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Washington Update - December 2019
December 1, 2019 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • In mid-November, several students and faculty members from the Morehouse School of Medicine PA program visited PAEA’s headquarters to participate in leadership and advocacy training. Following sessions led by PAEA’s Government Relations staff, the students and faculty visited the offices of Congressional Historically Black Colleges and Universities Co-Chairs Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL) as well as the office of Congressman John Lewis (D-GA). Thank you for your advocacy!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized its calendar year 2020 Physician Fee Schedule final rule in early November. This final rule updated previous restrictions on the use of student-provided medical record documentation for billing purposes - PAEA’s top advocacy priority for 2019. Effective January 1, 2020, all preceptors will be able to verify, rather than re-perform, documentation provided by PA students.
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced H.R. 4995 - the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act - to the full House in mid-November. Among other provisions, this bill would authorize a program mirroring the clinical sites demonstration included in H.R. 1686. If enacted, PA programs, among other health professions programs, would be eligible to apply for funding to support OB/GYN clinical rotations in rural areas.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • In November, the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reached an agreement on funding allocations for the 12 appropriations bills necessary to fund federal government operations through FY2020. Throughout December, committee staff will be working to reach agreement on final legislation to fund the Department of Health and Human Services through the remainder of the fiscal year.
    • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing in mid-November on increasing rates of lung illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarettes, particularly among youth.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • PAEA is continuing its campaign to build support for H.R. 1685 - the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act - and H.R. 1686 - the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act. If you have not already contacted your representative in support of these bills, please do so today.
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