The Congress also adopted Resolution No. 611, which calls for the AAFP to encourage the expansion of clinical behavioral health fellowships for family medicine physicians.
The resolution received mixed testimony during the reference committee meeting, with those in favor of the resolution having cited the need for more education in behavioral health due to shortages in many communities. Opponents argued that completing the fellowship would not have added value in hospital privileging and insurance payment, because it would not lead physicians to earn a certificate of added qualification.
Delegates also passed Resolution 608, over the objections of the reference committee.
As adopted, the resolution calls for AAFP to express its concern that the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment is the only alternative to 1-day-only certification exam, and for the AAFP to urge the ABFM to offer a longitudinal self-assessment process similar to the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists self-assessment process to satisfy the cognitive component of ABFM’s continued certification requirement.
The Reference Committee on Education also referred several hotly debated resolutions back to the AAFP board of directors. No. 604 called on AAFP to support forgiving 1 year of federal medical student loans for every 2 years of full-time work in a primary care position, as well as tax credits for those working in rural or underserved areas.
The delegates also approved most of the recommendations of the reference committee on advocacy with little discussion.
Substitute Resolution No. 515, which was ultimately adopted with an amendment by the Congress, states that AAFP support policies that provide employees with reasonable benefits, including job security, wage replacement, and continued availability of health plan coverage in the event that leave by an employee becomes necessary for documented medical conditions, with protections for small businesses. Among the policies this resolution includes are the following:
- Medical leave for the employee, including pregnancy.
- Parental leave for the employee-parent, including leave for birth, adoption or foster care leading to adoption.
- Leave if medically appropriate to care for a member of the employee’s immediate family.
The Congress adopted several other resolutions recommended by the advocacy committee:
- Resolution No. 501, calling on AAFP to advocate for state-level adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
- Substitute Resolution No. 505, asking AAFP to request a National Coverage Determination for Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs to allow such programs to operate without physician supervision when an AED is immediately available, and the patient is attended by nursing staff currently trained in basic life support.
- Substitute Resolutions No. 506 and 507 to support and encourage the ability of parents to breastfeed in the workplace through its advocacy efforts, as well as promote the enforcements of current law.
- Resolution No. 508, to petition CMS, national health insurance companies, and pharmacy benefits managers to include all generic medications in a class within a health plan’s formulary and implement a system that informs the prescriber of all formulary alternatives to a medication when denying the same medication immediately upon denial, while also providing a mechanism to rapidly appeal the denial.
- Substitute Resolution No. 512, to petition the CMS to reevaluate its current policy on the time requirements for discharge summaries from hospitals and post-acute care facilities and specifically require such facilities to provide primary care physicians with discharge summaries within 7 days.
- Substitute Resolution No. 517, to unequivocally support the right of physicians to organize and bargain collectively.
- Substitute Resolution No. 519, to support legislation that decriminalizes people who are solicited for sex or sexual activities in exchange for money or goods, without supporting the legalization of the selling of sex, and advocate against legislation that decriminalizes sex-buying and third-parties who promote and/or profit from sex buying.