Action Center

Washington Update - August 2018
August 1, 2018 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • PAEA’s Government Relations team would like to thank Jacqueline Kazik, MA, PA-C, and Karen Graham, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, of the Government Relations Steering Committee for reaching out to the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in July to share the experiences of their programs and advocate for a Government Accountability Office analysis of the clinical site shortage. Great job, Jackie and Karen!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • In July, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3728, the EMPOWER Act, which would reauthorize Title VII health workforce programs through FY 2023 at their most recently funded levels. Following this vote, PAEA’s Government Relations team has met with members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee to advocate both for Title VII reauthorization broadly as well as the inclusion of high-priority provisions in the yet-to-be-introduced bill.
    • On July 26, Democrats on the House Education and Workforce committee introduced the Aim Higher Act – a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. This legislation includes several PAEA-supported provisions, including the protection of Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Grad PLUS loans as well as incentives for faculty development at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. PAEA is currently in the process of drafting formal comments to the committee on the legislation.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • Along with the EMPOWER Act, the House of Representatives also voted to approve H.R. 1676 – the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act – in July. This PAEA-supported legislation would authorize new incentives for the development of the palliative care workforce including the establishment of Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to support faculty development as well as the creation of Palliative Medicine and Hospice Academic Career Awards.
    • In late July, the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee held a hearing entitled, “MACRA and MIPS: An Update on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System” to review the implementation of MIPS. PA education advocates will recall a significant step forward was taken in 2017 in addressing the clinical site crisis when precepting health professions students was added to the list of high-weighted improvement activities for MIPS-eligible clinicians.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • Following the House vote in June to advance a comprehensive opioid epidemic response package, the Senate is currently working to compile a similar package. In the coming weeks, PA education advocates will receive an action alert urging the Senate to support permanent X-waiver eligibility for PAs and loan repayment incentives for PAs serving in substance use disorder treatment capacities in the Senate’s final legislation. We ask that all advocates contact their senators in support of these crucial provisions once this action alert is received.
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