Earlier this week, several members of RISA traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2019 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Legislative Conference and meet with our Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill. The key issues this year were:
“Surprise medical bills” (also known as out-of-network payments): The ASA is working closely with legislators to develop a solution to this problem which will protect our patients and is fair for both the insurer and the provider. We would like to emulate the New York model, which has now had 4 years of success.
Medicare for All and the “33% Problem”: Anesthesia services are paid at only 33% of private insurance payment rates, the lowest rate among all health professionals (75%).
Brain Health Initiative: The National Institute of Health (NIH) has been supporting research and training to address cognitive issues that may arise in older patients after surgery.
Rural pass through: We support legislation that would expand rural access to the services of physician anesthesiologists.
Medical student and resident debt relief: Graduate medical education is associated with substantial costs. We support HR1554, the REDI Act, which would allow borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on their student loans while in a medical residency program.
We had the great pleasure of meeting with Senator Reed and Congressman Cicciline and their legislative assistants, as well as the legislative assistants/health policy advisors for Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin. We thank them for their time!
Here are some pictures from the trip.