NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Medical Association has identified the top four issues upon which the association will focus during the second session of the 113th Tennessee General Assembly. Proposed by TMA’s Legislative Committee and approved by the organization’s Board of Trustees, the priorities are Scope of Practice, Physician Wellness, Insurer Clawbacks and Combatting Violence Against Healthcare Professionals.
- Scope of Practice – Advance practice professionals, like registered nurses and physician assistants, have actively lobbied to practice medicine without the collaboration of a physician. TMA, along with its multispecialty partners in the Coalition for Collaborative Care (CCC), will continue to promote the team-based care model as the most effective solution for Tennesseans to have access to high-quality, comprehensive healthcare no matter where they live.
- Physician Wellness – TMA is working to prioritize physician well-being by removing stigmatizing questions on licensure, renewal, and credentialing applications, which may serve as barriers to efforts to seek routine mental health treatment.
- Insurer Clawbacks – TMA will work to reform audit and overpayment protocols to prohibit health plans from recouping inappropriate amounts of adjudicated claims and place specific requirements on overpayment recovery processes, including advance overpayment notification, payment transparency, due process rights, and clawback time limits.
- Combatting Violence Against Healthcare Professionals – While Tennessee currently has legal protections for assaults committed against first responders and nurses, TMA would like to see these protections extended to physicians as well. Ensuring that offenders receive appropriate punishment for violent behavior will help keep our healthcare heroes safe from harm so they can continue to deliver high-quality care.
Staff lobbyists, the organization’s legislative committee, TMA’s political action committee (TMA PAC) and physicians from across the state will coalesce to advocate during the 2024 General Assembly to achieve the desired outcome surrounding these top four issues. In addition, TMA’s lobbyists will review hundreds of bills to identify measures that promote or threaten good healthcare policies, and work to organize member physicians, group practices and other collaborative organizations to carry TMA’s support or opposition.
“TMA eagerly looks forward to the 2024 legislative session,” said TMA President Andrew Watson, MD. “We remain committed to protecting the physician-patient relationship through the physician-led, team-based collaborative approach to care, confident that it is the most patient-beneficial and safest practice of medicine for all Tennesseans. In addition, we will continue to fight the insurance industry over tactics that trap practices with audits and recoupment financial penalties which are grossly unfair and penalizing to physicians and their practices.”
In 2019, TMA was named the most influential advocacy organization on Capitol Hill – not limited to healthcare but across all industries – by Capitol Resources, LLC, a multi-state government relations firm with offices in Tennessee.
TMA prides itself on physician member involvement and legislative engagement on policy initiatives throughout each legislative session. The Tennessee General Assembly will reconvene Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, at 12 pm CT.
The Tennessee Medical Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization, representing nearly 10,000 Tennessee physicians. The organization advocates for public policies, laws and rules that promote healthcare safety and quality for all Tennesseans and improve the nonclinical aspects of practicing medicine. tnmed.org