ACEP Board of Directors member Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, sees this year’s James D. Mills Jr. Memorial Lecture as a talk among friends.
The panel discussion, at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, is titled, simply, “ACEP@50: Past, Present, and Future.” After a chat about the history of the specialty, Dr. Klauer, who is ACEP Now Medical Editor in Chief, will lead panelists through an examination of the current state and explore the future.
“If there’s been this much change in 50 years, what does the next 50 look like?” he says. “I think that will be a fascinating conversation to have, as the options for emergency medicine and the opportunities in emergency medicine are nearly limitless in the future.”
Dr. Klauer will moderate the panel, comprised of Pamela Bensen, MD, MS, FACEP; Kerry Broderick, MD, FACEP; Gregory Henry, MD, FACEP; and Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP.
The conversation will note that some 68 percent of hospital admissions nationally come through emergency departments and that despite the efforts of payers and lawmakers to dissuade ED use, approximately 20 percent of the population visit the ED at least once annually and 7 percent make two or more visits.
“We are positioned to make sure that we can impact admission decisions and utilization decisions regarding diagnostic imaging, as well as laboratory diagnostics,” Dr. Klauer says. “And really reduce avoidable admissions. Emergency medicine must serve a critical role as the first point of contact for most patients who are admitted to the hospital.”
Other important topics to discuss include payment reform tied to health insurers retrospective denial of coverage, which affects access to care and how physicians are reimbursed; the scope of EM in the next 50 years; and physician resiliency and burnout.
Dr. Klauer says ACEP has been working on both legislative and regulatory fronts to ensure that the college has a national say on issues affecting emergency physicians. And while those efforts continue, it’s important to remember, he says, that progress doesn’t need to be fast, and it doesn’t have to be easy.
“It just has to be meaningful and impactful,” Dr. Klauer says. “We will fight as hard and as long as we have to for our specialty and, most importantly, for our patients. Some of those wins come easily, such as the progress made on the opioid crisis, because the whole nation understands the importance of the issue. But other initiatives and other issues may not be as obvious or as well known, requiring time, education, and persistence.”