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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_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
weekly_rounds_august_19_2019_five_things_to_know_while_sending_your_kids_back_to_schoolWeekly Rounds: August 19, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Sending Your Kids Back to SchoolWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_august_19_2019_five_things_to_know_while_sending_your_kids_back_to_school<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>August 19, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Sending Your Kids Back to School</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> How can it already be back-to-school time? At least this year, dropping my son off for his second year of college was a bit easier, mostly because I know he has found his peeps. Isn't life better when you find your community? As comedian Amy Poehler said to Harvard's graduates earlier this year: "Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." </p> <p> That's great advice that I find to be true in my daily work leading the WSMA. Over the summer, as I traveled to various physician retreats, seeing the dedication and compassion of physicians reminded me why I'm proud - and motivated - to do this work. I'm inspired every day by what compassionate healers you are and the way you ease the suffering and improve the health of your patients. </p> <p> In my mind, what you do for your patients is what the WSMA strives to do for you. We champion your professional and personal well-being. We amplify your voice where it needs to be heard. We are your safety net, protecting your professional interests as well as the collective interest of your patients. We do all that so you can focus on your calling—providing great care in our communities. </p> <p> Just as your work is never done, neither is ours. Working to protect you and your profession is our specialty! </p> <p> Here are a few toplines you need to know while hustling your kids off to school and staying cool this summer. </p> <h3>Drafting policy</h3> <p> As a membership organization, members drive our work and our policy. Nothing highlights that more clearly than our policymaking process through the WSMA House of Delegates. Be sure to visit our online members-only reference committee forums to share your views on proposed resolutions to be discussed at this year's annual meeting on Oct. 12-13. </p> <h3>Licensing delays</h3> <p> We've heard from several members who contacted us about state licensing delays. Rest assured, we are on top of that issue. If you or your colleagues are experiencing licensing delays, letting us know about it helps us help you. Write the WSMA policy team with any details at <a href="mailto:policy@wsma.org">policy@wsma.org</a>. Unnecessary licensing delays are a roadblock to providing the best care in the state and attracting the best docs to provide that care. </p> <h3>Transforming practices</h3> <p> Work on practice transformation and improving wellness is progressing as eight organizational physician leaders and team partners work to identify systemic interventions that have the potential to improve physician wellness, reduce burnout rates, and increase satisfaction. The cohort identified several challenges relating to process flow, such as pre-visit planning, pre-visit labs, and synchronized prescription renewal. We always appreciate having more input, so if you have workflow challenges you can share, write us at <a href="mailto:policy@wsma.org">policy@wsma.org</a>. </p> <h3>High fives</h3> <p> Here's a shout out to Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-WA) who helped introduce legislation that would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care by standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program. If passed, it would address several pain points experienced by physicians participating in the program and could be used as a model by other plans. Read more in last week's Membership Memo. </p> <h3>Hitting the road</h3> <p> I know I mentioned this recently, but I'm highlighting it again because I really hope I'll see you. If you're in Spokane, Vancouver, or Bellingham, please be sure to join us when our WSMA Road Trip comes to town. We've heard from you that you want more face time with us to share what's on your mind, so this is your chance. Click these links (<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-spokane-registration-64261748620?utm_term=eventname_text">Spokane</a>, <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-vancouver-registration-64379109650">Vancouver</a>, <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-bellingham-registration-64988291730?utm_term=eventname_text">Bellingham</a>) and confirm that you're coming! </p> <p> Thanks for reading and for your support of the WSMA. We're stronger together! </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:40 PM8/19/2019 9:01:24 AM8/19/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_august_6_2019_five_things_to_know_while_beating_the_heatWeekly Rounds: August 6, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Beating the HeatWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_august_6_2019_five_things_to_know_while_beating_the_heat<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>August 6, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Beating the Heat</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Here's hoping you're managing to stay cool during these hot summer months. Just over a week ago, your WSMA executive committee got a jump on the hot days, gathering together in Walla Walla (temperatures in the 90s!) to chart a strategic plan for 2020 and beyond. You'll be hearing more about those discussions via our communications channels soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give you a heads up about five things coming your way in the weeks ahead. </p> <h3>Time to meet with your congressional representatives</h3> <p> With Congress breaking for its August recess, it's the perfect time for you to schedule an in-district meeting with them. Not sure what to discuss? Balance billing is a hot topic at the federal level. Dr. James Burkman and our Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Sean Graham recently traveled to the other Washington to provide the WSMA's perspective on this issue with Sen. Patty Murray (<a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190626/balance_billing_debate_and_wsma_advocacy_shifts_to_dc">read more about that visit</a>). </p> <p> Now, the House has released HR 3630, also known as the "No Surprises Act." Similar to legislation under consideration in the Senate, HR 3630 would reimburse physicians at an insurer's median contracted rate for care delivered under the bill, and, importantly, would not allow physicians to negotiate with insurers when a payment is insufficient. Members of Congress need to hear your concerns about this. </p> <p> The AMA has an August recess "<a href="http://physiciansgrassrootsnetwork.org/sites/default/files/surprise-billing-action-kit.pdf" target="_blank">action kit</a>" on surprise billing which you can use. Or simply <a href="https://physiciansgrassrootsnetwork.org/be-heard?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f67405%2frespond%3futm_source%3dAction%2520Alert%26utm_medium%3dPGN%26utm_campaign%3dSurprise%2520Billing%26utm_content%3dSurprise%2520Billing">send an email to your members of Congress</a>. When communicating with them, be sure to reference Washington's balance billing legislation, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1065&Year=2019&Initiative=false">House Bill 1065</a>, as a model fair to physicians and patients. <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_apr_15_2019_taking_action_makes_a_difference">Learn more about that bill here</a>. </p> <h3>CMS seeks admin relief with proposed changes to physician fee schedule and QPP</h3> <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed major policy changes to ensure clinicians can spend more time providing high-value care for patients instead of filing cumbersome paperwork. As part of CMS's annual changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, the agency's proposals are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend with patients, removing unnecessary measures and making it easier for them to be on the path towards value-based care. This proposed rule builds on the Trump Administration's efforts to establish a patient-driven health care system that focuses on better health outcomes and is projected to save 2.3 million hours per year in burden reduction. For a fact sheet on the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, click <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/proposed-policy-payment-and-quality-provisions-changes-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-calendar-year-2">here</a>. To view the CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program proposed rule, click <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/14/2019-16041/medicare-program-cy-2020-revisions-to-payment-policies-under-the-physician-fee-schedule-and-other">here</a>. </p> <h3>New leadership at Physicians Insurance</h3> <p> The summer issue of the Physicians Insurance Report is out and inside you'll see a beautiful tribute to the company's president and CEO, Mary-Lou Misrahy. Earlier this year Mary-Lou announced her retirement after 15 years with the company. In a message to the WSMA board of trustees announcing her successor, Mary-Lou shared this: </p> <p> <em>"I've spent more than 15 years at this amazing company, whose future will continue long after my role in it comes to a close. I will stay on in a different capacity through the end of the calendar year to finish a few projects, as well as continue as the MPL Association Board Chair through May 2020.</em> </p> <p> <em>"Physicians Insurance is financially strong and stable with a very capable executive and leadership team. We are also well underway in a multi-year strategic plan that takes us through 2020, and have an incredible board of directors that will ensure continuity and focus. Thank you in advance for being part of the ongoing success of this amazing member-driven company."</em> </p> <p> William (Bill) Cotter will begin his term as the new president and CEO of Physicians Insurance effective Aug. 5, 2019. Bill comes from Allied World Assurance Company where he's spent the last 11 years, most recently serving as executive vice president, chief underwriting officer, Professional Liability – North America. While at Allied, he was responsible for underwriting strategy and execution, pricing discipline and product development for health care liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, cyber, M&A transactional insurance, and political risk and trade credit profit centers. Bill has a broad insurance background working in domestic and international markets for nearly 30 years, for companies like American International Group, CIGNA, and Allied World Assurance Company. He obtained his MBA from Columbia University, and an MBA from London University. He has a B.A. from Boston College. </p> <p> Mary-Lou has been a strong steward of PI and a huge advocate for physicians and their practices in Washington state. Please join me in wishing Mary-Lou the best in her retirement and offering Bill a big welcome as he transitions into his leadership role. </p> <h3>WSMA's new awards program: Call for nominations!</h3> <p> It's probably no surprise that we think our members are amazing! You are our heroes, and we want to celebrate and honor you. That's why we are implementing some new awards to recognize your service to the profession. We need your help on this! I hope you'll take a moment to nominate deserving colleagues and peers for one or more of the following awards (click on the link for the nomination form): </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unsung-hero-president">President's Unsung Hero Award</a> (WSMA member going above and beyond to serve the house of medicine).</li> <li><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unsung-hero-community">Community Unsung Hero Award</a> (for non-physicians who go above and beyond to improve the house of medicine).</li> <li><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/early-career-member-of-the-year">Early Career Member of the Year Award</a> (WSMA member providing service and mentorship to early career members).</li> <li><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/grassroots-advocate">Grassroots Advocate Awards</a> (WSMA members who take action on advocacy).</li> </ul> <h3>We're hitting the road</h3> <p> As a member-driven organization, when you speak up, we listen. You told us that you'd appreciate more face-to-face time with WSMA leadership. To that end, we are taking WSMA on the road so we can do just that. <a href="https://vimeo.com/351430388">We're headed to Spokane (Aug. 22), Vancouver (Aug. 29) and Bellingham (Sept. 5)</a>. We'll give you an update on WSMA's advocacy and policy work and would like to hear from you about how we can amplify our work in representing the profession or improving patient care throughout the state of Washington. We've also invited local legislators to join us in the discussion. Take a moment to <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Road_Trip_Washington/WSMA/Events/wsma_road_trip_washington.aspx?hkey=ab6effd3-1a20-4f09-8c80-5a268ec9f167">RSVP right now</a> to let us know you're coming and invite your colleagues: both members and non-members are welcome to these free events. </p> <p> I hope I'll see you soon, either at our road trips, or at the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates</a> this October. If you can't make either event but would like me to come and speak to your medical staff or group, shoot me an email. I'm happy to come and provide an update on our work. </p> <p> In the meantime, stay cool and enjoy the rest of the summer. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:31 PM8/6/2019 9:49:26 AM8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_july_15_2019_wsma_is_growing_and_on_the_moveWeekly Rounds: July 15, 2019 - WSMA Is Growing and on the MoveWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_july_15_2019_wsma_is_growing_and_on_the_move<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>July 15, 2019</h5> <h2>WSMA Is Growing and on the Move</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> <strong>New vistas and another record-breaking membership year</strong> </p> <p> While I spend most of my time focused on representing the physician community in our state, just a couple weeks ago, I was in Spain and saw the Organización Médica Colegial de España. It reminded me that physicians everywhere need representation and a voice. </p> <p> Medical associations around the globe have a strong and lengthy heritage, with forward-thinking physicians seeking to better the profession and build its future. As we stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before, protecting the profession remains our specialty, even if the societies of today look quite different than they did in the past. </p> <p> WSMA's membership is more diverse than ever before in terms of age, gender, specialty, and practice setting. And our strategies, structure, and brand are changing as well, to better reflect who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow. Perhaps you've even noticed that this email has an updated design that ties in with our new logo and branding. </p> <p> Even better, I'm proud to note that the WSMA has had another record-breaking membership year. With membership reaching nearly 11,300 members, we've grown more than 2 percent over last year and achieved a 16 percent increase since 2015. </p> <p> Some of that recent growth is thanks to the investment decisions Washington Permanente Medical Group and Rockwood MultiCare made to fund physician and physician assistant memberships in the WSMA. These organizations join many other groups who value their medical teams and recognize the importance of direct physician involvement in advocacy and leading change. </p> <p> With this growth, our membership is trending younger, as we strive to cultivate a new generation of engaged members. In fact, the early career segment of our membership (students, residents, fellows, and physicians under 40 or in the first 10 years of practice) has grown 214 percent over the past five years. </p> <p> There truly is strength in numbers, which enables the WSMA to have a powerful collective voice when speaking up for what matters to physicians. I'm grateful to all the groups and individuals who invest in WSMA membership. By doing so, you're making a direct investment in professional fulfillment and leadership development that, ultimately, is an investment in quality care and better patient outcomes. </p> <p> At the heart of all of this work is you, our members. As a member-driven organization, it's critical that we hear from you. I'm ever mindful of how busy you are. I know that WSMA news about what we're working on and how that work impacts you, your patients, and your practice may get overlooked. </p> <p> That's why we use every communication channel available to keep you filled in on the good work we're doing on your behalf. We reach out to you in print with our flagship—and newly redesigned—publication, we have several digital channels (website, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, webinars, videos) and events (annual meeting, leadership conference and courses, legislative summit, advocacy council, large-group meetings). </p> <p> But in addition to all of that, we are taking WSMA on the road this summer, visiting three cities in Washington state—Spokane, Vancouver, and Bellingham—so that we can meet face to face with our members in those communities. </p> <p> If you're in or near any of those cities, we hope you will join us at these free events scheduled on Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. In addition to fun, food, and frosty beverages, we'll offer brief WSMA updates; but, more importantly, we'll listen to you about your concerns in daily life as a medical professional. Your input ensures that we are working on what matters most to you and helps us shape a meaningful strategy for the future. </p> <p> This will be a great chance to meet and mingle with WSMA and your colleagues. Let us know that you plan to join us by registering today to reserve your spot at these free events. The WSMA Road Trip visits Spokane on Thursday, Aug. 22 (<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-spokane-registration-64261748620?utm_term=eventname_text">register online</a>); Vancouver on Thursday, Aug. 29 (<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-vancouver-registration-64379109650">register online</a>); and Bellingham on Thursday, Sept. 5 (<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wsma-road-trip-to-bellingham-registration-64988291730?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button">register online</a>). We'll see you there! </p> <p> Another way to inform us about issues of concern to you is to engage with us via our members-only virtual reference committees and general discussion forum in advance of the WSMA Annual Meeting. It's easy to post your ideas or comment on the ideas of others. Simply <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Reference_Committees_and_General_Forum.aspx">click here</a> to get started. </p> <p> All of this to say…as a membership-driven organization your viewpoints and opinions matter, regardless of your specialty, your geography, and/or whether you are working within a large integrated group or small private practice. You matter. Let us hear from you, and I hope to personally greet you in Spokane, Vancouver, or Bellingham this summer. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:10 PM7/15/2019 9:40:11 AM7/15/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_june_17_2019_hard_won_change_is_worth_the_effortWeekly Rounds: June 17, 2019 - Hard-won Change Is Worth the EffortWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_june_17_2019_hard_won_change_is_worth_the_effort<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>June 17, 2019</h5> <h2>Hard-won Change Is Worth the Effort</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Last week, I was in Chicago attending the AMA annual meeting. After all these years it's still a thrill to witness the incoming president's swearing in, but this year's oath of office felt like the most momentous one ever. In fact, it was an historic moment as the organization's first female African-American president put her hand on Bibles belonging to her great-grandfather and aunt and repeated the time-honored words of the oath. </p> <p> As Patrice Harris, MD, stepped up to that podium (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation/videos/853283701704193/?notif_id=1559682244507710&notif_t=live_video_schedule_broadcaster">view it here</a> at timestamp 48:45), she did so as only the fifth female president in the organization's 174 years. Notably, as she gave her presidential address, she did so 100 years after the first female physician was seated in the AMA House of Delegates. Also? Dr. Harris was preceded by another female president, Dr. Barbara McAneny, and she will be followed by Dr. Susan Bailey, who was elected AMA president-elect. </p> <p> Seeing these brilliant women leading in medicine today was a powerful reminder to me that change takes time—sometimes longer than we wish, but progress comes nonetheless. And as the AMA House of Delegates debated numerous issues—including health system reform, hospital consolidation, and gender inequity in medicine—we saw that democratic progress in action. </p> <p> The House narrowly voted to continue its opposition to a single-payer health system, adopting new policy instead to push for universal coverage by supporting improvements to the Affordable Care Act, including: </p> <ul> <li>Eliminating the subsidy "cliff," thereby expanding eligibility for premium tax credits beyond 40 percent of the federal poverty level.</li> <li>Increasing the generosity of premium tax credits.</li> <li>Expanding eligibility of cost-sharing reductions.</li> </ul> <p> Of particular interest to Washington state (in light of the WSMA's recent work to eliminate the personal and philosophical exemption to the MMR vaccine), the House passed a resolution to support state policies that would allow minors to override their parents' objections to vaccinations. In a separate resolution, the delegates directed the AMA to develop model legislation for mature minor consent to vaccinations. </p> <p> Your WSMA delegates took several issues to the AMA including: </p> <ul> <li>The concept of offering state employee health plans to every state resident and making the federal employee health benefits program health insurance plans available to everyone (referred for further study).</li> <li>Alignment of federal privacy law and regulations with HIPAA for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health operations, while ensuring protections are in place against the use of "Part 2" substance use disorder records in criminal proceedings (amended to reference applicable state laws).</li> <li>Universal access for essential public health services (alternative language adopted).</li> <li>An AMA study and report on the conditions under which our country could successfully eliminate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of combustible cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products (referred for decision).</li> </ul> <p> Here's a shout-out and special thanks to WSMA delegates and alternates to the AMA, for their passion and concern for the future of the profession. The delegation includes: </p> <ul> <li>Rod Trytko, MD, MBA, MPH, chair of the delegation</li> <li>Matthew Grierson, MD, vice chair</li> <li>Peter Dunbar, MD</li> <li>Nariman Heshmati, MD</li> <li>Erin Harnish, MD</li> <li>Shane Macaulay, MD</li> <li>Beth Peterson, MD</li> <li>Sheila Rege, MD</li> </ul> <p> Policy-making matters not only to the profession, but to patients. And as Dr. Harris noted in her keynote address, "There is strength in our collective voice." I couldn't agree more. If you're interested in proposing policy or serving as a delegate at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates meeting (Oct. 12-13 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center), here's some helpful information you'll need to know. </p> <p> Resolutions, one of the key policy drivers for the association, are considered by the House of Delegates at their annual meeting each fall. Learn more about <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">how to write a resolution</a> and take note of these dates: </p> <ul> <li>Aug. 16: Deadline to submit your resolution for publication in the delegate handbook, the compilation of resolutions and other business to be considered by the House of Delegates. </li> <li>Aug. 30: Delegate handbook will be available for download from the WSMA website. </li> <li>Sept. 13: Final deadline to submit resolutions. To be considered, resolutions received after this date require consent of two-thirds of the House at the opening session.</li> </ul> <p> You can also circulate your ideas and engage in conversation before the meeting by posting your thoughts on WSMA's password-protected, 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">online discussion forum</a>. </p> <p> The House of Delegates is composed of WSMA members who represent, and are designated by, their respective county or state specialty society, as well as representatives of WSMA's special sections and board of trustees. If you would like to serve as a delegate at the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting, contact your local county or state specialty society. </p> <p> Getting involved at this level means bringing influence and insight to the policy-making process of your state medical association. It means being a leader in your profession and making a difference in the lives and health of your patients. As Dr. Harris said: "We don't run away from problems ... physicians run towards them!" </p> <p> Won't you join me in running toward the problems, and help me affect change for the better in our profession in Washington? </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:06 PM6/17/2019 10:22:15 AM6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_may_27_2019_brand_new_brand_newsWeekly Rounds: May 27, 2019 - Brand New Brand NewsWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_may_27_2019_brand_new_brand_news<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>May 27, 2019</h5> <h2>Brand New Brand News</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Think about a couple of your favorite brands, and then think about how they make you feel. For me that means Starbucks (consistent, caffeinated), Apple (easy to use, good quality), and Alaska Airlines (convenient, reliable, and homegrown). </p> <p> A brand is more than just a logo. It is the set of emotions and recognition of values people have when they interact with an organization. A strong brand elicits not only thoughts and feelings from its audience, but also loyalty, passion, and motivation for action—all of which happen for me with the brands noted above. </p> <p> Many of you know that I've been with the WSMA for many years, and for the last six as CEO. So last week at our incredibly diverse WSMA Leadership Development Conference when a member told me that they had "always thought of the WSMA as an old, white, male club," I was dismayed. Are we still up against that stereotype? </p> <p> Thankfully, we've already been working on transforming the WSMA organization and brand to more appropriately represent our diverse membership of today! </p> <p> In the way of organizational change, we reorganized our association according to the express needs of our members, sharpening our focus on <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx">advocacy</a> and <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/Legislative_Regulatory.aspx?hkey=c0dc6e7c-4385-497a-99db-4a6b6f4e56bd">policy development</a>. We are tackling administrative burden and wellness through our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Administrative_Simplification/Healthy_Doctors__Healthier_Patients/WSMA/Resources/Administrative_Simplification/Healthy_Doctors__Healthier_Patients/Healthy_Doctors__Healthier_Patients.aspx?hkey=886d7bb3-8e52-4b07-9f38-541f3ca3e080">Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients initiative</a>, and our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/About_Us/WSMA_Foundation/WSMA/About/WSMA_Foundation/WSMA_Foundation.aspx?hkey=5695f210-6aa1-4eaf-94f0-ddea2e6c6261">foundation</a> is focusing its work on bringing joy back to medicine and striving to improve physician wellness. Further, we developed <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Physician_Leadership.aspx?hkey=de41060f-7888-4692-92da-9acc972257d3">courses</a> and <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Medical_Officer_Collaborative/Medical_Officer_Collaborative.aspx">networking opportunities</a> to engage and equip physician leaders, supporting them at every stage of their professional careers. </p> <p> But we didn't stop with structural change, we also looked at our brand. We started with our flagship publication, <em>WSMA Reports</em>. I hope you've noticed the huge change since the March/April issue. We wanted our flagship publication's visual aesthetic to reflect the dynamic membership of our association, to represent our members more fully within its pages, and to implement an engaging and interactive editorial approach. </p> <p> This magazine is a must-read for any physician, physician assistant, or health care leader in Washington state, and it is available for free to WSMA members. Recent issues have reported in depth on the silent suffering of burnout and how artificial intelligence can serve doctors, not replace them. Up next, with our July/August edition we'll feature in-depth reporting on how climate change is impacting the health of Washingtonians and what's being done about it. </p> <p> Through this publication and all of our communications channels, we're reporting on issues that impact Washington state physicians and their patients. We publish news that is tailored specifically for—and only available to—WSMA members. </p> <p> Beyond all that, we are in the midst of launching a new look and feel to our entire brand. While our brand is no substitute for the work we do or the interactions we have, it does help broaden our reach, strengthen our purpose, create connections across our programs, and reinforce a powerful sense of our mission and vision. Implementation of these new visuals is in progress and will be an evolution, but I'm sure you'll notice aspects of our new logo and brand in the weeks ahead. </p> <p> As always, thanks for your interest in, and support of, the WSMA. I'm all in on the WSMA brand and I hope you are too. And now, I think a Starbucks venti Americano is calling my name… </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:46:47 PM5/28/2019 9:43:28 AM5/27/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_may_13_2019_members_speak_we_listenWeekly Rounds: May 13, 2019 - Members Speak, We ListenWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_may_13_2019_members_speak_we_listen<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>May 13, 2019</h5> <h2>Members Speak, We Listen</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> I recently heard from a member who is frustrated and disappointed with the recent <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190508/state_budget_includes_mental_health_investments_b_and_o_increase_passes">20 percent business and occupation (B&O) tax increase</a> passed by the state Legislature, as well as the <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190508/the_good_and_bad_of_new_opioid_legislative_policy">new IT requirements mandated as part of the omnibus opioid prescribing bill</a>. Here at the WSMA, we share his distress. These are not the results we had hoped for this legislative session. But with Democrats sweeping into control of the Legislature after several years of tight partisan splits, we knew that pocketbook/professional issues would face an uphill climb in the 2019 session. </p> <p> This member, who operates in an independent practice of five physicians and two nurse practitioners, will be particularly hard hit. That was a point I articulated <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/public-health-wins-but-physician-practices-lose-in-2019-legislative-session/">in my recent editorial in The Seattle Times</a>. He put an even finer point it, saying, "This may be a game changer for our clinic trying to stay independent." </p> <p> His is the voice legislators need to hear. Yours are the stories we need to tell. These are the connections we need to make. If we—all of us—don't loudly, clearly, and aggressively make legislators understand the impact they have on patient care and patient choice in their communities, then the deck will continue to be stacked against us. </p> <p> I am grateful that this physician reached out to me to share his frustration, because through our exchange, I invited him to let us help connect him with his legislators so he can share his story directly. I'm delighted that he agreed. We are working now to connect him to his local legislators at his practice, where they can see firsthand how decisions they make directly impact patients, who are also their constituents. This is the value of each of you being engaged in your professional society. </p> <p> Friends, our work is far from done; this is a long game. The WSMA will use our influence during the interim (the time between legislative sessions) to prepare for next year's session where we'll fight to roll back the B&O tax and advance better payment for physicians. We won't give up, and I implore you not to either. You need to stand with us to help advocate on behalf of the profession and our patients. This work is never done. </p> <p> Right now, we are actively working to connect members with their local legislators so that they can invite them in and share their stories. If you'd like to be part of this effort, email me at <a href="mailto:jen@wsma.org">jen@wsma.org</a>. In addition, the board of directors of WSMA's political action committee, WAMPAC, will be meeting next week to develop our giving strategy as it relates to legislators and candidates who support our professional agenda. Stay tuned for more on this effort. </p> <p> In the meantime, let's not overlook that we had some good wins this session! WSMA's Olympia team will be debriefing members on these wins and other session results during a free lunchtime webinar on May 15—<a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/WSMA_Legislative_Wrap_Up_Webinar/WSMA/Events/wsma_legislative_wrap_up_webinar.aspx?hkey=9e9d7843-853f-47d0-bae4-7d2595f5c86b">register for the event online</a>. </p> <p> In addition, we are also working on our annual WSMA legislative wrap-up report, which provides an in-depth look at legislative session outcomes and new policies impacting medical practices, and features a "report card" on how your local legislators voted on WSMA's priority issues. Look for this in your mailbox later this summer. </p> <p> Keep the comments and suggestions coming. You can email me at <a href="mailto:jen@wsma.org">jen@wsma.org</a>. I'm happy to come and meet with you individually or as a group, and our other WSMA leaders are as well. </p> <p> And also of note, later this summer we will launch a WSMA "road tour," traveling to Spokane, Bellingham, and Vancouver to hear from you directly. I hope you and your colleagues will join us at these events. We are a member-driven organization, and your involvement drives our agenda as we strive to achieve our mission of providing strong leadership and advocacy that shapes the future of medicine and provides access to care for all Washingtonians. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:22 PM5/13/2019 9:26:00 AM5/13/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_apr_29_2019_your_service_matters_become_a_leader_at_the_wsmaWeekly Rounds: Apr. 29, 2019 - Your Service Matters: Become a Leader at the WSMAWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_apr_29_2019_your_service_matters_become_a_leader_at_the_wsma<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>April 29, 2019</h5> <h2>Your Service Matters: Become a Leader at the WSMA </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Leadership is one of WSMA's strategic priorities; perhaps an obvious choice as we strive to influence and shape the future of the medical profession. And we've heard, loud and clear, from our members that leadership development is one aspect of our work that they value highly. That's another reason why we work so hard to bring top-ranked educational opportunities to the medical community, through our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Physician_Leadership.aspx?WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927&hkey=de41060f-7888-4692-92da-9acc972257d3">leadership courses and conference</a>. </p> <p> I spend a fair amount of time thinking about leadership and what it takes to be a leader. I'm inspired by this quote from <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/artificial-maturity/201402/is-everyone-leader">Tim Elmore</a>, president of Growing Leaders, an international nonprofit that works to develop emerging leaders: </p> <p> <em>"Leadership is a calling on every one of us, to some degree. It's about becoming the person we were meant to be. It is less about position and more about disposition. It is not so much about superiority but about service in the area of our strengths. It has less to do with a set of behaviors and more to do with a perspective with which we view life."</em> </p> <p> What resonates with me in that quote is the emphasis on service. It reminds me of the Rotarian motto, "service above self." In my experience working with physicians, I've seen how they embody service and leadership in everything they do, from providing care to contributing expertise, experience, knowledge, vision, and wisdom to their patients, teams, and communities. </p> <p> Now, more than ever, we need strong physician leadership across all aspects of the profession. With challenges in the house of medicine, the shifting landscape of health care, the unpredictable direction of federal legislation, and the need to emphasize the quadruple aim in medicine, physicians must be directly involved in leadership in order to navigate a better way forward for the profession and patients. </p> <p> The WSMA depends upon strong physician leadership to represent the voice of physicians and patients as we seek to shape the future of health care in Washington state. We need your voice, your leadership, your service. </p> <p> I'm personally inviting you to consider being part of that leadership by nominating yourself or a colleague for consideration for a position on the WSMA board of trustees or executive committee. I'm highlighting this today because we have just extended the deadline for nominations to May 10. As a leader in the profession, your voice and service within the WSMA matters. </p> <p> I urge you to take a moment just now to consider this. More information about the desired qualifications, a roster of current board members, a nomination form, conflict of interest disclosure statement, and <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Advocacy_Report/2019/Nominations_for_WSMA_Leadership_Due_April_30">candidate information sheet are available here</a>. </p> <p> Further, here are a few things to note about the nomination process: </p> <ul> <li>The WSMA nominating committee meets in early June to prepare a slate of nominees.</li> <li>The slate is presented to the House of Delegates at its 2019 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Oct. 12-13 at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center. </li> <li>The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 10, although additional nominations may be made from the floor of the House of Delegates.</li> <li>In considering yourself or colleagues for nominations, consider whether you or they are: <ul> <li>Well-informed</li> <li>Forward thinking</li> <li>Committed to the future of the profession</li> <li>Committed to service and the profession above oneself </li> <li>Experienced, enthusiastic, credible, and open-minded</li> <li>Able to put the WSMA above personal desires or agenda</li> <li>Capable of serving as a future president of our state medical association</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p> It takes bold leadership and a strong sense of service to tackle the challenges facing the profession, your patients, and our communities. If you believe in our mission to provide strong physician leadership and advocacy to shape the future of medicine and advance quality of care for all Washingtonians, I hope you will consider this opportunity. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:31 PM4/29/2019 9:33:38 AM4/29/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_apr_15_2019_taking_action_makes_a_differenceWeekly Rounds: Apr. 15, 2019 - Taking Action Makes a DifferenceWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_apr_15_2019_taking_action_makes_a_difference<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>April 15, 2019</h5> <h2>Taking Action Makes a Difference</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> As I write today's Weekly Rounds, I am on a plane headed to San Francisco to represent the WSMA and all of you at a Physicians Foundation board meeting. Even as I write, things are heating up in Olympia as we draw near to the scheduled end of session (April 28). The WSMA team there is working nonstop to protect the interests of our members, their patients, and the profession. </p> <p> In short, there's a lot going on! I'll highlight just five things here for now: </p> <p> First, as you've likely seen, we've sent several urgent calls to action on multiple topics recently: wrongful death expansion, business and occupation (B&O) tax increase, and the public option bill. Thank you for taking the time to contact your legislators on these important matters. Your emails and calls do make a difference and we need you to continue to be engaged. April 17 is the cutoff for bills to be voted out of the opposite chamber (i.e. for <a href="https://vimeo.com/album/5835487">House bills to pass the Senate</a>). Our team in Olympia is working hard to salvage our priority bills and shut down attempts to move bad policy bills forward. </p> <p> Next, after many years of negotiation, the WSMA has reached an agreement on balance billing legislation that protects patients from unexpected bills and is fair for the physician community. The bill, which has passed both the House and the Senate and will soon be headed to the governor for his signature, includes: </p> <ul> <li>No statutory reimbursement rate or mechanism for out-of-network payment subject to the bill, requiring carriers to reimburse out-of-network physicians at a commercially reasonable rate.</li> <li>Physician-friendly dispute resolution process with no reference to Medicare rates as an arbitration criterion, and claims bundling allowed over a two-month timeframe.</li> <li>Addressing the ERISA problem with an ability for self-insured health plans to opt in to complying with the law, and a mechanism for physicians to verify the nature of a health plan (i.e. whether it complies with the law and/or whether a patient can be balance billed). </li> <li>Direct payment from carriers to physicians (prohibiting carriers from routing payment through patients).</li> <li>Strengthened network adequacy requirements for carriers.</li> <li>Workable requirements for physician groups pertaining to transparency and enforcement of the law.</li> </ul> <p> I want to acknowledge the good work of Sean Graham, WSMA's director of legislative and political affairs, and all the physicians who worked with him to find a path forward for addressing this difficult issue. We know this law—however physician-friendly—poses challenges for the physician community. We're committed to helping practices implement the law and will continue to advocate during the rulemaking process to make the law as fair to physicians as possible. </p> <p> Third, last week's WSMA e-newsletter, Membership Memo, featured updates on what's happening in Olympia, including news that Gov. Jay Inslee signed one of WSMA's priority pieces of legislation: raising the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products in Washington state from 18 to 21. This is a major victory for public health and for physician advocacy in our state. As WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, noted in our press release, "This is the fifth legislative session where Washington's physicians have fought for policy to raise the tobacco and vaping purchasing age. In this instance, the fifth time's the charm. It's a reminder to all of us that the health and well-being of our patients, families, and loved ones is worth fighting for, no matter how long and hard the fight." The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020. </p> <p> Next, the WSMA Foundation received a year-long grant from the Physicians Foundation to pilot a practice transformation initiative at several sites throughout Washington state. Congratulations to Allegro Pediatrics, EvergreenHealth Medical Group, Family Care Network, Kaiser Permanente, MultiCare Health System, The Everett Clinic, UW Valley Medical Center, and Virginia Mason for being chosen to participate with the WSMA, the AMA, and the Physicians Foundation on this journey to advance research and promote evidence-based solutions that improve patient care by enhancing professional fulfillment and reducing clinician burnout. </p> <p> Finally, more than 10 years ago, the WSMA recognized the unique needs of physician medical executives in the hospital setting. We partnered with the Washington State Hospital Association to create a joint chief medical officers workgroup. Since that time, the group has evolved to include medical officers at large independent clinics. Our <a href="http://medicalofficercollaborative.org/home/">Medical Officer Safe Table Learning Collaborative</a> offers a forum for medical officers to engage with and learn from each other on topics such as patient safety and quality; wellness, burnout, and impairment; leadership development; policy; culture change; and other shared challenges all CMOs face. The group meets three times a year and all medical officers are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Jessica Martinson at <a href="mailto:jessica@wsma.org">jessica@wsma.org</a>. </p> <p> This quick rundown barely scratches the surface of all we're doing just now, but you're busy and my plane is about to land, so I'll wrap this up. Thanks for your engagement with the WSMA, and for taking time to read about our work. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:32 PM4/15/2019 9:32:47 AM4/15/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_apr_2_2019_standing_strong_for_patients_and_the_professionWeekly Rounds: Apr. 2, 2019 - Standing strong for patients and the professionWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_apr_2_2019_standing_strong_for_patients_and_the_profession<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>April 2, 2019</h5> <h2>Standing Strong for Patients and the Profession</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> Last Saturday was Doctors' Day, and if you follow the WSMA (or me) on social media, then you saw our video tribute to you—our members. While we celebrate you every day, we had fun putting it together to show how much we value your commitment not only to your patients, but to the WSMA as well. In case you missed it, <a href="https://vimeo.com/325487847">I've linked to it here so you can enjoy</a>. </p> <p> Speaking of commitment, I want to give a special shout out to several of our members for their efforts supporting the WSMA and the profession. Last Friday, Chelsea Unruh, MD, and Mary Anderson, MD, traveled with me to Olympia to testify against the business and occupation (B&O) tax increase included in the House budget proposal (see more about that below). All three of us testified at the hearing, and you can <a href="https://vimeo.com/327962785">watch our testimonies here</a>. And this week, WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, and president-elect Bill Hirota, MD, are taking time away from their practices to travel with me to Washington, D.C., where we will advocate for WSMA's federal priorities. </p> <p> Taking the time out of your busy lives to engage on behalf of the profession and patients is not easy or convenient, but it truly does make a difference in shaping the future of medicine and health care in Washington state. Thank you! </p> <p> We are heading into the home stretch of the legislative session. Budget writing is underway with the release of both the House and Senate budgets. WSMA's priorities for the budget are securing an increase in Medicaid reimbursement, behavioral health funding, and staving off an increase to the B&O tax on physician services. </p> <p> Here's a rundown on what you need to know from the two budgets. </p> <h3>Highlights of the House budget</h3> <p> The House Democrats' package is a $52.8 billion budget that would increase state spending by 19 percent and rely on $1.4 billion in new taxes. Among the tax hikes being proposed is a 20 percent increase in the B&O service tax paid by physicians and other professionals, raising an estimated $427 million over the next two years, with the revenue going to fund new investments in higher education. </p> <p> The House budget makes numerous investments in behavioral health, including $225 million for the construction and staffing of a new teaching hospital at the University of Washington with the aim of strengthening the state's behavioral health workforce, including new psychiatric physician residency positions ($600,000). Multiple operating and capital investments are made to increase bed capacity for behavioral health services. There's also $3.6 million to create a tele-behavioral health video call center to provide physicians with on-demand access to psychiatric and substance-use disorder clinical consultation. </p> <p> The House plan provides roughly $15 million for a Medicaid payment increase for health, behavior, and psychotherapy codes, but not at a rate reflected in <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">Gov. Inslee's budget proposal released in December</a>. </p> <p> The House spending plan also provides no funds for increasing Medicaid payments for adult and pediatric primary care <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/governors_2019_budget_proposal_the_good_the_good_and_the_ugly">as featured in the governor's budget</a>. Increasing Medicaid reimbursement is a priority for the WSMA, with a goal of increasing physician participation in the program while ensuring practice solvency. </p> <p> New public health funding proposals include $22 million for foundational public health services, continuing and expanding the state's maternity mortality review panel, and funding to implement Initiative 1639, which voters approved last year to address firearm safety. The budget also assumes passage of legislation to <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2018/September/Heal_the_business_of_care_with_fair_Medicaid_compensation">increase the purchase age</a> for tobacco and vapor products to 21, as well as legislation to <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Advocacy_Report/2019/Strengthening_Washington_state_s_immunization_policy">remove the personal and philosophical exemptions</a> for the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine—both priority policies for the WSMA. </p> <p> Elsewhere, funding is maintained for medical education victories from past budget cycles, including physician residencies and health professional student loan repayment. Reconciliation of Medicaid payments for rural health care facilities is retroactively addressed, holding clinics harmless for the 2011-13 timeframe and holding action on subsequent years until the 2020 session at the earliest. And an $18.8 million appropriation is made from the state's health professions account, composed of licensure fees from physicians and other health care professionals, for a new licensing system. This comes at a time when physicians are facing <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190227/medical_commission_releases_timeline_and_workshop_for_proposed_fee_increases">a substantial fee increase that the WSMA is opposing</a>. </p> <h3>Toplines from the Senate budget</h3> <p> Senate Democrats unveiled their spending plan Friday afternoon. The $52.2 billion proposal is similar in many regards to the House budget, making considerable investments in behavioral health and assuming the establishment of a state capital gains tax. One key difference between the two proposals is that the Senate did not include a B&O tax increase on physician services. </p> <p> Notable items in the Senate budget include stepped-up investments in medical education, with a new $2 million mental health scholarship program for behavioral health practitioners, on top of maintaining medical residency funding and increasing funding for health professional student loan repayment. A new tax on vapor products would go toward funding tobacco prevention and foundational public health. And like the House budget, there are numerous items intended to improve the delivery of mental health care, including increasing bed capacity and establishing a Partnership Access Line for schools. </p> <p> Of concern in the Senate budget is $150 million in assumed savings for the state's Medicaid program, making reference to increased oversight of fraud, waste, and abuse of the system. At this point, it is unclear what impact the proposal would have on physicians and on access to care for Medicaid enrollees. And unfortunately, neither the Senate nor the House budgets include meaningful Medicaid reimbursement increases, making it likely that the legislature will once again fail to address this important issue. </p> <h3>What's next</h3> <p> When budget proposals are aligned on an issue, it's a strong sign that it will be included in the final budget agreement. That's promising for the prospect of legislation to increase the purchase age for tobacco and vapor products to 21, a top priority of the WSMA (<a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1074&Year=2019&Initiative=false">House Bill 1074</a>). That bill has passed out of both houses, and its next stop is the governor's desk for his signature. </p> <p> There's also funding in both budgets to extend and expand the state's maternity mortality review panel, a program that the WSMA helped establish in 2016. </p> <p> With four weeks to go in the 2019 legislative session, focus will turn to ironing out wrinkles in policy proposals and reconciling differences between the budget proposals. Chief among the items the WSMA will focus on is working to prevent a B&O tax increase on physician services, and policy bills pertaining to vaccine exemptions, the creation of a state public insurance option, and addressing the opioid epidemic. As ever, your WSMA advocacy team will be at the capitol full time, ensuring that the voice of the physician community is well represented. </p> <p> Check out our <a href="https://vimeo.com/327807687">latest advocacy update video here</a>, and stay tuned for more in the days and weeks ahead. And when you receive a call to action from the WSMA, please click the button to "take action." It matters. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:59 PM4/2/2019 10:10:45 AM4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM
Weekly_Rounds__Mar._18__2019_-_A_Public_Option_that_Works_for_Patients_and_PhysiciansWeekly Rounds: Mar. 18, 2019 - A Public Option that Works for Patients and PhysiciansWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/Weekly_Rounds__Mar._18__2019_-_A_Public_Option_that_Works_for_Patients_and_Physicians<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>March 18, 2019</h5> <h2>A Public Option that Works for Patients and Physicians </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p><a href="#note">[Update April 10, 2019]</a></p> <p>As we head into week 10 of our 15-week legislative session, I can't help but reflect on the incredible work of our team in Olympia. We often say to our members that while they go about their daily business of saving lives, our team is on the frontlines of protecting their interests so they can continue to do just that…save lives.</p> <p>Already in this session, the team in Olympia has rigorously reviewed around 2,000 bills. Thus far, they’ve identified nearly 300 that could impact the profession—for better or for worse. They have aggressively monitored, testified, reported out, and lobbied for or against as guided by WSMA policy and leadership.</p> <p>Your team on the ground has been working around the clock to influence state policies that benefit not only our profession and the groups you practice in, but also your patients.</p> <p>It’s a challenging job. I’m sure you can appreciate how difficult it is to navigate complex issues while advocating on topics where a broad range of stakeholders have opposing concerns.</p> <p>We know that physicians are looking for market stability, predictability, and access to care. That’s why we soldier on in this work, defending them and the profession for the health and well-being of all Washingtonians.</p> <p>A case in point is the issue of a public option plan.</p> <p><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1523&Year=2019&Initiative=false">House Bill 1523</a> would create a public option insurance plan procured by the Health Care Authority and offered to the public on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The plan’s benefit design would be standardized to decrease cost-sharing requirements for enrollees, with reimbursement capped at Medicare rates. The WSMA has been vocal in our opposition to setting rates in statute, particularly at the Medicare level.</p> <p>Thankfully, on the Senate side, legislators listened and responded to our concerns. Last week the Senate voted to approve an amended version of its public option plan, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5526&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 5526</a>, with a bipartisan vote of 36-13. Importantly, the bill was amended to remove the rate-setting component, so physicians will have the opportunity to negotiate with carriers on their terms of participation in the plan.</p> <p>The amended bill maintains the standard plan design components that are intended to limit patient cost-sharing. Also, in lieu of a reimbursement rate cap addressing premium costs, it substitutes an active purchaser structure that will enable the Health Care Authority to negotiate with carriers on appropriate premium rates for the plans. Carriers would then, in turn, negotiate with physicians and facilities to build provider networks.</p> <p>In other areas, SB 5526 was amended to mirror the changes that were recently made to its House companion, HB 1523. Most notable for our purposes, it includes a requirement that utilization review processes employed in the plan meet national accreditation standards, align with HCA-published criteria, and focus on care that has high variation, high cost, or low evidence of clinical effectiveness.</p> <p>Last week the WSMA executive committee voted to support SB 5526<a href="#note">*</a> in its current form as a means to expand access to affordable coverage for our state’s uninsured, while not crippling the viability of a medical practice.</p> <p><em>[*<a name="note"></a>Update April 10, 2019: Since this article was published, SB 5526 has been amended to cap reimbursement to physicians at a percentage of Medicare (150 percent, based on a carrier’s aggregate reimbursement to health care providers and facilities); to direct a study of how physician participation in the plan could be mandated in future years; and finally, to remove a provision limiting how much insurance carriers can profit from offering the plan—meaning that only physicians and hospitals would be asked to sacrifice to make the public option viable. The WSMA is now opposing SB 5526 in this amended form. The WSMA supports building off of the approach in the companion public option bill currently before the Senate (HB 1523), which is a more realistic and responsible approach to addressing affordability. That approach has garnered support from physicians, hospitals and health plans<em>—</em>the entities necessary to ensuring the public option is a success<em>—</em>as well as support from senators on both sides of the aisle.]</em></p> <p>As the bill continues its journey in the Legislature, the WSMA will hold fast in our opposition to any rate setting in this public option plan—a position reaffirmed by the executive committee at its March meeting.</p> <p>The WSMA is working in partnership on this issue with the Washington State Hospital Association. But you may not know that <strong>the WSMA is the only physician/provider organization participating in behind-the-scenes negotiations on this issue in Olympia</strong>. And that is exactly the intersection where your support of the WSMA really matters and enables us to do this work on behalf of all physicians and patients.</p> <p>As always, we are grateful for your support of the WSMA and count it a privilege to represent the physician voice. Together, our efforts are helping ensure that Washington is, indeed, the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:05 PM3/18/2019 9:18:19 AM3/18/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2019_03_04_bad_legislation_yields_unintended_consequences_for_access_to_careWeekly Rounds: Mar. 4, 2019 - Bad Legislation Yields Unintended Consequences for Access to CareWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_2019_03_04_bad_legislation_yields_unintended_consequences_for_access_to_care<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>March 4, 2019</h5> <h2>Bad Legislation Yields Unintended Consequences for Access to Care</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> When my boys were younger, I often turned to the principles of the popular book, "Parenting with Love and Logic." I didn't adopt all of its teachings, but one point that resonated and helped as I raised three strong-willed children was the principle that there are natural consequences to your actions. If you want to go outside without a coat and it's 27 degrees outside, you will be cold. If you want to go on a date, you'll need gas in your car—gas costs money, you get money when you do your chores. </p> <p> I liken that story and its principles to much of our advocacy work at the WSMA. Often, our work is built on a foundation of helping policymakers and legislators understand the natural consequences of their decisions, and the potential impact those decisions have on the current health care system. </p> <p> The prevailing attitude in Olympia—and a laudable one at that—is a desire to make health care more affordable, to reduce the number of people who are uninsured, and to ensure that all Washingtonians have access to care in their local communities. Clearly those are goals that the WSMA supports as well. </p> <p> And so, I'm puzzled about why there are some bills moving during this session that—without a doubt—fly in the face of achieving those goals. </p> <p> The legislature is debating several bills that get in the way of this vision: increasing the B&O tax, setting a public option at Medicare rates, advancing bills that expand medical liability. Today, let's look at the latter: expanding liability and awards under the state's wrongful death statutes. </p> <p> Without question, every wrongful death, by its very nature, is a tragedy. But for a decade, Washington state law has provided a stable paradigm that strikes a delicate—and critical—balance, providing justice and compensation for financially dependent family members affected by wrongful death, while including limits where there is no financial dependence. </p> <p> Two bills this session, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1135&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 1135</a> and <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5163&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5163</a>, would undo this balance by drastically expanding liability. That expansion would prompt significant consequences, such as destabilizing the practice environment, exacerbating an already stressed workforce as physicians elect to leave practice, and reducing access to care as some physicians reconsider treating complex patients or performing high-risk services. </p> <p> The WSMA and our partner, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company, are united against liability expansion. Together with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Liability Reform Coalition, and others, we strongly oppose these bills that broaden the current legal standard for wrongful death liability from "financially dependent" to "substantial involvement" in the life of the decedent, greatly expanding who may sue and increasing the number of claims (by as much as 20 percent, according to state estimates). </p> <p> The legislation would expand awards beyond economic damages to include non-economic damages, with the resulting higher payouts ultimately passed on as cost increases to taxpayers—and as higher insurance premiums. The legislation would also apply the law retroactively, applying to pending lawsuits and those filed prior to the statute of limitations expiring. </p> <p> Equally disturbing is another bill, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1965&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1965</a>, which would allow individuals to seek qui tam action on behalf of the state if employers violate various statutes pertaining to workplace law, including, but not limited to, health care facility employee overtime, safety in health care settings and health care whistleblower retaliation protection. The WSMA and our coalition partners oppose this bill, which remains alive in the House Appropriations Committee. </p> <p> These bills are emotionally charged; however, we need a fair court system that doesn't unfairly cripple physicians, hospitals, and local governments financially just because they have "deep pockets." </p> <p> Expanding liability and awards results in unintended consequences for the very people we are trying to help by providing affordable care. It adds additional costs into the system by necessitating a rise in insurance premiums, which impacts everyone's insurance rates, co-pays, and deductibles. And that's just on the medical side. Let's not forget the impact that rising insurance premiums have on the cost of housing, increased taxes, and limited community services. </p> <p> All of this makes Washington a less attractive place to practice medicine, thereby reducing the number of physicians in our community to provide care. And that's a natural consequence that we shouldn't have to endure. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:37 PM3/4/2019 2:36:23 PM3/4/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2019_02_18_5_things_you_may_have_missed_while_shoveling_the_snowWeekly Rounds: Feb. 18, 2019 - 5 things you may have missed while shoveling the snowWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_2019_02_18_5_things_you_may_have_missed_while_shoveling_the_snow<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>February 18, 2019</h5> <h2>5 Things You May Have Missed While Shoveling the Snow </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> We've all got our stories of the "snowmaggedon" of 2019, and I'm no exception. Feeling optimistic on one of the early days, I went to the office as usual. Midway through the day, I looked up from my work to see a complete whiteout outside our office windows in Belltown. That's when I decided it was time for the team to head home. Three hours later, that's where I was after a harrowing drive that usually takes an hour. Here's hoping your stories are no more eventful than mine! </p> <p> And here are a few things you may have missed during our arctic blast: </p> <h3>Dr. Nathan Schlicher informs legislators what is, and isn't, effective in addressing the opioid crisis</h3> <p> In recent years, physician-led efforts have been crucial to <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Press_Releases/2018/Public-private_safe_prescribing_initiative_results_in_reductions_in_Medicaid_opioid_prescriptions">reforming opioid prescribing practices</a>. This year is no different, as the WSMA pushes for increased access to treatment for opioid use and substance use disorder through reimbursement, workforce availability, and access to non-opioid treatments. Recently, Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, and 1st vice president of the WSMA, highlighted positive components of <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1331&Year=2019&Initiative=false">House Bill 1331</a>, while presenting our strong <a href="https://vimeo.com/314317059">opposition to the bill's prescription monitoring program mandate</a>. This mandate, which would require the integration of electronic medical record systems with the state's prescription monitoring program, would place an unfair financial burden on small- to medium-sized medical practices in the state who will face cost and operational barriers to integrating. </p> <h3>WSMA board members sound the alarm about measles</h3> <p> Two WSMA board members and passionate public health advocates—in practice and in retirement—spoke up this week regarding the current measles outbreak and the proven safety of vaccines. Alan Melnick, MD, director of public health for Clark County, was <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/02/07/692466295/washington-public-health-official-discusses-measles-outbreak-in-pacific-northwes">interviewed by National Public Radio's Ari Shapiro</a> about the measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest. As I write, Clark County has more than 50 confirmed cases. And Gary Goldbaum, MD, former Snohomish County public health officer, testified in support of <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1638&Initiative=false&Year=2019">House Bill 1638</a>, which would eliminate the personal and philosophical exemption for children's measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. <a href="https://vimeo.com/316211857">Watch Dr. Goldbaum's testimony</a> as part of our Doctors Making a Difference series. The WSMA is also supporting <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5841&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 5841</a>, which would eliminate the personal and philosophical exemption for all child immunization requirements. At the time of this writing, SB 5841 has been scheduled for a hearing this Thursday—the WSMA will be present and in full support of this bill, which aligns with WSMA House of Delegates policy. </p> <h3>Nearly 100 WSMA members wearing white coats "take to the Hill" in Olympia</h3> <p> On the eve of the snowstorm, hardy physicians, physician assistants, and practice managers from throughout the state put on their white coats to rally on behalf of medicine <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Press_Releases/2019/Washington_physicians_in_Olympia_on_Feb._7_to_talk_to_lawmakers_on_behalf_of_patients_and_profession.aspx?WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">at the annual WSMA Legislative Summit</a>. WSMA members talked with legislators about issues important to their patients and their profession, including strengthening vaccination policy, increasing access to care for behavioral and mental health, preventing tax increases that threaten the sustainability of physician practices, and raising the age of the sale of tobacco and vapor products. For those WSMA members who braved inclement weather to come to the Capitol for the Summit—thank you! Check out <a href="https://vimeo.com/316595702">our video</a> featuring highlights from the day and a special message from WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD. </p> <h3>Dr. Mika Sinanan testifies in opposition to expanding the scope of naturopathy </h3> <p> Mika Sinanan, MD, and 2nd vice president of the WSMA, took time out of his busy surgical practice to drive from Seattle to Olympia in order to testify against yet another legislative effort to expand a naturopath's scope of practice, and to uphold a recent House of Delegates reaffirmation of support for clarity regarding the use of the title "doctor" (or in this bill's case, "physician") by practitioners. "[This bill] changes the meaning of what a naturopath and what a physician is, and it's an opportunity to confuse patients," Dr. Sinanan said during testimony. </p> <p> The proposal, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1630&Initiative=false&Year=2019">House Bill 1630</a>, would: </p> <ul> <li>Allow a naturopath to prescribe any legend drug or Schedule III-V controlled substance as necessary in the practice of naturopathy.</li> <li>Expand the naturopathic scope of practice. </li> <li>Allow naturopaths to be known as naturopathic physicians.</li> </ul> <p> Dr. Sinanan testified before the House Health Care and Wellness committee last Wednesday, noting WSMA's strong opposition to the bill. <a href="https://vimeo.com/317177088">Watch Dr. Sinanan's testimony</a>. </p> <p> Note: At the national level the AMA created the "Truth in Advertising" campaign to help ensure patients know the education, training, and qualifications of their health care professionals. <a href="https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/patient-support-advocacy/truth-advertising">Learn more</a>. </p> <h3>HCA clarifies exceptions to new home health and DME physician requirement</h3> <p> In response to concerns expressed by the WSMA and physician community, the Health Care Authority has issued a clarification on its <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20181226/wsma_seeks_delay_in_potentially_burdensome_hca_change_to_home_health_and_dme_orders">recent Medicaid program policy change</a> requiring physician review for all home health and durable medical equipment orders. In a Jan. 29 "Dear Provider" letter, the HCA provides an update on drug-related and respiratory supplies that do not require a physician signature/co-signature when ordered. They include: </p> <ul> <li>Supplies and equipment necessary for or ancillary to the administration of pharmaceuticals.</li> <li>Respiratory supplies and equipment necessary for or ancillary to the administration or monitoring of medications.</li> </ul> <p> <a href="https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/govdelivery-clarification-health-home-20190129.pdf" target="_blank">Read the letter for details on these exceptions</a>, including an anticipated update of the relevant provider billing guides. </p> <p> Thank you to our members who braved the weather to represent the WSMA, the profession, and our patients' interest during the snowstorm. As the snow turns to slush, then sun, and possibly back to snow…bundle up to stay safe and warm out there. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:46:50 PM2/19/2019 9:37:35 AM2/18/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2019_02_04_wanted_bold_voices_willing_to_speak_upWeekly Rounds: Feb. 4, 2019 - Wanted: Bold voices willing to speak upWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_2019_02_04_wanted_bold_voices_willing_to_speak_up<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>February 4, 2019</h5> <h2> Wanted: Bold Voices Willing to Speak Up </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> As the days of legislative session march on, it's easy to feel removed from the grind of policymaking in the halls of the Capitol. But the actions of legislators and the resulting laws have the potential to seriously impact your daily lives, whether it's how much you are reimbursed, the health of your patients, your ability to treat your patients successfully, or any number of other direct impacts. </p> <p> On health care topics, there is no voice more powerful or insightful than from those of you on the frontlines of care. The physician perspective is unique and grounded in what is best for patients, their families, and their communities. Making your voice heard is more important than ever in order to influence the future of health care. </p> <p> The measles outbreak happening in our state right now is a case in point. Community immunity is frighteningly diminished for this disease. As Alan Melnick, MD, WSMA board member and public health director for Clark County, said recently in The Seattle Times: "<a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/40-confirmed-victims-in-northwest-measles-outbreak/">[The outbreak] raises concerns that this can go on for a long time, become geographically larger than it is and more cases over weeks and months.</a>" </p> <p> Vaccines are safe and effective, and they save lives. They don't just protect the individual; they protect our entire society. Childhood vaccinations are among the most effective ways to protect kids against serious and preventable illnesses, some of which have no cure or treatment. We have a duty to help protect one another. The pain of a small prick of inoculation is a small price to pay to ensure the health of our communities. </p> <p> But getting to that point will take bold voices like Dr. Melnick's to remove barriers on the road to immunizations. Your voice can help counter inaccurate information perpetuating myths about vaccines—myths that pose a real threat to public health. </p> <p> Supporting the WSMA's policy to end the philosophical or personal objection exemption to childhood vaccines in Washington state law literally could save lives. Speaking to your patients about the most effective ways they can protect their children and others in the community from disease could make the difference between life and death. </p> <p> The physician perspective is critical in the exam room but advocating for patient-centered policy is vital as well. The physician-specific collective voice is what differentiates the WSMA as the largest professional association in the state that represents physicians across the board. </p> <p> More than 65 percent of our members are now employed in large medical groups, and the majority of those are in medical groups that cover the dues so that individually—and collectively—physicians have an active voice in our association. </p> <p> That investment is one way employers support and invest in their staff. The WSMA values that investment greatly. But as a member-driven organization, we rely on your voice, involvement, and participation to help set our agenda, advocate for the profession, and to speak out on important health issues like a measles outbreak. </p> <p> To be a strong and effective organization, we need your individual engagement. Remember the words of philosopher and psychologist William James: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." </p> <p> P.S. If you'd like to see your fellow physicians speaking up in Olympia, check out the WSMA's video series from this year's legislative session called "<a href="https://vimeo.com/album/5729481">Doctors Making a Difference</a>." </p> <p> P.P.S. If you haven't yet renewed your membership with the WSMA, now is the time! <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/Contacts/Sign_In.aspx?LoginRedirect=true&returnurl=%2FWSMA%2FMembership%2FJoin_Renew%2FJoin_Renew_Auth.aspx%3FWebsiteKey%3Dc182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">You can renew online</a>—and thank you! </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:47:33 PM2/4/2019 9:52:15 AM2/4/2019 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_2019_01_28_a_new_year_and_5_new_things_to_knowWeekly Rounds: Jan. 28, 2019 - A new year and 5 new things to knowWeekly_RoundsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_2019_01_28_a_new_year_and_5_new_things_to_know<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly_Rounds_Article_Image_645x425.jpg" /></div> <h5>January 28, 2019</h5> <h2>A New Year and 5 New Things to Know </h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> I've seen reports that say 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February. As January winds up, I'm aware of my lack of commitment to my own resolution of reading more. I'm guessing I may be in good company. </p> <p> Regardless, WSMA's perennial commitment to provide strong physician leadership and advocacy to shape the future of medicine and advance care for all Washingtonians remains paramount throughout the entire new year. </p> <p> Here's a quick rundown of new happenings and opportunities at the WSMA as well as a new idea bubbling up in Olympia. </p> <ol> <li><strong>WSMA launches new policy-focused department</strong><br /> <p> Our members have spoken and we listened. The WSMA's advocacy work is ranked as a top priority by our members and we want to do more in that space. To that end, we are implementing a new policy department to more deeply inform our legislative and regulatory priorities, as well as our advocacy agenda. This includes implementation of policies and programs at state and federal levels and encompasses advocacy with commercial payers. The policy team will assist our government affairs team with analysis of issues related to medicine and the profession. </p> </li> <li><strong>A new design for WSMA Reports</strong><br /> <p> With the March/April edition of WSMA Reports, you'll notice a new magazine-style redesign. We wanted our flagship publication's visual aesthetic to reflect the dynamic membership of our association, to represent our members more fully within its pages, and to implement an engaging and interactive editorial approach. We want to hear from you! When the new publication crosses your desks in early March, I hope you'll take a close look and let me know your thoughts about it. </p> </li> <li><strong>WSMA Foundation wins new wellness grant</strong><br /> <p> We've just been notified that the WSMA Foundation will be awarded grant funding from the Physicians Foundation to explore the state of professional satisfaction and practice sustainability and to identify strategies and resources for addressing both. The funds will be used to identify pilot practices that will measure and test on-site practice efficiency initiatives and guided practice transformation efforts that get at the heart of clinician burnout or lack of professional fulfillment. The effort is supported by the Physicians Foundation and the AMA's Transformation Initiative: Solutions to Increase Joy in Medicine. The mission of the initiative is to advance research and promote evidence-based solutions that improve patient care by enhancing professional fulfillment and reducing clinician burnout. The WSMA Foundation is crafting an RFP for interested practices. If you'd like your practice to be considered, contact Jessica Martinson at <a href="mailto:jessica@wsma.org">jessica@wsma.org</a>. </p> </li> <li><strong>New LDC scholarship opportunities</strong><br /> <p> As you'll read in the new WSMA Reports, WSMA member and Washington Physicians Health Program Executive Medical Director Chris Bundy, MD, notes: "Physicians are often accidental leaders. They are good doctors who are respected by colleagues for their clinical acumen and their emotional intelligence, who want to serve the profession and essentially volunteer to be in leadership roles, for which they have little training or experience."</p> <p>Another WSMA priority is providing leadership training and development via many course offerings, including our annual <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Leadership_Development_Conference/WSMA/Events/LDC/leadership_development_conference.aspx?hkey=c7532c38-057a-4568-8a3c-078182469222">Leadership Development Conference</a>. We have a limited number of scholarships available for this year's conference, scheduled for May 17-18 at Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan. </p> <p> The scholarship application form is <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019LDCScholarship">available online</a>. Apply by this Wednesday, Jan. 30, to be considered. </p> </li> <li><strong>New horizons ahead</strong> <p> With Gov. Jay Inslee spending much of last week in New Hampshire, it's apparent that he's moving forward with a presidential bid. With his sights set on new horizons, does that mean Washington will be an incubator for his new ideas? Perhaps. Just before the start of the state legislative session, the governor, along with democratic lawmakers, announced their intention to introduce legislation establishing a public health insurance option in Washington state. The legislation has now been introduced and is scheduled for a hearing this week. Here's the basic framework for the plan (called "Cascade Care"): The state Health Care Authority will contract one or more insurers to offer "standardized" plans within the state's health benefit exchange to ensure that all counties in the state have available insurance options on the individual market; standardized plans will have consistent and transparent deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance; and physician and provider reimbursement rates will be capped at Medicare rates. For details, the legislative language can be read in full: <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1523&Initiative=false&Year=2019">House Bill 1523</a> and its companion <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5526&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 5526</a>. </p> <p> Our team in Olympia will be hand to testify at the hearing Friday. They will communicate WSMA's goal of ensuring that patients have access to affordable coverage in their communities, while also expressing deep concern with pegging physician and provider reimbursement rates at Medicare rates. Establishing Medicare rates as the default payment for a public option guarantees that many physician practices will not be able to serve patients enrolled in it, despite the desire they may have to do so. </p> </li> </ol> <p> Stay tuned on this and more. For up-to-date legislative news on our priorities, visit <a href="https://wsma.org">wsma.org</a> and follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/WSMA_update">Twitter</a>. </p> <p> Thank you for your continued membership in the WSMA. Our strength is rooted in your voice and participation. If you haven't yet <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/Join_Renew_Auth.aspx?WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">renewed</a>, please make that today's resolution—it's one worth completing. </p> </div>9/16/2019 3:48:05 PM1/28/2019 10:19:01 AM1/28/2019 12:00:00 AM
 

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