ACEP recently led the development and drafting of two emergency medicine–focused bills introduced in Congress last month that are aimed at addressing the growing opioid epidemic. ACEP Board member Mark Rosenberg, MD, FACEP, was invited by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee to testify on these two bills. His testimony before the Committee can be seen here.
In late March, ACEP was invited by the House Committee on Ways and Means’ Health Subcommittee to participate in a roundtable on reducing administrative burdens for physicians in the Medicare program. ACEP Board member Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, FACEP, participated and shared with the subcommittee a number of regulatory burdens facing emergency physicians and ACEP’s recommended solutions.
ACEP continues its advocacy work, both with regulators and in the media, to oppose Anthem’s dangerous policy to retroactively deny coverage of emergency department visits by its policyholders that it deems “nonemergent.” ACEP’s public relations work on the issue led to a recent NBC Nightly News piece on Anthem’s actions.
ACEP submitted a response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule enforcing so-called “conscience protections” for providers, which, as written, would allow health care providers to deny treating a patient if they had any religious or moral objections and to do so without ensuring any continuity of care or referral to another provider. ACEP strongly voiced its objection to the proposed rule in the response, noting that, both by law and by oath, emergency physicians care for all patients seeking emergency medical treatment and that denial of emergency care or delay in providing emergency services on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic background, social status, type of illness, or ability to pay is unethical. In late January when the proposed rule was first announced by the Department of Health and Human Services, ACEP and the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) responded with a joint media statement.