Legal Matters: Getting Involved By Staying Informed

Welcome to our very first politics in medicine blog!  

As physicians, our job is to know the medicine and take care of patients.  That’s what we signed up to do when we decided to go to medical school.  However, as the years pass, politics and insurance companies seem to be dictating more and more of how we practice medicine.  Medicare is getting cut meaning doctors will be getting paid less and fewer people will have access to care.  18 new medical schools are being built, but the number of residency spots is staying stagnant.  These are just two examples of the real issues that affect not only us, but the patients that we serve.  In order to best serve our patients, we need to become advocates – not just for ourselves and our profession, but for our patients.  The easiest way to start doing this is to get informed – below are several ways that you can stay abreast of all the legislative efforts that are going on at this time.

Suggestions of Ways to Get Involved:

1.  ACEP’s 9-1-1 Legislative Network –  A network of over 1,350 ACEP and EMRA members that act as resources and health care issue experts for federal legislators to maximize the voice of emergency medicine in the federal legislative process.  It’s goals are to cultivate long term relationships with federal legislators, convey ACEP’s legislative and regulatory priorities in an effective manner, and affect the final outcome of federal legislation important to the specialty of emergency medicine.

Joining is easy —  http://acep3.wsol.net/Content.aspx?id=21360 – if you mention EMRA in the referral line before May 21 – you can win $250.

2.  EMRA’s Health Policy Committee – Promotes advocacy, develops toolkits for advocacy projects and writes EMRA’s Advocacy Handbook.

For more information:  http://www.emra.org/committees.aspx
EMRA Committee applications are due April 15th!  Get involved!

3.  AMA’s Physicians’ Grassroots Network – An email network that sends out alerts on the latest legislative events and actions.  Their website also has a searchable area for who your legislators are, how to contact them, and what legislation is currently being acted upon.

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy.page

4.  AAEM’s Legislative Action Center –  A great website that highlights what legislation AAEM supports, which ones directly effect emergency medicine and trauma care, how to communicate with your legislators, as well as information on the upcoming election and it’s candidates.

http://capwiz.com/aaem/home/

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mritchie

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