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Facing Our Challenges, Michael Kuduk, KMA President

Facing Our Challenges

By Michael Kuduk, KMA President

“Disappointment is an unfortunate part of life.”

I remember those words as a child, and I retold them to myself many times throughout my journey to becoming a physician. My road to practice was strewn with difficulties and was anything but linear. I ran into many obstacles, and while some were harder to overcome than others, I was able to overcome them eventually. Most physicians I meet tell a similar story, as resilience seems to be a fabric which weaves all physicians together.

Resiliency is an important trait, especially when engaging in advocacy. I’m choosing to look at the end of the 2024 legislative session as a disappointment, but ultimately a step in the direction of finally achieving reform to the prior authorization process.

Are we frustrated that House Bill 317 did not pass this year, after the hundreds of hours of hard work so many KMA members put into advocating for its passage?

Absolutely.

But are we also hopeful that the many stories told by patients and physicians will continue to shine a light on this topic and educate the lawmakers who need to hear these messages?

Definitely.

As mentioned in our last Kentucky Health eNews and Legislative Alerts, KMA is encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan support the measure received. In my journeys through the halls of the legislative office building, I remain optimistic that with continued advocacy from our members and the public, as well as collaboration with lawmakers, this critical legislation will soon be enacted. So I’d like to thank all of the KMA members who made their voices heard on this issue, and encourage you to stay engaged as we continue to make prior authorization a focus into 2025. The process is wasteful, designed to enrich insurers, and negatively impacts individual health.

 

For my leadership spotlight this month, I thought it was appropriate to highlight a KMA leader who has also faced challenges, but has confronted them with a contagious enthusiasm and spirit. Dr. Christine Ko completed the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute as part of our 2022 class, and jumped right into KMA leadership, most recently having been elected Treasurer of the KMA Board of Trustees and serving as Chair of the Long-Range Planning Commission. Her role hasn’t been easy, as our organization has faced a decline in membership dues, and she’s had to help us streamline our processes and determine where we can improve some efficiencies. Dr. Ko has done all of this with a positive attitude, asking tough questions and truly seeking to steer the KMA on a positive trajectory. She’s a young physician, who has been as hands-on a leader as I have ever seen and sets a wonderful example for others.

And as always, thank you for your membership and involvement in KMA. I know we will inevitably face challenges and disappointments, but I am grateful to have the House of Medicine with me advocating for our patients and our profession.