Virtual HOD considers 105 resolutions in a year of firsts
By Luke McNamee
ISMA Deputy Director of Policy

The 2021 House of Delegates was one for the record books! In the first ISMA virtual convention to include policy making, House of Delegates members voted on 105 resolutions submitted this year and last year that covered legislative topics, public health and education initiatives, internal ISMA policy changes, and the reaffirmation of ISMA policies. Of the 105 resolutions, 51 were adopted, 24 were adopted as amended, eight were referred to the Board of Trustees (BOT) for action, and 14 were referred to the BOT for study.

       Past President Roberto Darroca, MD, reads a resolution of appreciation for ISMA Government Relations Coordinator Rhonda Bennett (top); Past Presidents Heidi M. Dunniway, MD; Lisa Hatcher, MD; and Rhonda Sharp, MD; present the memorial resolution for Past President Shirley Khalouf, MD.

Three individuals were honored with special resolutions. Past President Shirley Khalouf, MD, who passed away June 6, was honored with a memorial resolution, and resolutions of appreciation were introduced for Government Relations Coordinator Rhonda Bennett, who retired Sept. 22 after 23 years with ISMA; and Randall Stevens, MD, former chair of the Commission on Physician Assistance.

In another first, ISMA members could comment on resolutions before convention using the ISMA Pulse digital tool. In all, 85 members (69 physicians and 16 medical students) submitted 1,714 items of advance feedback that helped inform reference committee discussions.

Here are some resolutions likely to become part of ISMA’s 2022 legislative agenda.

Physician Assistant Name Change (Resolution 21-12): This resolution calls on ISMA to oppose any state legislation that would change the term “physician assistant” to “physician associate” and to discourage hospital systems, provider organizations and insurers from using the term.

Truth and Transparency (Resolution 21-32): This resolution directs ISMA to continue to seek and support legislation on health care licensure transparency. It calls for legislation to require health care practitioners and physicians to wear name tags in the clinical setting displaying their name, license type and status as a trainee, resident or fellow; similar requirements for public-facing ads; prohibiting midlevel providers with doctoral degrees from being referred to as “doctor” in clinical settings and ads; and preventing midlevel providers from identifying themselves with terms used by physician specialists (e.g., dermatologist, anesthesiologist, cardiologist).

‘White Bagging’ and ‘Brown Bagging’ of Specialty Medications (Resolution 21-33): Calls on ISMA to oppose white bagging and brown bagging of medications – processes used by insurance companies to procure and distribute drugs from their preferred pharmacy benefit managers and deliver them to the health care settings.

Dedicated On-Site Physician Requirement for Emergency Departments (Resolution 21-42): Directs ISMA to seek legislation requiring emergency medical settings to have a licensed physician with training and experience in emergency medicine on site and directly supervising nonphysician providers.

Improving Health Through Education by Making Internet Accessible (Resolution 21-74): Calls on ISMA to support legislation increasing access to quality, high-speed internet in underserved and rural areas.

Prohibition of Noncompete Contracts (Resolution 21-75): Clarifies current policy by calling on the ISMA and the Commission on Legislation to support legislation prohibiting medical noncompete clauses in physician contracts or makes them per se invalid except where an employer clearly demonstrates a quantified, defensible, protectable interest, other than typical expenses incurred when a departing employee has to be replaced.

2021 Resolution Actions, memorial resolution and resolutions of appreciation are all here >>