A Report from the AMA House of Delegates
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By Tony Geroulis, MD, and Robert F. Jackson, MD
On June 6, Tony Geroulis, MD, and Robert F. Jackson, MD, attended the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates meeting as representative delegates of the AACS, alongside the academy’s Executive Director Dan Garrett. Here is their full report of the event and the resolutions that they spoke in favor of on behalf of the organization.
While at the AMA House of Delegates meeting, we were honored to serve as the voice of AACS on a number of resolutions and action plans.
First on the docket: The AMA has put forth a formal request that the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certifying boards develop Maintenance of Certification (MOC) standards that do not lead to economic hardships. The following directives are to be used.
- Any assessment should guide physicians to self-directed CME study. Specific content-based feedback after any assessment should be provided to the physician in a timely manner.
- Multiple options should be available for how assessment should be structured to accommodate different learning styles.
- MOC requirements, their timing, when they must be completed, and when they must be given to physicians.
- Part III, known as the “high-stakes exam,” should be streamlined and improved. The policy also calls for exploring alternative formats.
In addition, the AMA plans to work with ABMS to avoid attempts at limiting the scope of practice of any and all board certified physicians.
The AMA noted the aspects that separate MOC and Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), and they gave state boards guidelines to use in developing MOL programs. These guidelines are practice specific, and will become instrumental with regards to quality improvement and life-long learning.
Next, the AMA passed a resolution to delay implementation of ICD10 for two years. This would, essentially, provide a two-year grace period in which physicians would not be penalized for improper coding, and payments to physicians would not be withheld.
Two resolutions that were of particular interest to our specialty both concerned injectables and their overall use. The first of these was Resolution 505 Ref Committee E, a plan stating that a drug’s labelingmuch of which is antiquated and not in compliance with current practiceshould not be the sole legal standard. According to this resolution, standard medical practice, experience, and clinic judgment would be equal indication. It also called for more expeditious updates to labeling as clinical evidence becomes available. We both supported the resolution, which ultimately passed in the House.
We also voted in favor of Resolution 207, which allows the compounding and repackaging of manufactured FDA-approved drugs and substances in an office-based setting. It also allows one to purchase FDA-approved drugs directly from compounding pharmacies. This resolution also passed.
One item that was of considerable concern to most everyone at the meeting was the disparity between graduating medical students and the number of post-graduate training programs. Many students in this year’s graduating class were not matched with a program due to the fact that there were a limited number of slots. Without a training program to join, and since at least an internship is required to obtain medical licensure, many graduates were left with no options. The AMA has asked the Committee on Medical Education to work toward an efficient solution for this very real and troubling dilemma.
On the elections front, Dr. Jackson was renamed vice chairman of the section council of plastic, facial plastic, oral and maxillofacial, and ophthalmological plastic surgery. Elected AMA trustees included:
* Patrice Harris, MD, MA, Psychiatry
* Albert Osbahr III, MD, Family Medicine
* Georgia Tuttle, MD, Dermatologist
* Maya Babu, MD, MBA, Neurosurgery
The House of Delegates Vice Speaker position went to Bruce A. Scott, MD, an otolaryngologist from Louisville, Kentucky.
It is becoming increasingly important that each member of the AACS join or retain their individual standing in the AMA. Our specific field is recognized by our fellow delegates as a specialty, one that provides a unique voice and perspective to the proceedings. However, our ability to maintain our seat in the House of Delegates is wholly dependent upon the percentage of AACS members we have in the AMA. It is pertinent that we keep our seat at the table, which has and will continue to provide us with a forum in which our organizational voice can join the larger conversations.
Call the AMA office today, or go to the members section of their website, and self-designate yourself as a Cosmetic Surgeon. Those who follow this quick and easy process will play an incalculable role in maintaining the status of AACS with the AMA and, more importantly, within the House of Delegates.