AAPM&R Delegates Take Part in 2021 Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates

Members & Publications


June 23, 2021

AAPM&R Delegates Successfully Advocate Concerning PASC Patients, Equity in Access to Care, Scope of Practice and Additional Timely Issues at the 2021 AMA House of Delegates Special Meeting

On June 11-16, your AAPM&R delegates participated in the June 2021 Special Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD). The AAPM&R delegation is 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 Ky Viet Quach (Resident and Fellow Section Representative, Alternate Delegate).

Your Delegates successfully advocated for two resolutions that were supported and approved by the house of Medicine.

Call for Increased Funding, Research, and Education for Post Viral Syndromes

AAPM&R submitted the original resolution, Ensuring Adequate Health Care Resources to Address the Long COVID Crisis. This resolution received unanimously supportive testimony; however, the language was broadened to include all post viral syndromes. The final resolution is as follows:

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support the development of an ICD-10 code or family of codes to recognize Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (“PASC” or “Long COVID”) and other novel post-viral syndromes as distinct diagnoses (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association advocate for legislation to provide funding for research, prevention, control, and treatment of post viral syndromes and long-term sequelae associated with viral infections, such as COVID-19 (Directive to Take Action); and be it further 

RESOLVED, That our AMA provide physicians and medical students with accurate and current information on post-viral syndromes and long-term sequalae associated with viral infections, such as COVID-19 (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA collaborate with other medical and educational entities to promote education among patients about post viral syndromes and long-term sequalae associated with viral infections, such as COVID-19, to minimize the harm and disability current and future patients face. (Directive to Take Action)

Prevent Medicare Advantage Plans from Limiting Care

This resolution, co-sponsored by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic, also received generally supportive testimony. The final resolution was revised and adopted as follows:

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association ask the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to further regulate Medicare Advantage Plans so that the same treatment and authorization guidelines are followed for both fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients, including admission to inpatient rehabilitation facilities. (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA advocate that proprietary criteria shall not supersede the professional judgment of the patient’s physician when determining Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients eligibility for procedures and admissions. (Directive to Take Action)

AAPM&R Delegates also co-sponsored the resolution, Support for the Use of the Most Recent and Updated Edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, introduced at the Interim 2021 meeting. 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.

Your delegates supported timely policies in opposition to scope of practice expansion efforts including elimination of “incident-to” billing for non-physician practitioners and opposition to non-physician title misappropriation, in response to the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA’s) recent move to change the official title of the profession from “Physician Assistant” to “Physician Associate.” The HOD adopted policy to actively advocate that the stand-alone title “Physician” be used only to refer to doctors of allopathic medicine (MDs) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs), and not be used in ways that have the potential to mislead patients about the level of training and credentials of non-physician health care workers.

Your Delegates also weighed in on many additional timely topics related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), equity in telehealth access, coverage and payment parity, CMMI payment reform models, and promoting accountability in prior authorization.

The Mobility Caucus, which the PM&R delegation is actively engage, hosted a successful one-hour CME course on Post COVID recovery issues, with a speaker panel that included Dr. Glassman, Dr. Milani, Dr. Sandy Fryhofer, Dr. Matt Gold, and AMA Past-President, Dr. Patrice Harris.

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

PM&R Section Council AMA HOD Meeting

(The PM&R Section Council met virtually on June 7 and June 13 to discuss reports and resolution relevant to the specialty.)

Mobility Caucus CME Session on Long COVID

(Drs. Stuart Glassman and Carlo Milani served as speaker for the Mobility Caucus educational session on COVID-19 Aftermath: Unique Challenges in Rehabilitation and Ongoing Care)

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.