Ohio Academy of Family Physicians’ President Stan Anderson, MD, and OAFP Past President and Public Policy Committee Vice Chair Sarah Sams, MD, participated in chapter-focused panel discussions during the 2018 AAFP State Legislative Conference held October 25-27 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Dr. Anderson participated in a chapter panel on Medicaid expansion, waivers, and parity. His presentation focused on Ohio’s advocacy efforts opposing Ohio’s 1115 Demonstration Waiver application which would make eligibility for Medicaid dependent upon work requirements. The OAFP submitted comments opposing Ohio’s Medicaid waiver request to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. At the OAFP’s request, the American Academy of Family Physicians also submitted comments about Ohio’s 1115 waiver application. In its official comment letter, the OAFP stated, “This waiver application, as written, threatens coverage of an estimated 36,000 adult Ohioans who now have coverage – a huge step backward in achieving the AAFP’s long-standing goal of achieving health care coverage for all.”
Dr. Sams participated in a chapter panel on administrative simplification. Her remarks focused on Ohio’s prior authorization statute, the ongoing implementation of that statute and its impact on patients and prescribers. She also spoke about current efforts to pass legislation to regulate the step therapy practices of insurers.
Other topics at the conference included primary care spend, scope of practice, drug pricing and transparency, America’s opioid epidemic, rural health, and a discussion of what is at stake in the 2018 mid-term election. Drs. Anderson and Sams also joined other chapters in presenting an overview of our chapter’s legislative priorities in the coming year.
The AAFP State Legislative Conference is an excellent program for those family physicians and chapter leaders who are interested in learning about and influencing public policy in their state. The OAFP sends two physician leaders to this conference each year.
The AAFP State Legislative Conference will take a hiatus in 2019 as it has become cost prohibitive to continue as a stand-alone meeting. The AAFP is exploring ways to connect this programming to another existing meeting. More news about future plans will be available soon.