With autumn in the rearview mirror and the winter holiday season upon us, your MACEP Board and Executive Committee have had a busy few months with three Board Meetings in the books, a trip to Denver (and an early dose of winter there) to represent the chapter at the annual ACEP Council Meeting and an organized Lobby Day on Beacon Hill capped off by a 50th-anniversary celebration at Carrie Nation Cocktail Club.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
January 20, 2020
MACEP Point in Time Data Collection Date for ED Boarding of Mental Health patients. We will send a reminder to Massachusetts ED leaders in a few weeks.
January 28, 2020
Following our January Board of Directors Meeting (reminder that board meetings are open to all members to attend), MACEP will be hosting a dinner/educational program offering 1 hour of ACEP Catagory 1 CME credit:
An Oculus Virtual Reality View: The Role of Emergency Physicians in the Management of Immune-Related Adverse Events in Patients Treated with Immuno-oncology Agents.
You can register online at www.ACEP-MA.com or by calling 207-406-4248.
February 25, 2020
Our monthly board meeting will include a day of skiing at Wachusett Mountain with a discounted lift ticket for members who pre-register followed by our annual ED Directors Round Table where we will discuss inpatient boarding in our EDs as MACEP will be organizing an ED Boarding Task Force RSVP for this by contacting our Executive Director, Tanya Pearson at 781-890-4407 or email@example.com
MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE from Ronna Wallace, Legislative Consultant:
As we enter the second half of the Mass State Legislature’s 2019/20 session, we’re gearing up for a busy 7 months, from January through the end of July, the end of the legislature’s formal sessions. Traditionally, most of the substantive issues are taken up during this time and health care reform will be no exception.
Despite much discussion in the State House and by the media, to date, only one viable comprehensive health care reform bill has been introduced. Governor Charlie Baker filed H.4134, an Act to Improve Health Care by Investing in VALUE, earlier in November. That bill puts forth a reimbursement formula for Out of Network (OON) services that is based on in-network rates and “some percentage of Medicare”, as determined by the Health Policy Commission (HPC). MACEP will be presenting testimony in opposition to this provision at a public hearing by the Health Care Financing Commission late in January. Following that hearing, the House is expected to release its OON proposal. If last year is any indication, the House is expected to favor some formula that utilizes the All Payor Claims Database, rather than a charge based system that is favored by MACEP. It is unclear what approach the Senate will take this session, but preliminary discussions seem to indicate support for rate setting by the HPC, again, a provision not supported by MACEP. So, we have our work cut out for us! Much more to come in the next few months.
Another top priority for MACEP in 2020 is Parity. MACEP supports H.910 and S.588, identical bills, that would address MACEP’s concern over the lack of enforcement of state and federal mental health parity laws by increasing health insurers reporting requirements and requiring the Division of Insurance to comprehensively enforce these laws and report on the results. H.910 and S.588 would go a long way towards achieving one of the most important goals of emergency medicine today – eliminating the boarding of behavioral health patients and achievement of true parity.
FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
It looks as though any House or Senate action on Out of Network/Surprise Billing will not happen this year. The year-end House package included provisions extending many Federal healthcare-related programs through May of 2020 but no language related to Surprise Billing. Look for this battle to resume in the spring.
ACEP COUNCIL UPDATE
Over the course of two days in late October, the ACEP Council considered 62 Resolutions: 2 resolutions were withdrawn, 9 were not adopted, 6 were referred, and 45 were adopted. Here's a link to a summary of the work of the 2019 Counci
We debated and voted on such topics as the banning of the use of the word "provider" in all future ACEP publications to the role of private equity firms in emergency medicine practice. Our own resolution, Promotion of Maternal and Infant Health,
passed as amended.
We elected a new Vice-Speaker, Dr. Kelly Gray-Eurom and a President Elect, Dr. Mark Rosenberg. We also elected some new ACEP Board members: Dr. Jeffrey Goodloe, Dr. Gabor Kelen, and Dr. Ryan Stanton and re-elected Dr, Gillian Schmitz to a second term.
MACEP LOBBY DAY ON BEACON HILL
On, Wednesday, November 13, MACEP members gathered at the State House to advocate for parity for our mental health emergency patients (two identical bills in House and Senate) and for a level playing field in the Out of Network/Surprise Billing impending legislation. At the beginning of the day, we recognized Senator Cindy Friedman and Representative Jon Santiago, MD, both allies to Emergency Medicine and MACEP. Both were presented with commemorative plaques.
Members of the Executive Committee and Board had productive meetings with the Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo's top aide. Thanks to the hard work of Tanya Pearson and our legislative aide Ronna Wallace, we were well prepared and well-coached to connect with our individual Senators and Representatives.
At the end of the day, we reconvened at Carrie Nation for a MACEP 50th Birthday celebration, underwritten by LOGIXHEALTH. Past Presidents Eli Berg and Jim Feldman offered reflections on the 50 years of our chapter and our rich history.
Brian P Sutton, MD, FACEP