Luncheon speaker Charlie Cook, a nationally recognized political analyst, offered insights into the current election cycle and gave his predictions about the presidential race. Following Mr. Cook’s talk was a presentation about good and bad regulations—underscoring the importance of what happens after a law is passed and the regulatory agencies take responsibility for establishing how programs will be operationalized. Closing out the day was a session entitled “State Strategies to Deal with Out of Network/Balance Billing.” This rapidly has become the hot topic in EM as many states are considering legislation that would significantly change the rules of billing patients. Dr. Kaplan made this issue a cornerstone of his presidency and his creation of the term “fair coverage” has completely changed the tone and tenor of the discussion with legislators and policymakers. Through the “fair coverage” campaign, ACEP is leading the house of medicine in educating legislators and policymakers on how their constituents, and our patients, are being unfairly treated by insurance companies that are selling insurance policies with exorbitantly high out-of-pocket deductibles. For more information on the campaign, go to www.faircoverage.org.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 06 – June 2016
Working the Hill
Tuesday morning’s program was highlighted by presentations from the two EM physicians who are MOC. Joe Heck, DO, (R-NV), and Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-CA), both challenged attendees to be more active and engaged in health policy and advocacy. Brad Gruehn from the ACEP D.C. office also presented an overview of key issues, which included the following:
- The Opiod/Narcotic Issue – discussing recent CARA (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act) passed in the Senate and the House.
- Medical Liability Reform for Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) Services – ACEP’s continued effort to establish federal liability protection for EMTALA mandated care in the ED by EM physicians and on-call specialists.
- Mental Health Reform – asking MOC to pass meaningful reform to give EM the needed resources to provide appropriate care to patients with mental health illnesses.
- Improving EMS Delivery of Care – supporting the Patient Protection Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016, which would allow for continued administration of controlled substances to patients by EMS under standing orders.
ACEP “Takes the Hill” event closed the conference on Tuesday afternoon. Soapbox Consulting arranged all of the Hill visits on behalf of ACEP. In addition, its Soapbox app provided attendees with information on the meeting visits, background materials for the meetings, and bio details for each MOC.