CPM Summer 2018 - 33

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Next Steps
Current Status
PAMED strongly opposes any legislation
Though there are quite a few pieces of
that does not keep physicians as the leader legislation regarding opioids, PAMED
of the health care team. The PAMED is highlighting SB 655, which would
government relations team continues to ed- mandate that physicians follow guidelines
ucate legislators in the House Professional such as the current voluntary guidelines
Licensure Committee and the public when prescribing opioids. This legislation
regarding our concerns with this legislation. has the potential to saddle physicians
with a "no win" decision: follow the
mandated guidelines knowing it's potenTELEMEDICINE
tially not the best course of treatment
for their patient or break the law in
the interest of appropriate patient care.
Two bills - SB 780 and HB 1648 -
would establish a statutory definition for Next Steps
telemedicine, mandate that telemedicine
A call to action was sent to physicians
services are reimbursed, and prohibit "au- across the state in mid-June. Unfortunately,
dio only" services (video must be available SB 655 passed the Senate unanimously.
if either the patient or provider requests it). PAMED plans to monitor this legislation
closely and if it is determined that this legCurrent Status
islation will be voted on in committee or on
SB 780 was recently unanimously the House floor, PAMED will rely heavily
approved by the Senate. PAMED is on its members to respond to calls to action.
pleased with the vote and looks forward
to supporting this legislation as it moves
through the House of Representatives.
PAMED would especially like to thank Sen.
Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) for his leadership
on this issue. The vote is a positive first Background
step in the process of getting the bill to
Under current law, insurers are not
the governor's desk.
required to provide practitioners with
drug alternatives when a drug prescribed
Next Steps
is denied for not being in the patient's
SB 780 has been sent to the House insurance drug formulary.
Professional Licensure Committee. As
telemedicine moves through the next Current Status
chamber, the House of Representatives,
Practitioners must expend time and
PAMED will rely heavily on its members resources to figure out what alternatives
to respond to calls to action on this topic. are available as part of a patient's insurance
coverage. PAMED recognizes the burden
and is aiming to make headway with
lawmakers so that the process is more
More than 25 pieces of legislation Next Steps
regarding opioids have been introduced.
PAMED's government relations staff
Legislation ranges from Prescription Drug are continuing to educate lawmakers on
Monitoring Program (PDMP) require- the topic in an effort to identify sponments to prescribing limits.
sors or co-sponsors of legislation that
would reform the drug formulary process.

Per House of Delegates (HOD) policy, PAMED continues to work toward
improvement of the MOC process and
ultimately seeks to introduce legislation
which makes certain MOC cannot be used
as criteria for credentialing by insurers or
hospitals. PAMED also seeks to prohibit
physician licensing boards from using
MOC as a condition of licensure.
Current Status
PAMED hosted a gathering at the 2018
AMA Annual Meeting of the House of
Delegates in Chicago to discuss the MOC
process. Scott Shapiro, MD, Chair of the
Pennsylvania Delegation and PAMED Past
President, facilitated the meeting, which
was held on June 11, 2018.
In May 2018, two medical specialty
boards announced changes to their MOC
programs. Both the American Board of
Anesthesiology (ABA) and the American
Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
(ABOG) announced that their MOC pilot
programs will become permanent. Earlier
this year, another specialty board - the
American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) - also
announced that, starting in 2019, it is
making changes to its MOC process.
Next Steps
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recently launched its "Vision
for the Future" initiative to review the
MOC process for physicians. PAMED Past
President Charles Cutler, MD, MACP, is
one of 26 members chosen to participate
in the initiative's Vision for the Future
Commission. The commission's goal is to
provide a set of recommendations about
the future of continuing board certification
for consideration by ABMS. Stay up to
date at www.pamedsoc.org/MOC.
Continued on page 34

Central PA Medicine Summer 2018 33

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