When the final numbers were posted, ACEP members could boast about a record-breaking 2012 Leadership and Advocacy Conference in May in Washington, D.C.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 31 – No 07 – July 2012
NEMPAC donations broke records. Overall attendance at the conference was the highest it has ever been, drawing more than 500 members from 49 states. Emergency physicians participated in 349 meetings in one afternoon, focusing on the Senate because it was in session during the 3-day conference. A total of 98% of Senate offices discussed policy with an ACEP representative, and more than half the House was touched.
Even before the conference began, ACEP President Dr. David Seaberg participated in 24 media interviews regarding health care and issues facing the emergency department today. Dr. Seaberg said the hectic schedule was worth it as he helped promote emergency physicians and ER101, the emergency department information hub for consumers.
“I thought it was an excellent conference, both in terms of what we accomplished on Capitol Hill and the amount of education and discussion during the sessions,” Dr. Seaberg said. “The fact that we had more than 500 people there and did that many Senate and House visits tells the story of how dedicated our members are to advancing emergency medicine. We also had a lot of media pay attention to some of the issues we’re focusing on right now. Improving on this conference next year will be quite a challenge, but with the momentum we have from 2012, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
While on Capitol Hill, physicians discussed the unstable Medicare physician payment system; medical liability reform, particularly for physicians providing care under EMTALA; the need to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board; budget shortfalls leading states to limit Medicaid beneficiaries ED access and possible violations of the prudent layperson standard; and legislation to prohibit the sale of synthetic drugs and proposals to help ameliorate drug shortages.
The conference was highlighted by speeches from CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and U.S. Senator Dr. John A. Barrasso (R-WY). Keynote speaker Jason Dorsey’s comedic presentation on how to communicate across generations drew a standing ovation.
In one of the most popular sessions, Dr. Seaberg; Dr. Dennis M. Beck, Co-Chair of Healthcare Delivery Room Task Force; and ACEP Past President Dr. Sandra M. Schneider presented a discussion on “The Evolving Role of Emergency Medicine.” The panel agreed that physicians need to take a leading role in finding ways to decrease the costs of health care.