At the end of our fiscal year, I traditionally present a year-end recap of the new projects and initiatives that are helping us advance ACEP’s mission during the June Board of Directors meeting. Here is a quick summary.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 38 – No 08 – August 2019
Our anniversary celebration reached its crescendo at ACEP18 in San Diego, which had nearly 8,000 registrants. It was a beautiful celebration in which we honored long-time veterans of our specialty, heard panels and “Titan” talks, displayed a clever museum of dozens of panels depicting our history through the decades, released the Bring ’Em All book of dramatic photos and essays that was honored with an award, and much more.
This was a very strong year for our federal advocacy efforts. We saw enacted into law two opioid bills spearheaded by ACEP, the Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act and the Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms, or POWER Act, as part of the large omnibus opioid legislation.
We also developed and introduced the Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act in time for our Leadership & Advocacy Conference (LAC) in May. ACEP and our chapters are also working with the Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies to advocate for state-based solutions on mental health.
There has not been a time in the past 15 years when ACEP has been directly in the middle of an important advocacy issue in Congress like we have been with the out-of-network issue, also known as “surprise billing.” Our staff and leadership have aggressively lobbied the Senate and House, and we’ve closely collaborated with the American Medical Association and other specialties. We have strongly supported the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act, and we will keep working to change or oppose proposals that are not to our liking. It’s unrealistic to expect to get 100 percent of what we want out of Congress, but we’ll continue to try.
LAC was a huge success. We made 551 visits on Capitol Hill to discuss surprise billing legislation and access to mental health care.
We filed suit against Anthem in Georgia for violating the prudent layperson standard embodied in the law, and we expect a ruling from the judge soon. We are working with our chapters in several other states where insurers are retroactively denying claims and coverage for patients.
Our Quality Line of Service continues to hit on all cylinders. ACEP’s Clinical Emergency Department Registry (CEDR) has continued to grow in every major metric we track. It has exceeded our goals in the number of patient visits, number of hospital emergency departments, and number of clinicians, plus has seen continued growth in revenue. We continue to gain large hospital systems and billing companies as customers.