Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Physicians, students participate in AMA meeting, visit lawmakers

More than 20 physician leaders and 30 medical students from Wisconsin participated in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Interim Meeting in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, DC. Several Wisconsin Medical Society leaders also met with the state’s congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to lobby for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reform bill and other critical topics.

Society Chief Medical Officer Tim Bartholow, MD, President Tim McAvoy, MD, and other Society members joined Director of State and Federal Relations Chris Rasch for visits with the following lawmakers and/or their staff: Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Reps. Sean Duffy, Ron Kind, Tom Petri, Mark Pocan, Reid Ribble and Paul Ryan. In addition to the SGR, the group discussed the following topics:

  • Access to Medicare fee-for-service data for the Wisconsin Health Information Organization and downstream subscribers like the Society (details here).
  • A fix to the Affordable Care Act’s “grace period,” which puts physicians at risk if a patient receiving insurance through the new Health Insurance Marketplace fails to pay his/her insurance premium (details here).
  • SMARTCare – Smarter Management and Resource Use for Today’s Complex Cardiac Care – is a new, more patient-centric approach to diagnose and treat known or suspected stable ischemic heart disease. The SMARTCare coalition, which includes the Society, expects to learn in January if the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation will support its grant proposal to assist with SMARTCare implementation.

Participating in the AMA Interim Meeting were Laurie Gesell, MD, Tim Bartholow, MD, Jake Behrens, MD, Andrea Hillerud, MD, Sara Woodward Dyrstad, MD, and Clarence Chou, MD.

During the AMA meeting, Society members represented Wisconsin by participating in business meetings and providing testimony in reference committees for the following sections: Integrated Physician Practice, Minority Affairs, Senior Physicians, Organized Medical Staff, Young Physician, Resident Fellow, Medical Student, Women Physicians and International Medical Graduates. They also participated in the Private Practice Physicians Congress, North Central Medical Conference, GLBT Advisory Committee and various assemblies.

Matthew Kutz, a student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH), participated in the Medical Student Section (MSS). “Our group recognizes that one of the most effective ways to affect matters of public health is to change the legislation and budgets surrounding those issues. This is where professional medicine and advocacy give students a voice,” he said. “The AMA-MSS meetings not only teach us the process, they let us make change to the AMA national policies.”

Kutz also thanked the Wisconsin Medical Society and Dane County Medical Society for mentoring students and teaching them about policy and advocacy. “It’s our involvement in professional medicine that lets us be the change we wish to see,” he said.” It’s our education in these matters now that primes us to act as advocates of public health policy for our entire careers.”

The following Society physician members are seeking leadership positions with the AMA and participated in the Interim Meeting:

  • Paul Wertsch, MD, Council on Medical Service (incumbent)
  • Charles Rainey, MD, JD, Council on Constitution and Bylaws
  • Michael Miller, MD, FASAM, FAPA, Council on Science and Public Health

Also of note, UWSMPH student Dina Marie Pitta received the Delegate of Excellence Annual Award, and Mark Kashtan, a student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was elected to serve as the Region 2 medical student chair.

Back to November 21, 2013 Medigram