AMA House of Delegates Update: June 14, 2017

By Policy and Advocacy Brief posted 06-14-2017 12:54


This article is part of a five-part series of updates from the June 2017 AMA House of Delegates meeting. Additional updates are available from the June 10, June 11, June 12 and June 13 sessions.

AUA Association Delegates Dr. Aaron Spitz and Dr. Willie Underwood; Alternate Delegates Drs. Terry Grimm and William F. Gee; and Resident and Fellow Delegate Dr. Hans Arora continue to work with hundreds of other physicians at this week’s American Medical Association’s House of Delegates by considering resolutions and reports covering clinical practice, payment, medical education, and public health topics. 

On the final day of the meeting, the delegates considered and approved several important resolutions. Of particular note:

  • Resolution 210 “Violation of HIPPA Electronic Transaction Standards by Insurer” was approved, directing the AMA to work with stakeholders to develop guidelines on safe and appropriate use of text messaging for patient communication.
  • Delegates considered and approved Resolution 224 “Medicare Payment and RAC Audit Reform,” which includes a directive that the AMA advocate for legislation or regulation that requires fairness in the practice of conducting post payment audits, and that the AMA request there be a mechanism by which prepayment and postpayment audit denials can be resolved via phone or other electronic means. The measure also directs the AMA to continue to advocate for reforms to the audit process, including giving great weight to the treating physician’s determination of medical necessity.
  • The House approved Resolution 229 “Medicare’s Appropriate Use Criteria,” which directs the AMA to continue to advocate for “a delay in the effective date of the Medicare AUC Program until the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can adequately address technical and workflow challenges with implementation and interaction between the Quality Payment Program and use of advanced diagnostic imaging AUC.” The AUA was an early supporter of this particular resolution, agreeing to cosponsor it several weeks before the House of Delegates meeting was called to order.
  • The House adopted Resolution 233 “Regulation of Physician Assistants,” which directs the AMA to support the continuation of medical licensing boards exercising regulatory powers over physicians, physician assistants, and other related medical personnel.
  • The House considered multiple resolutions regarding the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and administrative burden en bloc, and arrived at a unified position. Specifically, the House directed the AMA to advocate for appropriate scoring adjustments for physicians treating high-risk beneficiaries in MACRA and that the AMA urge CMS to continue to study whether MACRA creates disincentives for physicians to provide care to sicker patients.

The House of Delegates has now adjourned and will re-convene at the AMA Interim Meeting November 11-14, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii.