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Weekly Rounds
News and insights from WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom.

Weekly Rounds

A newsletter from WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom, sent to health care industry leadership and WSMA members.

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weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_alarming_shortage_of_ppe_continuesWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - Alarming Shortage Of PPE ContinuesWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_alarming_shortage_of_ppe_continues<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>Alarming Shortage Of PPE Continues</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> No doubt you have heard about the alarming shortage of PPE in our state. The governor announced today (Friday) that Washington state will receive a shipment from the national stockpile this weekend. Our understanding is that the Northwest Regional Health Care Network and Department of Health will be <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Attachments/PPE_prioritization_DOH_3-11-20.pdf" target="_blank">prioritizing supplies based on COVID-19 cases</a>. The City of Seattle <a href="https://durkan.seattle.gov/2020/03/city-of-seattle-leading-coordinated-effort-to-collect-critically-needed-personal-protective-equipment-for-first-responders-medical-professionals-on-the-frontlines-of-covid-19-response/">has announced a donation drive in partnership with Goodwill</a>. The WSMA is in conversations with the City and others to see how we can get supplies to clinics in need. </p> </div>3/23/2020 10:37:17 AM3/23/2020 10:31:04 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_caring_for_the_caregiver_during_the_outbreakWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - Caring for the Caregiver During the OutbreakWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_caring_for_the_caregiver_during_the_outbreak<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>Caring for the Caregiver During the Outbreak</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> Responding to the COVID-19 crisis is already taking toll on physicians and the health care team. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We know how critical it is that you can access the support you need and practice self-care while you strive to meet your calling to provide medical care to patients. </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/cognitive-behavioral-cbt/washington?sid=5e73e0fcbaa71">Find a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist near you</a>. Many therapists provide online and phone sessions. You can either private pay or bill your insurance.</li> <li>Access your employer's Employee Assistance or Physician Assistance Program. Services are 100% confidential and provided by skilled mental health professionals. Online and phone sessions are available through most EAPs. Search your inbox for emails from your "EAP" or "PAP" provider for instructions on how to connect with them directly. Tell your HR department if you need additional on-site support.</li> <li>Quick resources:</li> <ul> <li>Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: <a href="https://www.cstsonline.org/assets/media/documents/CSTS_FS_Sustaining_Well_Being_Healthcare_Personnel_during.pdf.pdf" target="_blank">Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare Personnel during Coronavirus</a></li> <li>CDC: <a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/responders.asp">Emergency Responders: Tips for taking care of yourself</a></li> <li>Ten Percent Happier: <a href="https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide">Free app and online resources for health care workers</a></li> </ul> </ul> <p> Finally, child care. If you are struggling with child care, know that according to the governor each school district is supposed to come up with a plan to offer child care to health care workers. We are working with the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to see if we can get more details to share. I know last night my local district sent out an email announcing their child care location and hours. If you have a moment, check in with your local district. In the meantime, we will try to compile this information for your easy access.</p> </div>3/23/2020 10:48:05 AM3/23/2020 10:42:13 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_doh_distributes_8000_tests___we_need_moreWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - DOH Distributes 8,000 Tests - We Need MoreWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_doh_distributes_8000_tests___we_need_more<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>DOH Distributes 8,000 Tests - We Need More</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> It's been incredibly frustrating and upsetting to hear from so many of our members who are unable to access the supplies necessary to test for COVID-19 - along with the equipment necessary to protect themselves and their staff from infection. </p> <p> While a lack of both testing supplies and protective equipment remains a major issue, we have learned that the Washington State Department of Health received <a href="https://coronavirus.wa.gov/news/washington-receives-8000-additional-covid-19-test-kits">8,000 additional COVID-19 test kits</a> on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. </p> <p> DOH is working to distribute the new supplies to local health agencies in the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus thus far - King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. These additional test kits are intended to increase capacity for testing of high-risk populations, including elderly people, those with pre-existing conditions, and the health care providers and first responders who are caring for others during this crisis. </p> <p> FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plan to provide additional test kits and related equipment to Washington state as these materials become available. </p> <p> The WSMA is conducting surveys of independent docs/clinics to determine need, to help advocate for testing supplies in our rural and non-Puget Sounds impacted areas.</p> </div>3/23/2020 10:58:09 AM3/23/2020 10:26:50 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_private_discussion_forum_for_physicians_and_pas_to_discuss_covid_19Weekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - Private Discussion Forum for Physicians and PAs to Discuss COVID-19Weekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_private_discussion_forum_for_physicians_and_pas_to_discuss_covid_19<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>Private Discussion Forum for Physicians and PAs to Discuss COVID-19</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> We've heard from several physician leaders, critical care specialists, specialty society presidents, and others that a private space is sorely needed to discuss their experience about what's happening on the ground, to share learnings and help scale the knowledge about this new threat, in addition to having a space to create community and support. </p> <p> In response, the WSMA created that space - the <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/COVID-19_Response/COVID-19_Online_Discussion_Forum/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/COVID_19_Forum.aspx?hkey=3e6020ac-183d-44f8-af91-3d0426522091&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=H0lc6">COVID-19 Forum</a>, a private, secure discussion space for all physicians and physician assistants in Washington state. </p> <p> To participate in forum discussions, you must have a WSMA account and be logged in - any physician or PA licensed in Washington state can create an account, for free, to access the forum - you don't have to be a WSMA member. The forum is divided into four topic areas: </p> <ol> <li>Testing & Treatment</li> <li>Telemedicine</li> <li>Caring for the Caregiver</li> <li>General</li> </ol> <p> <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/COVID-19_Response/COVID-19_Online_Discussion_Forum/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/COVID_19_Forum.aspx?hkey=3e6020ac-183d-44f8-af91-3d0426522091&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=H0lc6">Visit the forum to see what's being discussed and add to the discussion</a>. You can share links and attachments in your posts. We encourage the open sharing of information and ideas during this time of crisis. </p> </div>3/23/2020 10:41:51 AM3/23/2020 10:39:36 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_telehealth_payment_parity_needed_nowWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - Telehealth payment parity needed NowWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_telehealth_payment_parity_needed_now<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>Telehealth Payment Parity Needed Now</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> The WSMA is advocating at every level, and pulling every lever, for telemedicine payment parity. During this outbreak, we know that it is essential for physicians and practices to be able to employ telehealth for their COVID-19 response and be reimbursed fairly. For that to happen, insurance companies and state payers must apply flexibility to telehealth regulations and payments at parity for physicians to provide chronic and routine care to patients. </p> <p> Here’s why it matters during the COVID-19 crisis. Telehealth: </p> <ul> <li>Allows health care workers to screen patients from their home and direct them to the right site of care for their medical needs.</li> <li>Minimizes the demands on in-person primary care offices and EDs and reduces the risk of exposure to patients and medical care teams, ensuring that treatment is available for high-need patients.</li> <li>In some instances, allows health care workers to care for their children when normal childcare services are disrupted, or even work from home if self-quarantined after exposure to the virus.</li> </ul> <p> The WSMA is out in front of this issue on your behalf. We have: </p> <ul> <li>Delivered <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Attachments/COVID19_Gov_letter_final2.pdf" target="_blank">a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee</a> urging him to direct the OIC to apply flexibility to telehealth regulations and payments so that we can provide care in spite of isolation at home. We are in constant contact with the governor, the Office of Insurance Commission and the Health Care Authority on this topic, urging them to follow the lead of other states and make this happen now.</li> <li>Issued <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Attachments/telehealth_payment_parity_request.pdf" target="_blank">a letter to 11 health insurance carrier CEOs</a> urging them to initiate telehealth payment parity now during this crisis.</li> <li>Partnered with WCAAP to issue a <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Attachments/WSMA-WCAAP_statement_on_telehealth_parity.pdf" target="_blank">joint public statement</a> on the importance of physicians having the ability to use telehealth as a COVID-19 response and to ensure patients get access to routine care and chronic care management.</li> <li>Sent a <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_wsma_joins_impacted_medical_associations_in_letter_to_congress.aspx">letter to Congressional leaders</a> urging that the telemedicine waivers authorized by Congress for Medicare and Medicaid include telephone visits. Telephone visits to Medicare patients should be paid at parity with commercial or Medicaid rates and the patient-initiated requirement should be removed.</li> </ul> <p> As I write this, there are two breaking telehealth developments you should be aware of: </p> <ul> <li>The Health Care Authority has purchased a limited number of licenses for Zoom, a video conferencing technology that can help physicians provide virtual care. The HCA will distribute the licenses free of charge to physicians and providers who have a meaningful need and who don’t already have access to telehealth technology, including physicians in smaller practices. These licenses will go quickly, so <a href="https://www.hca.wa.gov/billers-providers-partners/prior-authorization-claims-and-billing/request-zoom-license-connect">visit the HCA website to apply</a>. We believe this offer by the HCA is a direct result of our advocacy on behalf of our small practice physicians, and we thank the agency for making these available.</li> <li>Regence BlueShield announced today that it has agreed to provide telemedicine parity for its subscribers during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you Regence!</li> </ul> <p>We’ll keep you posted on our telehealth advocacy as news develops. Be sure to visit our <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/COVID-19_Response/Prepare_Your_Practice_for_COVID-19/WSMA/Resources/COVID-19/Prepare_Your_Practice_for_COVID-19/Prepare_Your_Practice_for_COVID-19.aspx?hkey=ed7e0075-97a3-489f-b858-92a741fc58ae&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=C0lc6">Prepare Your Practice for COVID-19 webpage</a> for more information on telehealth and reimbursement related to COVID-19.</p> </div>3/24/2020 5:19:39 PM3/23/2020 9:41:14 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_the_wsma_supports_governors_ban_on_elective_surgeries_and_non_urgent_pWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - The WSMA Supports Governor's Ban on Elective Surgeries and Non-UrgenWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_the_wsma_supports_governors_ban_on_elective_surgeries_and_non_urgent_p<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>The WSMA Supports Governor's Ban on Elective Surgeries and Non-Urgent Procedures</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> As you've no doubt heard, the governor issued <a href="https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/20-24%20COVID-19%20non-urgent%20medical%20procedures%20%28tmp%29.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">a proclamation</a> that prohibits all hospitals, ambulatory surgery facilities, dental, orthodontic, and endodontic offices in Washington state from providing health care services, procedures, and surgeries that, if delayed, are not anticipated to cause harm to the patient within the next three months, with some exceptions. More than 20 state specialty societies and county medical societies signed on with the WSMA in supporting the governor's proclamation - <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/the_wsma_state_specialty_and_county_societies_support_gov_inslees_decision_on_elective_surgeries?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=D0lc6">read our press release</a>. </p> <p> I know this proclamation will have serious implications for some of our members. As WSMA President Bill Hirota, MD, says in the release, "This is not guidance that we issue lightly. The spread of COVID-19 will be determined by our collective actions now. We believe by taking these recommended precautions, physicians can make a difference in helping to preserve the limited supply of PPE critical for emergency care and frontline health care personnel responding to the pandemic, and keeping themselves, their patients, and their communities safe." </p> </div>3/23/2020 10:33:56 AM3/23/2020 9:46:09 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_wsma_joins_impacted_medical_associations_in_letter_to_congressWeekly Rounds: March 23, 2020 - WSMA Joins Impacted Medical Associations in Letter to CongressWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_23_2020_wsma_joins_impacted_medical_associations_in_letter_to_congress<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>March 23, 2020</h5> <h2>WSMA Joins Impacted Medical Associations in Letter to Congress</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> The WSMA joined five other medical associations in states impacted by COVID-19 - California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas - to send a letter to Congressional leaders urging inclusion of additional measures to protect practice viability and physician health into their COVID-19 response plans: </p> <ul> <li>Implement, immediately, the President's Executive Order to trigger a wartime law to speed the manufacture, production and distribution of personal protective equipment, ventilators, test kits and related supplies, and prioritize distribution to health care workers, emergency workers and the nation's hot zones.</li> <li>Clarify that the telemedicine waivers authorized by Congress for Medicare and Medicaid include telephone visits. Telephone visits to Medicare patients should be paid at parity with commercial or Medicaid rates and the patient-initiated requirement should be removed.</li> <li>Require ERISA plans to pay physicians at in-person rates for covered services provided via telehealth, including the telephone.</li> <li>Consider direct financial support, grants, no-interest or forgivable small business loans for physician practices, deferment of medical student loan payments, and other health care business grants to assist practices. Physician Medicare and Medicaid rates should be enhanced.</li> <li>Urge further expansion of FMLA and sick leave for physicians and their staff. We would also urge that physician practices be given immediate access to tax credits, federal grants and interest free loans to offset the costs of such leave.</li> <li>Suspend several upcoming Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts, including:</li> <ul> <li>Medicare sequestration cuts;</li> <li>Medicare MACRA payment freeze, and replace the freeze with a meaningful payment update;</li> <li>The budget neutrality requirements on the new Medicare Physician Fee Schedule global surgery Evaluation and Management office visit changes that will result in an average 7% payment cuts to surgeons and other facility-based physicians who are central to our inpatient care capacity during the crisis.</li> <li>Block implementation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR) that would cut state and federal Medicaid funding by as much as 50% in all 50 states. If this rule is implemented, state budgets will be devastated at a time when health care resources are needed more than ever.</li> </ul> <li>Suspend all MACRA MIPS Quality Payment Program reporting and other administrative burdens for 2019-2020.</li> <li> Suspend all prior authorization requirements and enact prior authorization reform (HR 3107) for Medicare and ERISA plans regulated by the federal government. </li> <li> Resist attempts to include surprise medical billing legislation that includes median contracted rate payment benchmarks. </li> </ul> <p> <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Attachments/Covid19_State_Medical_Association_ltr_3-20-20.pdf" target="_blank">Read the letter</a> for more details on each of our asks. </p> </div>3/23/2020 10:34:20 AM3/23/2020 10:19:19 AM3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_march_6_2020_medical_expertise_and_assessment_are_key_in_covid_19_outbreakWeekly Rounds: March 6, 2020 - Medical Expertise and Assessment Are Key in Covid-19 OutbreakWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_march_6_2020_medical_expertise_and_assessment_are_key_in_covid_19_outbreak<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>March 6, 2020</h5> <h2>Medical Expertise and Assessment Are Key in Covid-19 Outbreak</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> When my phone rang this afternoon and the caller ID said "Jay Inslee," I knew it could only be about one thing: Covid-19. </p> <p> Gov. Inslee, like all of us, is concerned about this outbreak and wants to help ensure that the right messaging is getting out to the people of Washington. He called me to offer his support of the medical community, citing the importance of medical judgment in assessing patients who need testing and those who don't. </p> <p> And now that the University of Washington did the impossible and <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1viO7SUTZbFiySqj1bbJVKWaZ4oIFKIwP/view">created new diagnostic test for the virus</a>, it won't be surprising for more and more patients to ask to be tested. But as we know, while the test is becoming more available (thank you, UW!), that doesn't mean everyone needs to be tested. We want the tests to be available for those who need it most. </p> <p> According to the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html">latest CDC guidance</a>, clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with Covid-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Decisions on which patients receive testing should be based on the local epidemiology of Covid-19, as well as the clinical course of illness. Most patients with confirmed Covid-19 have <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot1">developed fever</a> and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing). Clinicians are strongly encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness, including infections such as influenza. </p> <p> Epidemiologic factors that may help guide decisions on whether to test include: any persons, including <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot2"> </a>, who have had <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot3">close contact</a> with a <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot4">laboratory-confirmed</a> Covid-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset or a history of travel from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot5">affected geographic areas</a> within 14 days of symptom onset. </p> <p> As always, we encourage you to talk to your patients about whether testing in appropriate based on your medical judgment. </p> <p> If you want to learn more directly from the CDC on what clinicians need to know, you may want to participate in their CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) calls. The next COCA call for clinicians is scheduled tomorrow (Thursday), March 5 from 2-3p.m. (Eastern Time). <a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/calls/2020/callinfo_030520.asp">Click here</a> to learn more about registering to access the call or watch it <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CDCClinicianOutreachAndCommunicationActivity/?deliveryName=FCP_8_DM21038">here</a> on Facebook Live. </p> <p> We are monitoring this situation closely and reporting out to our physician community as needed. But we want to hear from you. What are you seeing in your practices related to Covid-19? Are you getting inundated with calls? Do you need assistance or resources for your practice? Let us know. Email us at <a href="mailto:wsma@wsma.org">wsma@wsma.org</a> or write me directly at <a href="mailto:jen@wsma.org">jen@wsma.org</a>. In the meantime, be sure to check the latest <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/update_and_interim_guidance_on_coronavirus_outbreak.aspx?WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=XTSa6">Covid-19 news and resource roundup on our website</a>. </p> <p> Stay well everyone! </p> </div>3/6/2020 10:16:03 AM3/5/2020 9:49:58 AM3/6/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_february_21_2020_positive_action_on_wsma_priority_billsWeekly Rounds: February 21, 2020 - Positive Action on WSMA Priority BillsWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_february_21_2020_positive_action_on_wsma_priority_bills<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>February 21, 2020</h5> <h2>Positive Action on WSMA Priority Bills</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> One of my sons is in a new relationship, and when my husband and I inquired about the young woman's name he said, "I don't want to tell you, it may jinx it." I get it...I feel the same way about what's happening in Olympia, including an effort to raise Medicaid primary care rates. We are pleased to see at least some interest in raising Medicaid reimbursement for a segment of our membership and I'm hesitant to talk much about it for fear of jinxing it. </p> <p> Even so, it's news that's just too good not to share. As you read in last week's <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/lawmakers_in_olympia_open_door_to_medicaid_reimbursement_increase?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=1XeW6">Membership Memo</a>, for the first time in several years there is serious interest and momentum to implement a Medicaid reimbursement increase that would apply to all primary care services. </p> <p> Sen. David Frockt (D-North Seattle) introduced <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6676</a> and it was co-sponsored by 26 members of the Senate. This bill would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services by at least 15% and for certain pediatric services by at least 21%, effective Jan. 1, 2021, and is expected to increase Medicaid reimbursement statewide by an estimated $65 million per year. SB 6676 passed out of the Senate unanimously this week and now heads over to the House. We have heard indications from House health care leadership that the House is planning on making an investment in Medicaid reimbursement in its budget as well. We will keep you appraised on this. </p> <p> These discussions in Olympia are a positive first step toward meaningful increases in Medicaid reimbursement rates and would, in part, help mitigate the effect of the business and occupation (B&O) tax increase on our independent physician practices. <strong>We also believe this will set us up to advocate for broader investments in specialty care in the coming years.</strong> It is imperative that legislators fund fair Medicaid reimbursements to facilitate practice viability and access to care for patients. Stay tuned for more information as SB 6676 makes its way through the Legislature—and be on the lookout for calls to action on the issue. </p> <p> In other news, thus far, we've seen good movement on WSMA priority bills, including the unanimous passage in the houses of origin of the prior authorization bill, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6404</a>, which imposes transparency requirements on insurer prior authorization practices and creates a work group to promote standardization, and the credentialing bill, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1552&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1552</a>, which generally provides for retroactive reimbursement for services provided while a physician's credentialing application is pending. </p> <p> Coupled with the telemedicine payment parity bill that <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/legislative_session_week_five_highlights?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=5XeW6">passed the Senate last week</a>, our legislative agenda is generally in good shape with all our priority bills still alive and constituting significant wins if passed into law. </p> <p> Wednesday was a key deadline for the state legislative session that also saw two bills WSMA opposes fail to advance: one that would have expanded scope of practice for naturopaths and another that would have expanded "qui tam" liability for physician practices and other businesses. While nothing is truly dead while legislators are still meeting in Olympia, these are also tentatively big wins for the house of medicine. Thank you to everyone who responded to our calls to action. </p> <p> As you know, in spite of aggressive opposition from the WSMA and our members on the B&O tax surcharge, legislators saw fit to keep their earlier promise to fund higher education, considering that to be a more pressing concern than exempting independent physician practices from the increase. That said, SB 6492, as signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last week, does reflect some improvement in the B&O tax policy, such as applying the increase at a lower rate of 1.75% (rather than 1.8%), exempting businesses that gross less than $1 million, and postponing implementation by four months. </p> <p> While not all that we'd hoped for, that is still helpful for many of our members and is a direct result of WSMA advocacy efforts. Our advocacy gains were accomplished thanks to the tenacious efforts of our team in Olympia, in addition to the presence of many of our members who went to Olympia to speak directly to legislators. </p> <p> With no physicians or physician assistants in the Legislature, it's more important than ever that we bring the physician perspective to their attention. We've done that—and are doing that—effectively this session. In addition to WSMA staff, many physicians have testified during session this year—and that really does make a difference on legislative decisions that relate to the profession and to the patients we serve (our <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/5729481">Doctors Making a Difference video series</a> captures some of this physician testimony). </p> <p> All of these various advocacy efforts are critical, so I hope you're planning to join us at our <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=7XeW6">WSMA Legislative Summit</a> next Tuesday. We're nearly at capacity, but if you can make it, we'd love to see you. There's still time to <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=7XeW6">pre-register online today</a> or you can register at the event itself, which is free for WSMA members. Bring your white coat because nothing says physician or PA like that visual! We want to "take the Hill" in full force, so please join us. </p> <p> I also want to say thank you to all of you who have already renewed your membership in the WSMA this year. And if you haven't yet joined or renewed, please take a moment to do so right now <a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/Join_Renew.aspx?hkey=37a820cf-9d05-4812-b9dd-c29b9a75356d">online at wsma.org</a>, by calling 206.441.9762, or by email at <a href="mailto:membership@wsma.org">membership@wsma.org</a>. You belong with us! </p> </div>2/25/2020 3:50:28 PM2/21/2020 9:59:06 AM2/21/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_january_31_2020_5_things_to_know_as_you_try_to_stay_dryWeekly Rounds: January 31, 2020 - 5 Things to Know as You Try to Stay DryWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_january_31_2020_5_things_to_know_as_you_try_to_stay_dry<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>January 31, 2020</h5> <h2 id="thingstoknowasyoutrytostaydry">5 Things to Know as You Try to Stay Dry</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p>Even after living in the Pacific Northwest for years, I still find a rainy winter like this one hard to take. Thank goodness for my recent trip to the Physicians Foundation meeting in beautiful Naples, Florida, where I was able to catch a few rays of sunshine between strategic planning sessions, committee and board meetings. </p> <p>Despite rainy days, inverted umbrellas, and ankle-deep puddles, at the WSMA we keep our focus on our work making Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. To that end, while I was in Florida, I was able to give the Physician Foundation board an update on our Practice Transformation and Wellness initiative and thank them for the grant that allowed us to kick off this work. You'll recall, the Physicians Foundation also provided the seed money for WSMA's successful leadership courses. I was proud to share that more than 700 physicians have benefited from these programs. </p> <p>Now back in our state, I wanted to highlight several updates that I know matter to you.</p> <h3 id="tacklingpriorauthorization">Tackling prior authorization</h3> <p>This morning in Olympia, there is a hearing in the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee on prior authorization. <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6404</a>, introduced by Sen. David Frockt, would improve transparency and promote standardization around the prior authorization process. Supporting SB 6404 is a top priority for the WSMA.</p> <p>This transparency would provide clarity on which services are subject to prior authorization and what the result is when prior authorization is imposed (i.e., whether the request is ultimately approved or denied), informing patients, physicians, providers, and policymakers about prior authorization practices and appropriate next steps. </p> <p>The bill would also create a clinical work group to select and review services each year, and make recommendations regarding the applicability of prior authorization and the potential for appropriate use criteria to be used as an alternative, using the information collected and provided by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Commercial insurers, PEBB/SEBB programs, and Medicaid managed care organizations would then incorporate the recommendations into their health plans. </p> <p>Special thanks to Eugene Yang, MD, Christina Palermo, MD, and Woodcreek Provider Services CEO James Hudson, who will take time out of their busy practices this morning to come to Olympia and testify in support of SB 6404. Each will share real-life patient stories highlighting instances where prior authorization added unnecessary burden, inefficiency, and cost—in addition to needless and harmful delay—when providing patients with necessary care.</p> <p>We all know that insurance company executives love to claim prior authorization is a necessary tool to drive down costs. This bill says, "prove it!" </p> <h3 id="speakingupinolympiaatthelegislativesummit">Speaking up in Olympia at the Legislative Summit</h3> <p>Grab your white coat and join us in Olympia on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for WSMA's <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=o7qS6">Legislative Summit</a>. This is your opportunity to personally bring medicine's message to your legislators and to let them know how their decisions impact your care of patients. </p> <p>In addition to hearing from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, you'll learn about being an effective physician grassroots advocate from WSMA member Avanti Bergquist, MD, and her husband, Rep. Steve Bergquist. Our team will be there to prep you on issues to discuss during afternoon meetings with your legislators. <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=o7qS6">Register today on our website</a>. The event is free for WSMA members.</p> <h3 id="volkv.demeerleerrecommendations">Volk v. DeMeerleer recommendations</h3> <p>At the request of the Washington State Legislature, the Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative recently adopted recommendations intended to address clinician uncertainty resulting from the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court decision Volk v. DeMeerleer. <a href="http://www.breecollaborative.org/topic-areas/previous-topics/risk-of-violence/">The Risk of Violence to Others Report and Recommendations</a> can be downloaded for review from the Bree Collaborative website. You can also read more in last week's <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/bree_collaborative_finalizes_recommendations_in_response_to_volk_v_demeerleer?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=q7qS6">Membership Memo</a>.</p> <h3 id="advancecareplanningandspanish-languagewashingtonians">Advance care planning and Spanish-language Washingtonians</h3> <p>Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest and a team at the University of California, San Francisco have been granted an award to distribute Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded, evidence-based advance care planning resources to vulnerable and Spanish-speaking communities in Washington. UCSF researchers will collaborate with Honoring Choices PNW to further engage with community and health care partners across Washington and to build the infrastructure to disseminate and implement the PREPARE online program and the PREPARE easy-to-read advance directives. Honoring Choices PNW is a joint initiative of the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement and Washington State Hospital Association with partnerships in health care and community organizations across the state. For more information about this latest development in WSMA's advance care planning outreach, <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/honoring_choices_pacific_northwest_ucsf_granted_advance_care_planning_award?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=r7qS6">read the press release</a>.</p> <h3 id="freetechnicalassistanceforpmpconnection">Free technical assistance for PMP connection</h3> <p>Comagine Health (formerly Qualis Health) has teamed up with the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Health to provide free technical assistance to physician practices wishing to integrate the state's prescription monitoring program into their electronic health record system. Comagine Health tracks the progress and assists with facilitation and implementation of the technology to support your clinic to integrate the PMP directly into your patient's chart. Comagine welcomes all specialties including primary care, behavioral health, surgical, and dental to participate in this opportunity to simplify workflows. Email <a href="mailto:WAPMP@comagine.org">WAPMP@comagine.org</a> for more information.</p> <p>There's a lot of work going on across the state, focusing on making the profession better for our members and their patients. We're grateful for your leadership in helping make that happen. Stay the course, even if it's a rainy one!</p> </div>1/31/2020 10:48:11 AM1/31/2020 10:20:56 AM1/31/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_january_17_2020_5_things_to_know_while_reconsidering_those_new_years_resolutionsWeekly Rounds: January 17, 2020 - 5 Things to Know While Reconsidering Those New Year's ResolutionsWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_january_17_2020_5_things_to_know_while_reconsidering_those_new_years_resolutions<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>January 17, 2020</h5> <h2>5 Things to Know While Reconsidering Those New Year's Resolutions</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> As your medical association, one of our primary roles is to keep you informed of what's happening in the political and policy world. We are engaged in relevant health care discussions locally and nationally so that we can keep you up to date on current developments, as well as what's coming up next. We also ensure that your voice - as physicians and physician assistants - is heard and considered in those critical conversations. </p> <p> During this time of rapid change, we are seeing a desire and intent to reduce costs in health care by using an "easy" lever - ratcheting down physician reimbursement, among other things. It is more critical than ever that we engage in these conversations - no matter how uncomfortable - and advocate for policies and processes that will improve the health of patients, while not jeopardizing your ability to practice and to financially withstand any new payment models. Only by engaging can you realize the full potential of your expertise. Physicians and PAs have a role to play not only in healing patients' ills, but also in preventing unaffordable health care that can be a causal agent in creating those ills in the first place. </p> <h3>State legislative session begins</h3> <p> This year's session is off to a fast start, with 2,000 bills rolled over from last year, another 500+ prefiled by opening day on Monday, and another 1,000+ yet to come. On Tuesday alone, there were more than 200 new bills introduced. </p> <p> For the WSMA, our top advocacy priorities this session will be working to repeal the business and occupation (B&O) tax increase on independent physicians, promoting a sensible alternative to prior authorization, and advocating for telemedicine payment parity. </p> <p> With your help, our efforts will be even more powerful. Do you have personal experiences of egregious prior authorization requirements? The impact of the B&O tax surcharge on your practice? Problems incorporating telemedicine due to low reimbursement? </p> <p> Your stories, particularly specific instances that negatively impacted your ability to provide optimal care, help inform our advocacy. Share those stories with Sean Graham, WSMA's government affairs director at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>. </p> <p> As this year's 60-day session evolves, we'll keep you posted regularly on developments via our communications channels. You can also visit our <a href="[@]WSMA/News_Publications/Latest_News/Advocacy_Report/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx?hkey=fbce906b-dbfb-4af3-8790-11f84275cf1e&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=Ij0R6">online Advocacy Report page</a> for breaking news, and for weekly "insider" email updates from our legislative staff, write Alex Wehinger at <a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</a> to be added to the distribution list. </p> <p> Also, if you can break away from your practice, join us in Olympia at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for the 2020 WSMA Legislative Summit. We need WSMA members from all of Washington's 49 legislative districts to attend so that lawmakers personally meet their physician constituents and directly hear their concerns. The event is free for members - learn more and <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=Jj0R6">register online</a> today. </p> <h3>Washington's balance billing ban</h3> <p> Since the first of the year, balance billing for emergency services and for certain procedures performed by out-of-network physicians working in in-network facilities are prohibited due to Washington state's Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA). For more on what you need to know, visit the <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/Practice_Management/Balance_Billing/Balance_Billing.aspx?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=Kj0R6">balance billing page</a> on the WSMA website to learn about the scope of prohibition, reimbursement, determining patient eligibility, dispute resolution, network adequacy, enforcement, etc. </p> <h3>Leadership Development Conference scholarships available </h3> <p> One of our most popular, must-attend events is the WSMA Leadership Development Conference, scheduled for May 15-16 at Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan. Providing professional development for physicians and PAs at all stages of their career is one of our top priorities, and the LDC is a centerpiece of our educational offerings. </p> <p> We believe growing leadership skills is so important, we are offering a limited number of scholarships for this year's conference. 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). </p> <p> To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must: </p> <ul> <li>Be a member of the WSMA in 2020. </li> <li>Have not attended a WSMA Leadership Development Conference before. </li> <li><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020LDCScholarship">Submit a complete application</a> by Wednesday, Jan. 29. </li> </ul> <h3>MIPS data due March 31</h3> <p> The data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System-eligible clinicians who participated in the Medicare Quality Payment Program's 2019 performance period is now open. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. PST, March 31. Accountable care organizations and pre-registered groups and virtual groups may also submit their 2019 data through the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services web interface. Quality measures reported via Medicare Part B claims have been submitted throughout the 2019 performance period. Sign into the CMS <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/">QPP website</a> for your preliminary feedback on Part B claims measure data processed to date. CMS will update this feedback at the end of the submission period with claims processed by your Medicare Administrative Contractor within the 60-day runout period. </p> <p> How to submit your 2019 MIPS data </p> <ol> <li>Go to the <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/">Quality Payment Program website</a>. </li> <li>Sign in using your QPP access credentials*.</li> <li>Submit your MIPS data for the 2019 performance period or review the data reported on your behalf by a third party.</li> </ol> <p> *To sign in, clinicians will need to register in the HCQIS Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) system. For clinicians who need help enrolling with HARP, please refer to the <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/">QPP Access User Guide</a>. Clinicians who are not sure if they are eligible to participate in the Quality Payment Program can check their final eligibility status using the <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/participation-lookup">QPP Participation Status Lookup Tool</a>. Clinicians and groups that are opt-in eligible will need to make an election before they can submit data. (No election is required for those who don't want to participate in MIPS.) </p> <p> Clinicians in small practices (including those in rural locations), health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas may <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/about/small-underserved-rural-practices">request technical assistance</a> from organizations that can provide no-cost support. </p> <p> To learn more about how to submit data, please review the resources available in the <a href="https://qpp.cms.gov/about/resource-library">QPP Resource Library</a>. </p> <h3>Standing together yields results</h3> <p> You belong with us! Membership in the WSMA makes you part of a community of physicians and PAs who believe in a brighter health care future. It also makes you part of the largest physician professional association in the state, and the only one that represents all physicians and PAs, regardless of specialty, practice setting, beliefs or political views. </p> <p> Our work has a greater impact with your support - your time, talent, and financial contribution. If you're among the many who have already renewed your membership, thank you! If you haven't yet renewed, please do so today. </p> <p> <a href="[@]renew?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=Qj0R6">Renew online</a>, by phone at 206.441.9762, or return the renewal notice that was recently mailed to you. </p> <p> Thank you for being an important part of the WSMA! </p> </div>1/31/2020 11:05:16 AM1/24/2020 10:50:32 AM1/17/2020 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_december_30_2019_as_the_year_ends_budget_wrangling_beginsWeekly Rounds: December 30, 2019 - As the Year Ends, Budget Wrangling BeginsWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_december_30_2019_as_the_year_ends_budget_wrangling_begins<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>December 30, 2019</h5> <h2>As the Year Ends, Budget Wrangling Begins </h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> As we prepare to bid adieu to 2019 and chill the Champagne to greet 2020, I'm reflecting on federal and state budget actions that impact our work and profession. Here's a rundown on recent activities. </p> <p> Just before Christmas, the president signed two spending packages - totaling $1.4 trillion - that not only averted a government shutdown, but also included several wins for health care. One of the attached bills followed recent Washington state action as it will ban the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. The package also included $25 million for federal research on gun safety, delays Medicaid payment cuts to disproportionate-share hospitals for five months, and repeals three Affordable Care Act taxes: a 40% excise tax on employer-provided health plans that exceed certain thresholds; a health insurance tax; and a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. </p> <p> Surprisingly, Congress did not include any provisions on balance billing, nor did it address prescription drug costs - both were issues that we had expected to see in the final package. </p> <p> As that spending package heads toward the president's desk, here in the "other" Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee released his 2020 supplemental budget proposal. This budget is primarily intended to make necessary adjustments to the two-year budget adopted by the Legislature last year, which went into effect July 1. </p> <p> In summary, the governor's proposal appropriates all forecasted revenue and does not propose to raise any new revenue, though it does rely on funds from the state's "rainy day" reserve account. Here are some highlights of interest to us: </p> <ul> <li>$1.1M toward supporting the prescription drug monitoring program.</li> <li>$8.4M to backfill Washington state family planning services that lost funding when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services changed the rules related to abortion services.</li> <li>$10.5M to cover funding for Foundational Public Health Services that was anticipated from vapor distribution taxes, which will be insufficient given the governor's executive order banning flavored vapor products.</li> <li>$989K toward vape and tobacco cessation via counseling support services for 18- to 20-year-olds in recognition of the new state law raising the minimum age for legal sale of tobacco and vapor products to 21.</li> <li>$366K to support the Newborn Screening Laboratory since the State Board of Health added spinal muscular atrophy to the list of diseases screened through the state's mandatory newborn screening panel.</li> <li>o HCA is requesting $183K in addition to DOH's request to cover costs related to the inclusion of this test.</li> <li>$2.8M to fund ProviderOne operational costs. </li> <li>$1.2M to support a pilot program that provides mental health drop-in services.</li> <li>$558K to plan and administer efforts to implement the public option.</li> <li>$298K toward developing and implementing the prescription drug price transparency program.</li> <li>$11.3M to reconcile amounts owed to Federally Qualified Health Centers for reimbursements for Medicaid patients.</li> <li>$150K for the HCA to conduct an information request for a diabetes disease management program.</li> <li>$1.9M for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).</li> </ul> <p> You can <a href="https://ofm.wa.gov/budget/state-budgets/gov-inslees-proposed-2020-supplemental-budget">review the governor's proposal here</a>. It's worth nothing that this is only the first step in the 2020 budget process and is by no means the final product. The House and Senate will introduce their respective supplemental budgets during the 2020 session, which may incorporate elements of the governor's proposals. A final budget must be approved before lawmakers conclude their work for 2020. </p> <p> Your WSMA government affairs and policy team in Olympia is working hard in preparation for the start of the 2020 legislative session. It will be what is known as a "short" session. It's a 60-day session that occurs during even-numbered years each biennium as outlined in the state constitution. Session starts on Jan. 13, but some legislators have already <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/prefiled.aspx?year=2019">prefiled bills</a> in anticipation of session. </p> <p> Looking ahead to the new year, here are some important dates to keep in mind: </p> <ul> <li>Jan. 8: Pre-session Advocacy Council webinar (<a href="https://zoom.us/meeting/register/877b81fe318b5500c5b9141539e44ee6">click here to register</a>)</li> <li>Jan. 13: Start of regular session</li> <li>Feb. 25: <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=VAXO6">WSMA Legislative Summit</a> (be sure to join us!)</li> <li>March 12: End of regular session</li> </ul> <p> Even as 2019 comes to a close during these cloudy, gray days, there's never a dull moment as we strive to protect your interests and the profession. Your participation with us makes a difference, and we appreciate your involvement. </p> <p> And with that, here's to 2020! </p> </div>12/30/2019 9:18:48 AM12/30/2019 9:09:59 AM12/30/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_december_16_2019_the_physician_voice_influenceWeekly Rounds: December 16, 2019 - The Physician Voice = InfluenceWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_december_16_2019_the_physician_voice_influence<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>December 16, 2019</h5> <h2>The Physician Voice = Influence </h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> At a <a href="https://www.virginiamason.org/health-in-a-changing-climate-symposium">Climate and Health Symposium</a> held just over a week ago, Gov. Jay Inslee spoke to a packed room of health care professionals at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. During his keynote address, he encouraged physicians and nurses to pursue issues with legislators, saying, "You are the most credible people in Washington to influence legislators." </p> <p> And in a recent <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/agenda/2019/11/25/is-medicare-for-all-right-answer-wrong-idea-072462">Politico article on the topic of Cascade Care</a>, Washington state Rep. Eileen Cody was quoted as saying "the docs have a lot of influence." She was speaking about the physician voice that legislators and insurers loudly heard during discussions about a public option in our state. </p> <p> Lawmakers in Olympia appreciate hearing the physician perspective on health care matters. In fact, many of them have told us they've heard from you directly about concerns pertaining to the B&O tax increase, dismal Medicaid reimbursement, and the anticipated increase in MD and PA licensure fees. </p> <p> The work we do together influencing legislators does make a difference! I want to thank you for reaching out to legislators, and strongly encourage you to continue your personal outreach while legislators are home in their districts. Our policy team in Olympia has been doing the same, recently spending time meeting with members of the Legislature as they prepare for the next legislative session, which begins Jan. 13. </p> <p> Another way to make your voice heard is to contribute to WSMA's political action committee, WAMPAC. I hope you'll support our <a href="[@]WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx">$20 for 2020 campaign</a>, or even consider joining the WAMPAC Diamond Club, as I have. Your contribution will go a long way toward furthering a pro-medicine agenda in Olympia. </p> <p> We have influence—you have influence—because of the strength of the Washington State Medical Association. In 2019, the WSMA had another record-breaking membership year as our numbers reached nearly 11,300 members, making us the largest medical professional organization in the state. Not only that, our overall membership is getting younger, signaling a bright future for the house of medicine here. Today, the average age of a WSMA member is 51 and we are cultivating a new generation of engaged members with a 214% growth of early career members (medical students, residents, and 10 years or less in practice) in the last five years. </p> <p> Membership is a direct investment in improving the profession, professional fulfillment, and leadership development, which ultimately is an investment in quality care and better patient outcomes. You belong with us—and we appreciate your membership. </p> <p> We have so much to do in 2020—we need you with us. If you haven't done so already, I urge you to renew your membership today. It's easy to <a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/Join_Renew_Auth.aspx">pay your dues online</a>, by phone at 206.441.9762, or return the renewal notice that was recently mailed to you. If you're part of a group that covers your dues, take a moment right now to encourage your practice administrator to remit by year end. If you pay your dues individually, remember that you can tap into your CME funds to cover dues. And, as always, for personal assistance, email <a href="mailto:membership@wsma.org">membership@wsma.org</a>—the WSMA is here for you. </p> <p> In other news, here are three highlights for you to consider while you're prepping for the holidays: </p> <ol> <li>I hope you closely reviewed our Membership Memo from last week—it provided a succinct overview of new laws and regulations that impact medicine going into effect in the new year. You'll want to be prepared, so check it out <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20191211/practice_impact_new_laws_taking_effect_jan_1?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=dK7N6">here</a>. </li> <li>To hear more insights directly from policymakers, make plans today to attend the <a href="https://stateofreform.com/conference/2020-washington-state-of-reform-health-policy-conference/registration/">State of Reform Conference</a> on Jan. 9 at the Westin Seattle Hotel. WSMA members receive a 20% discount. When you register, use the WSMA20 discount code.</li> <li>Register today for the annual <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=fK7N6">WSMA Legislative Summit</a> set for Feb. 25 in Olympia. Attorney General Bob Ferguson will be one of our keynote speakers. The Summit provides you with an excellent opportunity to meet your elected representatives and to personalize priority issues on WSMA's session agenda. Hearing directly from a physician or provider constituent with firsthand expertise on complex issues helps to inform lawmakers and ensures physicians have a seat at the table as policy is being made.</li> </ol> <p> We are your fierce advocate as we work all day, every day, to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. We're here for you, and we appreciate that you're here for us too. </p> <p> Happy holidays! </p> </div>12/16/2019 10:03:47 AM12/16/2019 9:06:03 AM12/16/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_december_2_2019_grateful_for_the_care_you_provideWeekly Rounds: December 2, 2019 - Grateful for the Care You ProvideWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_december_2_2019_grateful_for_the_care_you_provide<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>December 2, 2019</h5> <h2>Grateful for the Care You Provide </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> My family, friends, and co-workers know that I'm more than a little bit obsessed with <a href="https://www.glassybaby.com/">glassybabys</a> (for the uninitiated, a glassybaby is a unique piece of hand-blown glass art crafted to support causes of hope and healing). </p> <p> I love the back story of how and why entrepreneur Lee Rhodes created them out of her own adversity to bring light and inspiration to people in need of it. I also love that part of the proceeds is donated to charity, and that each color has a story. </p> <p> Lately at the WSMA, when we've needed a special gift to say thank you—such as our gift for past president Donna Smith, MD—we choose a beautiful evergreen glassybaby called "gratitude." As a bonus, the color of "gratitude" perfectly matches the WSMA's new logo color. </p> <p> Gratitude is on my mind at the moment, and not just because I'm writing this column over the Thanksgiving weekend. Even as I write—from the warmth and joy of a family vacation in Maui—our trip is bittersweet because this may be the last opportunity my mom is able to travel. About two years ago, she received a diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and now that her model end stage liver disease score has reached 15, we will soon determine what the next steps will be with the help of a transplant specialist. </p> <p> As we embark on this complex journey, I am grateful that we have access to the best and brightest physicians and health care professionals right in our community. And more than ever, I'm not only glad, but also incredibly proud of the work that the WSMA does to make that so. </p> <p> It's no surprise to us that one of the most pressing problems facing the physician community and our state is that there likely won't be enough physicians in the future to care for our burgeoning population here or elsewhere in the country. This is confirmed in a <a href="https://www.informz.net/WSMA/data/images/Documents/2019%20workforce%20report%20w-additions.d3.pdf" target="_blank">WSMA-commissioned workforce report</a> by John Gallagher that sheds light on state and local data to highlight the challenges ahead. </p> <p> The report quotes an analysis released by the Association of American Medical Colleges last April that the nation will experience a physician shortage of between 46,900 and 121,900 doctors by 2032 (the range reflects the difference between the 25th and 75th percentile of projections). The projected shortage of primary care physicians is as high as 55,200, and for physicians in surgical specialties as high as 23,400. </p> <p> Further, the report notes the expectation that Washington's population will grow by 1.8 million people by 2040. Most of this increase will be from people moving into the state, which will likely disproportionately impact the largest population areas in the state: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties. Also, the increased population will be more diverse, putting additional pressure on the need for linguistically and culturally appropriate health services. </p> <p> At the same time as the population is growing, it will also be getting older. By 2030, more than one in five state residents will be age 65 or older, compared with one in seven today. Twelve rural counties will have over 30 percent of their population older than 65, including Clallam, Jefferson, Stevens, and San Juan counties. An aging population presents more complex health conditions and needs, with a greater demand on health care and care coordination. </p> <p> What's to be done? At the WSMA, we are on the front lines advocating for access to care, debt forgiveness, increased funding for residencies, and more. This is what we do, all day, every day on behalf of you, our physician and physician assistant members. And that's a two-way street—we need you with us, and you belong with us. Help us ensure that Washington state is the best place to practice medicine and receive care by joining or renewing your membership today. </p> <p> I know that it's more challenging to be a physician today than in years gone by. But as I consider my mother's health burden, I couldn't be more grateful to those of you who've dedicated your lives and profession to caring for her and patients like her. </p> <p> I'm personally grateful to each of you. I wish you the inspiration and light of a flickering candle in a glassybaby called "gratitude," and hope that no matter the stress and the burdens you face, you'll keep caring for us all. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> </div>12/2/2019 10:21:02 AM12/2/2019 10:18:08 AM12/2/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_november_18_2019_democracy_in_action_at_the_wsma_house_of_delegatesWeekly Rounds: November 18, 2019 - Democracy in Action at the WSMA House of DelegatesWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_november_18_2019_democracy_in_action_at_the_wsma_house_of_delegates<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>November 18, 2019</h5> <h2>Democracy in Action at the WSMA House of Delegates</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Nearly three years ago, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, while <a href="https://www.washington.edu/president/2017/01/16/pursuing-the-ideals-of-a-more-perfect-union/">reflecting on the ideals of a "more perfect union,"</a> said "The messiness of democracy is a feature, not a defect. The interplay of differing ideas, deeply held and passionately argued, is how we reach understanding. If we permanently retreat into like-minded bubbles of our own making, or if we treat democracy and discourse as zero sum games, then we do so at great cost to our society, and ultimately to ourselves." </p> <p> We're all reflecting these days on the messiness of democracy, as it plays out daily from the nation's Capitol to our own Hill in Olympia and in our own communities. Though it can be messy, I have seen it succeed in action. </p> <p> Most recently, your county and state specialty society delegates along with WSMA board members came forward on Oct. 12 and 13 at our 130th Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates to respectfully debate and deliberate policy for this organization. That work is member focused and member driven, as it not only represents member issues that impact the profession, but also responds to member needs in the professional environment and the care of their patients. </p> <p> We saw that quite clearly as your representatives in the House brought forward nearly 50 resolutions for consideration, many inspiring impassioned testimonies at the meeting. Once the yeas and nays were tallied, delegates had passed 45 new policies and nearly 30 directives to take action, reaffirmed four policies, modified one, and referred five items. We saw democracy at work—perhaps somewhat flawed at times—but always with good intentions and thoughtful interactions. </p> <p> In case you missed it, <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f&WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927#video">watch this brief video</a> to see your peers in action. </p> <p> To recap all that happened as this energized House resolved to take progressive stands on public health policy and protect the health and well-being of physicians, here's a summary, including information on how to learn more. </p> <p> Policy adopted by delegates at the meeting typically falls into one of three categories: </p> <ol> <li>New policy (new policies are added to the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Policy_Index.aspx?hkey=f42b9a91-1f83-466f-ae3e-d58a7a6bd763">WSMA Policy Compendium</a> and help inform WSMA's advocacy in the Legislature, in the media, and in the industry at large).</li> <li>A reaffirmation of existing policy.</li> <li>A directive to take action.</li> </ol> <p> Policies "referred" by delegates go to WSMA leadership (the executive committee and board of trustees) for further consideration. </p> <p> This year, delegates directed your WSMA to: </p> <ul> <li>Advocate to amend state law to exempt all physicians from the B&O tax surcharge resulting from 2019 House Bill 2158.</li> <li>Explore options for tracking physician suicides and report back to the House in 2020.</li> <li>Support services to help assist physicians, residents, students, and PAs who are suffering symptoms of depression and burnout.</li> <li>Pursue, with stakeholder input, an aggressive strategy to reduce administrative burden.</li> <li>Support advocacy to eliminate the buprenorphine DEA waiver requirement.</li> <li>Publicize the interspecialty statement on "Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From the Nation's Leading Physician and Public Health Professional Organizations"</li> </ul> <p> Climate change was top of mind during the meeting, with delegates adopting policy to: </p> <ul> <li>Expand WSMA climate change policy (including directing the WSMA to divest from fossil fuels and encourage others in the health care industry to do the same).</li> <li>Support legislative efforts to create a low-carbon fuel standard for Washington state.</li> <li>Support the use of reusable isolation gowns.</li> </ul> <p> Public health, an ongoing concern of the House, was addressed by policy to: </p> <ul> <li>Endorse a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.</li> <li>Reduce firearm-related injury and death, including supporting research and legislative policy based on proven public health practices.</li> <li>Advocate for the removal of barriers to the immunization of "mature minors."</li> <li>Support improvements to the state's immunization information system.</li> <li>Support policy requiring pharmacies, when administering vaccines, to notify a patient's primary care provider when possible.</li> <li>Support the reform of health care access and delivery in the criminal justice system.</li> <li>Promote greater gender equity in medicine.</li> <li>Support physician education on critical race theory in medicine to help address disparate health outcomes of black Americans.</li> <li>Support investments to decrease racial inequities in cancer care.</li> <li>Support evidence-based sexual education; encourage legislation to expand sexual education to include contraception options, condom use demonstrations, LGBTQ+ sexual health, STI education, and discussions of consent.</li> <li>Support the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients, including opposing legislative or other efforts to limit access to gender-affirming health services and encouraging health care facilities that provide direct patient care to adopt gender-affirming practices.</li> <li>Encourage better data-gathering on the victims of human trafficking; educate physicians on the issue and condemn the practice.</li> <li>Support efforts to encourage the wearing of helmets when riding e-scooters and e-bikes.</li> </ul> <p> Other policy adopted by the House call on the WSMA to: </p> <ul> <li>Work with partners to support legislation calling for an increase in primary care spending as a proportion of total health care spending.</li> <li>Support patients and referring clinicians knowing both the name and credentials of the clinicians to whom they are referred.</li> <li>Acknowledge the public health threat of medical misinformation.</li> <li>Oppose digital/online "coercion" of physicians and provide resources on managing one's online reputation.</li> <li>Oppose unpaid heath care data collection and data mining work for insurance company purposes, unless the provider chooses to provide it for free without coercion.</li> <li>Support establishing a statewide credentialing and onboarding process for medical and PA students from Washington state's medical schools.</li> </ul> <p> Referred policies (those issues needing additional study before further action) included: </p> <ul> <li>Policy advocating for the tracking of physicians sanctioned by the Washington Medical Commission and physician enrollees of the Washington Physician Health Program, with specific enumeration of physician suicides.</li> <li>Policy encouraging the Washington Medical Commission to use peer review when passing judgement on standards of care.</li> <li>Policy detailing standards for the prior authorization of prescription medication requests used by insurance companies regulated by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.</li> <li>Policy directing the WSMA to take immediate action on gender inequities.</li> </ul> <p> For details on the above policies, and for a look at all policies and actions from the 2019 Annual Meeting, download the Official Actions of the 2019 WSMA House of Delegates, available from the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/WSMA/About/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/House_of_Delegates.aspx?hkey=e2c50002-384d-4ff7-9116-5ce7a51116e7">WSMA website</a>. The WSMA will update the status of these items on a monthly basis. </p> <p> This democratic work of policy setting is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The work needs you, and I hope you'll plan now to attend the 2020 WSMA Annual Meeting, Sept. 26-27 at the Historic Davenport, Autograph Collection in Spokane, and be part of it. To learn more about the Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates and its role shaping policy for the medical association, visit the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">meeting webpage</a>. </p> <p> And don't forget: You can directly impact the democratic work of our state Legislature by attending our Legislative Summit on Feb. 25 at the state Capitol. This is medicine's moment to advocate for medicine's advocacy priorities. Be sure to save the date—free registration will be announced shortly. </p> </div>11/18/2019 9:48:09 AM11/18/2019 9:44:58 AM11/18/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_october_29_2019_make_your_voice_heard_loud_and_clearWeekly Rounds: October 29, 2019 - Make Your Voice Heard Loud and ClearWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_october_29_2019_make_your_voice_heard_loud_and_clear<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>October 29, 2019</h5> <h2>Make Your Voice Heard Loud and Clear</h2> <p>Election season is here: the 2020 election cycle is ramping up and this year's Election Day is just a week away. If you are like me, your phone has been ringing and your email has been clogged with political fundraising requests. When making your decisions on local legislative and statewide races, consider asking candidates where they stand on two critical issues facing physicians and physician assistants: <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20191023/department_of_health_adopts_fee_increases_for_mds_and_pas">impending licensure fee increases</a> and a <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/no_to_b_and_o_.aspx?hkey=d5807781-a824-4b2c-a8f4-70ed597ddfa8">20 percent business and occupation (B&O) tax increase</a>.</p> <p>Both issues are critical to the ability of physicians and PAs to practice in Washington state. Any business owner knows it’s a losing equation when expenses go up yet revenues stay stagnant or decrease. These two actions make it challenging, not only to stay in practice but also to recruit more physicians to our state, which, like the rest of the country, is facing <a href="https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2019-07/workforce_projections-15-year_outlook_-key_findings.pdf">physician shortages</a>. When the licensure fee increases go into effect on Feb. 1, 2020, Washington state will be one of the most expensive states in the country to maintain a license as an MD or PA.</p> <p>At the same time, the B&O tax stifles competition and may limit choice as where an MD or PA chooses to practice. For those physicians or physician assistants looking to practice independently, they will have an additional 20 percent surcharge added to their B&O tax. Adding new taxes on practices that already operate on thin margins not only puts our independent practices at a competitive disadvantage, it could also result in a loss of jobs or, worse, a loss of access for patients. <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/no_to_b_and_o_.aspx?hkey=d5807781-a824-4b2c-a8f4-70ed597ddfa8#impact">Learn more about how some of our members will be impacted by this tax increase</a>.</p> <p>In addition to sharing your stories with legislators and the governor, remember to vote! This year’s ballot includes a variety of issues that require your input, including Advisory Vote 24 related to the B&O tax increase. Advisory votes are nonbinding and do not change the results of the law, but they do provide the public an opportunity to register their opinion on recent tax increases enacted by the state legislature. The WSMA and a large coalition of health care partners vehemently opposed this tax increase and will continue our advocacy efforts to exempt physicians from the surcharge. A vote to “repeal” the increase can send a message to the legislature about its impact on patients and physician practices.</p> <p>For updates on WSMA’s legislative and regulatory work, be sure you are getting our advocacy news—bookmark our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx">online Advocacy Report</a> or send a request to Alex Wehinger (<a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</a>) to receive our regular Outreach and Advocacy newsletter. The most recent issue includes information on the issues above and provides the latest on updates to Apple Health’s opioid prescribing policy, balance billing rulemaking, Gov. Jay Inslee’s executive order on vaping and associated physician reporting requirements, and the OIC’s efforts to monitor enforcement of the state’s new prior authorization rules.</p> <p>Recent events have shown that politics are more important than ever to physicians and the patients they serve. It’s crucial for the WSMA to be effective and influential on political campaigns, because as we all know, it’s easier to help elect someone who agrees with you than it is to change the mind of a politician who doesn’t. I hope you will take a moment right now to make a modest contribution to WAMPAC, our nonpartisan campaign arm, by <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=665ce949-b574-4ec7-8e5a-7a796233e5d7">donating $20 as part of our $20 for 2020 campaign</a> or consider contributing at an increased level by becoming a member of the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=665ce949-b574-4ec7-8e5a-7a796233e5d7">WAMPAC Diamond Club</a>.</p> <p>Finally, mark your calendar to join us at the Capitol in Olympia on Feb. 25, 2020, for <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">the Legislative Summit</a>, WSMA’s annual day on the hill. Registration will be open soon—for now, save the date.</p> </div>10/28/2019 1:19:35 PM10/28/2019 1:13:45 PM10/28/2019 1:19:35 PM
weekly_rounds_october_14_2019_together_we_will_do_moreWeekly Rounds: October 14, 2019 - Together, we will do moreWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_october_14_2019_together_we_will_do_more<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-Hirota-645x425px.png" class="pull-right" alt="Weekly Rounds logo featuring Bill Hirota, MD" /></div> <h5>October 14, 2019</h5> <h2>Together, we will do more</h2> <p> <em>Yesterday at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates, we inaugurated our incoming president, Bill Hirota, MD. For those of you who couldn't be with us, we wanted you to have the opportunity to read an amended version of his speech, so he is our guest columnist this week for Weekly Rounds.<br /> - Jennifer Hanscom, WSMA CEO</em> </p> <p> <strong>Bill Hirota, MD, WSMA 2019-20 incoming president's speech, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, 9 a.m. at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.</strong> </p> <p> Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice Speaker, members of the House of Delegates, colleagues, and friends, it is my honor to have this opportunity to serve as president of the WSMA. </p> <p> I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you who are here this morning. </p> <p> I can think of three reasons why you might have made a different choice: </p> <ul> <li>It's a Sunday and likely your day off. </li> <li>It's early and you could have slept in.</li> <li>You could be watching the Seahawks vs. Browns game at 10 a.m. </li> </ul> <p> To tell you a little about myself: I have been a full-time practicing gastroenterologist in Pierce County for over 20 years and have been involved in organized medicine at the county and state level for more than 12 years. </p> <p> For those of you who may be interested to know more about my personal background, please see the article in the latest edition of WSMA Reports. If you have already read that article, you'll learn that the most important people in my life are my family. My wife, Emillie, my mother and father, and my daughter, Jesse. </p> <p> Jesse couldn't be here today because she's in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she's studying to be a doctor of veterinary medicine. My father could also not make it due to health reasons, but my wife and my mother are here, and I'd like to thank them for being my moral compasses and continued source of inspiration, love, and support. </p> <p> And now, with these privileged moments together, I want to share lessons learned from my own health care experiences and outline reasons why the WSMA matters to our profession. </p> <p> As you know, our vision at the WSMA is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. </p> <p> It's no surprise to any of us that we will all take our turn at being a patient now or in the future. As for me, I had my own health care crisis in 2013 that highlights lessons I've learned that make me a deeply committed advocate for this goal. </p> <p> Long story short, I had a significant health event that required the attention of physician colleagues and friends, who didn't hesitate to step up and provide me with top-quality care. And because I am blessed with excellent social determinants of health, I received the support, kindness, and patience of my administrators, staff, and practice partners along my path to recovery. </p> <p> Why am I sharing this personal experience? To remind you that what you do matters. If not for the excellent care I received, I wouldn't be standing here as your president today. </p> <p> Here's what I learned from that experience: </p> <ul> <li>Always have a primary care provider. If I'd had one, he or she just might have been able to prevent this from happening.</li> <li>It's good to know some doctors! I learned I could call upon my friends and colleagues, and they will be there. </li> <li>Love your family and friends. They are what's important in life and help provide the foundation for what we can achieve.</li> </ul> <p> And now for why the WSMA matters. </p> <p> Another thing you might like to know about me…I've participated in sports as a player, trainer, coach, and fan. And since this is a Seahawks Sunday, I thought I'd point out a few things that I've noticed physicians have in common with pro athletes: </p> <ul> <li>We're competitive, overachieving, and driven.</li> <li>We're constantly measured—and measured up—by all sorts of metrics.</li> <li>We're decisive, making split-second decisions in high-intensity situations.</li> <li>We're team players, depending on each other to get the job done.</li> <li>We're leaders, motivating ourselves and each other to reach our goals.</li> <li>Getting to those goals is a long game … "It's a marathon and not a sprint" as they say. </li> </ul> <p> If you think about it, playing the long game is just what we do at the WSMA. We are not only in the game; we're in it for the long haul. That's what makes us the largest medical association in the state, representing physicians and our physician assistant colleagues, of all specialties from independent practice to large group health systems. </p> <p> I'll give you a few recent examples to demonstrate how we advocate for you and our patients in the long game: </p> <ul> <li>Passing Tobacco 21: We finally pushed House Bill 1074—which raises the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products—over the finish line. But that work did not begin in 2019…our work on achieving that has been years in the making and will save thousands of lives by preventing Washingtonians from taking their first puffs at a young and impressionable age.</li> <li>Balance billing: Our team and your advocacy helped legislate a bill that benefits patients without penalizing physicians. This bill is one of the most physician-friendly balance billing laws in the country. The WSMA negotiated this issue over many years.</li> <li>Our next long-haul battle will be to repeal the business and occupation surcharge that state legislators levied this year on our independent practitioners. That surcharge is 20 percent, which is bad enough, but the WSMA fought hard to keep it from being as high as 67 percent!</li> <li>Also, I've learned from enlightened colleagues about the health impacts of climate change and the scourge of gun violence. While many in our society may not want us to participate in this important dialogue, these issues are in our lane. </li> <li>On every health issue, we want Washington state legislators to ask: "What does the WSMA think?" </li> </ul> <p> Taking these issues on—whether we win or lose—takes a unified team. And that team includes all of you. We're part of an organization that's larger than we are and it's critical that we take that fully to heart. </p> <p> Together, we will do more. </p> <p> In my time on the WSMA Executive Committee, I have seen you fight for administrative simplification, MOC reform, and protection of whistleblowers within corporate health care. </p> <p> Together, we will do more. </p> <p> I believe the biggest threats facing our profession right now are apathy, decreased personal fulfillment, and burnout. </p> <p> We are a strong and thriving association but that's not a birthright, nor is our success a given. </p> <p> You are brilliant and passionate and ready to do more. </p> <p> I ask you now to engage with the WSMA to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. </p> <p> Oh, and go Seahawks! </p> </div>10/14/2019 12:37:49 PM10/14/2019 10:49:47 AM10/14/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_30_2019_pathways_to_progressWeekly Rounds: September 30, 2019 - Pathways to ProgressWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_september_30_2019_pathways_to_progress<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 30, 2019</h5> <h2>Pathways to Progress</h2> <p> With the return of the rain and the leaves changing to bright orange, there's no doubt that it's fall again. It's hard to believe that it's October already. </p> <p> This is the time of year when I am on the road more often than not. In addition to representing the WSMA in meetings at the local and national level, I also travel around the state to meet with physician and clinic leaders. I value that time especially because it gives us an opportunity to discuss mutual priorities, gather input on WSMA's agenda, and demonstrate that an investment in WSMA on behalf of their physicians is proof that you are valued as a professional. </p> <p> The WSMA plays a unique role in our state's medical ecosystem. We are the largest cohort of physician voices here, and, through our work, we enable physicians to bring their insight, judgment, and credibility to influence care for the betterment of all patients. By creating an environment that puts physicians first, the WSMA forges pathways for thoughtful and creative progress to improve the practice and delivery of care, not only for patients but for the care teams as well. </p> <p> As your CEO, it's a privilege to see this work happen firsthand. I never tire of seeing how the work we do makes the practice of medicine even better. Here are just a few things we're working on currently that I want to share with you: </p> <ul> <li>We are excited about the practice transformation pilot efforts under way under the auspices of the WSMA Foundation. You can read more about it in our <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks">flagship publication here</a>, and I hope you do. This is exciting and ongoing work that we believe will affect real change in alleviating burnout. </li> <li>Several physicians are working with us on the balance billing law and regulations that are about to be implemented in this state. Sean Graham, WSMA's director of government affairs, communicates regularly via email with physicians of all specialties in order to craft input and direction for the Office of Insurance Commissioner, as that office works to implement the new balance billing law. </li> <li>Our 1st Vice President, Nathan Schlicher, MD, and Jeb Shepard, WSMA's director of policy, invest significant time in combing through the state's prescribing data in order to provide opioid prescribing reports to individual physicians that inform their prescribing practices. </li> <li>Earlier this month, we convened hundreds of physicians and providers from across the country for a groundbreaking discussion on physician and practitioner agency in end-of-life care. </li> <li>And as the annual meeting of the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f&WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">WSMA House of Delegates</a> draws near (Oct. 12-13—I hope to see you there), we will be reviewing and discussing more than 40 resolutions brought forward by physicians and medical students. </li> </ul> <p> All of these member physicians volunteer their time and expertise to make medicine and care delivery better in our state—and the WSMA gives them the vehicle to do this work. </p> <p> Granted, not all of our members are able to directly engage in this work, but even so, the WSMA makes sure each is represented and informed. But we can't do this without you and/or your group's investment in us. If you are in a group that covers your WSMA dues, I'm personally inviting you to take a moment today to encourage your leadership to continue this investment on your behalf. And when you're ready to personally get engaged, we're here for you. I hope to see you during my travels. </p> <p> And now for some quick news you may have missed: </p> <ul> <li>You'll want to check out <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/Legislative_Regulatory.aspx?hkey=c0dc6e7c-4385-497a-99db-4a6b6f4e56bd#new">these new laws</a> that impact medicine and/or your practice.</li> <li>To find out more about public option and balance billing, see these <a href="http://www.wsha.org/wp-content/uploads/2019-Post-Session-Webinar-Public-Option-Balance-Billing-06-19-19-FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">webinar slides</a>. For questions, contact Sean Graham at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>. </li> <li>For more information on the Omnibus Burden Reduction Final Rule issued last Thursday and intended by CMS to advance its Patients Over Paperwork initiative, read the <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-puts-patients-over-paperwork-reducing-healthcare-administrative-costs">press release</a> and <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/omnibus-burden-reduction-conditions-participation-final-rule-cms-3346-f">fact sheet</a>. </li> <li>The Health Care Authority's "Find a Provider" tool may show you as an "active" Medicaid provider even if you are no longer accepting new patients. Update your information following the directions <a href="https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/billers-and-providers/fs_removingacceptingnewpatientsfrombpw.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</li> <li>Be aware! The Washington Medical Commission <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/scam_alert_fraudulent_calls_targeting_clinics_and_physician_offices">reports</a> that scam artists are calling physician practices posing as the medical board. The WMC will never call you asking for your DEA number or looking for payment. If you believe your practice has been targeted, please contact the WMC at <a href="mailto:hsqa.csc@doh.wa.gov">hsqa.csc@doh.wa.gov</a>. </li> <li>The DOH has issued <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/doh_issues_new_clarification_on_state_opioid_rules_for_chronic_opioid_therapy">new clarification</a> on state opioid rules for chronic opioid therapy.</li> </ul> <p> That's it for now! Thanks for reading and enjoy the onset of another lovely Washington fall season. </p> </div>9/30/2019 10:07:47 AM9/30/2019 10:05:45 AM9/30/2019 12:00:00 AM
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 SeasonWeekly_RoundsShared_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="https://vimeo.com/359807313">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="https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-fights-burnout-new-practice-transformation-initiative">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="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/no_to_b_and_o_.aspx?hkey=d5807781-a824-4b2c-a8f4-70ed597ddfa8">Talking points can be found here</a>. If you are unsure how to connect with your local legislator, contact Alex Wehinger at <a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=665ce949-b574-4ec7-8e5a-7a796233e5d7">$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="https://www.doh.wa.gov/AboutUs/ProgramsandServices/HealthSystemsQualityAssurance/SunriseReviews/SunriseReviewinProgress">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="mailto:jeb@wsma.org">jeb@wsma.org</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 3:47:16 PM9/16/2019 9:41:54 AM9/16/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_2_2019_speaking_up_influences_policyWeekly Rounds: September 2, 2019 - Speaking Up Influences PolicyWeekly_RoundsShared_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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Reference_Committees_and_General_Discussion/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Reference_Committees_and_General_Forum.aspx?hkey=d674a5ae-4fb5-48d6-b969-16aab9b63647">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/WSMA/About/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/House_of_Delegates.aspx?hkey=e2c50002-384d-4ff7-9116-5ce7a51116e7">here</a> for more information on the House of Delegates; for details on voting eligibility, see our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/Policies/WSMA/About/Policies/Policies.aspx?hkey=672dbce4-f8bc-4f92-9c63-c72558dfa7b6">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/How_to_Write_a_Resolution/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/How_to_Write_a_Resolution/How_to_Write_a_Resolution.aspx?hkey=a22cd977-aaed-4445-9ee2-6fc4716a7136">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=43822235-5c0f-4ff9-9e8e-fdff0bafca11">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=c739e9cd-16de-4abc-a91f-5820ca96c734">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=561e3e3f-71ab-4ec0-8aef-61ee04f90e47">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=f13df142-84ae-4fc7-a4b4-07828667262e">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=9a2b4b4f-1244-4522-9fe7-350ac7235163">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=be05a12b-9c16-4406-baa0-c1422c32f07d">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=69106cd9-8637-40bb-a181-fabc35a22b6c">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=1af0035e-be14-4167-89b5-b739c3237855">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=fbe79eaa-d946-4040-89dd-cfe61f44497f">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=5b6fdb6c-d015-4328-8bb4-de74abadd638">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=19dd0c6a-9c1f-4d88-9f80-b5c5c0460e11">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=02f399f2-587f-48b3-9c8f-7c79ddfbae36">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=094de906-3bbe-4754-86b6-056d78f774be">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=a320a096-4a8b-4172-8b74-1619a4aa5aff">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=cd29382f-822b-4f8e-af05-507926c12f1c">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="https://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=741c9c8f-13eb-4ce3-98ad-9c73e5c0e5af">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=f26de634-7c5e-4ffe-9ae3-9ff7f84a9e1d">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=145d9a0b-2956-48fd-b604-5289c7495912">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=356ace5a-f85b-4fb8-a9aa-02017100056c">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=051ff1d9-63a7-424b-ab34-a6118a050258">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=0b77b4bd-9fec-401c-9740-91206bc6610a">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=8bfade3b-8405-4553-b5a4-9844c641367a">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=27e42fa8-7229-4a99-aca7-b00a6a9fb808">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=31b12c14-dde2-44e2-a0c5-becc93089c17">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=ae041074-924b-4e61-a579-d9f7cbce66ed">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=48fdd2ff-0e5b-4f9a-8091-8b4159701dfd">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=586bc50a-7a3a-4fb7-8f1d-9f5556d76ee9">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=0c0ce5a3-45d1-45d2-9f17-162e91530325">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=996ae157-229a-49e3-a12c-3c20efeb186d">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="https://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=4f0fdec2-e96f-4f16-b7f8-0fbe3342b223">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=0c718a52-c482-482c-b217-5cbefa604c6b">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=039bea48-e1a9-46c5-8642-3dac2f9e9b1f">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=4c4f76d8-7fc8-4480-a292-93d1a914b3bc">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=666cee1b-0592-43db-8704-8c1d5458cb04">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=3079cc3a-d447-4ba7-a192-b26beb1de57f">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=e952d959-6083-4824-8a21-4b8928e87ccc">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=4ccd8774-3dcb-4119-a301-d0ded1b6f023">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="https://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=0d59a550-e2ef-4380-9e4e-24153b91515c">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="http://www.wsma.org/iCore/Communities/TopicDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=ec978135-8164-4fbd-9db2-13c8ae46cee0">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="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">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="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2018/August/weekly_rounds_2018_08_27_you_the_people_guide_wsma_policy">my column from last year</a>. </p> <p> Remember, public opinion is only public if you publish it or speak up! </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:14 PM9/3/2019 12:33:06 PM9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM
 

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