Advocacy in Action: Updates from the AMA 2017 Annual Meeting


Advocacy remains a top priority for the RFS, ACR, and our profession as a whole. Participating in the AMA is one way through which radiologists and radiation oncologists can add value to our health-care system, providing fresh ideas on how to improve care for our patients and support a sustainable workforce.

I had the privilege of attending the AMA 2017 Annual Meeting this past June. Once again, the AMA House of Delegates (HOD), composed of representatives from more than 190 state and national specialty medical societies, debated and voted on a number of important issues facing our health care system. Policy highlights from the annual meeting include:

  • Opposing “caps on federal Medicaid funding,” which is aligned with the AMA’s ongoing efforts to advocate for patient-centered healthcare reform
  • Promoting continuity of care if patients switch health plans while undergoing a course of treatment, including a provision that “patients must not be financially penalized for receiving unanticipated care from an out-of-network provider.”
  • Directive to “advocate to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for flexibility beyond the current maximum of five years for the Medicare graduate medical education cap-setting deadline for new residency programs in underserved areas and/or economically depressed areas”; thus, allowing institutions in underserved areas more time to build new residency programs to meet the needs of their patients

Full text on these and many other new adopted policies can be found at

Beyond policy creation, AMA meetings are ripe with outstanding educational sessions for all members. Some highlights from the recent meeting include:

  • “Health systems science: The emerging third pillar of physician education”
  • “The physician’s role in providing solutions to the opioid epidemic”
  • “Funding for accountability, sustainability, and transparency in medical education: A proposed model for meeting physician workforce needs”
  • “Mindfulness interventions: A workshop to foster resiliency”

 Interested in getting involved with the AMA? The first step is to become a member. Afterwards, any resident or fellow member can attend the interim and annual meetings! Similar to the ACR, the AMA-RFS meeting occurs immediately prior to the AMA HOD meeting. Attending an AMA-RFS meeting is a great way to learn more about the organization and meet like-minded colleagues from around the country. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I look forward to seeing many of you at the next AMA meeting!

 By Monica Wood, MD, ACR-RFS AMA Delegate and Advocacy Liaison This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. @monicajwood

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