AMA Advocacy Update: August Recess Call to Action & More

August recess call to action
During their August district work period, members of Congress should be reminded that there is still unfinished work on important health care issues, including looming cuts to physician Medicare payments and fixing the cumbersome prior authorization process.
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National Update

Big steps for bill to streamline prior authorization in Medicare Advantage
The House Ways and Means Committee has successfully marked up and passed “The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2022,” (H.R. 8487) legislation that would streamline prior authorization processes in Medicare Advantage plans.
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Lawsuit could stop 150 million from getting free preventive care
Kelley v. Becerra, a lawsuit before a federal district court judge in the Northern District of Texas, threatens the section of the Affordable Care Act requiring insurers and group health plans to cover more than 100 preventive health services—with no cost to consumers.
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Huge House win puts telehealth extension in Senate’s hands
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan bill that extends Medicare telehealth payment and regulatory flexibilities through the end of 2024.
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Health care organizations press Congress to pass Conrad 30 legislation
The AMA cosigned a July 29 letter urging the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to expeditiously pass the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act, which would expand and improve the Conrad 30 program that plays an important role in helping to address the ongoing shortage of physicians.
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Patient survey shows unresolved tension over health data privacy
The AMA and Savvy, a patient-owned cooperative, surveyed 1,000 patients across the U.S. on their perspectives toward the privacy of their medical information, discovering that patients are deeply concerned over the lack of security and confidentiality of personal health information.
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Physicians appreciate Appropriate Use Criteria delay, urge improvements
The AMA appreciates the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for their recognition that physicians and their software vendors need more time before CMS begins enforcing the Appropriate Use Criteria Program.
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CMS releases 2020 MIPS and APM participation and performance data
In the long-awaited 2020 Quality Payment Program Experience Report, CMS includes data about 2020 participation in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs), reporting options and performance categories, and final score and payment adjustments.
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Share your feedback regarding Provider Relief Fund reporting
The Government Accountability Office is conducting a review of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s oversight of the Provider Relief Fund. The AMA has been asked to provide testimonials and insights into important areas to help inform the report.
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Other News

AMA leadership video brings personal story to call for prior authorization reform
In a new video, AMA Immediate Past President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, recounts his recent frustration with trying to obtain prior authorization for his 92-year-old mother’s critical medications.
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Private practice playbook now available
This new, free AMA STEPS Forward® resource is full of information to help physicians determine if opening a private practice is the right move for them.
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Childcare stress, burnout in health care workers during COVID‑19
In this survey study recently published in the JAMA Network Open, high childcare stress was associated with 80% greater odds of burnout in all health care workers.
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AMA STEPS® Forward podcast: Electronic health record optimization and small interventions matter
The latest AMA STEPS® Forward podcast episodes discuss how eliminating unnecessary clicks in the EHR ultimately decreases physician burnout and how physicians can minimize unnecessary patient transfer using digital technology.
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Upcoming Events

Social determinants of health
Aug. 9: Join the AMA for this live AMA Steps Forward webinar on Aug. 9 at noon Central time and hear panelists from Rush University Health System present on how to engage your practice in addressing Social Determinants of Health.

Mind the gaps: Digital health issues and opportunities
Aug. 30: In this virtual Telehealth Immersion Program event on Aug. 3 at 11:00 a.m. Central time, Mayo Clinic leaders showcase efforts to advance digital health across three functional teams – strategy, research, and clinical informatics.

Addressing adult suicidal ideation in the primary care setting
Sept. 1: September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Building off the Practical Strategies for Managing Suicidal Ideation & Reducing Risk, this pre-recorded webinar on Sept. 1 at noon Central time focuses on how primary care practices can address suicidal ideation within their adult patient population.

Registration open for AMPAC Campaign School
Sept. 4: For AMA members, their spouses, medical students and residents and state medical association staff who want to become more involved in the campaigning process, the 2022 AMPAC Campaign School will be taking place in-person, Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 at the AMA Offices in Washington, DC. During the two and a half day in-person portion of the program, under the direction of political experts, participants will be broken into campaign staff teams to run a simulated congressional campaign using what they’ve learned during group sessions on strategy, vote targeting, social media, advertising and more. Space is limited and the deadline to register is Sept. 4 (or sooner if maximum capacity is reached).

Dismantling stigma for all: Addressing physician and patient mental health and suicide risk
Sept. 8: As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, this live, interactive forum on Sept. 8 at Noon Central time will connect attendees with industry experts on suicidal ideation and physicians with lived experience to discuss solutions for dismantling the stigma around seeking mental health treatment.