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What to Do - 2

Physicians Day on the Hill –

 
As you will notice from the article from the Utah Medical Association below, the UMA speaks for all physicians, regardless of specialty, and does an admiral job.  BUT – As we have seen in earlier articles in this section, our Psychiatric patients have unique needs, that not surprisingly, UMA does not focus as much importance on as we Psychiatrists believe is necessary.  That is why it is so important that Psychiatrists attend the annual “Day on the Hill,” a chance to informally meet with our legislators, get to know them, have them get to know us, and have a chance to educate them regarding the unique needs of our very vulnerable patient population.
 
The next tentative Day on the Hill will be Wednesday, February 3, 2021.  We will let you know a firm date, time, place of meeting and other details as we get closer to the next day on the hill.  Keep looking for it, and try to carve out some time to attend.
 
What Has UMA Done for Me Lately?
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY – one voice speaking for ALL Utah physicians regardless of specialty
a)   Strong voice in Utah legislative process. We consistently push to support helpful legislation and stop harmful legislation. UMA has 2 full-time lobbyists providing effective representation before the state legislature, UDOH, the Governor’s office, DOPL, and other regulatory bodies. UMA tracks and responds to over 150+ bills each year in the legislature to protect physician interests and patient safety.
Some examples of direct UMA successes include 
  1. Peer Review Resolution– HUGE WIN! The Utah Supreme Court ruled that “peer review” can be “discovered” and admissible in court. The process had already begun when UMA heard about it and immediately jumped in and drafted legislation to amend Rule 26 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. It passed and establishes additional privileges that protect matters connected to medical care and peer review against discovery and admission into evidence.
  2. Pharmacy Practice Act Revisions – Allows a prescriber to provide up to 30 days of sample Rx drugs excluding schedule II, opioids and benzo’s.
  3. Negligent Credentialing. The Utah Supreme Court created a “cause of action” in Utah for negligent credentialing. UMA got passed a bill so that Utah physicians will have full confidence that information disclosed in the credentialing process will continue to be protected from “discovery” in future medical malpractice cases.
  4. Amended Rule of Evidence. UMA & Lt. Gov. brought forward the “I’m sorry” resolution. The resolution fixes the previous ruling by the Utah Supreme Court that makes expressions of apology by medical providers possible without liability in court. Physicians can now make expressions of apology without concern that those statements will be used against them in a later mal practice case.
  5. UMA helped stop a planned 15.2% Medicare reimbursement cut to Utah physicians.
  6. UMA passed “prompt pay legislation” requiring insurance companies to pay within 30 days of receiving a claim.
These are just a few examples. There are many, many more.
b)   Push for increased reimbursement or fight to stop cuts to reimbursement.
c)   Represent physicians on many government or industry committees and task forces and much more.
d)   Constant input with both State and National elected representatives. They call us for input on where physicians stand on particular issues.
e)   Battle with allied healthcare professionals who believe they have the right to practice medicine through legislative process instead of getting the required education
f)   Monitor and fight against inappropriate or too restrictive regulation.
 
 
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Utah Psychiatric Association
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