Advocacy Update

Sept. 8, 2023: State Advocacy Update


COVID-19 greatly accelerated the adoption of telehealth, and now three years later, states are exploring new policies to expand or streamline the state licensure process for physicians while ensuring continued authority to regulate and oversee the practice of medicine.

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Hear about some of the latest approaches being considered and implemented in states—and what physicians are experiencing.  

Register to learn more in a webinar moderated by AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, on Sept. 19 at 1:00 p.m., Central. You’ll hear from a panel of experts, including:  

  • Clark Barrineau, assistant vice president of government affairs, Medical Society of Virginia 
  • Marschall Smith, executive director, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact 
  • Sarvam P. TerKonda, MD, immediate past chair, Federation of State Medical Boards 
  • Jared Augenstein, managing director, Manatt Health Strategies 
  • Kimberly Horvath, senior attorney, American Medical Association

Register now.

On Aug. 10, CMS released a new tool to help state Medicaid and CHIP programs address and improve maternal health outcomes during the postpartum period. The AMA applauds the administration for taking this important step to scale up best practices across the country in line with the AMA’s advocacy. “Increasing Access, Quality, and Equity in Postpartum Care in Medicaid and CHIP: A Toolkit for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies” (PDF) provides practical information to help state Medicaid and CHIP agencies structure, design and implement programs that increase postpartum care access, quality and equity for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries within existing authorities. The toolkit includes:  

  • A strategy checklist to assess current policies, gaps and plans for improvement 
  • Policy, programmatic and payment mechanisms available for state Medicaid programs 
  • Evidence-based strategies to improve access to and quality of postpartum care 
  • Approaches to quality measurement and improvement 
  • Suggestions for partnering with managed care plans 

The toolkit supports the CMS Maternity Care Action Plan (PDF) and Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis (PDF).

For assistance with Medicaid initiatives in your state, please contact the AMA Advocacy Resource Center

The recording of the latest webinar in the AMA’s Advocacy Insights webinar series is now available.

Physician burnout can lead to devastating consequences for individual physicians, patients, the physician workforce and the U.S. health care system as a whole. Dealing with burnout requires system-level solutions, as well as initiatives and programs that provide protections to help encourage physicians and medical students to seek help when needed and improve their practice environment. 

Support for enhancing physician wellness is growing. For example, a number of state medical associations have successfully enacted laws that provide confidentiality protections for physicians seeking help for burnout, and the AMA has worked closely with state medical associations to urge state medical boards to eliminate or revise stigmatizing mental health related questions on licensing applications to match AMA policy and lower barriers to physicians from seeking help.   

The chair of the AMA Board of Trustees Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH, spoke with expert panelists who are working with the AMA in advocating for such changes—and implementing them. 

Hear from: 

  • Mark Staz, management consultant, Regulatory Policy, Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) about how FSMB is changing licensing questions to remove stigmatizing questions that often serve as a barrier to care. 
  • Barb Smith, chief executive officer, South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA), about how SDSMA advocated to have its state board change licensing questions to support physician wellness. 
  • Abraham Segres, vice president, Quality and Patient Safety, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, about how the association is leading efforts to get all VA hospitals and systems to make positive changes to support physician wellness—and attract new physicians to its workforce. 
  • Joel Bundy, MD, vice president, chief quality and safety officer, Sentara Healthcare, about how the health system identified changes needed and the steps it took to implement and communicate changes across the system. 

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