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call_to_action_say_no_to_proposed_license_renewal_fee_increaseCall to action! Say no to proposed license renewal fee increaseLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/January/call_to_action_say_no_to_proposed_license_renewal_fee_increase<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/steth-money-645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>January 15, 2019</h5> <h2>Call to action! Say no to proposed license renewal fee increase</h2> <p> The WSMA is deeply concerned about a potential increase in license renewal fees for physicians (MDs) and physician assistants being considered by the Washington Medical Commission. </p> <p> The commission has notified the WSMA of its plans to initiate rulemaking to raise physicians' renewal fees 54 percent (from $657 to $1020) and physician assistants' renewal fees 96 percent (from $202 to $396). If adopted, the fee increases could go into effect as soon as late 2019. </p> <p> Note that licensure fee setting is done through a truncated rulemaking process, meaning that when the proposal is formally released by the commission, likely in the coming months, there will be only a brief opportunity to provide feedback. </p> <p> As it’s unclear exactly when the commission will officially release its proposal, the <strong>WSMA is advising physicians and PAs not to wait for the formal proposal and act now: Email the commission at <a href="mailto:medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov">medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov</a> and let them know how this increase would impact you—and tell them you endorse WSMA’s <a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Newsletters/2018/WMC_Fee_increase_ltr_112818.pdf]">formal comment letter</a> expressing strong opposition to the proposal.</strong> </p> <p> Along with the formal letter, the WSMA has expressed its concerns in person with commission leadership. See this <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/wsma_pushes_back_on_state_plans_to_raise_physician_licensure_fees">Membership Memo item</a> for background. </p> <p> <strong>Please take a moment to make your voice heard today. </strong> </p> <p> You will have a second opportunity to provide feedback once the official proposal is released in the coming months—we will make sure you are notified at that time. </p> <p> <strong>Don’t wait to act: Contact the commission today, <a href="mailto:medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov">medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov</a>.</strong> </p> <p> And be ready to comment again when the proposed rulemaking is released. Thank you for taking action today on behalf of all physicians and PAs. </p> </div>1/15/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2019_01_14_whats_ahead_for_2019_fending_off_fee_and_tax_increasesWeekly Rounds: Jan. 14, 2019 - What's ahead for 2019? Fending off fee and tax increasesLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_2019_01_14_whats_ahead_for_2019_fending_off_fee_and_tax_increases<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_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>January 14, 2019</h5> <h2>What's ahead for 2019? Fending off fee and tax increases</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Are you still reeling from the hefty price increase on your Washington car-tab renewals? I know I am. Mine nearly quadrupled, and each year when the bill arrives, I find I am still suffering from sticker shock. </p> <p> Well, fasten your proverbial seat belt, because if you are a <strong>MD or PA, your licensing fees may be increasing—54 and 96 percent, respectively</strong>. The Washington Medical Commission proposes to raise physicians' renewal fees from $657 to $1012 and physician assistants' renewal fees from $202 to $396 (fees cover the two-year cycle). </p> <p> <strong>It's unclear when the commission will move forward with this proposal, so we need you to act now by making your voice heard directly. Take a moment today to let them know how this would impact you—and tell them you endorse <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Documents/WMC_Fee_increase_ltr_112818.pdf" target="_blank">WSMA's formal comment letter</a> expressing strong opposition to the fee increases. Email them at <a href="mailto:medical.rules@wcm.wa.gov">medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov</a>.</strong> </p> <p> The WSMA has been quite vocal with commission leadership about our opposition to the staggering increase. Your WSMA board of trustees gave <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/wsma_pushes_back_on_state_plans_to_raise_physician_licensure_fees">direct and real-time feedback during a recent meeting</a>, and WSMA President Dr. Tom Schaaf addressed our collective concerns via the aforementioned letter to the commission. Even so, adding your opinion to the conversation makes a difference. Please take a moment to make your voice heard today. </p> <p> In other news, today is the opening day of the state's legislative session. Here's how the first week of session is shaping up: </p> <ul> <li>Today's opening will be notable, considering that nearly 20 percent of the legislators are new this year, and they'll all be sworn in today. </li> <li> Tuesday, we can look forward to Gov. Jay Inslee's "state of the state" address. </li> <li> During the week, there will be work sessions in committees aimed at getting legislators and stakeholders up to speed on issues. In fact, on Wednesday, WSMA Past President Dr. Donna Smith and Woodcreek Healthcare CEO James Hudson will present access-to-care insights to the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee. </li> <li> And as always, our team on the ground in Olympia will be busy providing testimony even this week on issues such as raising the age for tobacco purchase, whistleblower legislation, and more. </li> </ul> <p> Looking ahead, we know that our profession will face some challenging issues during session, including: </p> <ul> <li> A potential <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">B&O tax increase</a>.</li> <li> A public option offered on the state's health benefit exchange that <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190109/gov_inslee_previews_public_option_bill">caps reimbursements to physicians and other providers at Medicare rates</a>.</li> <li> Attempts to expand wrongful death liability.</li> <li> A move to ban balance billing.</li> </ul> <p> As bills are introduced and hearings held, we will keep you informed of what transpires. I anticipate that we will be turning to our membership frequently with calls to action. With no physicians in the state legislature, we need to ensure that the medical community's voice is heard and that the implications of legislation are thoughtful and absent of unintended consequences. We will all need to engage if we are to advocate for a strong care community that serves our patients and communities. Our mantra holds fast: <strong>When ensuring that all Washingtonians have access to care in Washington state, we must not do so at the detriment of those providing the care.</strong> </p> <p> <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190109/a_look_at_wsmas_advocacy_agenda_on_eve_of_state_legislative_session">Click here</a> to read more about the WSMA's 2019 legislative agenda. </p> <p> Another great way to make your voice heard is to attend our 2019 Legislative Summit, scheduled for Feb. 7 in Olympia. No one knows better than our members the challenges in providing care, and we rely on them to enlighten legislators about how these issues truly affect the practice of medicine and patients—who, by the way, are constituents! </p> <p> Your opinions and perspectives matter to state legislators and policymakers. The event is free and provides an opportunity for you to come to the state capital, gain insight into how we translate WSMA policy into real action with legislators, and to meet with lawmakers directly. </p> <p> Don your white coat and join us! The visual message of physicians, physician assistants, and medical students united in support of the profession and patients is a powerful one. </p> <p> <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">Register for the Legislative Summit today</a>. </p> <p> A special thanks to our <a href="https://wsma.org/legislative-summit#partners">corporate partners</a>—exclusive premier partner <a href="https://www.phyins.com/">Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company</a>, and silver partners <a href="https://www.premera.com/wa/visitor/">Premera Blue Cross</a>, <a href="https://www.fchn.com/">First Choice Health</a>, <a href="https://www.hallrender.com/">Hall Render</a>, and <a href="https://www.wpmgcareers.org/">Washington Permanente Medical Group</a>—for helping the WSMA make this event free for our members and for members of Washington State Medical Group Management Association. </p> <p> We're already working this year to make Washington the best place to practice medicine and receive care. Thank you for your support, involvement, and membership in the WSMA. Your engagement is what enables us to do this work on your behalf. (Haven't joined or renewed your membership for 2019 yet? <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/Contacts/Sign_In.aspx?LoginRedirect=true&returnurl=%2FWSMA%2FMembership%2FJoin_Renew%2FJoin_Renew_Auth.aspx%3FWebsiteKey%3Dc182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">Click here</a> right now to fix that! Thank you.) </p> <p> P.S. If you still need convincing, <a href="https://vimeo.com/310886915">here's WSMA's director of legislative affairs, Katie Kolan, JD</a>, on why it's important for the physician community to come to Olympia on Feb. 7. Join us! </p> </div>1/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
in_appreciation_wsma_member_dr_richard_dick_whittenIn appreciation: WSMA member Dr. Richard WhittenLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/January/in_appreciation_wsma_member_dr_richard_dick_whitten<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/AM_2017.10.062_Whitten_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>January 11, 2019</h5> <h2>In appreciation: WSMA member Dr. Richard "Dick" Whitten</h2> <p>By Graham Short</p> <p><em>The following article was featured in the January/February 2019 issue of WSMA Reports, WSMA's print newsletter. WSMA Reports is a benefit of membership. Non-members may <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/News_Publications/Publications/WSMA/News_Publications/Publications/Publications.aspx?hkey=8f14076c-10b8-48ab-9595-8c256836e393">purchase a subscription</a>.</em></p> <p> It's the end of an era: WSMA member Richard "Dick" Whitten, MD, of Sammamish has stepped down from his role as speaker of the WSMA House of Delegates, a position he held with dignity and aplomb for five years, and symbolically drawing to a close a time of tremendous leadership and service—more than 30 years worth—at the WSMA. </p> <p> Dr. Whitten presided over the House of Delegates, with his trusted gavel and dog-eared copy of parliamentary procedures, starting in 2013, replacing departing speaker and Tacoma family physician Richard Hawkins, MD. Assuming his place, starting with the 2019 WSMA House of Delegates, will be Spokane pediatrician Deborah Harper, MD, who has served as vice speaker since 2016, and who will be flanked by a new vice speaker, Matthew Grierson, MD, sports medicine physician from Seattle. </p> <p> Dr. Whitten's service as House speaker was just the latest in a long line of leadership roles at the WSMA held by the indefatigable physician and longtime member. His service included six years as a delegate representing King County (2007-13), four years as chair of the WSMA bylaws committee, and 25 years as a member of the AMA delegation, representing the interests of Washington physicians and patients on the national level at the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Whitten has been a dedicated member of the AMA for more than 37 years. </p> <p> WSMA's current AMA delegation chair, Spokane anesthesiologist Rod Trytko, MD, believes Dr. Whitten has been a fierce physician champion. "We all have benefitted from his relentless efforts to make Washington a great place to practice medicine and receive care. He also has been one of my most trusted friends." </p> <p> Another champion of physicians and patients, Seattle internist and Qualis Health CMO John Vassall, MD, agrees: "For those of us involved in the practice of medicine and in advocacy for our patients and our colleagues, we know that words matter and details matter. Dick took this very seriously and made sure we did not forget the important words and the important details." </p> <p> Dr. Whitten currently serves as medical director and vice president of health policy at Noridian Healthcare Solutions. </p> <p> From all of WSMA, a hearty "thank you" to Dr. Whitten for his leadership, service, and continued membership (38 years and counting). We are proud to have you as a member!</p> <p><em>Graham Short is WSMA’s associate director of communications.</em></p> </div>1/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
2019_wsma_leadership_development_conference_registration_and_scholarships_availableScholarships available for 2019 Leadership Development Conference: apply by Jan. 28Latest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/2019_wsma_leadership_development_conference_registration_and_scholarships_available<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/LDC_image_nonstock_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 9, 2019 </h5> <!-- NEW ARTICLE --> <h2>Scholarships available for 2019 Leadership Development Conference: apply by Jan. 28</h2> <p> The WSMA Leadership Development Conference is one of WSMA's most popular events, allowing attendees to enjoy prime learning, networking, and recreational opportunities in a beautiful lakeside resort setting. A limited number of scholarships are available for the 2019 conference, scheduled for May 17-18 at Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan. Help us identify and cultivate the next generation of clinician leaders by spreading the word! </p> <p>Scholarships cover registration fees, event meals, and lodging for two nights in one standard room. Travel to and from the conference is not covered by the scholarship. To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must:</p> <ul> <li>Be a member of the WSMA in 2019. </li> <li>Have not attended a WSMA Leadership Development Conference before. </li> <li>Submit a complete application by Monday, Jan. 28. </li> </ul> <p> The <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019LDCScholarship">scholarship application form is available online</a>. The WSMA executive committee will select up to 10 scholarship recipients at its February meeting. Preference will be given to early career applicants (e.g. students, residents, fellows, those under 40, and those in their first 10 years of practice). </p> <p> The one-and-a-half-day Leadership Development Conference is designed for clinicians at all levels of leadership experience and will provide practical information and skills that can be used in any setting—at work, in the community, or in organized medicine.The conference presents an excellent opportunity for physicians seeking leadership positions in their career, regardless of the type or size of their organization or practice. Encourage all physicians involved in a leadership capacity in your organization to attend. </p> <p> Contact Brendan Cox at 206.441.9762 or <a href="mailto:brendan@wsma.org">brendan@wsma.org</a> if you have any questions. And be sure to reserve your spot at the conference by <a href="mailto:https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Leadership_Development_Conference/WSMA/Events/LDC/leadership_development_conference.aspx?hkey=c7532c38-057a-4568-8a3c-078182469222">registering online today</a>. </p> </div>1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
a_look_at_wsmas_advocacy_agenda_on_eve_of_state_legislative_sessionA look at WSMA's advocacy agenda on eve of state legislative sessionLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190109/a_look_at_wsmas_advocacy_agenda_on_eve_of_state_legislative_session<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Stock.image_2017.WA.State.Capitol.Building_Double-645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 9, 2019 </h5> <h2>A look at WSMA's advocacy agenda on eve of state legislative session</h2> <p> The 2019 state legislative session begins this Monday. The primary duty of the Legislature during this "long" 105-day session will be to pass a budget to fund the state government and related services for the two-year period starting July 1, presaged by <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">Gov. Inslee's budget proposal</a> in December. While budget negotiations will take center stage, lawmakers will also consider legislation on an array of topics—and the WSMA will be there to help guide them on those issues impacting physicians and patients. </p> <p> Topping the list of WSMA's advocacy priorities for the 2019 session are access to care, support for mental and behavioral health services, and health care market stabilization and reform. With <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2018/physician_depression_its_time_to_care_for_our_own">professional burnout still of paramount concern to your state medical association</a>, the WSMA will screen all proposed health care policy through the lens of whether it adds administrative burden to the practice of medicine. </p> <p> Priority bills and budget provisions the WSMA anticipates include: </p> <h3>Mental/behavioral health</h3> <p> The WSMA will support proposals to increase our state's behavioral health workforce, such as funding for psychiatric medical residencies and increasing access to telemedicine services. Many of these behavioral health funding provisions were laid out in the <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">governor's budget proposal</a>, including a long-held WSMA priority: an increase in Medicaid reimbursements (for mental health, substance abuse treatment, and adult and pediatric primary care). </p> <h3>Liability</h3> <p> Several liability bills we monitored in 2018 we expect to see again in some form, including: </p> <ul> <li>Whistleblower protections – The WSMA will again urge lawmakers to provide protections to employed and non-employed physicians who make good-faith claims of wrongdoing by hospital administrations.</li> <li>Advance directives – The WSMA will urge legislators to simplify the requirements for signing/notarizing advance directives.</li> <li>Wrongful death – We expect to again see legislation addressing wrongful death lawsuits (the WSMA successfully opposed a bill in 2018 which would have increased liability and exposure these claims).</li> </ul> <h3>Opioids</h3> <p> Over the past several years, physician-led efforts have been crucial to <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Press_Releases/2018/Public-private_safe_prescribing_initiative_results_in_reductions_in_Medicaid_opioid_prescriptions">reforming opioid prescribing practices</a>. During the 2019 session, the WSMA will push for increased access to treatment for opioid use and substance use disorder through reimbursement, workforce availability, access to non-opioid treatments, and more. </p> <h3>Public health </h3> <p> The WSMA will support legislation during session in line with policy recently passed by the House of Delegates, including policy addressing firearm violence and climate change. Other public health priorities we expect to see include: </p> <ul> <li>Raising the age for the legal purchase of tobacco products to 21.</li> <li>Funding for a maternal mortality review committee.</li> <li>Funding for Foundational Public Health Services.</li> </ul> <h3>Taxes on physician services</h3> <p> As <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">reported previously</a>, the governor has proposed $3.7 billion in tax increases to fund investments outlined in his budget proposal. Included is a 67 percent increase in the business and occupation tax, from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. As we've done in past legislative sessions, the WSMA will vigorously oppose this provision in the governor's budget, which would disproportionally harm our state's solo and independent practices. </p> <p> As the session unfolds, we'll keep you posted on developments in our communications channels. If you'd like to help support our advocacy more directly, <strong>come to Olympia on Feb. 7 for the 2019 WSMA Legislative Summit</strong>, and join your like-minded colleagues and peers from across the state as we take our advocacy message directly to legislators. We need WSMA members from all of Washington's 49 legislative districts to attend, to ensure lawmakers throughout the state hear our message on behalf of physicians and patients. The event is free for members—learn more and <a href="mailto:https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">register online</a> today. </p> <p> And be sure to check out this month's issue of WSMA Reports, which features a special focus on WSMA's advocacy and how to be a good physician advocate. The publication should be in your mailbox now. </p> </div>1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
dates_announced_for_spring_2019_wsma_physician_leadership_courseDates announced for spring 2019 WSMA Physician Leadership CourseLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20180926/dates_announced_for_spring_2019_wsma_physician_leadership_course<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/PhysicianLeadershipCourse_image_nonstock_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 9, 2018 </h5> <h2>Deadline extended for spring Physician Leadership Course </h2> <p>Just a few spots remain to be filled in WSMA's Physician Leadership Course scheduled to begin this March in Seattle. Physician and physician assistants interested in starting on a leadership track are encouraged to apply by the new deadline, Wednesday, Jan. 23.</p> <p> WSMA's Physician Leadership Course offers hybrid-distance continuing education for physicians and physician assistants who want to learn more about health care leadership and develop skills to thrive professionally, regardless of the type or size of their organization. </p> <p>The course combines in-person and online learning to deliver 40 hours of curriculum over 10 weeks. It is designed for practicing physicians, requiring minimal time away from patient care, with two initial days of in-person coursework, eight weeks of online instruction and interaction, and concluding with a one-day in-person session.</p> <p>For the spring 2019 course, in-person classes will take place Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9 and Friday, May 10 in Seattle. Online instruction takes place during the intervening eight weeks. Find full course curriculum, tuition and application information on the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Physician_Leadership_Course/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Physician_Leadership_Course/Physician_Leadership_Course.aspx?hkey=219c2ad0-02a5-4a1a-af06-ae5bed577d11">course webpage</a>.</p> <p>Medical groups, hospitals and health systems throughout Washington have used this course to enhance their leadership teams—make sure leadership in your clinical care setting is reaching its potential by enrolling today. </p> <p>Questions? Email Lauren Beverly at <a href="mailto:lauren@wsma.org">lauren@wsma.org</a>. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>. </p> </div>1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
join_your_physician_and_pa_colleagues_in_olympia_for_the_2019_wsma_legislative_summitDoctors' day on the Hill is almost here! Join your colleagues at the 2019 Legislative SummitLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181212/join_your_physician_and_pa_colleagues_in_olympia_for_the_2019_wsma_legislative_summit<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/LS_2018.01.166-645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>January 9, 2018 </h5> <h2>Doctors' day on the Hill is almost here! Join your colleagues at the 2019 Legislative Summit</h2> <p> Please consider taking time out of your busy schedule to attend the 2019 WSMA Legislative Summit, Thursday, Feb. 7. Your opinions matter to state legislators and policymakers. This is your chance to come to the state capital, gain insight into how we translate WSMA policy into actual action with legislators, and make your voice heard by meeting with lawmakers directly. </p> <p> Our work in Olympia is key to advancing the interests of physicians and patients in the state. As WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom points out: </p> <p> <em>"No one knows better than our members what goes on in an exam room, and we rely on them to provide an accurate picture of how these issues really affect the practice of medicine and their patients, who are their constituents!" </em> </p> <p> Recognizing that your time is valuable, the event is free to attend, and we provide lunch. WSMA's legislative team will provide details on our top advocacy issues and updates on important campaigns and will help to schedule personal meetings with your legislators in the afternoon. </p> <p> If you have a white coat, wear it! The visual message of physicians, physician assistants and medical students united in support of the profession and patients will be a powerful one. </p> <p> Help us make our voice heard! Join us in Olympia on Feb. 7. <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">Register online today</a>. </p> <p>A special thanks to our corporate partners—exclusive premier partner <a href="http://www.phyins.com/">Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company</a>, and silver partners <a href="http://www.premera.com/">Premera Blue Cross</a>, <a href="https://www.fchn.com/default.aspx?">First Choice Health</a>, <a href="http://www.hallrender.com/">Hall Render</a>, and <a href="https://www.wpmgcareers.org/">Washington Permanente Medical Group</a>—for helping WSMA make this event free for WSMA and WSMGMA members.</p> </div>1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
state_radiological_society_introduces_website_for_new_breast_density_notification_lawReminder: Breast density notification law now in effectLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181212/state_radiological_society_introduces_website_for_new_breast_density_notification_law<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/stock_doc_female_mammogram_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>January 9, 2019</h5> <h2>Reminder: Breast density notification law now in effect</h2> <p> Starting Jan. 1, health care facilities are required to share information with mammography patients on their breast density. The Department of Health has issued a <a href="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/381c2b109dc0809662b7cd0da/files/e3b3b4de-ee60-4474-b07c-88846a7769b9/SH5084_Breast_Density_Practitioner_Notice_Final.pdf" target="_blank">practitioner notice </a> with guidance on the new requirement. For further assistance, the Washington State Radiological Society and its Breast Imaging Task Force have created a website to provide information about the new law for both physician and patients. The website features frequently asked questions from patients, technologists, physicians, and providers on the medical care related to breast cancer screening, as well as information about breast cancer risk and risk reduction. Visit the new online resource at <a href="https://www.WA-densebreastanswers.org">www.WA-densebreastanswers.org</a>. </p> </div>1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_reports_physician_advocates_are_vital_to_wsmas_legislative_successWSMA Reports: Physician advocates are vital to WSMA's legislative successLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/January/wsma_reports_physician_advocates_are_vital_to_wsmas_legislative_success<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/WSMA-Reports%20article%20graphic2018-Jan-Feb.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>January 8, 2019</h5> <h2>Physician advocates are vital to WSMA's legislative success</h2> <p> By Marcia Frellick </p> <p> <em>The following article was our featured cover story in the January/February 2019 issue of WSMA Reports, WSMA's print newsletter. WSMA Reports is a benefit of membership. Non-members may <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/News_Publications/Publications/WSMA/News_Publications/Publications/Publications.aspx?hkey=8f14076c-10b8-48ab-9595-8c256836e393">purchase a subscription</a>.</em> </p> <p> With the 2019 state legislative session looming, thoughts of advocacy are fresh and physicians are among leaders looking for ways to change policies or to protect hard-won gains. </p> <p> Washington physicians who embrace advocacy told WSMA Reports how they got started and why advocacy is important. </p> <h3> Kim Schrier, MD, newly elected to Congress from Washington's 8th District</h3> <p> Dr. Schrier, a community pediatrician in Issaquah, said she never had thoughts of running for office until the 2016 election. </p> <p> "When my member of Congress sided with party over the people in our district by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, hurting thousands in our district, I stepped up to run against him," she said. </p> <p> Dr. Schrier, who has spoken at both the WSMA Legislative Summit and WSMA Annual Meeting, says it's critical that physicians step up and share expert perspectives on health care policy. </p> <p> "Otherwise, we end up working in a system designed by non-physicians that may not work well for patients or doctors," she said. </p> <p> Key health care-related issues facing the state and country need physicians' insight, she said, among them how to cover our uninsured or underinsured, how to address the opioid crisis, and how to expand access to health care in rural communities. </p> <p> She advises physicians to "jump in and encourage your colleagues to join you. Physicians are natural advocates. We go to bat for our patients every day. We are inclined to study the issues and be thoughtful about solutions, to listen respectfully, and to speak up on behalf of our patients." </p> <h3> Nariman Heshmati, MD, outgoing chair, Washington Medical Political Action Committee (WAMPAC)</h3> <p> In addition to his role with WAMPAC, WSMA's nonpartisan campaign arm, Dr. Heshmati is chair of the surgery section and a member of the clinical leadership board at The Everett Clinic and chief of women's and children's services at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. </p> <p> Dr. Heshmati first got involved in advocacy nearly 20 years ago when he joined a political action committee as a medical student and started going to lobbying days. He saw the need to go beyond just what the patient needs at the moment and look ahead to making the system better for that patient and all others later on. </p> <p> Physicians are uniquely qualified to speak on patient care, he said. </p> <p> "We're not speaking on behalf of insurance companies," he emphasized. "We sometimes don't realize how much our opinions, voiced in unison, matter. It's a trusted opinion and we have to utilize that to make positive changes." </p> <p> Time is always going to be a struggle for physicians, he acknowledged, but advocacy can also save time by changing the cause of inefficiencies, such as problems with electronic medical records, extensive regulations, and prior authorizations. </p> <p> "You can make that system better and more efficient and then you'll have more time," Dr. Heshmati said. </p> <h3> Avanti Bergquist, MD, child psychiatrist</h3> <p> Dr. Bergquist of Renton, a psychiatrist with Eating Recovery Center and Seattle Children's Hospital, got interested in advocacy when she saw the impact her husband, a public school teacher, could have when he was elected representative in Washington's 11th Legislative District in 2012. That was also the year she finished her child psychiatry fellowship. </p> <p> Through the training they got in running a campaign (the Bergquists attended the American Medical Association's AMPAC Candidate Workshop, which teaches doctors how to run a political campaign) and her husband's election, she saw how one constituent and one legislator being interested in something important can make a huge difference. </p> <p> Legislators need to hear from the experts to make informed decisions, she said. In her case, she worked on a state committee that advocated expanding the scope of a phone line offered by the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital. The service helps physicians treating children with mental health issues since there is a severe shortage of child psychiatrists in the state. </p> <p> Her advocacy work led her to run for election to her local school board, where she is now serving in her second year. </p> <p> Advocacy has had a personal benefit as well. "This has really resolved my burnout," she said. "I'm helping patients and families in my direct clinical work but I was also able to make a positive impact on a much bigger scale. In clinical work, we get frustrated by red tape, but once I understood the policies and how to make a change, it's really helped me." </p> <h3> Judy Kimelman, MD, an OB-GYN in private practice</h3> <p> Dr. Kimelman, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Seattle, works with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on the state and national level. </p> <p> At the state level, she has helped organize the state chapter's lobbying day in Olympia, which helps mobilize advocacy for legislation that supports women's reproductive health issues. She teaches physicians the right and wrong way to lobby and how to navigate the legislative process. She even created a video, "Lobbying: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," on the process (available on YouTube). </p> <p> On the national level, she meets with members of Congress on specific issues and has joined national lobbying efforts. </p> <p> Her advocacy work started with efforts to try to stop nuclear proliferation when she was an undergraduate at Berkeley. Then at Stanford Medical School, she helped organize students across the country to advocate for change. </p> <p> Later in practice, she saw colleagues struggling in the medical malpractice crisis. </p> <p> "People were practicing so much defensive medicine, it didn't feel like good medicine," she said. </p> <p> She contacted the WSMA to see what could be done with tort reform. </p> <p> "That reinvigorated my desire to be involved in advocacy," she said. "We know the medicine and we know the science and it's important to use the authority that the MD or DO behind our name gives us to tell legislators why a bill is important or why it's important that it not pass." </p> <h3> MOC law is evidence advocacy works</h3> <p> Kathryn Kolan, JD, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the WSMA, said physicians need to be ahead of legislators in formulating policy or they will be governed by rules set by those with no experience in health care. </p> <p> She added that she has seen physician input repeatedly result in policy change. One of the most recent examples was the law passed in the last state legislative session on maintenance of certification. </p> <p> Physicians in the WSMA House of Delegates fought against MOC being a condition of licensure. The policy was adopted by WSMA in October 2017 and in January 2018, the state legislature passed the bill. </p> <p> "Translating the patient and physician experience to policymaking is vital," she said. </p> <p> <em>Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist who specializes in health care topics.<br /> </em> </p> <div class="AsiInformation"> <h3><strong>What you can do</strong></h3> <p> Physician advocates offer these tips for taking action on advocacy. </p> <ul> <li>Attend the annual WSMA Legislative Summit. The next one is Feb. 7 in Olympia. <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx">Register online today</a>.</li> <li>Enroll in the American Medical Association's <a href="http://www.ampaconline.org/political-education/ampac-candidate-workshop/">AMPAC Candidate Workshop</a>, which teaches doctors how to run a political campaign.</li> <li>Connect with one legislator or policymaker who shares your interest on a particular topic.</li> <li>Be patient, as change is often slow. Developing relationships is a good first step.</li> <li>Write letters to the editor of your newspaper.</li> <li>Post opinions on social media.</li> <li>Call or email legislators.</li> <li>Write a check to political action committees doing the work you support.</li> </ul> </div> </div>1/8/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_uglyGovernor's 2019 budget proposal: The Good, the Good, and the UglyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Stock.image_2017.WA.State.Capitol.Building_Double-645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 26, 2018 </h5> <h2>Governor's 2019 budget proposal: The Good, the Good, and the Ugly</h2> <p> Gov. Inslee has released his state budget proposal for the two-year period beginning on July 1. While the $54.4 billion spending plan contains strong investments in behavioral health and primary care (including a long-sought increase in Medicaid reimbursements), it comes with a significant price tag for physician practices. </p> <h3>The good</h3> <p> The governor's budget proposal features an impressive $874.5 million in health care investments, with major provisions to further the state's efforts at integrating behavioral health and primary care, including: </p> <ul> <li><strong>$675 million to address mental and behavioral health treatment</strong>. Provisions would be made for improvements of state mental and behavioral health facilities, additional beds for patients with mental, behavioral health, and substance use disorders, and the creation of five new psychiatric residencies at the University of Washington.</li> <li><strong>$56.6 million in state funds and $142.9 million in federal funds to increase Medicaid payments for adult and pediatric primary care</strong>. This proposal appears to mirror the two-year primary care reimbursement rate increase our state saw under the Affordable Care Act in 2013-14 and reflects an increase to 83 percent of Medicare rates, according to the governor's office. The budget also includes $9.1 million in state funds and $27.7 million in federal funds to increase the Medicaid rate paid for mental and behavioral health and psychotherapy codes.</li> </ul> <p> Other budget highlights include $22 million to help stabilize public health, $100,000 to improve the prescription monitoring program, and $8.9 million to cover the projected revenue shortfall if the Legislature raises the legal age for tobacco products to 21. </p> <h3> The bad</h3> <p> The governor proposes $3.7 billion in tax increases to fund his investments; among them is a stinger for physician practices—<strong>a 67 percent increase in the business and occupation tax, from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent</strong>. This increase will disproportionally impact our state's already shrinking supply of solo and independent practices, which often run on very slim margins, making any tax increase costly to physicians and patient care. </p> <p> Many of our members will know this is not our first time at this particular rodeo, with our elected officials proposing B&O tax increases on several occasions in the recent past—and the WSMA successfully fighting back each attempt. As we did then, the WSMA will vigorously oppose this provision in the governor's budget. </p> <p>It's worth keeping in mind that Gov. Inslee's budget proposal is just that—a proposal. It gives the governor an opportunity for his office to highlight priority issues and set the stage for budget negotiations that will unfold during the legislative session, which begins in January. It also tends to be something of a high-water mark, as the final budget adopted by the Legislature is almost certain to be more modest in terms of spending and taxes. </p> <p> As the session unfolds, we'll keep you posted on developments in the Membership Memo. For more up-to-the minute news, visit and bookmark our online <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/News_Publications/Latest_News/Advocacy_Report/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx?hkey=fbce906b-dbfb-4af3-8790-11f84275cf1e">Advocacy Report</a>. If you're interested in participating more directly in our advocacy work during the upcoming session, plan now to attend the 2019 WSMA Legislative Summit, our annual "lobby day on the Hill" for the physician community, scheduled for Feb. 7 in Olympia. The event is free for members—learn more and <a href="mailto:https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">register online</a>. </p> </div>12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
sign_up_now_for_the_winter_2019_mindfulness_for_healthcare_professionals_teleconference_seriesSign up now for the winter 2019 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals teleconference seriesLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/sign_up_now_for_the_winter_2019_mindfulness_for_healthcare_professionals_teleconference_series<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/MIndfulness_rocks_reflection_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 26, 2018 </h5> <h2>Sign up now for the winter 2019 Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals teleconference series</h2> <p> Physicians, physician assistants and other licensed providers in Washington can now register for the upcoming teleconference series Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals of Washington State, an intensive four-week, five-session stress reduction and burnout prevention training program slated to begin in February. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢</em>. </p> <p> The program contains the core elements of the renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum customized for clinicians. The course includes mindfulness training exercises, guided reflections, structured conversations with peers, and practical information about resilience, stress, and burnout. </p> <p> Mindfulness training has been shown to help physicians and providers: </p> <ul> <li>Respond more skillfully in high stress situations, reducing risk factors for burnout.</li> <li>Create positive peer support for mindful engagement in work and home situations that have previously triggered stress responses and unhelpful behaviors.</li> <li>Identify helpful vs. unhelpful thought patterns; strengthen problem solving, emotional regulation, and meaning-focused coping strategies.</li> <li>Re-connect with intention and meaning to the health care profession.</li> </ul> <p> The winter 2019 program is scheduled for Thursday evenings beginning Feb. 7 with one extended session on Sunday, Feb. 24, and is presented by Mindfulness Northwest in partnership with the WSMA and Washington Physicians Health Program. For more information and to register, visit the event page on the <a href="https://mindfulnessnorthwest.com/event-3034844">Mindfulness Northwest website</a>. </p> </div>12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_pushes_back_on_state_plans_to_raise_physician_licensure_feesWSMA pushes back on state plans to raise physician licensure feesLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/wsma_pushes_back_on_state_plans_to_raise_physician_licensure_fees<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/steth-money-645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 26, 2018 </h5> <h2>WSMA pushes back on state plans to raise physician licensure fees</h2> <p> The WSMA has met with leadership of the Washington Medical Commission to express our deep concerns over a substantial proposed increase in license renewal fees for physicians and physician assistants, which, while subject to rulemaking and a public comment period, could go into effect as soon as late 2019. </p> <p> The proposal would raise physicians' renewal fees 54 percent (from $657 to $1020) and physician assistants' renewal fees 96 percent (from $202 to $396). According to the commission, the proposed increases are due in part by a decline in the number of licensees and higher discipline and overhead costs. The commission has said that the fee increase is intended to obviate the need for further increases for the next 10 years. </p> <p> Washington Medical Commission Executive Director Melanie de Leon and Deputy Executive Director Micah Matthews recently met with the WSMA board of trustees to discuss the commission's proposal. Following the meeting, the WSMA, in <a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Newsletters/2018/WMC_Fee_increase_ltr_112818.pdf]">a comment letter to the commission</a>, expressed its strong opposition to the proposed fee increase, citing concerns about the physician and PA communities' ability to absorb such a dramatic increase in their fees and questioning the commission's reasoning behind the proposal. </p> <p> In the letter, WSMA President Dr. Tom Schaaf also pointed to WSMA's belief that "such a fee increase could put the Medical Commission in the position of subsidizing the costs of other professions." Dr. Schaaf cited an <a href="http://www.sao.wa.gov/state/Documents/PA_Aligning_Healthcare_Professional_Fees_ar1022690.pdf" target="_blank">audit released in late November</a> from the Washington State Auditor's Office and supported by the WSMA, which revealed that, contrary to state law, revenues collected by the Department of Health from some health care professions have been cross-subsidizing the costs of licensing other professions. </p> <p> The commission's proposal is preliminary; however, we do expect the agency to move forward with the proposal, with formal rulemaking to be released as early as mid-2019 and adoption of the fee increase potentially by the end of 2019. WSMA members are advised that licensure fee setting is done through a truncated rulemaking process—meaning that when the proposal is released by the commission, there will only be one opportunity for the WSMA and the physician community to provide feedback. </p> <p> The WSMA is working with the commission to ensure that our members are given ample time and information on the rulemaking proposal to provide input. We will likely have more information on the issue in January. If you have any questions, please contact Hailey Hamilton at <a href="mailto:hailey@wsma.org">hailey@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
WSMA_responds_to_Texas_federal_court_ACA_rulingWSMA responds to Texas federal court ACA rulingLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2018/December/WSMA_responds_to_Texas_federal_court_ACA_ruling<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/gavel_steth_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>December 26, 2018</h5> <h2> WSMA responds to Texas federal court ACA ruling </h2> <p>In the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, a suit filed in a federal district court in Texas, the judge hearing the case delivered an opinion which found the health care reform law unconstitutional. WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, responding to the judge's opinion, issued the following statement: </p> <p>"This decision threatens to turn back the clock to a time in our country when double-digit uninsured rates were the norm and when millions of Americans were at risk of being denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. It would undo the tremendous amount of work done here in Washington state to extend coverage to hundreds of thousands through the expansion of Medicaid and establishment of the state exchange. We hope for a swift close to this chapter and urge policymakers to look forward, not backward, toward solutions that help ensure our patients have access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage."</p> <p>While the WSMA is disappointed by the court’s decision, the issue is not settled, and likely won’t be until 2020 at the earliest, when the case could be heard by the Supreme Court. </p> <p>We will update you as the appeals process progresses. For more information on this decision, contact Tierney Edwards at <a href="mailto:tee@wsma.org">tee@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_seeks_delay_in_potentially_burdensome_hca_change_to_home_health_and_dme_ordersWSMA seeks delay in potentially burdensome HCA change to home health and DME ordersLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/wsma_seeks_delay_in_potentially_burdensome_hca_change_to_home_health_and_dme_orders<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Stock.image.2018.Fmdoctor_w_clipboard_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 26, 2018 </h5> <h2>WSMA seeks delay in potentially burdensome HCA change to home health and DME orders</h2> <p> The WSMA is seeking to delay the Jan. 1 effective date of a new state Health Care Authority Apple Health (Medicaid) policy regarding home health services and durable medical equipment that threatens to increase the administrative burden on physicians. </p> <p> As reported in the <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181128/apple_health_change_to_home_health_and_medical_equipment_prescriptions">Nov. 28 Membership Memo</a>, the HCA has amended its rules for home health services and medical equipment to align with federal law. Under the new policy, starting Jan. 1, only physicians will be authorized to order home health services and medical equipment for Apple Health patients—advance registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants wishing to place a home health or DME order will be required to have a physician's signature. </p> <p> WSMA's concerns over these changes are essentially twofold: </p> <ul> <li>A requirement to have physicians review home health and DME orders by ARNPs and PAs to confirm medical necessity is administratively burdensome, adding more tasks for busy physicians to absorb, even if there is a mechanism whereby physicians can bill for that activity. This requirement impedes the delivery of care and appears contrary to the spirit of the current administration's "<a href="mailto:https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20180725/new_cms_rule_proposes_significant_changes_to_medicare_billing_and_documentation">Patients Over Paperwork</a>" initiative.</li> <li>The requirement does not appear to address the reality that here in Washington, ARNPs have independent practice authority, and in many practice settings, ARNPs in independent practice have little or no oversight by a physician and therefore are not positioned to comply with this requirement.</li> </ul> <p> The WSMA is seeking an opportunity with HCA leadership to, at least, forestall temporarily the Jan. 1 implementation of these policy changes. This would allow time to explore with both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the HCA the feasibility of addressing these two concerns in a more reasoned manner and timeframe, particularly in view of the holiday period when communications among parties will be impeded by vacation schedules. </p> <p> We will keep you apprised of further developments. For questions, contact Bob Perna at <a href="mailto:rjp@wsma.org">rjp@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
hhs_seeking_feedback_on_strategy_to_reduce_ehr_burdenHHS seeking feedback on strategy to reduce EHR burdenLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181212/hhs_seeking_feedback_on_strategy_to_reduce_ehr_burden<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/stock_doc_male_w_tablet_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 20, 2018 </h5> <h2>HHS seeking feedback on strategy to reduce EHR and health IT burden</h2> <p> As part of the wide-ranging medical innovation bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act, Congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy to reduce the burdens related to electronic health records and health information technology. After a period of stakeholder input, the federal agency, working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), has <a href="https://www.healthit.gov/buzz-blog/health-it/strategy-on-reducing-regulatory-and-administrative-burden-relating-to-the-use-of-health-it-and-ehrs-released-for-public-comment">released its draft strategy</a> and is now seeking public feedback. </p> <p> The draft strategy outlines three overarching goals designed to reduce clinician burden: </p> <ol> <li>Reduce the effort and time required to record health information in EHRs.</li> <li>Reduce the effort and time required to meet regulatory reporting requirements for clinicians, hospitals, and health care organizations.</li> <li>Improve the functionality and intuitiveness (ease of use) of EHRs.</li> </ol> <p> Visit the <a href="https://www.healthit.gov/topic/usability-and-provider-burden/strategy-reducing-burden-relating-use-health-it-and-ehrs?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=a49fd7d4af-MR_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-a49fd7d4af-149551285">ONC website to review the draft and submit your comments</a>. The deadline for public feedback is 8:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 28. </p> <p> The WSMA is coordinating with the AMA to review and provide feedback on this proposal. For questions, contact Bob Perna at <a href="mailto:rjp@wsma.org">rjp@wsma.org</a>. HHS/ONC will publish the final version in late 2019. </p> </div>12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2018_12_18_this_feb_7_bring_your_white_coat_and_medical_perspective_to_olympiaWeekly Rounds: Dec. 18, 2018 - This Feb. 7, bring your white coat and medical perspective to OlympiaLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2018/weekly_rounds_2018_12_18_this_feb_7_bring_your_white_coat_and_medical_perspective_to_olympia<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_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>December 18, 2018</h5> <h2> This Feb. 7, bring your white coat and medical perspective to Olympia</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> The 2019 state legislative session begins in less than a month, and the recent release of Gov. Inslee's budget gives us a preview of topics that will be center stage for health care and medicine. </p> <p> As expected, the governor proposed a budget that supports integrating behavioral health with primary care, with $675 million aimed at addressing mental and behavioral health treatment. Specifically, the monies aim to improve state mental and behavioral health facilities and provide additional beds for patients with mental, behavioral health, and substance use disorders. Funds, if approved, would also be used to create five new psychiatric residencies at the University of Washington. </p> <p> On the primary care side, the governor included $56.6 million in state funds and $142.9 million in federal funds to support an increase in Medicaid payments for adult and pediatric primary care. This proposal appears to mirror the two-year primary care reimbursement rate increase our state saw under the Affordable Care Act in 2013-14 and reflects an increase at 83 percent of Medicare, according to the governor's office. The budget also includes $9.1 million in state funds and $27.7 million in federal funds to increase the Medicaid rate paid for mental and behavioral health and psychotherapy codes. </p> <p> Related to public health, the governor proposes an additional $22 million to help stabilize public health, $100,000 to improve the prescription monitoring program, and $8.9 million to cover the projected revenue shortfall if the Legislature raises the legal age for tobacco products to 21. The WSMA supports all of these initiatives. </p> <p> That said, the fact that Gov. Inslee's funding package comes at a cost to our profession is significantly troubling. The budget proposes $3.7 billion in tax increases, including, most notably for the WSMA, an increase in the business and occupation tax from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent—a whopping 67 percent increase. Obviously, such a tax proposal is a non-starter for the WSMA, and we will work aggressively to defeat it. If the governor is seeking to raise taxes to support his budget priorities, heHo needs to look at a general tax increase that is universally applied, rather than over-burdening the business and professional community. </p> <p> Effectively opposing tax increases is a tall order. But you can count on the WSMA's dedicated staff of professional lobbyists in Olympia to make the physician voice heard loud and clear. </p> <p> You may not realize that there are no physicians currently serving in the Legislature. In addition to hearing from our staff, it will be critical that lawmakers hear from you as well. Only our members—with direct and lived experience—can make house-of-medicine issues "real" for lawmakers. Only you can provide real-life examples of how legislative issues impact the practice of medicine. </p> <p> The <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">WSMA Legislative Summit</a>, our annual "lobby day on the Hill" for the physician community, is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Olympia. This is an opportunity to don your white coats and join your fellow physicians, physician assistants, medical students, and practice staff at the Capitol to talk about issues of concern to the profession and your patients. </p> <p> The Summit is your chance to humanize the WSMA's advocacy agenda for lawmakers. Hearing directly from a physician or provider constituent with firsthand expertise on complex issues helps educate lawmakers and helps ensure the physician and patient perspective is considered as policy is being made. WSMA executive committee member and outgoing WAMPAC board chair Nariman Heshmati, MD, puts it well by saying: "We sometimes don't realize how much our opinions, voiced in unison, matter. It's a trusted opinion and we have to utilize that to make positive changes." </p> <p> During the Summit's morning session, attendees hear from state health officials, policy makers and legislative leaders, as well as WSMA legislative staff on the issues being debated in the Legislature that stand to impact the house of medicine. Attendees will also receive coaching on how to meet with their legislators to effectively deliver our message during legislator meetings in the afternoon. (Note: these meetings are pre-arranged on your behalf by WSMA staff.) </p> <p> What is the WSMA Legislative Summit experience like? Check out this <a href="https://vimeo.com/304230432">brief video</a> to find out and to hear why Katie Kolan, JD—WSMA's legislative lead and Summit presenter—thinks you should join us on Feb. 7 at the state Capitol. </p> <p> <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">Register to attend the 2019 WSMA Legislative Summit today</a>. The event is free for WSMA and WSMGMA members. Working together, we will make Washington the best place to practice medicine and receive care. </p> <p> P.S. For more on WSMA's legislative agenda and how to be a physician advocate, keep an eye on your mailbox for the January/February edition of WSMA Reports, which covers it all! </p> </div>12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
don’t_delay_sign_up_for_prescription_review_todayDon’t delay! Sign up for Prescription Review todayLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181010/don’t_delay_sign_up_for_prescription_review_today<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Prescription_Review_logo_645x425.png" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 12, 2018 </h5> <h2> Getting started with Prescription Review, the state's prescription monitoring program </h2> <p> A key provision of the state's new opioid rules applicable to all prescribing physicians and physicians assistants is mandated registration (or demonstrated access via EHR integration, e.g. EDIE) and targeted checks of the prescription monitoring program. The WSMA is advising members not to delay setting up their account with Washington state's PMP, <a href="http://www.wapmp.org/">Prescription Review</a>. The Department of Health website has a <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/ForPublicHealthandHealthcareProviders/HealthcareProfessionsandFacilities/PrescriptionMonitoringProgramPMP#dnn_ctr32065_FAQs_lstFAQs_Q2_0">section with instructions for physicians, including a video tutorial</a>. That section also contains instructional videos on using and managing your Prescription Review account. For questions, contact Jeb Shepard at <a href="mailto:jeb@wsma.org">jeb@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
prepare_for_state_opioid_prescribing_rules_with_new_wsma_webinarPrepare for state opioid prescribing rules with new WSMA webinarLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181010/prepare_for_state_opioid_prescribing_rules_with_new_wsma_webinar<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Rx_bottle_doctor_laptop_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 12, 2018 </h5> <h2>Complete WSMA webinar on new opioid rules and fulfill state CME requirement</h2> <p> New opioid prescribing rules for Washington state prescribing professions, prompted by House Bill 1427, have been adopted. The WSMA's free lunchtime webinar next Wednesday, Dec. 19, can help physicians, physician assistants, and medical practices prepare for the new rules. In addition, completion of the webinar, either the live or archived session, will fulfill the new state CME requirement for physician and PAs on opioid prescribing.</p> <p> Register for this free session <a href="https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1349059379828828930">online</a>. The recorded webinar will be available on demand from the WSMA website shortly after the presentation. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>.</p> <p> For an overview of the new opioid prescribing rules, visit the WSMA’s <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Clinical_Quality/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance.aspx#rules">Opioid Clinical Guidance webpage</a>. To help practice leaders prepare their teams, the WSMA is producing a customizable presentation on the rules, which will be available this month. For questions, contact Jeb Shepard at <a href="mailto:jeb@wsma.org">jeb@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
save_the_date_new_september_conference_on_physician_agency_in_end_of_life_careSave the date: New September conference on physician agency in end-of-life careLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2018/December/save_the_date_new_september_conference_on_physician_agency_in_end_of_life_care<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Stock.image_2018.doctor_holdinghands_patient_645px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>December 12, 2018</h5> <h2>New September conference on physician agency in end-of-life care</h2> <p> Save the dates and spread the word: the WSMA is co-sponsoring a national conference in Seattle, Sept. 13 and 14, 2019, that will explore the complex professional, moral, and legal issues facing physicians caring for dying patients. </p> <p> Physicians have the privilege and duty to care for patients at the end of life. Sometimes a physician's actions factor into a patient's death; such as discontinuing life support (including ventilators, cardiac devices, and dialysis), clinically supporting patients who voluntarily stop eating and drinking (VSED), providing palliative sedation, and in states where it is legal, prescribing a lethal dose of medication to a dying patient. These cases have clinical, legal, ethical, sociocultural, and psychological dimensions that are often challenging for physicians to navigate. </p> <p> At this conference, presented by the <a href="save_the_date_new_september_conference_on_physician_agency_in_end_of_life_care">Washington End of Life Coalition</a>, the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/WSMA_Foundation/WSMA/About/WSMA_Foundation/WSMA_Foundation.aspx?hkey=5695f210-6aa1-4eaf-94f0-ddea2e6c6261">WSMA Foundation</a>, <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/">UW Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities</a>, <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/pallcntr/index.html">UW Medicine Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence</a>, and <a href="https://www.law.uw.edu/">UW School of Law</a>, we'll set the stage for ongoing discussion of these practices and the issues physicians caring for dying patients often face as both medical technology and patients' requests for planned death evolve. </p> <p> The event will be held Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at the University of Washington in Seattle. Visit the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Physician_Agency_in_End-of-Life_Care/WSMA/Events/At_the_End_of_Life_The_Physicians_Role_Responsibility_and_Agency.aspx?hkey=6e5ab646-a31e-4f20-b897-090caa515afd">conference webpage</a> for a list of featured speakers and panelists—a "who's who" of local and national physician leaders and experts. More details to come—for now, save the dates! Email Brendan Cox at <a href="mailto:brendan@wsma.org">brendan@wsma.org</a> to add your name to the mailing list to be notified when registration opens. </p> </div>12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_invited_to_senate_committee_for_presentation_on_better_prescribing_better_treatmentWSMA invited to Senate committee for presentation on Better Prescribing, Better TreatmentLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181212/wsma_invited_to_senate_committee_for_presentation_on_better_prescribing_better_treatment<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/BPBT_logo_645px.png" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> December 12, 2018 </h5> <h2>WSMA joins governor's office for Senate committee presentation on Better Prescribing, Better Treatment</h2> <p> <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Clinical_Quality/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance.aspx#bpbt">Better Prescribing, Better Treatment</a>, the physician-led safe prescribing effort that's part of the state opioid response plan, is showing <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Press_Releases/2018/Public-private_safe_prescribing_initiative_results_in_reductions_in_Medicaid_opioid_prescriptions.aspx">dramatic results in its first year</a>. To speak to the initiative's success and plans for the future, the WSMA recently joined the governor's office for a panel presentation before the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. </p> <p> Representing the WSMA for the discussion was the prescribing initiative's lead architect, Dr. Nathan Schlicher, WSMA's 1st vice president and member of the WSMA/WSHA Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force. Watch the hearing, and Dr. Schlicher's presentation, <a href="https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2018111061">here</a>. </p> <p> Many thanks to Dr. Schlicher for his testimony before lawmakers and his tremendous efforts making the launch of Better Prescribing, Better Treatment a success. Plan are underway to expand Better Prescribing, Better Treatment's data-leveraging strategy to all opioid prescribers in the state—<a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Clinical_Quality/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance/WSMA/Resources/Clinical_Quality/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance/Opioid_Clinical_Guidance.aspx?hkey=1f82f660-18a4-4be3-bb2f-6b454b6eb7cd">learn more about this effort and how you can assist</a>. </p> <p> As in the above example, the WSMA's advocacy is bolstered by physician expertise. If you have an issue you're passionate about and would be willing to lend your expertise in a public hearing, contact Katie Kolan at <a href="mailto:kak@wsma.org">kak@wsma.org</a>.</p> </div>12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
 

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