Delegates at AMA Interim Meeting Discuss Marijuana, Other Issues Concerning Physicians

As the debate on the use of medical marijuana and, in some instances, recreational marijuana remains a headline topic in states across the country, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) determined to reinforce its existing policy and to even add fuel to the fire.

The AMA policy continues to urge a delay in initiating full legalization of any cannabis product until further research is completed. The AMA also seeks to emphasize a “public health” approach instead of a “criminal” approach to the issue.

New provisions in the policy encourage model legislation that would require the equivalent of a food warning label addressing the “high potential for abuse.”

Among the many other issues debated and discussed at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting were several resolutions that came from PAMED’s October House of Delegates (HOD) meeting that aimed to address physician concerns with issues, including maintenance of certification (MOC), e-cigarette advertising, and barriers to reimbursement. Read a summary of the actions taken by the AMA delegates regarding these issues.

At the AMA Interim Meeting, delegates from across the U.S. also voted to support:

  • Medicaid expansion
  • Interstate compact to streamline medical licensure. The Federation of State Medical Board released a final version of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact earlier this fall. Read an overview from PAMED in this Quick Consult.
  • Addressing inadequate provider networks
  • Urging CMS to suspend penalties for failure to meet meaningful use criteria. PAMED supports the Flex IT Act, a bill recently introduced in the U.S. House that would reduce the reporting period from 12 to three months, and increase flexibility in the requirements to prevent providers from dropping out of the program altogether. The bill’s goal is to ease the burden for physician practices and allow more time in 2015 for practices and software vendors to upgrade their systems for stage 2 reporting requirements.
  • Continued efforts to extend the Medicaid payment boost that has been in effect since 2013 and is set to expire at the end of 2014. A federal bill —the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women and Children Act— would extend this payment boost beyond 2014 when it is currently set to expire.

Watch for more information on these and other actions taken at the AMA meeting in the Daily Dose (PAMED’s all-member daily email), and our other communication channels.

For more information on the AMA Interim Meeting and the work of Pennsylvania’s AMA delegation, please contact Dr. James Goodyear, chair of the Pennsylvania Delegation to the AMA, or Sharon Miller at PAMED’s Executive Office.