Administrative Update  |   March 2020
2019 – A Very Good Year for ASA
Author Affiliations
  • Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA
    ASA Immediate Past President
Article Information
Pain Medicine / Pediatric Anesthesia / Practice Management / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Administrative Update / Opioid
Administrative Update   |   March 2020
2019 – A Very Good Year for ASA
ASA Monitor 3 2020, Vol.84, 6-8.
ASA Monitor 3 2020, Vol.84, 6-8.
It has been a great honor to serve as your 2019 ASA President. In my final Monitor article as an ASA officer, I want to highlight our challenges and successes in 2019.
We were very busy this past year, but really seven issues dominated the year: surprise medical bill legislation, preserving physician-led care for our patients, pediatric dental sedation, physician wellness, an increased attention to academic and subspecialty relations, our work to address drug shortages, and the opioid crisis.
As you know, surprise billing legislation has dominated the headlines, representing one area where both political parties are eager to find a solution. This issue has been a top priority for ASA, and we have worked very hard for an approach that treats anesthesiologists equitably. We are very pleased with the work of our team in Washington, D.C. and our growing Grassroots Network that provides essential leadership in the debate. Together with the American College of Emergency Physicians and other medical specialties, we co-led the development of core principles to protect patients and ensure fair payment to physicians, and we made major strides to educate policymakers and the media. Hundreds of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and staff and literally thousands of calls and emails into Congressional offices have made a difference. We have endorsed and worked in support of the “Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act” written by Reps. Raul Ruiz and Phil Roe, both physicians, which has been introduced and now has 107 bipartisan co-sponsors – the most of any surprise medical bill legislation in the House. We expect continued discussion in Congress in the coming months and will need every physician’s engagement. Stay tuned for more.
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