AAPM&R Delegates Advocate for Patients and Physicians at the 2020 Special Meeting of the AMA HOD Meeting

Members & Publications


November 23, 2020

On November 13-17, your AAPM&R delegates participated in the November 2020 Special Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD). The AAPM&R delegation was represented by Drs. Susan Hubbell (AMA Delegate and PM&R Section Council Chair), Stuart Glassman (AMA Delegate, Specialty and Service Society Caucus (SSS) Governing Council Member-at-Large, Mobility Caucus Officer), Carlo Milani (Young Physician Section Representative, Alternate Delegate), and Julie Witkowski (Resident and Fellow Section Representative, Alternate Delegate).

Your Delegates submitted the resolution, Increase Insurance Company Hours for Prior Authorization for Inpatient Issues, co-sponsored by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. This resolution requested that AMA advocate that all insurance companies that require prior authorization for patients in acute care hospitals have prior authorization staff available to do approvals for hospitalized patients every day of the year, including holidays and weekends.

This resolution received unanimously supportive testimony; however, minor adjustments were made to broaden the scope of the resolution to include benefit managers and to allow the resolution to apply to both inpatient and outpatient settings. The title of the resolution was also amended to align with the new language of the resolution. The final resolution is as follows:

Processing Prior Authorization Decisions

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association advocate that all insurance companies and benefit managers that require prior authorization have staff available to process approvals 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays and weekends.

AAPM&R Delegates also co-sponsored the resolution, Adopting the Use of the Most Recent and Updated Edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. This resolution requested that AMA support the adoption of the most current edition of the AMA Guides in all jurisdictions in order to provide fair and consistent impairment evaluations for patients and claimants including injured workers. Though supported by many, this resolution was ultimately referred for study to explore potential unintended consequences of passing this policy.

Your Delegates also weighed in on many additional timely topics related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) including the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), CARES Act equity and loan forgiveness, and vaccine coverage and payment. Discussions also focused on racism as a public health threat, implications of racism in the practice of medicine, and addressing social determinants of health. Additional hot topics included Medicaid and health care reform, Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) updates, the future of telemedicine, and preserving and increasing Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding.

Please visit the AMA House of Delegates page of the AAPM&R website to view the full meeting report, once posted.

Dr. Hubbell & Dr. Pease Providing Testimony on AAPM&R Resolution 

AAPM&R members, Dr. Susan Hubbell and Dr. William Pease, providing testimony on the AAPM&R Resolution 712, Processing Prior Authorization Decisions.

Dr. Hubbell Providing Testimony on AAPM&R Resolution

Dr. Susan Hubbell, AAPM&R delegate to the AMA HOD and PM&R Section Council Chair, providing testimony on the AAPM&R Resolution 712, Processing Prior Authorization Decisions.

PMR Section Council Meeting 2

PM&R Section Council Members met virtually on November 16 to discuss business of the AMA House of Delegates (AMA HOD).

Dr. Glassman Providing Testimony at AMA HOD Meeting (2)

Dr. Stuart Glassman, AAPM&R delegate to the AMA HOD, providing testimony on AMA HOD business.

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.