As we close out 2023, ACEP’s chapters were invited to share news from the past year and a preview what’s to come. Chapters have been busy advocating for physician autonomy, hosting educational events, and continuing to support their members on a variety of workplace issues.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 42 – No 12 – December 2023
The Alabama Chapter partnered with other health organizations in its state to launch the “Odds Are” Campaign to address fentanyl overdoses. During the campaign’s launch, Alabama Chapter Board Member Bobby Lewis, MD, FACEP, detailed the emergency department perspective and insight into the state’s fentanyl crisis. Find more on the “Odds Are” Campaign at https://vitalalabama.com/get-information/odds-are-alabama/.
The Alaska Chapter has worked hard to enhance the impact of emergency physicians throughout the state through legislative advocacy in Juneau, including the 80 percent rule and other reimbursement issues. Additionally, the chapter collaborated on clinical guidelines such as frostbite, trauma, and stroke.
AzCEP achieved several legislative victories that were enacted into law, benefiting various health care professionals, including rural clinicians and the EMS community. Many of these successes were championed by AzCEP Board Member, State Rep. Amish Shah, MD, FACEP. These laws were collective wins for the hospitals, emergency physicians, and patients.
Arkansas ACEP has been busy at work with outreach activities, including an upcoming visit to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Emergency Medicine Residency program and an Arkansas ACEP event planned for Northwest Arkansas. The chapter also plans CME opportunities in emergency obstetrical care and treatment of opioid use disorder.
The State Legislature passed the first Medi-Cal rate increase in 20 years. The initial proposal included increases for primary care and mental health clinicians but did not include emergency physicians, who care for a disproportionate share of this patient population. (One-third of the state’s population is insured by Medi-Cal, yet 42 percent of ED visits are made by Medi-Cal patients.) CalACEP staff and member physicians engaged in aggressive lobbying and grassroots efforts on this access, equity, and reimbursement issue—and their advocacy efforts literally paid off. Starting in 2025, $200 million will be devoted annually to increase emergency physician reimbursement. This would not have happened without the chapter’s work, which resulted in emergency physicians being the only physician specialty specifically identified in the legislation!
MORE CHAPTER RESOURCES ONLINE
In addition to each chapter’s 2023 accomplishments and highlights, the chapters also provided their 2024 legislative priorities. Many states are dealing with similar issues, including: