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Report on the 2013 CMA HOD

Report on the 2013 CMA HOD

By Susan Sprau, MD, MACP
October 20, 2013

California ACP was well represented at the 2013 CMA House of Delegates held at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, CA on October 11-13. Angie Chen, FACP (No CA), Chester Choi, MACP (So CA Region 1), Darin Latimore, FACP (No CA), Mel Sterling, MACP (So CA Region 2) and myself (So CA Region 1) were the ACP delegates to the Specialty Delegation. Ashley Ruby, CA ACP Services Executive Director, provided support for our deliberations and was able to meet key ACP members and CMA staff in person. In addition there were many ACP members participating as part of county delegations and mode of practice forums, including Gordon Fung, FACP, (No CA Governor). Darin Latimore brought 5 medical students from UC Davis to observe the deliberations in an effort to increase medical student awareness of how healthcare policy is developed.

CA ACP has several members in leadership positions at CMA. Lee Snook, FACP (No CA) was elected President-Elect of CMA in a contested election. Richard Thorpe, FACP (No CA) became President of CMA and Steve Larson, FACP (So CA Region 2) is currently President of the Board of Trustees of CMA and is running for President-Elect for 2015. They have all expressed interest in furthering ACP policy/principles through CMA.

At the HOD, CA ACP had 2 resolutions accepted by CMA. Dr. Mel Sterling authored the resolution to oppose the current Center for Medicare Services (CMS) outpatient observation (2 night) policy for hospital stays. National ACP has already sent a letter to CMS requesting this policy be modified in several ways, including to protect patients from increased costs when hospital care is considered "outpatient" and to oppose the CMS 3-day rule for a patient to qualify for payment for skilled nursing care. Our second resolution requires that all insurers/IPAs/HMOs have a retro-authorization policy for all tests/treatments which have a prior authorization requirement.

CMA announced significant changes to its governance structure so that all CMA members will be able to submit policy resolutions year round via the Internet and that these resolutions will be reviewed by standing committees (rather than the current House of Delegates/Reference Committee process). We have an opportunity to nominate ACP members (who are also CMA members) to these standing committees. We currently have representation on the CMA Council on Legislation (Darin Latimore) and CMA Council on Scientific Affairs (Mel Sterling). If you are interested in participating in CMA on standing committees, or as an ACP delegate to the CMA House of Delegates next year, please contact me or Ashley Ruby.

We are also continuing to reach out to medical students and residents/fellows who are interested in participating more in CMA. If you are not yet a CMA member, membership is free for medical students and residents/fellows and can be completed on the CMA web site. If you have difficulty please contact your county medical society or our ACP Executive Director, Ashley Ruby, to assist.