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  10:51 a.m. April 13, 2013
Expanding Access to Care, Mental Health, Rx Drugs top issues at Tennessee Physicians’ annual meeting

  hod access vote
TMA delegates taking a standing vote on new policy on expanded access to care. Image courtesy of TMA.
NASHVILLE, TN – Physicians from across the state gathered in Franklin, TN, April 5‐7 and considered a number of health policy positions for the Tennessee Medical Association, including support for expanding access to healthcare coverage, more funding of mental health screenings and treatment, transparency of patient charges for prescription drugs and hospital services, maternal mortality review and amending restrictive guidelines for care provided by physicians in training.

Following passionate debate, a resolution supporting expanded access to care for all Tennesseans was approved by a majority of delegates. The resolution supports expanded access under a three‐year trial program using Medicaid expansion funds to cover uninsured residents through health exchange purchased plans, similar to Gov. Haslam’s proposal, or direct expansion.

“As physicians, our patients must come first – increased access leads to better health outcomes. Our policy is to support efforts to make affordable healthcare more accessible, which is part of the TMA’s core mission,” said Christopher Young, MD, of Chattanooga, who was installed as the TMA’s 159th president during the meeting.

The resolution calls for the TMA to continue to support access to affordable healthcare for all Tennesseans as put forth in its previous statement on health reform; to support a three‐year trial to expand access to care using Medicaid expansion funds to either subsidize plans purchased by the uninsured through the federal health insurance exchange or through direct Medicaid expansion; and to insist that the benefits purchased through the exchange remain comparable to Medicaid/TennCare benefits.

The TMA House of Delegates held its session as part of the association’s 178th annual meeting, MedTenn 2013. The event also offered CME and informational sessions on prescription drug abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome, the mental health crisis in Tennessee, the state’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Database, which became mandatory for prescriber checks for certain pain medicine prescriptions on April 1, health reform, electronic health information exchange and quality incentive programs, ICD‐10 coding changes, and more.

Published April 13, 2013

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