Report on the AMA Annual Meeting
June 2018 Chicago

Submitted by Robert E. Wailes, MD, AAPM AMA Delegate

The annual American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) meeting convened June 8–13, in Chicago, Illinois. I represented the membership and interests of the American Academy of Pain Medicine at this meeting in my capacity as AAPM’s AMA Delegate along with our Alternate Delegate, Donna M. Bloodworth, MD. Phil Saigh, our AAPM Executive Director, was there to support our efforts as well. Scheduled opportunities to network with other delegates and advocate for pain medicine include the Pain and Palliative Medicine Specialty Section Council and meeting, the Neuroscience Caucus, and the Specialty and Services Society meeting. Additionally, AAPM representatives participated in a number of other meetings, including the Texas Delegation (Bloodworth), PacWest Delegation (Wailes), PM&R Section Council (Bloodworth), and the AMA Executive Vice President’s meeting with medical society CEOS (Saigh).

Before discussing the June meeting, I would like to suggest all members of the American Academy of Pain Medicine become members of the AMA. Our role as physicians includes looking at the bigger picture regarding healthcare. It is our responsibility to support the advancement of healthcare utilizing “organized medicine” through our specialty, state and national organizations. The AMA is by far the strongest voice of all physicians on a national basis. It is very important that we maintain our specialty representation within the AMA which requires our AAPM members to also be part of the AMA.

The annual meeting dealt with many challenging issues and new policies were created. Topics as diverse as gun control and physician aid in dying, as well as many others, kept the meeting very busy. We also had elections for several major positions, including President-Elect. Please see below for more details and a link to the major topics covered at the AMA.

As an update, AAPM passed a resolution calling for the creation of an AMA Task Force on Pain Care at the Annual meeting in June 2017. Progress has been slow, but our AMA is now working to get all of the participants lined up and will soon be scheduling the first meeting. Robert W. Hurley, MD PhD, (who serves on the AAPM Board of Directors) will represent the Academy on the task force. Among the topics the task force will address will be an earlier resolution, also introduced by AAPM, that proposed that “neuropathic pain” be considered a disease. The task force has many other issues to discuss and is aimed at putting the national focus back on great pain care and not just on opioids.

Other House actions of specific interest to AAPM members may include:

Resolution 118: Payment for Advance Care Planning
Reaffirmed policy H-390.916

Resolution 119: Payment for Palliative Care
Reaffirmed policies H-70.915, H-85.951, and H-85.966

Resolution 201: Barriers to Obesity Treatment
Adopted as amended

Resolution 220: Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines
Reaffirmed

Resolution 235: Hospital Consolidation
Referred for further study

Resolution 236: Reducing MIPS Reporting Burden
Adopted as amended

Resolution 502: Expedited Prescription CBD Drug Rescheduling
Adopted with a title change

Resolution 524: Naloxone on Commercial Airlines
Adopted

Resolution 525: Tramadol Change from DEA Schedule IV to Schedule III
Not adopted

Report 5: Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Report (study aid-in-dying as end-of-life option / the need to distinguish “physician-assisted suicide” from “aid in dying”) Referred (Note: The Reference Committee recommended adoption, but it was referred to the Board of Trustees for further study.)

For more information about the meeting

Top 10 stories from the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting
Jun 14, 2018
AMA Wire
Hundreds of physicians, medical students, residents, and fellows met in Chicago to consider a wide array of proposals to help fulfill the AMA's core mission of promoting medicine and improving public health.

The HOD is composed of approximately 535 delegates (and slightly fewer alternate delegates) who represent all physician (attending and resident) and medical student members of our AMA. About 60 percent of the delegates represent state associations and about 40 percent represent specialty societies.

Our AMA creates national medical policy through the debate of and adoption of Council reports and of resolutions brought forth by Delegations. If you have any ideas for future resolutions or any suggestions for business at the AMA please contact the AAPM office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or your AAPM delegate or alternate delegate directly:

Bob Wailes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Donna Bloodworth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Wailes, MD
AAPM AMA Delegate

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