The Tennessee Medical Association expects at least 300 physicians from across the state to attend its annual Day on the Hill in Nashville on Tuesday, March 26. Physicians from all regions of Tennessee representing all medical specialties come to Nashville during each legislative session to meet with lawmakers, attend committee meetings and share their expertise on issues affecting healthcare in Tennessee.
TMA - recently named the most influential advocacy organization in Tennessee - has an intentionally limited list of topics it is pushing this year in the new-look General Assembly but is a visible and respected voice for any healthcare-related bills that affect doctors and patients.
- OPIOIDS (SB 0810 / HB 0843)- While TMA was able to make significant improvements to Gov. Haslam's "TN Together" legislation in 2018, some of the unintended consequences doctors initially feared the new law would create are manifesting across the state. New restrictions on prescribing and dispensing are no doubt reducing overall initial supply, but are also unreasonably obstructing some patients from accessing legitimate, effective pain management. TMA and the Tennessee Pharmacists Association are working with the legislature to amend the law to address specific issues raised by doctors and patients. TMA has also developed a number of proprietary resources to help educate doctors and other prescribers on Tennessee's opioid prescribing laws at tnmed.org/opioids.
- SCOPE OF PRACTICE - TMA continues defending against proposals that would threaten patient safety and quality of care by removing physician oversight for nurses, physician assistants or any other midlevel providers. TMA for years has led doctors' opposition to nurse independent practice in Tennessee and is part of a coalition of healthcare organizations promoting physician-led, team-based care as the safest, most efficient and effective healthcare delivery model in Tennessee.
- MAT PARITY - TMA is asking the General Assembly to consider a resolution encouraging health insurance companies to include medication assisted treatment in patients' health plans and reimburse specialists who provide MAT services at rates comparable to other treatments. TMA has long advocated for more accessible and well-funded treatment options for patients struggling with substance abuse. Using medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies is a necessary strategy in the ongoing fight against Tennessee's opioid abuse epidemic.
TMA reviewed all 1,684 bills filed in the 2019 session and is actively monitoring more than 300 bills affecting healthcare, including 114 caption bills, on a range of healthcare issues.
Read more about TMA's legislative priorities at tnmed.org/legislative.