During the two and one-half days of AAFP’s 2019 Congress of Delegates (COD) convention in Philadelphia, MAFP Delegates David Walsworth, MD, FAAFP (East Lansing) and Robert Jackson, MD, MMM, FAAFP (Allen Park) and Alternate Delegates Tina Tanner, MD, FAAFP (Montague) and Loretta Leja, MD (Cheboygan) took active roles in helping shape AAFP policy. Also in attendance from Michigan were Harshini Jayasuriya, MD, FAAFP (Holt), who served as the Minority Constituency Delegate, as well as members of the MAFP leadership and staff, and other MAFP members speaking on their own behalf.
Administrative Burden a Hot Topic at Town Hall Meeting
Kicking off COD was the annual Town Hall Meeting on the evening of Sunday, September 22. Then AAFP President John Cullen, MD, FAAFP; President-elect Gary LeRoy, MD, FAAFP; Board Chair Michael Munger, MD, FAAFP; and Executive Vice President and CEO Doug Henley, MD, FAAFP answered questions of the membership. Administrative burden was a prominent focus of the discussion, as was, among other topics, scope of practice, single payer, workforce, and increased payment. Regarding the latter, Dr. Munger pointed out positive provisions of the 2020 Medicare physician fee schedule, ncluding a 12% increase in payment for evaluation and management codes, proposed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in July.
MAFP-proposed Resolutions Receive Support
As is customary, delegates spent the majority of their time at COD in reference committee hearings, discussing and, often times debating, resolutions proposed by state delegations, National Congress of Student Members, National Congress of Family Medicine Residents, National Conference of Constituency Leaders, and AAFP Board of Directors.
Among the resolutions considered at COD were six proposed by MAFP, as passed by the membership at the 2019 Annual Meeting on August 3 at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire. All were adopted, adopted with substitute language, reaffirmed as AAFP policy, or submitted to the AAFP Board of Directors for consideration.
Mifepristone Use in Management of Early Pregnancy Loss (Resolution 406): A substitute was adopted that combines Michigan’s resolution and a companion resolution proposed by California, which calls on AAFP to support the safety and efficacy of mifepristone by continuing advocacy efforts with the Food and Drug Administration to remove the risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) classification on mifepristone to conform with current evidence; and that AAFP consider providing education, as appropriate, on early pregnancy loss management in relevant programming at FMX, maternity care conference, and women’s health conference on a rotation basis.
Affirming the Safety and Legality of Abortion (Resolution 414): Recommends that AAFP stand in support of the legality of medical abortion in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary; that AAFP partner with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in position papers to preserve access to safe and legal abortion across the country; and that AAFP support the right of family physicians to provide medical abortions with mifepristone in their general family practices. This was one of four other resolutions submitted by other state chapters on this topic. Reaffirmed as current AAFP policy.
Oppose Criminalization of Physicians Providing Abortion Care (Resolution 419): Companion resolutions on this topic were also proposed by several other chapters. Reaffirmed as current AAFP policy.
Data Completeness and Family Medicine (Resolution 503): Co-sponsored by MAFP and Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, and New Mexico chapters; calls on AAFP to support the adoption of a standardized set of health claims data and implementation of a pilot program by the Department of Labor to collect healthcare claims data in cooperation with state all-payer claims databases. This resolution received tremendous support. Adopted.
AAFP Should Not be Prohibited from Using Accurate Terminology Regarding the Prescribing of Lethal Medication Intended to End a Patient’s Life (Resolution 511): Combined with companion Resolution 510 proposed by the Kansas chapter and referred to the AAFP Board of Directors; calls on AAFP to avoid the use of vague and euphemistic terms when referring to lethal medications prescribed with the intention of ending a patient’s life and not prohibit use of the phrases “physician-assisted suicide” and “assisted suicide” from statements or documents.
AAFP to Encourage New and Existing Clinical Behavioral Health Fellowships for Family Medicine Physicians (Resolution 611): Recommends that AAFP encourage existing and starting new clinical behavioral health fellowships for family medicine physicians, and that AAFP include existing behavioral health fellowships in the AAFP fellowship directory. Adopted.
In addition to these six resolutions, MAFP Delegate Robert Jackson, MD, MMM, FAAFP introduced a late resolution during the first congressioal session on September 23 that addresses the annual influenza vaccination of individuals held in U.S. detention facilities. Substitute language for Public Health Should Apply to All (Resolution 428) was adopted, calling on AAFP to actively encourage the administration of annual influenza vaccine to all individuals age 6 months and older who are confined or held in U.S. immigration detention facilities.
Click here to read more about the topics of discussion at COD and resolutions that were adopted, adopted with substitutes, affirmed as AAFP policy, submitted to the AAFP Board of Directors, or not approved.
Call for Resolutions for Consideration in 2020
It is never too early to submit resolutions to be considered next year. Any MAFP member in good standing is invited to submit a resolution(s), which will be accepted, reviewed, and voted on at the Annual Meeting, with approval requiring a majority vote.
Click here for resolution writing instructions, including a formatting sample.
Submit proposed resolutions to MAFP Legislative Liaison Matt Black at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted resolutions will be brought to the 2020 MAFP Annual Meeting on August 8 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy for the membership’s consideration. Approved resolutions with national implications or that request AAFP to take action will be submitted to AAFP for consideration by the 2020 Congress of Delegates when it convenes October 12-14 in Chicago. Please contact Matt if you have any questions.
During the final COD session on September 25, Gary LeRoy, MD, FAAFP (Ohio) was sworn in as 2019-2020 AAFP President, and delegates elected new leadership, including Ada Stewart, MD, RPh, FAAFP, AAHIVS, HMDC (South Carolina) as president-elect. Dr. Stewart will be sworn in as the 2020-2021 AAFP President when the Congress of Delegates convenes in October 2020.