Advocacy Update

Feb. 4, 2022: Advocacy Update other news


Telehealth has the potential to be an important tool for addressing long-standing health inequities among historically marginalized and minoritized communities that have been impacted disproportionately by the COVID-19 pandemic. To realize telehealth’s full potential, the AMA believes that those developing and implementing telehealth solutions must prioritize partnerships with historically marginalized and minoritized populations to ensure that solutions are designed to be accessible and work well for all.

Patient access to telehealth and continuity of care are directly linked to whether, and at what level, telehealth services provided by their physicians—the physicians with whom they have a relationship—are covered by their health plan. 

In its new issue brief (PDF), the AMA puts forward specific policy proposals to take significant and necessary steps toward promoting and ensuring equity in telehealth. 

The No Surprises Act (NSA), which aims to protect patients from the financial impact of surprise medical billing, became law on Jan. 1. Learn what physicians need to do immediately to comply with the new law by watching a recording of a recent webinar held by the AMA, “Implementing the No Surprises Act.” Webinar experts also address enforcement challenges and the interaction between state and federal surprise billing requirements.  

Learn more in the latest AMA toolkit, “Preparing for implementation of the No Surprises Act” (PDF) and read more about the No Surprises Act and related activity. The AMA will be providing additional resources and programming related to the No Surprises Act soon—please stay tuned for details. 

In the latest installment of the AMA’s webinar series, “COVID-19: What physicians need to know,” AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, welcomes experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss what prescribers need to know about COVID-19 therapeutic drugs, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. Alternative treatment options for high-risk outpatients with mild-moderate COVID-19 are also discussed. View the recording

In a recent AMA COVID-19 Update video during #DataPrivacyWeek, AMA Chief Experience Officer Todd Unger talked with Laura Hoffman, JD, AMA assistant director of federal affairs, about the importance of establishing guardrails for digital vaccination data and how physicians can address data privacy concerns with patients.

Access the AMA's case for privacy by design in app development resource (PDF) and learn more about AMA's health data privacy framework and advocacy work on the issue. 

Practicing physicians encounter a wide variety of contracts for payment for their services. The AMA held a virtual mini-boot camp on Dec. 1, 2021, covering both introductory and advanced contracting topics important for physicians to know. The introductory portion of that event recording, “Payor Contracting 101,” is now available, and covers basic contract provisions, the legal rules governing contracts, commonly negotiated provisions, common disputes and innovative/non-traditional opportunities.

To accompany the webinar, the AMA has also published a payor contracting resource, which provides an overview of payors and outlines common insurance products and reimbursement structures. The recording of the advanced contracting portion of the boot camp, “Payor Contracting 201,” will be available online in early February. 

In the latest AMA STEPS Forward™ podcast, Kerri Palamara, MD, director of the Center for Physician Well-Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses with Jill Jin, MD, MPH, the important takeaways from her recent article, “Four Key Questions Leaders Can Ask to Support Clinicians During the COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Phase,” co-authored with Christine Sinsky, MD.