What AMA delegates will vote on at 2017 meeting

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The 2017 annual meeting of the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates will take place June 10-14 in Chicago, with educational sessions beginning on June 9. Like every year, delegates have a full slate of proposed resolutions—some more political than related to practice—to consider.

At the 2016 meeting, delegates made waves by passing resolutions supporting gun violence research and gun control. In a similar vein, the list of resolutions set for a Sunday vote include two proposals in reaction to recent political developments—namely, President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement designed to combat climate change.

One resolution would direct the AMA to advocate for “evidence-based” environmental laws and regulations. Another would have a more direct impact on practices, directing the AMA and affiliated corporations to divest from fossil-fuel companies and direct more business to vendors and suppliers which focus on “environmental sustainability” and limit their consumption of fossil fuels.

Other proposals would deal more directly with healthcare business and clinical practice, including:

  • Working with states to reduce barriers to price transparency. “Surprise” medical bills have been the subject of several proposed state laws over the past year, and the proposed resolution would direct the AMA to reduce insurance contract provisions which restrict disclosure of prices to patients or which “prohibit the application of federal anti-kickback statute compliant discounts” to chargemaster prices for services provided to uninsured patients.
  • Adopt National Academy of Medicine recommendations on diagnostic error surveillance. This would include having physician satisfaction with support systems be a part of assessing diagnostic errors and to analyze how physicians can be best positioned when their diagnostic skills are being increasingly reviewed.
  • Support a nationally coordinated strategy for preventing sepsis, including reviewing current and proposed policies in time for the 2018 meetings.
  • Securing an exemption for medical professionals from the suspension or future modifications to the H-1B visa program. The program for expedited visas for skilled workers had been suspended in April, which along with other immigration policies touted by President Donald Trump, have been opposed by some in the medical field on the basis they would prevent international students from coming to U.S. medical schools and practicing here.