Georgia Delegation plays active role in AMA’s interim HOD

The American Medical Association (AMA) held a special meeting on a virtual basis in November, and Georgia Delegation Chair William Clark, M.D., says that AMA’s House of Delegates (HOD) considered an array of important resolutions – including several key measures that were submitted by the Georgia Delegation.

Dr. Clark reports that the Georgia Delegation submitted…

Resolution 509

This called for AMA to…

– Rescind its statement calling for physicians to stop prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine until sufficient evidence becomes available to conclusively illustrate that the harm associated with use outweighs benefit early in the disease course

– Rescind its joint statement with the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health System Pharmacists and update it with a joint statement notifying patients that further studies are ongoing to clarify any potential benefit of hydroxychloroquine and combination therapies for the treatment of COVID-19

– Reassure the patients whose physicians are prescribing hydroxychloroquine and combination therapies for their early-stage COVID-19 diagnosis by issuing an updated statement clarifying AMA’s support for a physician’s ability to prescribe an FDA-approved medication for off label use if it is in her/his best clinical judgement, with specific reference to the use of hydroxychloroquine and combination therapies for the treatment of the earliest stage of COVID-19

– Take the actions that are necessary to require local pharmacies to fill valid prescriptions that are issued by physicians and consistent with AMA principles articulated in AMA Policy H-120.988, including working with the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health System Pharmacists

The AMA HOD did not adopt these proposals, as it opted to reaffirm AMA Policy H-120.988.

Resolution 206

This called for AMA to advocate for 1) legislation requiring physicians who have contracts with health insurers or pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed in states where they review prior authorizations and be subject to the rules, statutes, medical board, and peer review of the state in which the prior authorization request is made and 2) repealing the parts of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that are related to prior authorization decisions.

The AMA HOD 1) adopted language calling for AMA to continue to advocate for all health plans, including self-insured plans, to be subject to state prior authorization reforms that are aligned with AMA policy and 2) reaffirmed AMA policies H-320.968 and H-285.915.

Other

The Georgia Delegation also submitted resolutions that were related to reinstating consultation codes and Medicare Advantage chart requests, but it was determined that the measures did not meet AMA’s “urgency” criteria – so they are expected to be resubmitted during AMA’s 2021 HOD meeting.

AMA’s HOD adopted new policies to…

– Advocate for sustained funding for evidence-based care for opioid-use disorder

– Protect patients as payers move to value-based drug formularies

– Help state Medicaid programs weather the effects of COVID-19

– Develop standards for a “public [health insurance] option” and auto-enrollment health insurance initiatives

– Recognize racism as a public health threat and develop a detailed plan to mitigate its effects

– Continue working with the American Board of Medical Specialties to develop alternatives to today’s high-stakes, 10-year exams

– Combat misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and clarify a physician’s duty to become immunized during a pandemic

– Mitigate the negative impact of high-deductible health plans

– Form an AMA section for private practice doctors

– Create a legislative template to address restrictive covenants

In addition to Dr. Clark, Georgia’s AMA delegation includes Vice Chair Sandra Reed, M.D., delegates John Antalis, M.D., Jack Chapman Jr., M.D., Michael Greene, M.D., and Billie Luke Jackson, M.D., and alternate delegates Shami Das, M.D., John Goldman, M.D., Zach Lopater, M.D., Ali Rahimi, M.D., Gary Richter, M.D., and Charles Wilmer, M.D.

MAG members can contact Dr. Clark at swclark3@gmail.com with questions related to the AMA meeting.

Contact Bethany Sherrer at bsherrer@mag.org to obtain any AMA HOD resolution or reference committee reports.

AMA Georgia Delegation resolutions

Top 10 stories from the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting

AMA Georgia Delegation web page