American Medical Association: Is it important, and how does ACP play a role?

Immediately after they concluded their 2018 Congress attendance, AVLS members Christopher Pittman, MD, FACPh and Vineet Mishra, MD, FACPh flew on to Washington DC to attend the 2018 American Medical Association (AMA) Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates, held November 10-13. Dr. Pittman serves as the ACP’s Delegate to the AMA, and Dr. Mishra is our Alternate Delegate. The Annual AMA meeting occurs in June, and the Interim Meeting is used to address further issues that pertain to the physician community.

At the Interim Meeting, issues such as burdensome payer prior authorization and Federal healthcare policies were all on the agenda for discussion. Past meetings have dealt with practice issues such as compression hose coverage for Medicare patients, medication compounding, E&M coding, and the emergence of telemedicine.

“I hear often that the AMA is not really relevant, but it’s critically important for the AVLS to be involved,” said Dr. Pittman last week. “For a relatively small society like ours, having a seat in the House of Delegates is critical in several meaningful areas. Active representation by your AVLS AMA Delegates truly amplifies the ACP’s ability to advocate for our members.”

The AVLS is large enough and meaningful enough to earn AMA delegate representation to begin with which earns the AVLS representation on the critical payment entities of CPT and RUC.

“It is important for AVLS members to maintain AMA membership or AVLS will lose our voice at the AMA, CPT, and RUC so I really recommend AMA membership,” added Dr. Pittman.

AVLS enjoys representation at the CPT Editorial Panel which meets 3 times a year. The CPT Editorial Panel ensures that CPT codes remain up to date and reflect the latest medical care provided to patients. The panel maintains an open process to solicit the direct input of practicing physicians, medical device manufacturers, developers of the latest diagnostic tests and advisors from over 100 societies.

Additionally, AVLS enjoys direct representation at the RUC which also meets 3 times a year. The AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) is a unique multi-specialty committee dedicated to describing the resources required to provide physician services which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) considers in developing Relative Value Units (RVUs).

In addition to being the ACP’s Alternate Delegate, Dr. Mishra is also a member of the “Dermatology Section Council” in the House of Delegates.

“Being part of the Derm Caucus allows me to advocate for vein issues through a multi-specialty approach, giving us a much louder voice,” added Dr. Mishra.

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