July 2019 President's Letter: Updates from the June AMA Meeting
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Posted by: Joy Merten
Dear friends and colleagues,
One of the missions of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is to advocate on behalf of the cosmetic surgery specialty, especially within the wider world of medicine. One important part of this advocacy is maintaining representation in the American Medical Association House of Delegates, which comprises 600 voting delegations representing various regional, specialty, and professional interest associations. At the beginning of June, Robert Jackson, MD, Anthony Geroulis, MD, and Rania Agha, MD represented AACS at the AMA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, especially for items concerning cosmetic surgery. Below are highlights from their experience:
One of the reports at the meeting from the Council on Medical Education concerned maintenance of certification (MOC). Because of the report, 23 of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association changed their stringent requirements. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery's requirements were mentioned in the body of the report.
Along with representatives from dermatology, AACS's delegates sponsored Resolution 517 to change a rule regarding the mixing of certain medications and products like Botox, lidocaine, and sodium bicarbonate in physician's offices. If the AMA hadn't taken up this issue, physicians would have been subject to the same requirements as large pharmaceutical companies. However, because of the resolution, the rule was changed not only on the federal level, but AACS delegates also ensured that physician's offices would only be subject to supervision by medical boards, not pharmaceutical boards, at the state level.
Later in the meeting, Dr. Geroulis represented AACS and its section council at the Reference Committee for Resolution 404, concerning shade structures in private and zoning matters, with the interest of decreasing melanoma and skin cancer from excess sun exposure. There was also a resolution in the Constitution and Bylaws regarding obtaining informed consent. The final result was that the ultimate responsibility belongs to the surgeon, but some of the consent can be obtained by a member of the team well-versed in the surgical procedure.
AACS's delegates were also present for a crucial discussion regarding the opioid crisis. While physicians have a responsibility to help control the crisis, they need policies that will support them in doing so. AMA's new policy will be to advocate for the removal of barriers like requiring prior approval for non-opioid pain care, and will support physicians' judgement when exceeding regulatory thresholds for post-operative care when medically necessary.
To conclude the meeting, Dr. Jackson was re-elected Vice Chairman of the Section Council of Plastic Reconstructive, Facial Plastic Reconstructive, and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Susan Bailey became President-Elect of AMA. AACS is looking forward to working with all the newly elected councils and members of the Board of Trustees.
Many thanks to Drs. Jackson, Geroulis, and Agha for their hard work representing AACS at this year's meeting.
Chris Lowery, DO, FACOS, FAACS
P.S. Don't forget to register for the World Congress on Liposuction, September 6-7 in Chicago!