President’s Message: ASRA Pain Medicine Advances Its Work in Advocating for Its Membership
Jul 29, 2022
Cite as: Narouze S. President's message: ASRA Pain Medicine advances its work in advocating for its membership. ASRA Pain Medicine News 2022;47. https://doi.org/10.52211/asra080122.027
In 2018, ASRA Pain Medicine updated its mission to specify its three “pillars” or foci, specifically research, education, and advocacy. Although regulatory advocacy has always been a core component of the Society’s mission, by purposefully listing it in the organization’s mission statement, we sent a message to our membership that we also represent the field in advocacy matters.
The mission was advanced significantly this past June. After five years of active participation in the American Medical Society (AMA), ASRA Pain Medicine was officially seated in the House of Delegates (HOD) during its annual meeting on June 13, 2022, in Chicago, IL. This is a step that we are especially proud to take as an organization, and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in getting us to this point, including Drs. Asokumar Buvanendran, Eugene Viscusi, David Provenzano, Edward Mariano, and Thomas Witkowski.
This step . . . broadens our ability to promote access to safe and effective regional anesthesia and pain medicine.
This step is important for ASRA Pain Medicine because it broadens our ability to promote access to safe and effective regional anesthesia and pain medicine. We will now have a voice within the Pain Council as well as the Pain, Anesthesia, and Mobility caucuses. In the HOD, ASRA Pain Medicine will be represented by President-Elect David Provenzano, MD, from Pain Diagnostics and Interventional Care in Pittsburgh, PA, and Gary Schwartz, MD, from Maimonides Medical Center in New York, NY.
ASRA Pain Medicine delegates to the AMA: David Provenzano, MD, and Gary Schwartz, MD.
During its annual meeting, the AMA announced a new Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians. This plan focuses on fixing prior authorization, reforming Medicare payments, supporting telehealth, reducing physician burnout, and protecting scope of practice.
Besides addressing the issues related to the Recovery Plan, the most recent AMA Annual Meeting also addressed several clinically relevant topics including limiting inappropriate marketing of cannabis and cannabinoid products to vulnerable populations, addressing incorrect health information on the internet, and advocating for additional resources to address drug shortages.
We are also happy to report that, during this meeting, Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, who is an anesthesiologist, was elected AMA president-elect. Dr. Ehrenfield was a faculty member at our 47th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting in 2021 in Florida. I am hopeful that he will consider joining us again at future meetings and will be an advocate for the Society.
By joining the AMA, ASRA Pain Medicine also will have seats on the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Committee and the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC). Dr. Houman Danish will serve as ASRA Pain Medicine’s CPT advisor. In the RUC, Dr. Trent Emerick will serve as the ASRA Pain Medicine advisor.
ASRA Pain Medicine will also be hiring a Health Policy Director on its staff to facilitate overall advocacy strategy, provide expert guidance, and support these efforts among our volunteer membership. We feel strongly that this effort will result in the ability to have a positive impact on federal and state matters affecting the ability of ASRA Pain Medicine members to provide safe and effective care to patients. As this work evolves, we will continue to keep the membership apprised of our activities and progress.
This kind of work is essential and cannot be done without the support of our 5,000+ members. Thank you for your commitment to ASRA Pain Medicine.