One of the most remarkable facets of Schumacher Clinical Partners’ (SCP) journey with ACEP has been the significant impact we have made together in health care advocacy.
In the last several decades, we’ve advocated on behalf of our providers, our hospitals, and most importantly, our patients, with significant and noteworthy results. As a specialty, we are in a far better place because of ACEP’s effective collaboration with many organizations, including SCP.
In the early years of the College, we worked hard to build the specialty, focusing on a simple but effective goal of delivering a valuable service to patients, medical staffs, and hospitals, while growing and refining a new specialty. Over time, we gathered steam and now we have a very resonant, collective voice to advocate for patient protections, provider protections, and health care measures that make the whole system work better.
ACEP has assembled and cultured a chorus of voices over the last 50 years that tirelessly proposes and supports legislation, regulation, and payer policies that support high-quality care, a beneficial environment for emergency physicians, and a more efficient system of care. Just one visit to ACEP’s national conferences, including the annual Leadership & Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., is evidence enough. We’re big, we’re engaged, and we’re effective.
In five decades of emergency medicine, our ability to influence meaningful change has probably never been better.
Together, we have championed initiatives by presenting a unified, consistent message. As one recent example, we joined with allies on Capitol Hill again in May 2018 with an ACEP-led coalition. We lobbied Congress to protect the prudent layperson standard on behalf of our patients. Despite the fact that this standard has existed in federal statues for decades, it still takes a united front to protect and advocate for patients’ rights to seek appropriate care in the emergency department and further, to ensure fair coverage by their insurance plan when they may have an emergency. Although some of these issues seem self-evident to us, they are not always evident to policymakers, and can get tangled up with other stakeholder issues. A united, resonant, and unfailing voice is required. ACEP has been a valuable partner in this regard.
In fact, in five decades of emergency medicine, our ability to influence meaningful change has probably never been better. Even though change in the health care arena seems overwhelming, there is ample opportunity to inform meaningful and timely solutions.
Yet, even with many successes, the roadmap is not finished. There’s a lot of noise in health care, and unfortunately, emergency medicine is not immune to the chaos. Having a partner that influences health policy on state and national levels is more important now than ever. United, we have the opportunity to build on our fantastic history. And although we’ll need to work more tirelessly than ever before, ACEP’s first 50 years provides great confidence that we are in good hands.
Challenging times call for challenging solutions. When change befalls us, we cannot wake up and do the same thing we did 50 years ago, or even yesterday, and expect to survive or thrive. If we take an active role, our training, experience, and partnerships with each other will continue to cut through noise and chaos. We can design necessary changes and continue creating solutions for emergency medicine. Working with ACEP members, staff, committees, task forces, and leaders will make that happen. Our first 50 years provides plenty of supportive evidence!
Congratulations to ACEP on its 50th Anniversary! I’m very proud of our association, and we look forward to more and more collaboration in the next five decades and beyond.