October 01, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
The 147th Annual Session of the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) will convene next weekend, October 13-14 in Sacramento.
CMA physician delegates meet annually to establish broad policy on current major issues that have been determined to be the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine. This year, the delegates will tackle one major issue with many facets —addressing the cost and affordability of health care.
Because this year’s topic is a complex issue, it has been divided up into four categories.
- Addressing Utilization Through Improved Care Delivery
- Addressing Increasing Pharmaceutical Costs
- Reducing Administrative Burdens on Physician Practices
- Enhancing Competitiveness of the Health Care Market
Addressing Utilization Through Improved Care Delivery
CMA currently has extensive policies supporting and defining a wide range of care delivery reforms that support the overarching goal of promoting access to care through efficient care coordination in a system built on primary care with access to specialty care. CMA delegates this year will discuss gaps in existing CMA policy, with an emphasis on payment and delivery reforms; social determinants of health; and the expanded use of telehealth. Read the full report here (members-only).
Reducing Administrative Burdens on Physician Practices
Over time, the level of administrative activity involved in health care has dramatically increased, placing significant costs and burdens on the health care system. Meaningful reform to significantly reduce health care costs will require changing how and when these administrative tasks occurs. CMA delegates will discuss and make recommendations on ways to simplify and streamline administrative tasks that do not improve quality of care and outcomes, take time away from patient care and add unnecessary and duplicative costs to the overall health care system. Read the full report here (members-only).
Addressing Increasing Pharmaceutical Costs
The cost of pharmaceuticals has been a high-profile focus of discussions around health care costs in the media and legislative bodies. While California has significant and progressive laws that address pharmaceutical costs, the issue warrants additional discussion. CMA delegates will discuss whether California should take further steps to address the rising costs of prescription drugs. Read the full report here (members-only).
Enhancing Competitiveness of the Health Care Market
California has seen considerable consolidation in insurance, hospital and physician markets. CMA delegates will discuss the impacts of these changes on cost, accessibility and quality of care, as well as offer recommendations for additional CMA policy and future advocacy development. Read the full report here (members-only).
Reports on these issues are available to members at cmadocs.org/hod.
CMA believes that any health care cost containment proposals must include the entire health care sector. It is paramount that physicians examine ways to bend the cost curve in all sectors of the health care system. In addition, there are significant opportunities to improve health care delivery, create efficiencies and improve health care outcomes. The policy framework that comes out of this year’s HOD will reflect CMA's priorities for health care cost containment and serve the basis for future advocacy on this issue.
Stay tuned to the next issue of CMA Newswire for updates on the policies and actions taken by the delegates.