Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
State legislative sessions bring big successes for physicians, patients
With the conclusion of the 2013 legislative session in most states, dozens of legislative victories made possible by collaborations between the AMA and state and medical specialty associations will be driving the future of health care across the country.
Through its Advocacy Resource Center, the AMA works hand in hand with state, specialty and national medical associations to advocate for physicians on a wide range of important issues in every state. This year’s efforts have achieved the adoption of more than 50 laws on such critical topics as medical liability reform, public health advancement, prescription drug abuse and diversion, protection of the patient-physician relationship, and private payer reform.
Included among these successes are the following legislative actions:
- Florida passed a broad medical liability reform bill that will transform the state’s practice landscape by requiring fairness in the use of medical expert witnesses.
- Georgia adopted a bill to clarify that federal standards and guidelines designed to enhance access to high-quality care cannot be used to invent new legal actions against physicians. The law is based on an AMA model bill.
- Texas adopted legislation that will regulate rental networks and require these payers to obtain express agreement from physicians to pay discounted rates for the services they provide.
- Four states enacted laws based on the AMA’s “Truth in Advertising” model bill, which requires health care professionals to clearly and honestly disclose their level of training, education and licensing to patients.
- Fourteen states passed laws aimed at reducing physicians’ cost and time burdens of prior authorization processes.
Also during the 2013 legislative session, nearly 300 bills were introduced to eliminate team-based models of care or dangerously expand the scope of practice for non-physician professionals. Scores of these bills were defeated by the joint efforts of organized medicine, even as others still are under consideration.
Learn more about the AMA’s activities on each of its state priority issues. Also, track real-time legislative developments on issues of concern to the medical profession using the AMA’s CQ State Track.
No matter where physicians live, however small or large their state, they can count on the power of organized medicine to fight for a legislative environment that advances quality care and supports the needs of physicians and their patients.