President’s Message: Looking Forward to the 2019 Legislative Session

Posted December 14, 2018

We received a lot of feedback from my last message regarding the Kentucky Supreme Court decision in the medical review panels case. As I expressed in the article, and many of you echoed, it is ironic that the opinion stated that the law “delayed” justice, when in fact it was designed to speed up the process. You can read my entire message here.

While this is certainly a setback, it’s important for us a sphysician leaders to learn from this experience and to channel our frustration and disappointment into energy for our next steps. Uniting our membership around issues of importance is what I hope to bring to the KMA as President, and this presents a great opportunity for us to do so.

We are just three weeks away from the opening of the 2019 Kentucky General Assembly. There will be new faces in both the House and the Senate, and it’s imperative that they get to know the physicians within their communities and the issues we prioritize. We need to not only be in the room, but part of the conversation. They are looking to us to educate them on things like professional liability, public health, and the administrative barriers we face when delivering care. We can’t sit idly by while others influence decisions that will affect not only our practices, but our patients.

The KMA advocacy team worked with members to establish our list of 2019 Legislative Priorities. This year’s focus will be on four main areas:

Prior Authorization: Through the AIM for Better Care initiative, KMA has worked to identify and work toward solutions to lessen administrative burdens. Through this effort, prior authorization has consistently been pinpointed as a nonclinical activity for which physicians and staff spend an enormous amount of time, energy and resources. Therefore, KMA supports legislation that will remove these roadblocks.

Out-of-Network Billing: KMA supports legislation that prevents patients from receiving unanticipated out-of-network bills and also ensures that any out-of-network payment standards for out-of-network providers are based on data independent of insurers and separate from Medicare.

Tobacco-Free Schools: Kentucky can enhance economic opportunity for all residents by creating a healthier workforce. KMA supports legislation that enacts a statewide, comprehensive tobacco-free school law.

Professional Liability Reform: KMA remains resolute in restoring fairness and predictability in the legal liability system.

Members can access a more detailed one-pager on KMA’s 2019 Advocacy Priorities here. Organized medicine, and most importantly, you, our members, can truly make a difference.

Please, stay engaged for the sake of our profession and our patients. I would like to wish each of you Happy Holidays, and continued passion for the practice of medicine.