AAPA Leadership Advocacy Summit, 2019
This year LAS, that always takes place in Washington DC, was highlighted by unusually warm weather. The heat on Capitol Hill was literally on- 76 degrees were welcomed by everyone, especially those who came from northern states. The Summit was very well attended with over 241 attendees from 40 states, including 60 PA Students. They managed to take time off their busy schedule and join PA’s to have their voices heard.
The first day was instructional, where PA’s were coached on how to present the two bills that were being introduced to their legislators. The Physician Assistant Direct Payment Act is relevant to many PA’s that practice medicine and surgery. Currently, we are the only health care providers who bill Medicare for the services that are not able to receive direct payments for our services. That creates confusion, delays in payments and misrepresentation of who actually provides the medical service. Additionally, it can affect PAs who own their own rural health center and are obligated to offer services for which they will not be reimbursed through Medicare.
The second bill introduced would allow PAs to prescribed diabetic footwear themselves. We all know the effect of such limitation on patients. Some PA’s shared their experience and the burden it creates on already sick patients, that have to wait and make a separate trip to see a medical doctor for their diabetic shoe prescription. Our past-president Inessa Shlifer met with New York congressional staffer Juan Negrete, who was already familiar with the bill and its importance, having family that is diabetic and requires this preventive service.
On the second day, AAPA President Jonathan E. Sobel gave us a summary on a progress AAPA is making to move us forward. The profession is gaining momentum and it is important to continue building up and work harder then ever. We have an amazing group of talented and enthusiastic professionals in the AAPA, working on behalf of all practicing PA’s and PA Students.
The conference also offered breakout sessions and opportunities for coaching on many different topics, all of which were important to learn how to be effective leader in Constituent Organization. APSPA President Kristen Daniels and Past-President Inessa Shlifer each attended a variety of sessions, including one on developing effective by-laws, utilizing networking opportunities with LinkedIn, social media tips for COs, and website management.
The LAS was filled with many knowledgeable presenters, most of whom are practicing PA’s and AAPA administration. It’s great to hear successful stories of how PA’s from all fields of medicine and backgrounds work to accomplish their goals every day. We learn from the best, follow their examples and begin our own journey as leaders of COs. It is an inspiring conference, and we look forward to going again on behalf of our members.