Action Center

Washington Update - October 2018
October 1, 2018 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • PAEA welcomed 14 new Student Health Policy Fellows from across the United States in September where, during the three-day fellowship experience, they met with 30 of their representatives to advocate for H.R. 1603 and H.R. 1605. Thank you for your advocacy!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • PAEA submitted comments in September on CMS’ 2018 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule urging the agency to revise its prior interpretation and allow preceptors to verify, rather than re-perform, documentation of E/M services provided by PA students. This accompanied over 600 comments submitted by grassroots advocates in response to PAEA’s action alert asking CMS to adopt this needed change to incentivize preceptors to train PA students.
    • PAEA President Lisa Mustone Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C, recently spoke at the National Press Club at an FDA-sponsored public forum on the opioid epidemic. At the event, President Alexander provided an overview of the pharmacology and evidence base for various forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and described the ongoing efforts of PAEA’s MAT Initiative.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • President Trump signed H.R. 6157 into law in late September, funding the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education through September 2019 and averting a government shutdown. This bill funds all Title VII programs which benefit PA education and includes a $1 million increase over previous funding levels for Area Health Education Centers (AHECs).
    • On September 28, the House of Representatives voted 393-8 to advance a final opioid epidemic response package to the Senate. Following a period of sustained advocacy, this bill includes an amended version of the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, which would authorize $25 million annually, subject to appropriations, through 2023 for clinicians (including PAs) practicing in substance use disorder treatment capacities. This bill also would make PA eligibility to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder permanent rather than sunsetting in 2021 as would be required under current law. The Senate is expected to quickly approve the bill, which will then be sent for the president’s signature in October.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • PAEA’s Government Relations team is continuing its efforts to urge Congress to defeat proposals to eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness and limit access to Grad PLUS loans for PA students. If you have not already done so, please urge your representatives to protect these crucial programs.
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