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Washoe County Medical Society

What if Nevada State Medical Association was not at the 2019 Legislative Session?

NV State Medical Assoc

NSMA has a core group of dedicated members who put in incredible effort during the last legislative session focusing on advocacy. Ask any of these folks about the value of NSMA and they will readily jump in with successes from 2019: our efforts to improve the opioid law to make the rules more patient and physician friendly, or to stop very bad legislation to unwind tort reform, or some of our public health successes. Those physicians who may be less “plugged in” to our daily activities often ask me what is the value of my membership in NSMA? What is it all for?

For those physicians and for each of us, it’s worth a pause to consider: What would have happened to Nevada physicians if the NSMA was not at the 2019 Legislative Session?

Without the NSMA in 2019, you as a Nevada physician would face:

  • Less Protection from frivolous lawsuits and weakening of KODIN
  • Continued frustration for patients and physicians dealing with opioid prescriptions
  • More mandated CME and yearly unfunded reporting requirements
  • Mandated E-prescribing of all medications starting in 2020, without exemptions or waivers
  • An outright ban on balance billing with no protection for physicians’ contracts or the market
  • Scope of practice creep including independence for Physicians Assistants
  • A moratorium on necessary surgeries for babies and children to correct hypospadias
  • No improvements for patient protections in insurance coverage
  • No increased transparency in insurance rental markets
  • No Maternal Mortality Review Committee to improve maternal mortality and morbidity

Fortunately, NSMA was there for you and your patients, working tirelessly to improve the practice of medicine in Nevada. In 2019, NSMA:

  • Prevented legislation from being introduced that would impact tort reform protections
  • Improved the process of opioid prescribing. (AB239)
  • Stopped harmful mandates including CMEs and reporting requirements, instead working with agencies to provide physicians who treat veterans with information to treat their patients.
  • Negotiated a mandate on e-prescribing to apply to only prescriptions for controlled substances, to be implement in 2021 in alignment with new federal rules and which allows for several exemptions and waivers to ensure the needs of patient care and physician practices are met. (AB310)
  • Negotiated a hard-fought deal on out of network billing in emergency situations that includes protections for existing contracts, dispute resolution system that considers the low dollar amounts of most out of network bills and establish a reporting requirement that ensures transparency in networks and contracting practices of insurers. (AB469)
    Prevented independence for PAs and began discussions to help PAs be successful in their practices within the practice team. These discussions will be on-going through the interim.
  • Prevented legislation that would ban necessary surgeries and began an important dialogue with proponents of the legislation to better communicate the clinical side to address their concerns of unnecessary surgeries.
  • Improved patient protections by protecting pre-existing conditions and requiring insurance agencies to register case contacts with the office of consumer health advocates to help patients navigate complicated insurance plans and sparse networks.
    Improved transparency by requiring insurers to disclose to physicians, those renting networks and provide physicians with the opportunity to decline to be a part of the rental arrangement.
  • Established Nevada’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee (AB169) to study instances of maternal mortality and morbidity and to make recommendations to improve the lives of Nevada mothers, and
  • Represented Nevada Physicians with dedication and integrity.

As we often say at NSMA about politics and policy making, “you’re either at the table or you’re on the menu.” NSMA was at the table for you in 2019, and with your help, we will continue to be there, protecting you and your patients for years to come.

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