The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was a game-changer. So to aggressively advocate for the interests of emergency physicians and their practices as the nation implements health care reform, the Emergency Medicine Action Fund was established in July 2011.
Controversy swirls around the massive rule-writing processes in federal health care agencies. The nation awaits the outcome of constitutional challenges to be heard this spring by the U.S. Supreme Court. Over the next few years, emergency physicians desperately need the EM Action Fund to keep them out of the regulatory and legal crossfire between payers, patients, policy makers, and hospitals.
emergency physicians desperately need the EM Action Fund to keep them out of the regulatory and legal crossfire.
In little more than 6 months, the EM Action Fund has unified the house of emergency medicine and become a powerful and influential voice in federal regulatory and legal issues that matter to you. Since its launch, the EM Action Fund has:
- Contributed $100,000 to the legal defense fund of the Washington ACEP Chapter, helping win injunctive relief in state court when the Medicaid agency attempted to limit their beneficiaries to three visits to the ED each year.
- Met with acting CMS Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, and advocated for fair payment of noncontracted ED providers treating patients covered by plans regulated by ACA, plus the inclusion of the FAIR health database in their proposed rule for dispute resolution.
- Commissioned the first of several major new studies to demonstrate the value of emergency medicine to policy makers and regulators; EDs will remain the most important address in the nation’s medical neighborhoods, managing high-cost, high-risk, or high-volume transitions of care, 24/7.
- Retained the law firm of Alston & Bird and named Tom Scully, who previously led HCFA/CMS and the Federation of American Hospitals, as our legal counsel for federal regulatory affairs.
- Retained two renowned consulting firms – Hart Health Strategies and Health Policy Alternatives – to help us develop key strategies and relationships in the federal regulatory arena.
- Continued to work with the Washington ACEP Chapter on their new challenge – a proposal from the state Medicaid program to eliminate payment for hundreds of diagnoses deemed inappropriate for ED care, a true life threat to our practice model.
- Scheduled a fly-in for mid-February to follow up with key deputies of Ms. Tavenner on our issues: preservation of prudent layperson standards, fair payment by Medicaid, and HHS/CMS oversight of noncontracted payments from commercial payers arising from the ACA.
Emergency physicians always rise to meet a challenge. And at the halfway point of its first year of operation, the EM Action Fund has met with unparalleled support from groups and coalitions of all sizes from all modes of practice, as well as every major organization in the specialty. Take the time to visit us online at www.emactionfund.org and join us in fighting for the future of emergency medicine.