With only about 18 months to go, we are close to the conclusion of Vision 2020 – the strategic initiative we began in 2014 to solidify the College’s position as the premier organization for practicing allergists. I am extremely proud of our extensive accomplishments, and in the next year-and-a-half we will continue to build on the great work we have done.
Our priorities in 2019 continue to focus on key areas:
We are developing a strategic plan for the House of Delegates to reimagine this essential group’s role. The College Foundation will also soon be involved in strategic planning to help shape future programs to benefit the membership and specialty.
As we want to engage members in all phases of their careers, we have reached out to our younger members to encourage them to apply for open committee positions. I am pleased to report that in 2019, 52% of committee applicants are under the age of 45 and 70% have had no prior College committee service. We welcome their perspectives as they join in the work of committee projects this fall.
Our Advocacy Council is always hard at work. The Council’s efforts paid off as our asthma alternative payment model (APM) was submitted to the Physician-focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee. Our advocacy on proposed changes to USP 797 was rewarded and acceptable standards will go into effect Dec. 1. The Advocacy Council, with the support of Practice Management Committee, is working to provide resources for members to meet the new standard. There are two webinars to explain the changes scheduled for this summer. On July 17 at 7:00 pm CT, join the webinar USP & me: steps to implement the new extract mixing standards. It will guide you through the steps to be compliant with allergen extract mixing. The live webinar will be repeated on August 28. In addition, a special, full-day Allergen Extract Mixer Training Program is scheduled at the Annual Meeting on Nov. 11. The program will provide hands-on learning techniques for extract preparation.
Earlier this summer, Advocacy Council Chair Stephen Imbeau, MD, FACAAI and I signed a letter to the chair and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to express our concerns with the draft Lower Health Care Costs Act that does not adequately solve the surprise billing issue.
The new Annual Meeting experience, rolled out in 2018, is designed to meet your needs, and we continue to plan the program in this new way. The meeting is the premier opportunity for the practicing allergist to be exposed to the most relevant educational program, cutting-edge research and optimal networking. Registration for this year’s meeting, Nov. 7-11 in Houston, opens soon.
The website continues to be the source for patients and members to interact with the College. We have just started the process to reimagine our member and patient websites to better reflect emerging trends, improve search functionality and enhance content.
We are currently in the process of refreshing the look and feel of the College Learning Connection by updating the design of the main page, reorganizing and streamlining menu options, and optimizing the course catalog to enhance user experience while remaining consistent with the overall College brand.
Our online Practice Management Center is thriving, and we continue to add new valuable tools and resources. Most recently we have launched biologics, telehealth and severe pediatric asthma shared decision-making toolkits, and we continue to add/update prior authorization appeal letters. Eleven educational modules, each 15 minutes long, introduce you to a variety of practice management topics. Members are responding and visits to the Practice Management Center continue to rise.
College Solutions, with its distinctive pink spore logo, highlights the College’s resources on a specific clinical or practice management topic each month, so you can easily find the resources of most interest to you. This month we are highlighting our human resources practice management tools. Look for College Solutions, featured in each issue of College Insider and in emails.
In 2014, we established a clear vision of where we wanted to be in 2020, and we are well on our way to meeting our goals. We couldn’t have done it without our College leaders, a strong administrative staff at the executive office and the work of countless physician volunteers. We are in a strong position as we plan the future of the College and the strategic plan for 2021-2023.
Todd Mahr, MD, FACAAI