ACAAI has an invaluable partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA). From its huge advocacy presence as a supporter of physicians and medical practices, to the many resources it develops, the organization has a tremendous influence in American medicine. The AMA represents hundreds of thousands of physicians across the country.
The College represents you – the practicing allergist. Although allergy is a small sub-specialty, our “voice” is so much greater with the AMA as our partner. That larger voice advocates for prior authorization reform, prevention of scope creep, network adequacy, continuation of many of the telehealth waivers past the end of the public health emergency, and regular and meaningful positive updates to the Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor that account for inflation and the financial costs of administrative burdens.
The College is honored to be a member of the AMA’s House of Delegates (HOD). The AMA’s HOD is a platform where we can raise our advocacy voice to lobby for issues affecting allergy and all of medicine. Our AMA delegate and alternate delegate have consistently represented our advocacy issues for more than 20 years.
In addition to the AMA’s House of Delegates, the College is represented by a delegate and alternate delegate at both the AMA’s Young Physician and Resident Fellow Sections.
As with all organizations, membership has requirements. One of the AMA’s requirements for membership in their HOD is that at least 20% of College physician members who are eligible for AMA membership are also members of the AMA. Societies’ memberships are reviewed every five years. Our review is next year, and it will be based on 2023 AMA membership. Keep our voice strong – join or renew your AMA membership today!
Our HOD representatives submitted the following summary from the AMA’s November 2022 Interim Meeting. This summary demonstrates the work the AMA’s HOD does – and how our representatives can influence the outcomes.
Chest and Allergy Caucus
Over the past two decades, there has been a meeting of the delegates and alternate delegates representing pulmonary and allergy societies, as well as other physicians (usually representing their state societies) practicing pulmonary or allergy. The November 2022 meeting reviewed items of interest prior to the deliberations of the House of Delegates.
The caucus deliberated on multiple resolutions and reports and chose to support nine resolutions and two reports. Among the items supported were:
- The Elimination of Seasonal Time Change.
- Mitigate Demographic and Socioeconomic Inequities in Residency and Fellowship Selection Process.
- Prevent Excessive Medical Records Requests by Medicare Advantage Plans.
- Seek Uniformity in the Enforcement of Regulations on Medicare Advantage Plans.
- The inclusion of third-party Pharmacy Benefit Administrators who contract to manage the Specialty Pharmacy portion of drug formularies into the existing pharmacy benefit managers regulatory framework.
The caucus has a rotating chair that changes every two years. The society that chairs the meeting is responsible for liaising with the AMA about meeting logistics, providing breakfast, preparing the agenda, and chairing the meeting. The College’s rotation will commence with the Interim (November) meeting in 2023.
Private Practice Physician Section (PPPS)
The AMA’s newest section, the Private Practice Physicians Section (PPPS), met in November 2022. An educational session titled “Physicians at the Intersection of Mistreatment and Burnout: Current State and Possible Solutions” was presented. Notable points included taking advantage of the AMA’s Steps Forward Program (offering practice innovation strategies for real-world solutions to challenges your practice confronts), having a Patient Code of Conduct, and being aware of the changing landscape of health care with major corporations like Wal-Mart, Apple, Amazon, CVS and Walgreens providing direct patient care.
Specialty and Service Society (SSS)
Specialty society delegates and alternate delegates within the AMA House of Delegates met in November 2022 to review the resolutions brought forward by any Specialty Society. The SSS is also charged with conducting ongoing five-year reviews of participating specialty societies to ensure they remain in compliance. Criteria include having the necessary membership numbers to retain their presence in the AMA House of Delegates. A society must have 1000+ members of their organization also be dues paying AMA members or at least 20% of its physician members who are eligible for AMA membership.
AMA’s House of Delegates (HOD)
The AMA adopted its Council of Science and Public Health Report on Climate Change and Human Health. It calls for the health sector to lead by example, commit to carbon neutrality by 2050 and develop strategies to help decarbonize physician practices.
A resolution calling for the AMA to advocate for a Public Option to expand health insurance coverage was modified to having the AMA advocate for a pluralistic health care system.
A resolution asking the AMA to advocate for legislation and/or regulations to require insurers to collect co-pays and deductibles directly from patients was referred to the Board for further study.
The AMA has continued its Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians that will increase its advocacy to support telehealth, reform Medicare payment, reduce physician burnout, fight scope creep, and fix prior authorization.
Additional details about the meeting can be found on the AMA’s website.
We’re calling on YOU – support the College – support the AMA – by paying your 2023 Membership Dues!