Communications: Advocacy News

Takeaways for Family Physicians from the 2016 AAFP State Legislative Conference

Monday, November 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tara Loftus
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by Julie Anderson, MD and Lynne Lillie, MD

We had the privilege to attend the 2016 AAFP State Legislative Conference, held this year in Phoenix, AZ, October 27-29, 2016.

Julie Anderson, MD (at left), and Lynne Lillie, MD (second from right),
with national colleagues at the 2016 AAFP SLC

This is an annual opportunity to join colleagues across the country in learning about the hot topics for state advocacy on behalf of family medicine, your patients, and your community.

Takeaways to share with you:

  • Final rules on MACRA were released October 16. The most significant changes for the reporting period beginning January 1, 2017, is the option for your practice to choose from one of 4 different ways to qualify for guaranteed 0 payment penalty (with possible 1-4% increase ) in 2019. This option Is called "Pick your Pace". To learn more about Pick your Pace go to or or attend the MAFP Spring Refresher.
  • AAFP remains committed to increasing opioid awareness among our members and continues to represent the voice of the practicing physician as laws are being created at state and federal level regarding 1) safe opioid prescribing 2) increased accessibility, affordability and con prescribing of Naloxone 3) increasing the number of physicians who prescribe MAT (medication assisted treatment) for opioid addiction.
  • FamMedPAC donations have reached the $1M dollar mark this year, which means we are now at the table and not on the menu; like it or not, this is how work gets done in Congress on behalf of family physicians and we have great advocates on Capitol Hill.
  • Our new Director of Government Affairs, Robert Hall, will be an asset as we plan to strengthen family medicine.
  • As of 2015, all states have allowed electronic prescribing of controlled substances; SureScripts has implemented this at the electronic level. We must now determine what hurdles are still present to allow family physicians to prescribe, as we are still hearing that this is not being implemented across Minnesota.
  • Julie served as moderator for the conference’s vaccine legislation update discussion and learned that more states have removed the non-medical exemption provisions in their laws. This has resulted in an increase in vaccinations, but also an increase in some circumstances of an increase in medical exemptions. Minnesota is facing a battle to remove non-medical exemptions for childcare and schools.
  • There were exciting lectures about Tobacco 21 - there are available slides to bring to your local city councils that very effectively lay out the reasoning why the legal limit to purchase tobacco products should be raised. MAFP is championing this legislative priority with T21 events over the next 12 months as well.

Curious to know more?

Revisit the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag #AAFPSLC. All available speaker presentations are also available for viewing on SlideShare.

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