6 policies adopted at AMA's interim meeting

The American Medical Association's physician, resident and medical student leaders voted to approve the following policies at its interim meeting this week.

1. Push for improved quality standards and meaningful use requirements. The AMA voted to take steps to make MU more streamlined, usable and less burdensome. "The AMA wants the Meaningful Use program to succeed, but swift Congressional action is needed to refocus the goals of the program on promoting better coordinated and high-quality patient care instead of burdensome, administrative tasks for physicians," said AMA Immediate Past Chair Barbara McAneny, MD, according to a statement.

2. Support paramedic training for veterans. This policy calls for support of the Paramedics Transition Act of 2015, which would expedite and streamline paramedic training for veterans who were trained in emergency medical care in the military.

3. Enhance supports to prevent prescription opioid abuse. The AMA voted to support development of model state legislation to increase physician registration and use of prescription drug monitoring programs. 

4. Increase access to drug that reverses opioid overdose. The drug, called naxolone, is a life-saving medication that can restore breathing and prevent death in the instance of an opioid overdose. The CDC says it has saved more than 26,000 lives in the last decade. The AMA voted to make this drug more accessible to opioid addiction patients as well as their family members and friends.

5. Lift Congressional ban on VA covering in vitro fertilization costs. This benefit is available to active duty members, but not veterans. This means veterans cannot access reproductive treatments even if their infertility is a result of an injury in the line-of-duty.

6. Ensure medical students, residents and fellows have access to mental healthcare. Roughly 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide in the U.S. annually and medical students are 15 to 30 percent more depressed than the general population, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


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