Ten “Big Things” for 2015

“I love the end of the year and the New Year season and all the lists we come up with, such as the top 10 movies, top 10 songs, and top 10 new fashion trends for 2015,” said Michael Fraser, PhD, CAE, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED). Here is Fraser’s list of the top 10 “big things” for PAMED in the year to come:

New Governor, new General Assembly. The change in the Governor’s Office and the larger Republican majority in the General Assembly will transform the dynamics here in Harrisburg. What these changes mean for medicine is something we will be sharing with you in the coming weeks and months as we move into 2015.

Focus on physician-led, team-based care. A priority advocacy area for PAMED in the coming year will be a renewed focus on legislative support for physician-led, team-based care. Look for our next issue of Pennsylvania Physician, PAMED’s quarterly print magazine, which will highlight this concept and increased focus on physician-led teams in our advocacy work statewide.

“Medical” marijuana.  It is widely known that the issue of medical marijuana will be back on the agenda of the General Assembly soon in 2015. Pressure from interest groups as well as other states’ policies will make this a hot issue in the new year. What will this mean for PAMED? PAMED leaders are reviewing the issue in the context of a diversity of opinions and paucity of science on the subject.

Employed physician advocacy. Our employed physician advocacy legislation, will be a priority in our advocacy agenda. Can we straddle or bridge differences in advocacy issues for individual and small group practice physicians and large physician groups? We will definitely be looking for some win-wins in the year ahead.

Mcare refunds. 2015 will be the year when the specifics of the Mcare settlement are determined and the process for sending refunds to physicians and other providers and institutions is finalized. We are working hard with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the state to finalize terms and will get that news out to all members as it becomes available.

Volume to Value. Look for new educational opportunities in our Business of Medicine service line to help you make sense of and potentially implement changes in physician reimbursement taking place throughout PA and the nation. Offerings will be shared via online and in-person educational events – stay tuned for more!

Renewed focus on physician well-being. A lot has been mentioned recently about improving physician satisfaction and well-being. Look for new programs in our Life of Medicine series to help improve physician health and well-being and increase satisfaction.

Member recruitment and retention. We will continue our push to recruit and retain members and implement new ways of communication with members by segment. Think iTunes versus entire album – i.e., developing more a la carte programs and services for members and ways to segment recruitments that speak to the needs and interests of groups of physicians versus all members.

Increased member engagement. At the end of 2014, we launched the Match-a-Member Mentoring Program. As we move into 2015, look for new ways to engage PAMED, including more topical and time-limited task forces and volunteer opportunities, a new PAMED “app,” and a new PAMED website. We also will be implementing our onboarding program and looking for additional ways to engage PAMED members in our mission.

Continued focus on using data in decision making. We spent a great deal of resources collecting data on member preferences and satisfaction in 2014. In 2015, look for PAMED to use these data in decision making around priorities, strategy, and focus areas.

Of course there are many more than 10 priority areas – including new work on addressing physician concerns with Maintenance of Certification and the implementation of the new prescription monitoring program (controlled substance database), among others.

It promises to be a busy and important year for medicine as we work together on these and many other issues. Thank you all for your membership and your support!