Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Vice President Anna McMaster, MD, represented the OAFP at the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (New York State AFP) meeting held June 24 in Albany, NY.
“Attending the New York State AFP meeting was an interesting experience with a great opportunity for interacting with our colleagues in New York and hearing how they are addressing their practice concerns. A common theme in New York, as well as with other visiting dignitaries, was concern about mandatory opioid-related continuing medical education (CME) by state legislature. Enacted in New York in January 2017, the requirement is 3 hours and must have been completed by July 1. A similar legislative mandate is being considered in Pennsylvania for opioid-related CME and is already in place for patient safety CME (12 hours/2 years and 2 hours for child abuse). Pennsylvania is pushing back hard to prevent further legislative interference into the practice of medicine through mandatory CME requirements.
- Support for paid sick leave law for an employee mandated at a state level (already a similar law in NYC).
- Recognize health care as a human right, not a privilege. NYS already has advanced status – support on single payer but would like to support this resolution as this goes to AAFP as many other states are not as advanced, supportive.
- Proposal for New Search Options for Specific Residency Characteristics in the Residency Directory on the AAFP website—allow prospective students to see/search the strengths of the residency program on line more easily. A lot of debate on this resolution due to feasibility issues and was referred to the Board.
- Recommend board pass rates no longer be used as a criterion for issuing a citation or area of concern to residency program.
- Require insurance companies to pay providers for completing prior authorization process ($50) and not be allowed to pass this cost directly on to the patient.
- Ban prior authorization for generic medications.
- Support expansion of end of life medical aid in dying by means of patient directed, patient administered prescription medication- many spoke in support only one in opposition.
- Support for development of a body that will become the authority on what is or is not a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) – reclaiming the PCMH model.
- Seeking “loser pays” tort reform for medical malpractice and personal liability in NYS as well as a public relations campaign to educate the public.
- Support for universal mandatory HPV vaccination as a condition of school entry at grade 6.
- Advocacy for mandatory screening for food insecurity. Many spoke in favor of the idea but were hesitant to add another “mandatory screening” for providers.
- Oppose legislation which restricts access to telemedicine medical abortion.
- Align New York State AFP policy opposed to “reparative” or conversion therapy as an acceptable treatment option.
- Redefine screening in high-risk populations as screening.
- Cover follow-up of abnormal screenings as part of the mandated wellness benefit.
- Reverse the diabetes epidemic through the Implementation of the National Diabetes Prevention Program in NYS.
The majority of the resolutions were passed or referred to the Board of Directors with a significant amount of discussion from the floor.
Among the featured guest speakers was the Medical Society of the State of New York (NYSMA) representative who spoke on Laverne’s Law which was an open-ended law to allow broader liability for physicians if later diagnosis of “cancer.” He also gave an update on EClinicalWorks recently settling lawsuit with the Department of Justice for $155 million for six different issues related to meaningful use operability. A letter was to have gone out to physicians regarding payment to users to transfer at no charge information to go over to another system or provide free system updates. He also asked the question why the NYSMA and New York State AFP are on different tracks and how could they work together?
Dr. Munger from the American Academy of Family Physicians also spoke. He addressed the AAFP’s 12 priorities and their leadership role in addressing diversity and in addressing the social determinants of health. Dr. Munger also mentioned a developed center for social equity through the AAFP. He then discussed the U.S. House bill that was expected to pass “protecting access to care” which will set a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages and 3-year hard cap for statute of limitations overriding less restrictive state laws. He then updated the group on the other advocacy efforts from the AAFP. Dr. Meigs had been invited to meet with Dr. Price that week to discuss prior authorizations and other ways the administration can help reduce physician administrative burdens. The “Group of 6” would be storming the hill that week and there will be no more “family medicine nice.” Also highlighted in Dr. Munger’s speech was the AAFP Center for State Policy Advocacy which has been developed in the last year which has a state by state “bill tracking function” as well as model legislation and the state “Speak Out” functions.
Dr. Bill Jordan from the New York State Department of Health also spoke extensively on the social determinants of health, reviewed the impact of low income, and importance of Medicaid of the residents of the state.”