KMA Board of Trustees Update, 10th District

KMA Board of Trustees Update, 10th District
Tuyen Tran, MD, MBA
January 21, 2020

I want to thank all our members for offering me the privilege and honor to serve as your 10th District representative to the KMA Board of Trustees.  I will do my very best to serve you.  I will ensure that your voices will be heard by our KMA leadership.

Kentucky’s 2020 Congressional Session began on January 7, 2020.  This year’s session will be a long 60-day session during which our legislators will be tasked with passing a two-year budget.  Education will be the crucial topic; but, I hope that healthcare will receive some attention.  KMA’s major priorities include: 1) Public Health, 2) Public Safety, and 3) Access to Healthcare.  Some of the specific efforts include:

  1. Remove Prior Authorization for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) medications (buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
  2. Support legislation that will facilitate reimbursement for various treatment modalities for opioid alternatives in the management of chronic pain
  3. Support ongoing efforts to rid Kentucky of tobacco, E-cigarettes, and vaping
    1. Tobacco 21 Legislation
    1. E-cigarette/Vaping Excise Tax
    1. Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Funding
  4. Support KMA’s effort to mitigate deceptive advertising – protect our patients!
  5. For public safety, support vision testing for renewals of driver’s licenses
  6. Support KMA and AMA’s efforts to eliminate surprise billing – protect our patients and protect our physicians
  7. Address the co-pay accumulator
  8. Address the insulin co-pay caps

For additional information, please go to kyma.org/advocacy .  Please sign up for KMA Legislative Text Alerts by texting, “KMA” to 50457.  Most importantly, please register for Physician’s Day at the Capitol on February 6, 2020 .  Wear your white coat when you attend the event at the capitol!  Each physician’s voice matters; but, our combined voices will definitely resonate more loudly through the Kentucky legislators’ chambers.

As stated earlier, your issues of concern matter.  Administrative burdens contribute to physician dissatisfaction and burnout.  This directly impacts overall patient health negatively.  So, please share your stories regarding barriers to healthcare with KMA at its new AIM for Better Care website.  The site was exceptionally well designed and very intuitive.  Both patients and physicians (or office personnel) have specific easy to navigate buttons which will allow very easy entry of your stories.  The KMA will use these submissions to identify and tackle policies, regulations, and procedures that are interfering with patient care. 

It is with great sorrow that I share the news of the loss of KMA’s President-Elect, Dr. Robert Couch, on November 19, 2019 following a brief illness.  Many will remember Dr. Couch as the champion for organized medicine, a passionate advocate for patients, and a very respected leader in the medical community.  He was an Emergency Department physician, the ED Director at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville, a founding member of the Southern Emergency Medical Specialists, and served numerous leadership roles in the KMA (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2019, delegate to the AMA 2016-2019, Treasurer of the Kentucky Physicians Political Action Committee (KPPAC) 2018-2019, and KPPAC Chair 2017).  In addition, he served as President of the Greater Louisville Medical Society in 2016 and a graduate of the KMA’s Community Connector Leadership Program in 2017.  We will certainly miss Dr. Robert Couch very much!

As a result of the unexpected loss of Dr. Couch, the Lexington Medical Society has nominated Dr. Dale E. Toney for the President-Elect position which will be voted upon at the next KMA annual meeting (September 19-21, 2020 at Marriott Louisville East).  If Dr. Toney wins the election, he will be sworn in as President of the Kentucky Medical Association at this same meeting.  Then, Dr. Neil Moser will probably be nominated for the newly opened President-Elect position.  Please mark your calendar for the KMA annual meeting and come to support the LMS’ nomination for Dr. Dale E. Toney.

Other important events to update include the 2020 Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute (KPLI) program which is now accepting applications through March 20, 2020.  As you know, this program has received many outstanding awards and recognition since its inception.  More importantly, the program facilitates the development of incredible relationships with various other physician leaders in the state and non-physician leaders in the community.  I am a proud graduate of the KPLI’s inaugural class! 

Finally, I want to inform you about the wonderful collaboration between the KMA, Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC), and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to fight for a Tobacco Free environment for students.  KMA leaders have traveled across the state to provide signage (free of charge) to all school districts who agree to comply with the new tobacco free school laws passed in April.  As a result of their efforts, 97% of Kentucky school districts are now tobacco free compared to the 42% of Kentucky school districts in April when the legislation was passed.  This was a very solid win for KMA, physicians, and our patients.

This concludes my updates for the KMA Board of Trustees, 10th District.  Please visit our KMA website and the LMS website for additional information.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me, Tuyen T. Tran for any issues or concerns.  I am honored to serve as your KMA delegate to the Board.