged increased access to the state's prescription monitoring program and supported the creation of metrics, as well as guidelines, policies, and procedures. We collaborated to implement an overdose notification process that now is being rolled out across the state. </p> <p> We now hope to achieve the same kind of success with addressing wellness. The Safe Table is a place where we can openly discuss what works and what doesn't. Knowing that we all have similar issues and concerns, we learn from organizations that are finding new and innovative ways to help support physicians in their daily work.. </p> <p> <em><strong>Kim Moore, MD</strong>, is associate chief medical officer at CHI Franciscan. <strong>Kent Hu, MD</strong>, is associate medical director at The Everett Clinic. They serve as chair and chair-elect, respectively, of the Medical Officer Collaborative.</em> </p> <p> <em>This article was featured in the September/October 2019 issue of WSMA Reports, WSMA's print newsletter. WSMA Reports is a benefit of membership. Non-members may <a href="">purchase a subscription</a>.</em> </p> </div>9/6/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_2_2019_speaking_up_influences_policyWeekly Rounds: September 2, 2019 - Speaking Up Influences PolicyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_september_2_2019_speaking_up_influences_policy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>September 2, 2019</h5> <h2>Speaking Up Influences Policy</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Our House of Delegates - the deliberative body of the WSMA - was formed back in 1889 to inform policy and to be the voice of our members. This democratic structure provides a pathway for policies to rise up from the grassroots level of the organization. But the structure only works when all members are engaged, express their opinion, and use the process to advance issues that improve health care and the practice of medicine in Washington state. </p> <p> As Winston Churchill said, "There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion." Your voice matters when setting policy at the WSMA. While it's only designated delegates who vote when the <a href="">House convenes in October</a>, their votes are informed by your voice. And your opportunity to "publish" your opinion is to sign in to our secure, members-only <a href="">virtual reference committees</a> on the WSMA website and speak up, lending your expertise, wisdom, and opinion on the policies that will be considered for adoption by delegates at the <a href="">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a>. </p> <p> It's been an active year for resolution writing, and I know you'll be interested to see the nearly 40 resolutions that the House will hear this year. Find a short summary and a direct link to each resolution below. </p> <p> Remember, only delegates can vote. If you want to serve as a delegate, let us know and we will put you in touch with your county medical society or state specialty society. See <a href="">here</a> for more information on the House of Delegates; for details on voting eligibility, see our <a href="">bylaws</a>. If you're frustrated that, as a member, you don't have a formal vote except for through these societies, learn more about how you can <a href="">advance a resolution</a> that could change the process. </p> <p> Below are the resolutions currently posted in the virtual reference committees and that will be up for discussion at this year's meeting at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. Click on the resolution title to read the full resolution, any comments from your colleagues, and to comment (you'll be prompted to enter your password to enter these secure forums). All comments posted by the deadline (midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 9) will be shared with the reference committee members for their deliberations at the meeting. </p> <p> <a href="">B-1 - Towards a More Effective Washington Medical Commission</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate for independent tracking of physicians for 10 years after being sanctioned by the Washington Medical Commission and request Physicians Insurance write policies to provide defense resources for medical commission actions comparable to policies for malpractice defense suits. </p> <p> <a href="">B-2 - An Ethical and Effective Physician Health Program for Washington</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate for the establishment of national standards for PHP treatment and advocate for independent tracking of WPHP enrollees. </p> <p> <a href="">B-3 - Programs to Reduce Advanced Provider Burnout</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support efforts to fund programs and services to help Washington physicians and advanced practitioners who are suffering symptoms of depression and burnout. </p> <p> <a href="">B-4 - Climate Change</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA acknowledge several statements relating to climate change and the effects of climate change. </p> <p> <a href="">B-5 - Financing Medical Education</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA revise existing policy to encourage all medical schools in the state to recognize prior indebtedness as legitimate financial aid need in medical school budgets. </p> <p> <a href="">B-6 - Increasing Equity and Justice in the Care and Outcomes of Washingtonians with Cancer</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA acknowledge the existence of racial disparities in cancer care, commit to partnering with others to facilitate comprehensive public health solutions, and support investments in screening and patient navigation with the goal of empowering disadvantaged patients. </p> <p> <a href="">B-7 - Support for Cybersecurity Techniques Against the Threat of Medical Misinformation</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA acknowledge the public health threat of medical misinformation and encourage adoption of proper cybersecurity techniques in line with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework of identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover against medical misinformation. </p> <p> <a href="">B-8 - Eliminating Minimal Risk of Patient Harm as a Criterion for Unprofessional Conduct</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support removing minimal risk of patient harm as a criterion related to WAC 246-16-810 - Practice below standard of care. </p> <p> <a href="">B-9 - Importance of Peer Review in Medical Commission Proceedings</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA adopt policy that professional standards of care as determined by the Washington Medical Commission should require peer review. </p> <p> <a href="">B-10 - Limiting Documentation as a Factor in Determining Professional Care When Outcomes are Favorable</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA adopt the position that elements of medical record documentation should not be considered in a WMC investigation as determinants of quality of professional care, except in cases when significant patient harm occurred as a result of documentation inadequacies. </p> <p> <a href="">B-11 - Patient Access to Cost-Effective Medical Care</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA adopt a policy statement that licensed primary care providers should be professionally obliged to ensure timely provision of medical services demonstrated to significantly limit morbidity or mortality with certain exceptions. </p> <p> <a href="">B-12 - Health Care Gown Waste Reduction in Washington State</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support the development of alternative reusable technologies to reduce health care waste, including supporting the use of reusable gowns and further research into the benefits of reusable isolation gowns. </p> <p> <a href="">B-13 - Requirement for Helmets When Using e-Scooters</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA encourage helmet use by e-scooter riders, including encouraging the state to disallow e-scooter use without helmets, and would encourage e-scooter companies to attach helmets and liners to scooters to be restocked and inspected nightly. </p> <p> <a href="">B-14 - Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Washington State</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA endorse a Low Carbon Fuel Standard for the state and support other efforts to reduce pollution from transportation. </p> <p> <a href="">B-15 - Tracking Physician Suicide</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA explore options for tracking Washington state physician suicides with a report back to the House of Delegates in 2020. </p> <p> <a href="">B-16 - Transparency in the Handling of Specialist Consults</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA work to develop and share standards designed to give referring clinicians information about the qualifications of the clinician who will be providing specialized care to the referred patient. </p> <p> <a href="">C-1 - Coercion of Physicians/Surgeons by Internet or Telephonic Threats</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA oppose coercion of doctors in order to force the doctor to prescribe medications or supplies. </p> <p> <a href="">C-2 - Universal Access for Essential Public Health Services</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate for a single public health system in Washington state and advocate for statewide outcomes measures re the availability and outcomes associated with essential public health interventions. </p> <p> <a href="">C-3 - Time-Based Physicians Payments</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA acknowledge that physician compensation should be primarily based on total face-to-face time with patients. </p> <p> <a href="">C-4 - Primary Care Investment</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA work with partners to support legislation seeking an increase in primary care spending as well as support the creation of a collaborative to assist the state in developing best practices to support health care innovation and improvement in primary care access and delivery. </p> <p> <a href="">C-5 - Payment for Time Spent with Patients</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA adopt a policy statement that when third party payers question whether time spent with a patient is worthy of payment, the burden of proof is on the third party payer subject to state laws. </p> <p> <a href="">C-6 - Healthcare Reform in Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment in the Emergency Department</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support policies allowing for emergency department-based administration of buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone at a patient's usual dose for established patients of medication-assisted drug treatment programs. </p> <p> <a href="">C-7 - Healthcare Reform in the Criminal Justice System</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support a range of policies geared toward the improvement of health care in the criminal justice system, while opposing policies advocating cutting funds directed to health care staffing in prisons. </p> <p> <a href="">C-8 - Increasing Gender Equity in Medicine Through Speaker Invitation and Selection at Medical Conferences</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA acknowledge the existence of gender inequity in medicine and further acknowledge that promoting greater inclusion of female speakers at academic medical conferences can influence gender equity. </p> <p> <a href="">C-9 - Evidence-Based Sex Education in Washington State Schools</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support accurate, comprehensive, and evidence-based sexual education in Washington state middle and high schools including contraception options, condom use demonstrations, LGBTQ+ sexual health education, STI education, and discussions of consent in all Washington state sex education courses. </p> <p> <a href="">C-10 - Opt-In Vaccinations for Mature Minors in Washington State</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support the revision of the Mature Minor Doctrine to include immunizations as an eligible non-emergent service and allow mature minors to receive evidence-based best practices in health categories that influence larger public health outcomes, specifically immunizations, without parental consent. </p> <p> <a href="">C-11 - Medicaid on Reentry from Incarceration</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA request the AMA advocate for legislation to grant states flexibility to continue benefits for Medicaid-eligible incarcerated individuals or restart benefits prior to release. </p> <p> <a href="">C-12 - WSMA Supports Payment for Health Care Data Collection</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA oppose unpaid heath care data collection/mining and lobby to seek payment for the work cost of providing health care data unless the provider chooses to provide it free and without coercion. </p> <p> <a href="">C-13 - Necessary Medical Care for Inmates</a> This resolution would have the WSMA support a requirement for defendants found guilty of a felony during any period of subsequent incarceration to receive the standard of medical care based on current ICD or DSM 5 diagnosis that likely contributed to the felony conviction. </p> <p> <a href="">C-14 - Amendment to the B&O Tax</a> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate to amend state law to exempt all physicians from the state Business & Occupation tax surcharge included in 2019 House Bill 2158. </p> <p> <a href="">C-15 - Eliminating the Buprenorphine Waiver</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA request the AMA advocate for elimination of the requirement that practitioners apply for a separate waiver through the DEA to prescribe buprenorphine for substance use disorder treatment and would educate practitioners about the change in law and encourage them to integrate substance use treatment into their practices. </p> <p> <a href="">C-16 - Improving Input and Access to Washington State Immunization Information System (WSIIS)</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support several policies aimed at increasing the reporting of immunizations, including health care worker immunization data, to the WSIIS and support a state budget appropriation to leverage federal funding to enhance vaccine data reporting. </p> <p> <a href="">C-17 - Pharmacy Vaccination Records</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support public policy requiring pharmacies giving a vaccine to provide notification to that patient's primary care provider if that information is available. </p> <p> <a href="">C-18 - Promotion of Health Equity Through Graduate Medical Education in Critical Race Theory for Washington Physicians</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support a professional education program for its members on critical race theory in medicine with special attention to five key areas. </p> <p> <a href="">C-19 - Medication Prior Authorization</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support electronic approval of prescriptions and would have the WSMA request the OIC take steps to reduce denials of prescribed medications and requirements for prior authorizations. </p> <p> <a href="">C-20 - Scope of Practice</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA oppose efforts for non-physician practitioners to expand their scope of practice to include additional service currently performed by physicians without commensurate education and supervision requirements or compelling societal need. </p> <p> <a href="">C-21 - Development of a Firearm Safety Bureau</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate for creation of a Washington State Bureau for Firearm Safety and encourage the WSBFS to lead a campaign to reduce firearm injuries and deaths. </p> <p> <a href="">C-22 - Advancing Gender Equity in Medicine</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA advocate for several measures toward increasing gender equity in medicine including holding educational programs and developing guidance for other organizations. </p> <p> <a href="">C-23 - Reducing Firearm-Related Injury and Death, 2019 Updates</a><br /> This resolution would have the WSMA support and/or reaffirm several policies aimed at reducing deaths and injuries related to firearms. </p> <p> Remember, you have until midnight on Wednesday, Oct 9 to leave your testimony in our virtual reference committees. If you'd like to provide testimony in person, reference committees meetings are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12 at the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting in Seattle. The WSMA Annual Meeting is free for members—<a href="">learn more about the event and register today</a>. </p> <p> And for a primer on WSMA's patient-focused, physician-driven policysetting structure, read <a href="">my column from last year</a>. </p> <p> Remember, public opinion is only public if you publish it or speak up! </p> </div>9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
department_of_health_issues_standing_order_for_naloxoneDepartment of Health Issues Standing Order for NaloxoneLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190828/department_of_health_issues_standing_order_for_naloxone<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/News/Narcan-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Narcan packaging" /> </div> <h5> August 28, 2019 </h5> <h2>Department of Health Issues Standing Order for Naloxone</h2> <p>Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy today signed a statewide standing order for naloxone, the opioid overdose medication. Any individual wishing to get naloxone may use the standing order at any pharmacy in the state without a prescription from a physician or provider. For more information and to download the standing order, visit <a href="">the DOH website</a>. Most commercial health insurance plans cover at least one form of naloxone, but coverage and costs vary. Apple Health (Medicaid) clients can get naloxone at no cost. The standing order will also make it easier for organizations working with people who may need naloxone to get and distribute the medication. Organizations interested in getting naloxone under the standing order need to <a href="">notify the DOH</a>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Matthew Rakola</em></p> </div>8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
medical_futurist_rubin_pillay_md_phd_keynotes_wsma_and_wsrs_2019_annual_meetingsMedical Futurist Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD Keynotes WSMA and WSRS 2019 Annual MeetingsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190828/medical_futurist_rubin_pillay_md_phd_keynotes_wsma_and_wsrs_2019_annual_meetings<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Events/2019-Annual-Meeting-Rubin-Pillay-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Rubin Pillay MD, PhD photo" /> </div> <h5> August 28, 2019 </h5> <h2>Medical Futurist Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD, Keynotes WSMA and WSRS 2019 Annual Meetings</h2> <p><em>Note (9/3/2019): Text has been updated with correct presentation description.</em></p> <p>The 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting, this year held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Washington State Radiological Society, is just around the corner. The <a href="">WSMA and WSRS 2019 Annual Meetings</a> take place Oct. 12-13 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center and feature keynote presenter Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD, medical futurist and assistant dean for global health innovation and chief innovation officer of the health system at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.</p> <p>In his interactive keynote featuring real-time demonstrations, Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD will explore some of the key exponential technologies that are set to impact health care, including artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, sensor technology, AR/VR, and the "omics," including genomics. He’ll succinctly explain how the convergence of these technologies is set to transform patients to "prosumers" (producers of care), current pipeline approaches to care-delivery systems to platform-based systems, and finally, a payment transformation from the current insurance-based approach to an "outsurance" (getting paid to maintain health) -based approach.</p> <p>This keynote presentation is just one of the many highlights of a weekend agenda featuring policy discussions, educational sessions, and networking opportunities. Visit the WSMA website for a <a href="">full agenda, activity details, and to register</a>. The meeting is free for all WSMA and Washington State Radiological Society members. Discounted rooms are available at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center (Sept. 11 is the deadline to receive WSMA's special room rate - reserve your room <a href="">online</a> or by calling 1.800.HILTONS).</p> </div>8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
nearly_40_resolutions_now_available_for_wsma_member_inputNearly 40 Resolutions Now Available for WSMA Member InputLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190828/nearly_40_resolutions_now_available_for_wsma_member_input<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/AM_2018.10.042-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> August 28, 2019 </h5> <h2>Nearly 40 Resolutions Now Available for WSMA Member Input</h2> <p>As a WSMA member, you have an opportunity to help shape the policy that guides WSMA advocacy. Nearly 40 resolutions are now available for your review in our password-protected <a href="">"virtual" reference committees</a> and more will be added in the weeks to come in anticipation of the 2019 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates this October.</p> <p>WSMA's reference committees, both online and in-person at the meeting, give WSMA members an opportunity to discuss and debate resolutions and other business that will be considered for action by the House and thus serve a key role in WSMA's policymaking process (learn more about the <a href="">role of the WSMA Annual Meeting in determining WSMA policy</a>).</p> <p>All members are encouraged to take a moment to review and provide feedback on these resolutions. If adopted by the House, resolutions help to guide WSMA's advocacy efforts on behalf of its members, their patients, and the greater medical community in Washington. Your feedback can make a difference.</p> <p>The resolutions are listed by title below. Click on the resolution title to read the full resolution, any comments from your colleagues, and to comment (you'll be prompted to enter your password to enter our secure virtual reference committees). To track discussions on a topic, you can 'subscribe' to that topic and receive notifications when a member comments.</p> <p><strong>Now available in Reference Committee B (professional and internal affairs):</strong></p> <p>Resolution B-1 - <a href="">More Effective Medical Commission</a></p> <p>Resolution B-2 - <a href="">An Ethical and Effective Physician Health Program for Washington</a></p> <p>Resolution B-3 - <a href="">Programs to Reduce Advanced Provider Burnout</a></p> <p>Resolution B-4 - <a href="">Climate Change</a></p> <p>Resolution B-5 - <a href="">Financing Medical Education</a></p> <p>Resolution B-6 - <a href="">Increasing Equity and Justice in the Care & Outcomes of Washingtonians with Cancer</a></p> <p>Resolution B-7 - <a href="">Support for Cybersecurity Techniques Against the Threat of Medical Misinformation</a></p> <p>Resolution B-8 - <a href="">Eliminating Minimal Risk of Patient Harm as a Criterion for Unprofessional Conduct</a></p> <p>Resolution B-9 - <a href="">Importance of Peer Review in Medical Commission Proceedings</a></p> <p>Resolution B-10 - <a href="">Limiting Documentation as a Factor in Determining Professional Care</a></p> <p>Resolution B-11 - <a href="">Patient Access to Cost-Effective Medical Care</a></p> <p>Resolution B-12 - <a href="">Health Care Gown Waste Reduction in Washington State</a></p> <p>Resolution B-13 - <a href="">Requirement for Helmets When Using E-Scooters</a></p> <p>Resolution B-14 - <a href="">Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Washington State</a></p> <p>Resolution B-15 - <a href="">Tracking Physician Suicide</a></p> <p>Resolution B-16 - <a href="">Transparency in the Handling of Specialist Consults</a></p> <p><strong>Now available in Virtual Reference Committee C (legislative affairs and health care economics/reform):</strong></p> <p>Resolution C-1 - <a href="">Coercion of Physicians/Surgeons by Internet or Telephone Threats</a></p> <p>Resolution C-2 - <a href="">Universal Access for Essential Public Health Services</a></p> <p>Resolution C-3 - <a href="">Time-Based Physician Payments</a></p> <p>Resolution C-4 - <a href="">Primary Care Investment</a></p> <p>Resolution C-5 - <a href="">Payment for Time Spent With Patients</a></p> <p>Resolution C-6 - <a href="">Health Care Reform in Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment in the ED</a></p> <p>Resolution C-7 - <a href="">Health Care Reform in the Criminal Justice System</a></p> <p>Resolution C-8 - <a href="">Increasing Gender Equity in Medicine Through Speaker Selection at Medical Conferences</a></p> <p>Resolution C-9 - <a href="">Evidence-Based Sex Education in Washington State Schools</a></p> <p>Resolution C-10 - <a href="">Opt-In Vaccinations for Mature Minors in Washington State</a></p> <p>Resolution C-11 - <a href="">Medicaid on Reentry from Incarceration</a></p> <p>Resolution C-12 - <a href="">WSMA Supports Payment for Patient Health Care Data Collection</a></p> <p>Resolution C-13 - <a href="">Necessary Medical Care for Inmates</a></p> <p>Resolution C-14 - <a href="">Amendment to the B&O Tax</a></p> <p>Resolution C-15 - <a href="">Eliminating the Buprenorphine Waiver</a></p> <p>Resolution C-16 - <a href="">Improving Input and Access to Washington State Immunization Information System</a></p> <p>Resolution C-17 - <a href="">Pharmacy Vaccination Records</a></p> <p>Resolution C-18 - <a href="">Promotion of Health Equity Through Education in Critical Race Theory</a></p> <p>Resolution C-19 - <a href="">Medication Prior Authorization</a></p> <p>Resolution C-20 - <a href="">Scope of Practice</a></p> <p>Resolution C-21 - <a href="">Development of a Firearm Safety Bureau</a></p> <p>Resolution C-22 - <a href="">Advancing Gender Equity in Medicine</a></p> <p>Resolution C-23 - <a href="">Reducing Firearm-Related Injury and Death, 2019 Updates</a></p> <p>Member testimony will be accepted in the virtual reference committees until midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 9. If you'd like to provide testimony in person, reference committee meetings are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12 at the <a href="">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a> in Seattle. The WSMA Annual Meeting is free for members - <a href="">learn more about the event and register today</a>.</p> </div>8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_awards_program_last_call_for_nominationsWSMA Awards Program: Last Call for Nominations!Latest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190828/wsma_awards_program_last_call_for_nominations<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Events/Awards-Hand-Holding-Trophy-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Trophy" /> </div> <h5> August 28, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Awards Program: Last Call for Nominations!</h2> <p>The WSMA Awards Program recognizes members for going above and beyond the call of duty in leadership, contributions, and service. Four awards are available and will be presented at the <a href="">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a>. Take a moment right now to nominate yourself or a colleague - simply click on the link below and make your nomination before this Friday's deadline.</p> <p>The four awards are:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">President's Unsung Hero Award</a> honors the WSMA member who goes above and beyond to serve the house of medicine.</li> <li><a href="">Community Unsung Hero Award</a> recognizes non-physicians who go above and beyond to improve the house of medicine.</li> <li><a href="">Early Career Member of the Year Award</a> recognizes the WSMA member who provides support, service and mentorship to developing the physicians of tomorrow.</li> <li><a href="">Grassroots Advocate Award(s)</a> honors WSMA members who take action on advocacy supporting the WSMA's legislative priorities.</li> </ul> <p>If you have questions about the program, email Milana McLead at <a href=""></a>.</p> </div>8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_road_trip_departs_spokane_next_up_vancouver_and_bellinghamWSMA Road Trip Departs Spokane - Next Up, Vancouver and Bellingham!Latest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190828/wsma_road_trip_departs_spokane_next_up_vancouver_and_bellingham<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/News/Vancouver-Video-Image-Cover-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA Road Trip video image" /> </div> <h5> August 28, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Road Trip Departs Spokane - Next Up, Vancouver and Bellingham!</h2> <p>Many thanks to the 30 or more physicians, spouses, and local health care and community leaders who took time out of their busy schedules to meet, mingle, and get merry last Thursday when the WSMA Road Trip arrived in Spokane. A good time was had by all and, most importantly, local connections were fostered, as the WSMA put a human face to its advocacy work on behalf of our state's communities. Check out our brief <a href="">"thank you" video</a> for a look at the Spokane Road Trip in action. The WSMA Road Trip hits Vancouver tomorrow night (Thursday, Aug. 29) and Bellingham on Thursday, Sept. 5. These early evening events are free, with food and beverages on the house - <a href="">join us</a>! And if we're not coming to your community this time around, consider joining your colleagues at the <a href="">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a>, Oct. 12-13 in Seattle (free for all members). Your thoughts are also welcome year-round via the WSMA's online, password-protected <a href="">general discussion forum</a>. We want to hear from you - let us know what's on your mind.</p> </div>8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_august_19_2019_five_things_to_know_while_sending_your_kids_back_to_schoolWeekly Rounds: August 19, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Sending Your Kids Back to SchoolLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_august_19_2019_five_things_to_know_while_sending_your_kids_back_to_school<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>August 19, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Sending Your Kids Back to School</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> How can it already be back-to-school time? At least this year, dropping my son off for his second year of college was a bit easier, mostly because I know he has found his peeps. Isn't life better when you find your community? As comedian Amy Poehler said to Harvard's graduates earlier this year: "Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." </p> <p> That's great advice that I find to be true in my daily work leading the WSMA. Over the summer, as I traveled to various physician retreats, seeing the dedication and compassion of physicians reminded me why I'm proud - and motivated - to do this work. I'm inspired every day by what compassionate healers you are and the way you ease the suffering and improve the health of your patients. </p> <p> In my mind, what you do for your patients is what the WSMA strives to do for you. We champion your professional and personal well-being. We amplify your voice where it needs to be heard. We are your safety net, protecting your professional interests as well as the collective interest of your patients. We do all that so you can focus on your calling—providing great care in our communities. </p> <p> Just as your work is never done, neither is ours. Working to protect you and your profession is our specialty! </p> <p> Here are a few toplines you need to know while hustling your kids off to school and staying cool this summer. </p> <h3>Drafting policy</h3> <p> As a membership organization, members drive our work and our policy. Nothing highlights that more clearly than our policymaking process through the WSMA House of Delegates. Be sure to visit our online members-only reference committee forums to share your views on proposed resolutions to be discussed at this year's annual meeting on Oct. 12-13. </p> <h3>Licensing delays</h3> <p> We've heard from several members who contacted us about state licensing delays. Rest assured, we are on top of that issue. If you or your colleagues are experiencing licensing delays, letting us know about it helps us help you. Write the WSMA policy team with any details at <a href=""></a>. Unnecessary licensing delays are a roadblock to providing the best care in the state and attracting the best docs to provide that care. </p> <h3>Transforming practices</h3> <p> Work on practice transformation and improving wellness is progressing as eight organizational physician leaders and team partners work to identify systemic interventions that have the potential to improve physician wellness, reduce burnout rates, and increase satisfaction. The cohort identified several challenges relating to process flow, such as pre-visit planning, pre-visit labs, and synchronized prescription renewal. We always appreciate having more input, so if you have workflow challenges you can share, write us at <a href=""></a>. </p> <h3>High fives</h3> <p> Here's a shout out to Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-WA) who helped introduce legislation that would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care by standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program. If passed, it would address several pain points experienced by physicians participating in the program and could be used as a model by other plans. Read more in last week's Membership Memo. </p> <h3>Hitting the road</h3> <p> I know I mentioned this recently, but I'm highlighting it again because I really hope I'll see you. If you're in Spokane, Vancouver, or Bellingham, please be sure to join us when our WSMA Road Trip comes to town. We've heard from you that you want more face time with us to share what's on your mind, so this is your chance. Click these links (<a href="">Spokane</a>, <a href="">Vancouver</a>, <a href="">Bellingham</a>) and confirm that you're coming! </p> <p> Thanks for reading and for your support of the WSMA. We're stronger together! </p> </div>8/19/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
register_for_wsma_effective_board_governance_courseRegister for WSMA Effective Board Governance CourseLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/register_for_wsma_effective_board_governance_course<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Events/Effective-Board-Governance-645-425v3.png" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> August 14, 2019 </h5> <h2>Register for WSMA Effective Board Governance Course</h2> <p> Physicians are increasingly being asked to serve on the board of their clinic, medical group, or integrated system. To be an effective board member, it's important to understand the difference between a constituency-based board and a representative board, what's expected of you in terms of fiduciary responsibility, who you are expected to represent and how to be effective in communicating as a board member. Learn how to be an effective board member with the WSMA Effective Board Governance Course, which provides in-depth education about governance and will help physicians bring a powerful voice and perspective to any board. This half-day training, for WSMA members only, takes place from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 in Seattle, immediately preceding the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting. <a href="">Learn more about the WSMA Effective Board Governance Course and register today to reserve your spot</a> (space is limited). This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢</em>. </p> </div>8/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
webinar_on_washingtons_new_immunization_law_now_available_on_demandWebinar on Washington's New Immunization Law Now Available on DemandLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/webinar_on_washingtons_new_immunization_law_now_available_on_demand<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/Resource_Library_stock_physician_w_smiling_mother_andchild_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> August 14, 2019 </h5> <h2>Webinar on Washington's New Immunization Law Now Available on Demand</h2> <p> House Bill 1638, WSMA-backed legislation eliminating the personal and philosophical exemption for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, is in effect. If you have questions about the exemption policy and the new immunization law, a recent webinar hosted by the Department of Health and Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians covering commonly asked questions about the new law is now available for viewing on demand. Click <a href="">here</a> to view the recording. Visit the <a href="">DOH website</a> for more information from the state on school and child care immunization requirements. </p> </div>8/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_on_kevinmd_a_critical_discussion_is_needed_about_planned_deathWSMA on KevinMD: A Critical Discussion Is Needed About Planned DeathLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/wsma_on_kevinmd_a_critical_discussion_is_needed_about_planned_death<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Wechkin-Schaaf-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> August 14, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA on KevinMD: A Critical Discussion Is Needed About Planned Death</h2> <p> WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, and Hope Wechkin, MD, medical director at EvergreenHealth Hospice and Palliative Care, have co-authored a new blog post at the popular physician blog KevinMD about the evolving role of the physician in end-of-life care. As the authors state in the post, "…it's clear that once efforts at deflecting death fail, we are no longer simply witnessing and managing the symptoms of dying. We now have agency in death's timing. We have a role to play. And we have responsibilities." Click <a href="">here</a> to read the post. Dr. Wechkin also serves as the course chair of <a href="">At the End of Life: Agency, Role and Responsibilities of the Physician/Advanced Practitioner</a>, the groundbreaking two-day conference in September, co-sponsored by the WSMA Foundation and featuring faculty consisting of <a href="">a veritable who's who in Washington health care</a>, that will explore the same issues with depth and deliberation. Visit the <a href="">conference webpage</a> for a full conference agenda and to register. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>. </p> </div>8/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_supports_congressional_effort_to_streamline_prior_authorization_under_medicare_advantageWSMA Supports Congressional Effort to Streamline Prior Authorization Under Medicare AdvantageLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/wsma_supports_congressional_effort_to_streamline_prior_authorization_under_medicare_advantage<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/DelBene_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> August 14, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Supports Congressional Effort to Streamline Prior Authorization Under Medicare Advantage </h2> <p> The WSMA has signed on to a letter to members of Congress in support of HR 3107, the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care by standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program. Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-Wash.) helped introduce the legislation, which, if passed, would address several pain points experienced by physicians participating in the program and could be used as a model by other plans. </p> <p> Based on <a href="" target="_blank">a consensus statement on prior authorization reform</a> adopted by the AMA and other leading national organizations representing physicians, medical groups, hospitals, pharmacists, and health plans, HR 3107 would: </p> <ul> <li>Create an electronic prior authorization program including the electronic transmission of prior authorization requests and responses and a real-time process for items and services that are routinely approved;</li> <li>Improve transparency by requiring plans to report to CMS on the extent of their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials; </li> <li>Require plans to adopt transparent prior authorization programs that are reviewed annually, adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines, and include continuity of care for individuals transitioning between coverage policies to minimize any disruption in care; </li> <li>Hold plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and to provide rationales for denials; and</li> <li>Prohibit additional prior authorization for medically necessary services performed during a surgical or invasive procedure that already received, or did not initially require, prior authorization.</li> </ul> </div>8/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_august_6_2019_five_things_to_know_while_beating_the_heatWeekly Rounds: August 6, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Beating the HeatLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_august_6_2019_five_things_to_know_while_beating_the_heat<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>August 6, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Beating the Heat</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Here's hoping you're managing to stay cool during these hot summer months. Just over a week ago, your WSMA executive committee got a jump on the hot days, gathering together in Walla Walla (temperatures in the 90s!) to chart a strategic plan for 2020 and beyond. You'll be hearing more about those discussions via our communications channels soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give you a heads up about five things coming your way in the weeks ahead. </p> <h3>Time to meet with your congressional representatives</h3> <p> With Congress breaking for its August recess, it's the perfect time for you to schedule an in-district meeting with them. Not sure what to discuss? Balance billing is a hot topic at the federal level. Dr. James Burkman and our Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Sean Graham recently traveled to the other Washington to provide the WSMA's perspective on this issue with Sen. Patty Murray (<a href="">read more about that visit</a>). </p> <p> Now, the House has released HR 3630, also known as the "No Surprises Act." Similar to legislation under consideration in the Senate, HR 3630 would reimburse physicians at an insurer's median contracted rate for care delivered under the bill, and, importantly, would not allow physicians to negotiate with insurers when a payment is insufficient. Members of Congress need to hear your concerns about this. </p> <p> The AMA has an August recess "<a href="" target="_blank">action kit</a>" on surprise billing which you can use. Or simply <a href="">send an email to your members of Congress</a>. When communicating with them, be sure to reference Washington's balance billing legislation, <a href="">House Bill 1065</a>, as a model fair to physicians and patients. <a href="">Learn more about that bill here</a>. </p> <h3>CMS seeks admin relief with proposed changes to physician fee schedule and QPP</h3> <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed major policy changes to ensure clinicians can spend more time providing high-value care for patients instead of filing cumbersome paperwork. As part of CMS's annual changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, the agency's proposals are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend with patients, removing unnecessary measures and making it easier for them to be on the path towards value-based care. This proposed rule builds on the Trump Administration's efforts to establish a patient-driven health care system that focuses on better health outcomes and is projected to save 2.3 million hours per year in burden reduction. For a fact sheet on the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, click <a href="">here</a>. To view the CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program proposed rule, click <a href="">here</a>. </p> <h3>New leadership at Physicians Insurance</h3> <p> The summer issue of the Physicians Insurance Report is out and inside you'll see a beautiful tribute to the company's president and CEO, Mary-Lou Misrahy. Earlier this year Mary-Lou announced her retirement after 15 years with the company. In a message to the WSMA board of trustees announcing her successor, Mary-Lou shared this: </p> <p> <em>"I've spent more than 15 years at this amazing company, whose future will continue long after my role in it comes to a close. I will stay on in a different capacity through the end of the calendar year to finish a few projects, as well as continue as the MPL Association Board Chair through May 2020.</em> </p> <p> <em>"Physicians Insurance is financially strong and stable with a very capable executive and leadership team. We are also well underway in a multi-year strategic plan that takes us through 2020, and have an incredible board of directors that will ensure continuity and focus. Thank you in advance for being part of the ongoing success of this amazing member-driven company."</em> </p> <p> William (Bill) Cotter will begin his term as the new president and CEO of Physicians Insurance effective Aug. 5, 2019. Bill comes from Allied World Assurance Company where he's spent the last 11 years, most recently serving as executive vice president, chief underwriting officer, Professional Liability – North America. While at Allied, he was responsible for underwriting strategy and execution, pricing discipline and product development for health care liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, cyber, M&A transactional insurance, and political risk and trade credit profit centers. Bill has a broad insurance background working in domestic and international markets for nearly 30 years, for companies like American International Group, CIGNA, and Allied World Assurance Company. He obtained his MBA from Columbia University, and an MBA from London University. He has a B.A. from Boston College. </p> <p> Mary-Lou has been a strong steward of PI and a huge advocate for physicians and their practices in Washington state. Please join me in wishing Mary-Lou the best in her retirement and offering Bill a big welcome as he transitions into his leadership role. </p> <h3>WSMA's new awards program: Call for nominations!</h3> <p> It's probably no surprise that we think our members are amazing! You are our heroes, and we want to celebrate and honor you. That's why we are implementing some new awards to recognize your service to the profession. We need your help on this! I hope you'll take a moment to nominate deserving colleagues and peers for one or more of the following awards (click on the link for the nomination form): </p> <ul> <li><a href="">President's Unsung Hero Award</a> (WSMA member going above and beyond to serve the house of medicine).</li> <li><a href="">Community Unsung Hero Award</a> (for non-physicians who go above and beyond to improve the house of medicine).</li> <li><a href="">Early Career Member of the Year Award</a> (WSMA member providing service and mentorship to early career members).</li> <li><a href="">Grassroots Advocate Awards</a> (WSMA members who take action on advocacy).</li> </ul> <h3>We're hitting the road</h3> <p> As a member-driven organization, when you speak up, we listen. You told us that you'd appreciate more face-to-face time with WSMA leadership. To that end, we are taking WSMA on the road so we can do just that. <a href="">We're headed to Spokane (Aug. 22), Vancouver (Aug. 29) and Bellingham (Sept. 5)</a>. We'll give you an update on WSMA's advocacy and policy work and would like to hear from you about how we can amplify our work in representing the profession or improving patient care throughout the state of Washington. We've also invited local legislators to join us in the discussion. Take a moment to <a href="">RSVP right now</a> to let us know you're coming and invite your colleagues: both members and non-members are welcome to these free events. </p> <p> I hope I'll see you soon, either at our road trips, or at the <a href="">Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates</a> this October. If you can't make either event but would like me to come and speak to your medical staff or group, shoot me an email. I'm happy to come and provide an update on our work. </p> <p> In the meantime, stay cool and enjoy the rest of the summer. </p> </div>8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
your_service_needed_on_wsma_early_career_section_governing_councilsYour Service Needed on WSMA Early Career Section Governing CouncilsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/your_service_needed_on_wsma_early_career_section_governing_councils<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/People%20non%20stock/LDC_2017.05.159-645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> July 31, 2019 </h5> <h2>Your Service Needed on WSMA Early Career Section Governing Councils</h2> <p><strong>Nominations for early career section governing councils are due Aug. 15.</strong></p> <p>Your service is needed to help us shape resources for your fellow young physicians, residents, fellows, and medical students, and increase involvement at the WSMA. You can make a difference!</p> <p>The WSMA is seeking passionate members to serve on the governing councils of the association’s three early career sections:</p> <ul> <li>Young Physician Section (members 40 years of age and younger or in the first 10 years of practice)</li> <li>Resident & Fellow Section</li> <li>Medical Student Section</li> </ul> <p>By serving on your respective section’s governing council, you join a select group of WSMA members dedicated to helping their peers and making a difference at their medical association. Time commitment is minimal and largely virtual—length of service is one year starting this fall, with virtual meetings held monthly.</p> <p>Here's what to do to be nominated:</p> <ol> <li>Are you a member of WSMA? If yes, then skip this step. Not a member? <a href="">Join today</a>! It’s free for students, residents, fellows, and for physicians in their first year of practice (membership is discounted for physicians in their second year of practice).</li> <li>Email your letter of interest and CV to Milana McLead at <a href=""></a> by <strong>Aug. 15</strong>.</li> </ol> <p>Service on each council begins at the <a href="">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a> (Oct. 12-13) in Seattle (the annual meeting is free for all WSMA members).</p> <p>Not interested in council leadership? You can still be involved with WSMA. Our events and meetings are open to all young physicians, residents, fellows, and students.</p> <p>Learn more about the <a href="">early career sections</a> and <a href="">join us</a> today!</p> </div>7/31/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM

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