ACEP’s Leadership & Advocacy Conference (LAC) holds two unique distinctions within the surreal world of “COVID time”: The April 2020 event was ACEP’s first to transition to a remote format, and the upcoming 2021 conference will be the first time ACEP members gather together beyond Zoom screens since March 2020. After a disconcerting year for our society that featured division and disagreement as a central theme, the time feels right for an event that was created to bring people together.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 40 – No 06 – June 2021
Averaging 400–500 attendees each year, LAC’s goal is to create more and better leaders who are equipped to advocate for the emergency medicine specialty. It’s small enough to create an intimate setting where attendees can really get to know one another, and the programming offers both introductory and deeper dives into health care policy. The pandemic saw emergency physicians stepping into leadership roles at every level, and now the voice and influence of emergency medicine have never been stronger.
A confluence of circumstances beyond the pandemic has made this year’s LAC a unique challenge for its planning team. It’s always a puzzle to schedule hundreds of Congressional meetings, but COVID precautions and security concerns lingering from the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol have added some new wrinkles to the planning process. Washington, DC, began opening up its museums, libraries, and live entertainment venues in early May, a welcome update for those who like to attend LAC with their families in tow.
The LAC agenda has shaped up nicely and includes events for all career phases. In addition to the annual Health Policy Primer hosted by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association and ACEP’s Young Physicians Section, the popular National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC) reception will return for 2021. ACEP’s leaders will be on hand during LAC to host a town hall meeting focused on the future of the EM workforce, giving attendees a platform to discuss emergency medicine’s challenges with the leaders who are actively developing the strategies and solutions. Also new for 2021, a “Women in Health Policy” networking event is scheduled for Sunday, July 25.
For the Congressional meetings, discussions will center upon three main topics:
- The Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act: Named after the ACEP member tragically lost to suicide during the height of the pandemic surge in New York, this important legislation would provide support and protections for frontline health care personnel who face mental health challenges as a result of their work.
- The Medicare reimbursement cliff: Congress averted a significant cut to Medicare evaluation and management codes last December, but it was only a temporary fix. Without action, we will see these cuts enacted in January 2022.
- The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act: This important legislation would fully repeal the X-waiver requirement that continues to exist for clinicians to be able to provide buprenorphine as a treatment for substance use disorders. With opioid overdoses climbing again during the pandemic, the need for this legislation to be passed is urgent.
Registration is still open! Click here to secure your spot.