AMA 2019 Interim Meeting Report

By William C. Reha, MD, MBA
Vice Chair, Virginia Delegation to the AMA

Virginia was well represented at the AMA Interim Meeting held November 16-19, 2019 in San Diego, California. Over 100 Resolutions and Reports are typically handled at this meeting devoted exclusively to advocacy, ethics, and urgent matters affecting the practice of medicine. Virginia brought forward a resolution based on the successful legislation MSV helped pass recently regarding Co-Pay Accumulators. As you recall, Co-Pay Accumulators prevent patients from reaching their deductibles when using manufacturer’s coupons to lower their out of pocket costs.  The resolution as adopted states “That our American Medical Association develop model state legislation regarding Co-Pay Accumulators for all pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, and medical equipment”.  Additionally, Virginia co-sponsored another resolution brought forward by the American Academy of Dermatology opposing Board Certification of Physician Assistants in that it would “mislead the public to believe such certification is equivalent to medical specialty board certification”.  This too was successfully adopted by the House of Delegates.

Pictured from left to right: Drs. Michele Nedelka, Clifford L. Deal III, Sterling Ransone, Joel Bundy, and Cynthia Romero smile for the camera before the start of a session at the AMA Interm meeting in San Diego, CA.

Our Delegation weighed in on all the resolutions submitted at the meeting.  Each reference committee was assigned a member of our delegation to study the resolutions and report the testimony at our caucus so that each member was informed of the pertinent discussion at each hearing for deliberation at the Full House of Delegates.

Virginia is fortunate to have Dr. Claudette Dalton serve as Chair of the Southeastern Delegation (SED) to the AMA.  States represented range from New Jersey to Florida and westward to Oklahoma and have significant policy influence at the AMA.  Additionally, Dr. Larry Monahan is a member-at-large of the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) Governing Council.  Dr. Joel Bundy served on the reference committee for Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws.  Drs. Cyn Romero and Sterling Ransone participated in SED leadership training and I represent Virginia as Co-Chair of the SED Resolutions Committee.

We had two retiring Delegates; Drs. David Ellington and Hazle Konerding. It is with mixed emotion to wish them farewell, they have contributed significantly and will be missed!

I would like to acknowledge other members of our Delegation who attended this meeting.   They are Drs. Randy Gould (Chair), Tom Eppes, Cliff Deal, and Michele Nedelka.  MSV staff included Kaycee Ensign, Lauren Bates-Rowe, and Jenny Young.  Medical Students and Residents were Jon Taylor-Fishwick (EVMS), Matt Van de Graaf (EVMS), Meeta Prakash (VTC), Vaish Sridhar (VTC), Zoe Moyer (VCU), Josh Lesko MD, and Tim Parker MD.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming Dr. Alice Coombs-Tolbert to our Delegation in 2020. She also serves on the AMA Council of Medical Service.