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10th District KMA Board of Trustees Updates

10th District KMA Board of Trustees Updates
October 14, 2022
By Tuyen T. Tran, MD, MBA, FACP, FASAM and Emily Schott, KMA Director of Communicatons

Many will remember the havoc the CoVID-19 pandemic caused; but the recovery and rebuilding after the pandemic will definitely stress our systems, resources, and routines. Fortunately, the leadership at our medical societies (KMA, GLMS, Northern Kentucky, and LMS) have risen to the challenges and somehow, managed to keep us on course.

Before providing the advocacy updates, I would like to personally thank you for providing me the opportunity to serve as your representative for the 10th District KMA Board of Trustee. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you in this capacity. I also want to thank the wonderful staff at KMA, particularly Emily Schott for providing me such incredible assistance and summaries for the updates.

The KMA Annual Meeting was held in-person during late August of 2022. I was so elated to see so many friends and colleagues from across the state. The event was very highly attended. We installed our new KMA President, Dr. Monalisa Tailor of Louisville. And we heard from several great speakers, Dr. Sandra Fryhofer, chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, and Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, a nationally renowned speaker and clinician who discussed healthcare technology. The President’s Celebration Reception was a success! It offered another opportunity for us to network and socialize. We honored recipients of the KMA Awards. Of note, our LMS members, Dr. Dale Toney and Dr. Sandy Shuffett were both honored with the KMA’s Community Service Award. The medical students of Kentucky were also recognized for their contributions. KMA produced short videos of each award winner which were shown during the presentation. If you missed the event, I encourage you to view them on KMA’s You Tube channel. Next year’s Annual Meeting has been set for August 25-27, so please mark your calendars and keep an eye out for additional information.

The award-winning Kentucky Physicians’ Leadership Institute (KPLI) also concluded it’s 2022 events during the Annual Meeting. Participants learned from leaders in personal, business, advocacy, and communications leadership. Additionally, as part of the advocacy session in Frankfort, the class had the opportunity to meet with two Kentucky Supreme Court Justices, the Honorable Michelle Keller and the Honorable Shea Nickell. (Both are married to physicians.) A special congratulations to Dr. Faizan Babar and Dr. Tina Fawns, both from LMS, who completed the 2022 KPLI program. For those who are interested in participating in the 2023 KPLI program, please contact the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care at KYFMC.org to learn more about the application process. Or please contact KMA’s Education Director, Miranda Mosley at mosley@kyma.org.

In collaboration with the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KYFMC) and Anthem Foundation, KMA’s Breathe Better Kentucky campaign also concluded. The campaign featured a number of multimedia elements designed to promote protecting your lung health, including radio and streaming service ads and a dedicated website to share important information. The centerpiece of the campaign was the sponsorship of the multi-part KET series, “Fighting to Breathe: Lung Disease in Kentucky,” which attracted thousands of viewers from around the state and continues to be available for streaming. Over the summer, Breathe Better Kentucky also utilized IP targeting technology to distribute web and social media ads in the 10 Kentucky counties with the highest smoking rates. The multimedia campaign received over 1 million impressions and enjoyed a click through to the website rate of 11%, more than double the industry average. Finally, the campaign produced 4 CME programs which are still available on the KMA website as part of the new “CME Guarantee” program.

KMA has recently introduced a new program, “CME Guarantee Program,” for our members to earn up to 30 hours of required Category 1 CME each three-year cycle at no cost. Members simply log into the KMA website to view the available content. The program will also track your CME credits as you earn them through the program. Additionally, there is a new section on the KMA’s bi-monthly newsletter, Kentucky Health eNews, which will inform you of the status of each CME course (whether it will expire soon or when the course will be available). Please check out the website and stay current with your CME requirements.

If you are not aware, KMA plans to launch a member-wide survey this fall. Expect an email Oct 12, 2022. KMA will partner with Avenue M Group to survey our members regarding prior authorizations, physician wellness, CME, and public health. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. But, it will provide KMA with very important information to guide KMA’s offerings and services. The results of the survey will be anonymous; but KMA is offering 5 Amazon gift cards at $100 each as incentives for completing the survey. So, if you want a chance to win a gift card, please complete the survey. You will need to provide your name and contact information so we can send you your gift card should you win. However, your name and contact information will not be connected to your responses in any way. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the KMA Executive Vice President, Pat Padgett at padgett@kyma.org.

The 2022 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly was the long session, during which the general assembly passes a biennial budget. Per Kentucky State Constitution, the legislature is only required to pass a budget. However, due to the diligent advocacy efforts of our KMA members, KMA saw three of its priority bills become law.

House Bill 219 (HB219), sponsored by Representative Kim Moser, established the Lung Cancer Screening Program within the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Lung Cancer Screening Advisory Committee. The goals of the collaborative program include: 1) increase lung cancer screening, 2) reduce the state’s morbidity and mortality from lung cancer, 3) reduce the cost associated with the treatment of lung cancer, and 4) raise public awareness regarding the benefits of screening. The bill had a statutory policy change and included appropriation from the state to implement. The funding ($1 million) was passed by lawmakers in a separate budget bill. HB219 was passed and signed by the Governor.

House Bill 529, the compassionate patient support bill, sponsored by Representative Killian Timoney, permits an exception to the federal law, by way of the 21st Century Cures Act, which mandates that providers must immediately make test results available to patients through apps and/or EHR systems or face possible fines unless the release falls under a permissible exemption outlined in the law. Without this exemption, patients are able to view test results often before their provider sees them. House Bill 529 will allow pathology and/or radiology reports that have a reasonable likelihood of showing a finding of malignancy or tests that could reveal genetic markers to be temporarily withheld from disclosure for up to72 hours if the provider believes the receipt of such results by the patient prior to the provider counseling could cause emotional harm. House Bill 529 was passed and became law without the Governor’s signature.

House Bill 573, sponsored by Representative Kim Moser, established the Kentucky Healthcare Worker Loan Relief Program. This state-based program will operate alongside the current federal loan forgiveness program (Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program). Its goal is to retain more healthcare providers in Kentucky and expand the number of healthcare providers in rural and urban underserved areas of the Commonwealth. The program is open to nearly all provider types: physicians, dentists, pharmacists, APRNs, RNs, etc. In exchange for the loan forgiveness, participants must commit to serving in an underserved area for at least two years. The bill had an accompanying appropriation of $4 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The bill was passed and signed into law by the Governor.

We are rapidly approaching the convening of the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly and KMA has begun to develop its advocacy agenda. At the KMA Annual Meeting, KMA announced that AMA awarded $65,000 grant to KMA to develop a robust multi-faceted, timeline-based public affairs campaign to address the scope of practice issues and combat legislation presented by non-physician healthcare providers in the state which would weaken the practice of medicine. The campaign is called, “Kentucky Physicians Care.” The goal is to seek legislative action that would grow the physician workforce, particularly expand access to the medically underserved parts of the Commonwealth. The campaign is scheduled to run from the fall of this year through the spring of next year.

KMA will again push for reforms related to prior authorizations within the state’s health plans, both in the state employee’s health plan and the state Medicaid program. The goal is to make prior authorizations a more streamlined process. Note, prior authorization is a topic on the member survey, so please complete the survey. KMA plans to use the results and feedback to present to legislatures during the session.

The Kentucky Physicians Political Action Committee (KPPAC), KMA’s political action arm, influences the medical community’s impact on the makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly. Through candidate contributions, KPPAC strives to elect pro-medicine legislators who understand the importance of a strong medical community. We strongly encourage you to donate to KPPAC. It’s very important. To give you a snapshot, through the month of August, KPPAC raised about $22,252.24 compared to the Optometrist Association which raised over $37,000 just through the month of June. So please donate to KPPAC. Our political arm is just as important as our advocacy arm!

In summary, I again want to thank you for providing me this great opportunity to serve you as the 10th District representative on the KMA Board of Trustees. I also want to stress that KMA has been working very diligently to support the physicians of Kentucky. But KMA cannot do any of this work without your membership and involvement. Thank you for being a KMA member and your support!