CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Medical Society’s (WMS) Board of Trustees braved the snow and wind to meet in Cheyenne on Saturday, Jan. 16 for the board’s quarterly confab. Fifteen Board members from around Wyoming spent four hours discussing an Independent Physician Association, CME accreditation, and the upcoming legislative session.
Over the past year WMS has kicked the tires on the idea of a statewide Independent Practice Association or IPA (for more on an IPA, click here). On Saturday, members discussed what an IPA may look like with RT Welter, a Denver-based firm which has administered other IPAs in the Rocky Mountain Region. After the presentation the Board of Directors assembled a subcommittee of its members to consider whether an IPA would be right for Wyoming physicians.
Sitting on the subcommittee will be Dr. Sigsbee Duck, Dr. Allen Gee, Dr. Lisa Finkelstein, Dr. Joe McGinley, and Dr. Dean Bartholomew. The subcommittee is interested in receiving feedback from its membership regarding physician’s experience with IPA and interest in developing an IPA in Wyoming.
While memberships and sponsorship support remains strong, the board determined that it would make a few changes in the way it reimburses its members in light of increasing expenses. The Board of Directors is currently reimbursed for its travel to board meetings. That will be suspended until the WMS finances improve. This is a policy which will be revisited throughout the year.
Travel reimbursement to American Medical Association (AMA) meetings by the AMA delegate and alternate will also see some changes. The current AMA delegate and alternate delegate attend two national AMA meetings a year. For the time being, both AMA delegate and the alternate will now attend the first meeting of the year paid for by WMS with the voting delegate attending the second AMA meeting each year paid for by WMS. That policy will be revisited in June.
Each January WMS Executive Director Sheila Bush offers the board an overview of bills which may impact physicians in Wyoming, based on what has appeared on the Legislative Services Office website, as well as other bills which have been brought to WMS staff attention leading into the meeting. Among the decisions to come out of the debate were:
- The WMS will monitor a number of bills without taking a stance, such as a bill to increase the minimum wage, and Medical Marijuana Reciprocity;
- The WMS will oppose a bill which would remove employer’s’ right to request criminal history on an employment as well as an eye care consumer protection bill as its overly broad definition of a kiosk could put telehealth in jeopardy;
- Among the bills WMS will actively support are a Title 25 bill which allows for outpatient commitments; an expansion of the CHIP program; as well as Upper Payment Limits for hospitals and the Healthcare Receivership Act among others.
A complete list of bills debated and the WMS stance on them will be made public when the bills are posted on the Legislative Service Office website in the final form they will be introduced in. The WMS will update its members weekly during the session on the status of these bills through its membership update emails.
Before the board left town for the day it decided to form a committee to explore how the WMS can become an accrediting body for CME within the state. Currently there is no entity which is allowed by the ACCME to accredit events. The WMS has previously been in that space but dropped the effort in the late 1990’s. WMS has been in contact with ACCME this year and will continue that effort into the summer.
Just before adjournment, it was determined that the next meeting will take place via teleconference on April 2 at 8 a.m. For more information, contact your representative here.