The 2011 Indiana General Assembly is now at work – and so is the ISMA. The Government Relations staff will spend long days at the Statehouse tracking each step of lawmaking that could potentially impact your medical practice.
While you can rest assured the ISMA is on duty, you also have a role to play. The ISMA team wants direction from you.
|Meet ISMA's newest staff member
Ted Brandt has joined the ISMA Government Relations Department as legislative liaison. He will share legislative lobbying responsibilities with Mike Rinebold and Ambre Marr.
Previously, Brandt served as legislative assistant to the Indiana House of Representatives. He also worked as legislative intern for Bose Public Affairs Group.
A native of Plainfield, Brandt is a graduate of Purdue University.
“We need to know how you want us to respond as new bills are introduced,” said Mike Rinebold, director of Government Relations. And legislators have made it clear they need your help to understand how potential laws could affect patients and the delivery of care.
If you haven’t yet made a resolution for the new year, resolve to help safeguard the future of medicine in Indiana. Now when health care is a major topic, help influence the direction of change with your personal touch. The ISMA has options for you to consider.
Medicine Day – Each year, ISMA members don white coats and visit Indianapolis to engage with legislators on key issues and proposed bills. The day, Feb. 2 this year, begins with a briefing – to give you talking points on important topics. For details, contact Sally Pierson by e-mail or call her at (800) 257-4762.
Physician of the Day – Physician organizations provide medical coverage at the Statehouse, treating minor ailments of legislators and staff who are often far away from their regular physicians. Serving one day offers you an insider’s perspective.
Key Contact – In this program, you use your knowledge and experiences to help guide legislators to enact positive, constructive health laws. The ISMA prompts and assists you with information.
Learn more about these programs on the ISMA's legislation page.
Every ISMA member can partner with the Government Relations team by reading Legislative News weekly. Contact legislators when you have examples and information to share, or when action alerts are issued. ”We urge you to continue a dialogue with your legislator throughout the year,” Rinebold said.
About the 2011 session
The state budget will dominate this long session in which many House members are first- or second-term legislators. The ISMA’s challenge – and yours – is to educate these members about our issues. The Government Relations team met with candidates as soon as they announced and has been meeting with election winners since November.
“We could see from day one of the 117th General Assembly that things would be different,” said Rinebold. “Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) has pledged to change the status quo in terms of how work is done inside the chamber. Rules have been modified to foster bipartisan relationships.” When Speaker Bosma named two minority members to chair select committees, most called the action “unprecedented.”
ISMA member Tim Brown, M.D., R-Crawfordsville, an emergency department physician, will chair the Public Health Committee, which is a plus for physicians and the ISMA. “Rep. Brown can speak from personal experience about the challenges of practicing medicine today and dealing with Medicaid,” noted Rinebold.
ISMA’s 2011 agenda
As a physician-directed organization, the ISMA forms its agenda based on resolutions adopted at the House of Delegates each September. The Commission on Legislation then prioritizes the issues.
Rinebold believes the 2012 state budget will be similar to that of 2005, due to current economic conditions. “How committees will deal with Medicaid will be watched very closely,” Rinebold noted. “Some optional services have been eliminated, and temporary cuts are now classified as permanent. Will physician pay be cut? Anything is possible; all options are on the table.”
The impact of health care reform on Indiana remains an unknown. “Legislators want information to help them prepare for what will be a critical mass of legislation to implement health care reform,” Rinebold added. “They need your input as they begin to shape policy for Indiana.”
ISMA legislative initiatives
Resolution 05-05 – Assignment of Benefits
Resolution 08-29 – Open access clauses in commercial insurance contracts
Resolution 10-69 – Indiana State Department of Health mandatory use of electronic birth/death registry
Resolution 10-51 – Maintaining the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency as an independent agency of state government