2023 LMS Year End Review
Christopher Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO
Although COVID-19 still exists, between the vaccine, booster shots, and immunity, life seems like pre-pandemic. For LMS, 2023 was the first full year of in-person programing and events after transitioning from virtual to live events in mid-2022. We started 2023 with LMS our first in-person Presidential Transition since 2020 as Dr. Kahlil Rahman handed over the LMS Presidency to Dr. Lee Dossett. Dr. Dossett and Dr. Rahman attended the 2023 AMA National Advocacy Conference in February, the first since 2020 as the pandemic was beginning to spread. Dr. Dossett presented the Jack Trevey Award for Community Service to Dr. David Bensema in May for “his incredible body of work in service to improve the practice of medicine for his state, community, colleagues, and patients.”
The Lexington Medical Society is guided by its strategic plan. Here is a review of our major goals of our plan for the past year.
Goal 1: Physician Wellness
The LMS Physician Wellness Program (PWP), has completed its eighth year and now covers its entire membership, from medical students to retired physicians. The PWP provides free eight counseling sessions, twelve for medical students, per calendar year, to address life’s normal difficulties with a psychologist group contracted by LMS. This service is completely confidential. LMS pays a monthly invoice based on the number of visits, no names. The LMS PWP service started in January 2016 and expanded to include all University of Kentucky Graduate Medical Education residents and fellows in July 2016, then to all UK medical students in May 2020, and LMS retired physicians in November 2023. The PWP, since its inception, has provided over 3,700 counseling sessions. The LMS PWP is a model that we have helped replicate in many other medical societies throughout the country. LMS has expanded the PWP to include quarterly Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workshops. We piloted this workshop in the Spring of 2023 to great reviews from members.
Goal 2: Physician Leadership Development
LMS continued to support the Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute (KPLI). KMA’s KPLI launched its inaugural year in 2017. This program focuses on developing physician leaders through four, two-day overnight sessions on topics of personal leadership, business leadership, advocacy leadership, and leadership on a critical health care issue. The sessions are led by a talented faculty team from Butler University. LMS has sent eighteen physicians to the KPLI program since its inaugural year in 2017, including three physicians in 2023. Feedback from LMS KPLI participants was entirely positive. LMS will fund at least three more slots for the 2023 class. Contact LMS if you are interested and want more information.
Goal 3: Support for Early Career Physicians/Students
LMS continued to support three longstanding programs to support our medical students. LMS held its eighth “Career Chats” event in September 2023, having cancelled the event in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Career Chats has medical students chatting with physicians representing over two dozen specialties. LMS will host the 2024 Career Chat event in September 2023, at the Signature Club. Contact LMS if you like represent your specialty at the event.
The LMS-UK College of Medicine Mentorship Program launched in August 2017 and is currently in its seventh year. The program pairs our physicians with third year medical students. The concept is the program is centralized structured by LMS to match the participants and monitor program progress but decentralized executed by the mentors and mentees based on their time and interests. The program is mentoring 44 medical students this year. Consider becoming a mentor for the 2024/2025 class when we recruit mentors this summer. According to long time mentors, Drs. David and Marian Bensema, “You will be affected and changed for the better.” Contact LMS if would like to become a mentor.
A new program started in 2019 was the LMS Foundation Medical Student Emergency Relief Program. This program provides grants to medical students, those who otherwise do not have a means of support, to address life emergencies. The program works with the UK College of Medicine office of student affairs to identify those students that need assistance.
LMS awarded hundreds of dollars to medical students with its ninth Annual LMS Essay Contest orchestrated by the LMS Editorial Board which is led by Dr. Robert Granacher.
Goal 4: Legislative Advocacy
LMS integrates with the legislative advocacy efforts and programs of the KMA and AMA. KMA, in the 2023 Kentucky short legislative session, saw a win for physician wellness and other priorities advancing. Senate Bill 12, enhancing physician wellness, was passed and signed into law. This bill, sponsored by Senator Donald Douglas, MD, encourages physicians to seek care when needed through a wellness program and ensures that a record of a physician’s participation in such program is confidential and has legal protections.
House Bill 134, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, would have established a prior authorization exemption program designed to automatically waive prior authorization requirements if a physician has historically been approved for a specific procedure/service at least 90% of the time. A prior authorization exemption program would ensure patients have timely access to the care they need, reduce administrative burdens for physicians, and lower healthcare costs. The bill easily passed through the House Health Services Committee but did not pass the General Assembly due to concerns about the cost of such reforms. Prior Authorization will be a major KMA focus for the 2023 session.
LMS, through our AMA Delegate Dr. David Bensema and our Kentucky AMA Delegation, represents, at the federal level, the interests of the medical profession and your patients. Dr. Bensema provided detailed reports from the 2023 AMA Annual Meeting and AMA Interim Meeting on many AMA initiatives.
Goal 5: Improve Community Health
LMS Foundation, led by Dr. John Collins, through its annual charity golf tournament in May 2023 and member donations, raised over $25,000 to support Lexington-area, medical-related non-profit organizations to include the Baby Health Service, Bluegrass Council of the Blind, Camp Horsin’ Around, Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, Chrysalis House, Explorium, Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky, LMS Physician Wellness Program, McDowell House, Mission/Faith Pharmacy, Radio Eye, Ronald McDonald House, and Surgery on Sunday.
Goal 6: LMS Business Operations
In 2023 LMS had major changes to its business services with our credentialing service closing and call center expanding. LMS closed its credentialing service, Commonwealth Credentialing, after over a quarter century of service due to a long trend of most physicians working for a healthcare system instead of private practice. The LMS Call Center expanded by a third in November with the addition of Lexington Clinic.
LMS continues to focus its energy and resources to add value to our physicians. Let us know if you like to get further involved with the Society, provide feedback for existing programs, or have ideas for new programs. Our strategic planning, by its nature, is never done and we will constantly innovate and adapt to serve those who serve others. Thank you to Dr. Dossett for his leadership this past year as our LMS President and we welcome Dr. Angela Dearinger as she assumes the LMS Presidency for 2024.