January 11, 2018

AMA Previews 2018 State Legislative Priorities

American College of Radiology’s (ACR’s) government relations experts added to their unique perspective on upcoming state legislative priorities affecting medical imaging practices by attending the January 4–6 American Medical Association (AMA) State Legislative Strategy Conference.

The forum presented a great opportunity to highlight legislative and regulatory priorities of the AMA, its state affiliates and various medical specialty organizations. Prior to the conference, the AMA tabulated results of a legislative priorities survey to identify trends for the upcoming 2018 legislative session. Not surprisingly, organized medicine is prepared to address many of the same issues that have been prominent in recent years.

Many state and specialty medical societies have flagged scope of practice, opioid drug abuse, Medicaid and public health improvement campaigns as top priorities for state legislative action in 2018. At least 10 state medical societies are anticipating legislation on expanded scope of practice for physician assistant independent practices and advanced practice nurses. Antitrust, maintenance of certification, medical liability reform and private payer reforms are also expected to be featured prominently.

Out-of-network reimbursement/balance billing issues and legislative proposals related to network adequacy and transparency will be addressed in several states. Telemedicine and Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) licensure compact is likely to be under consideration in 16 states.

Another year of dysfunctional governance in Washington, DC, is not likely to slow down the vigorous pace of legislation to address pressing medical issues in the states. As many as 35 state legislatures will be in session by mid-January, with 46 state legislatures convening later in the year.

The ACR’s state government relations staff stands ready to assist any chapter that seeks more information on these topics. Additionally, a vast depository of materials is available through the AMA Advocacy Resource Center.

For assistance from the ACR, extensive coverage of state legislative news can be found in the searchable archives of Advocacy in Action eNews or by contacting Eugenia Krimer Brandt, ACR state affairs director (ekrimer@acr.org).