January 2017 through March 2017
|William "Beau" Clark, MD
"2017 will prove to be an interesting year for the practice of medicine.
With the U.S. government addressing how healthcare will be for our citizens moving forward, and the state of Louisiana addressing our budget crisis and its effect on health care, will certainly make this year very interesting. I look forward to representing you in these matters and keeping you abreast of any changes."
Below, you will find a short summary of events and activities that have occurred during the first quarter of 2017.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
The 136th Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD) was held on February 3-4, 2017, in Baton Rouge, where historical change occurred within the LSMS and parish medical societies. The HOD voted to amend the LSMS Charter and Bylaws as they relate to joint membership. Beginning on September 1, 2017, members will have a choice on how they spend their dues dollars, as they may choose to join the LSMS and/or a parish medical society directly. Membership in both organizations is encouraged but no longer required. The LSMS is the 17th state medical society to move away from the unified membership model, which was established in 1903. Additionally, each individual parish medical society will determine their future relationship with the LSMS by choosing to be designated as either a Chartered or an Affiliated Parish Society. Please note that only one Chartered Parish Society or Affiliated Parish Society is allowed in each state parish. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
The LSMS Board of Governors held a special meeting on Friday, February 3, 2017 just prior to the opening session of the HOD and discussed resolutions, particularly the issue dealing with local independence. The board unanimously supported the concept and details regarding the local independence issue. The first regularly scheduled meeting of the board was held on Wednesday, March 8 at the LSMS office in Baton Rouge. As this was the first regular meeting of the year, and newmboard members were present, the majority of our time was spent discussing administrative, regulatory and on-going issues carried forward from 2016. If any member ever wants to know the specific outcome of a particular agenda item please address that request to your district councilor, the appropriate staff liaison or myself. You can review the full LSMS Board of Governors, including district councilors by clicking here.
2017 EXTRAORDINARY LEGISLATIVE SESSION
In February the legislature convened a special or extraordinary legislative session to address the $300M mid-year deficit for the remainder of FY17. After 10 days at the Capitol, the House and Senate negotiated a compromise, which will draw down $99M from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The House also agreed to make
roughly $85M in reductions and balance the remainder of the deficit with changes in financing and other efficiencies. The final piece of legislation negotiated in the compromise directed the Treasurer to immediately begin the process of allocating funds from certain constitutional and statutory dedications to pay a share of the state debt service. In short, the balancing plan did reduce funds for some health programs but overall health care, specifically any cuts to Medicaid, was spared.
COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION (COL)
The LSMS Council on Legislation (COL) is scheduled to meet on Saturday, April 8, 2017 to discuss health care related bills for the 2017 regular legislative session. The bills that the COL is monitoring along with the LSMS’ initial position on those bills should be posted on the LSMS’ website by Monday, April 10. If a particular bill interests you, please follow it and closely and monitor our position often to have the most up to date information. If or when you have a question regarding a particular bill or legislation, I encourage each of you to contact our governmental affairs team directly.
2017 REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The 2017 regular legislative session convenes at noon on Monday, April 10, 2017 and must adjourn by 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2017. While this year is a short session with a fiscal focus, there will be no shortage of health care related issues. Please refer to the Council on Legislation section of this update on how to access information regarding a specific piece of legislation. Additionally, every Saturday during the legislative session, the Capsules QW electronic newsletter will include a legislative update for that particular week. If you miss one, the previous newsletters are archived on the LSMS.org.
LOUISIANA STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS (LSBME)
LSMS executive staff members attended the January 9, February 13, and March 13 meetings of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners on behalf of LSMS members and provided the LSMS Board of Governors with detailed summaries of the items discussed and actions taken during the public portion of each meeting. The LSMS was the only physician/medical organization to attend these meetings as a guest.
LOUISIANA PATIENTS COMPENSATION FUND OVERSIGHT BOARD
LSMS executive staff members attended the January 5, February 2, and March 2 meetings of the Louisiana Patients Compensation Fund Oversight Board on behalf of LSMS members and provided the LSMS Board of Governors with a summary report on the items discussed and actions taken during the public portion of the meeting. The only other guests to attend these meetings, in addition to the LSMS, were LAMMICO and the Louisiana Dental Association.
LSMS PHYSICIAN LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
On February 11, the 2017 LSMS Physician Leadership Academy commenced its second class at the E.J. Ourso Business Education Complex on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with 13 participants from across the state. There will be eight more online sessions prior to final session/graduation on April 22, 2017. So far the response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The LSMS hopes to offer this program again in the Spring of 2018.
The LSMS continues to make resources available to members to help them prepare for CMS’ new quality payment program known as MIPS. The LSMS published a
resource guide as to what your first five steps should be in preparing for MACRA, we have released the MIPS Navigator, which helps you build a practice specific MIPS
road map just for you and we have identified and made available many other MIPS resources. For more information, please visit lsms.org/MACRA.
Additionally, thus far in 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Garret Graves and discuss national health care reform and with LDH Secretary, Dr. Rebekah Gee regarding inefficiencies and lingering payment issues within the state’s Healthy Louisiana Medicaid program. I’ve also hosted a talk on Opioid addiction at the Ochsner main campus in New Orleans for their residents and medical students.
As always, if you have additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me directly at email@example.com.
William “Beau” Clark, MD, FACEP