AAPM&R Delegates Advocate for Patients and Physicians at the November 2021 Special Meeting of the AMA HOD

Members & Publications


November 24, 2021

On November 12-16, your AAPM&R delegates participated in the November 2021 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 Ky Viet Quach (Resident and Fellow Section Representative, Alternate Delegate).


This year, Dr. Susan Hubbell served as the Neuroscience Caucus Chair and will continue to serve in this role for the 2022 meetings. Dr. Stuart Glassman was elected to serve as the Chair-Elect for the Mobility Caucus and will serve as the Chair beginning with the June 2023 meeting. AAPM&R congratulates Drs. Hubbell and Glassman for their leadership in the HOD, for continuing to be strong advocates for the PM&R specialty, and for their continued dedication to organized medicine. 

Your Delegates co-authored and co-sponsored the resolution, Repeal or Modification of the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Program, with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/ Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AANS/CNS), the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and 20 additional specialty and state societies. This resolution requested that:

Our AMA advocate to Congress for either the full repeal of the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Program or legislative modifications to the program in such a manner that adequately addresses technical and workflow challenges, maximizes alignment with the Quality Payment Program (QPP), and creates provider flexibility for the consultation of AUC or advanced diagnostic imaging guidelines using a mechanism best suited for their practice, specialty and workflow.

Unfortunately, this resolution was not discussed by the HOD, as it did not meet the priority threshold for the special meeting. AAPM&R will continue to monitor this issue and potentially reintroduce this resolution at the June 2022 HOD Meeting.

At the 2019 Annual meeting, the AAPM&R delegation submitted the resolution, Physician Involvement in State Regulations of Motor Vehicle Operation and/or Firearm Use by Individuals with Cognitive Deficits Due to Traumatic Brain Injury. This resolution requested that AMA reaffirm current AMA policy, stating it supports stricter enforcement of current federal and state gun legislation and requested that AMA advocate for physician-led committees in each state to give further recommendations to the state regarding driving and/or gun use by individuals who are cognitively impaired and/or a danger to themselves or others. The AMA studied this issue, and as a result, recommended that existing policy be re-affirmed and offered new language that was discussed by the HOD. The final language of the new policy was approved as follows:

Our AMA encourages the National Institutes of Health and other funders to expand research on cognitive impairment, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), as a risk factor for harm to self or others that may impact driving and/or firearm ownership, and the role of the physicians in policy advocacy and counseling patients so as to decrease the risk of morbidity and mortality.

Your Delegates also weighed in on many additional timely topics related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), access to vaccine boosters, telehealth coding, and improving access and coverage to non-opioid modalities to address pain. Additional time-sensitive issues related to physician reimbursement including insurance industries behaviors, promoting sustainability in Medicare physician payments, improving physician payments, and ending budget neutrality were discussed. AAPM&R delegates also advocated in support of resolutions to evaluate barriers to medical education for trainees with disabilities and advocacy for physicians with disabilities.

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


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.