Posts Tagged education

AG Steve Marshall Speaks at November Education Weekend

AG Steve Marshall Speaks at November Education Weekend

BIRMINGHAM – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall addressed attendees during the Association’s Annual Medical Ethics seminar on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham and helped kick off one of the largest weekends of educational offerings the Association has hosted since 2014.

The weekend began on Friday, Nov. 17, with Ensuring Quality in the Collaborative Practice and Medical Ethics courses. This was the first time an attorney general has spoken to the participants.

By Saturday, Nov. 18, the room was filled with more than 430 participants for the final Prescribing of Controlled Drugs and Controversies of Pharmacology Prescribing course of 2017. The Association’s opioid prescribing courses began in 2009 and is offered at least three times annually. By the end of 2017, more than 5,000 participants – from physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners – had taken the course.

The Prescribing course will return in 2018 on March 17-18, August 3-5 and November 17-18. More information will be available at a later date.

Posted in: Education

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House of Delegates Pass Policy Opposing Further Imposition of MOC

House of Delegates Pass Policy Opposing Further Imposition of MOC

During Annual Session, the Medical Association’s House of Delegates passed a resolution formally opposing additional Maintenance of Certification requirements as dictated by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association. While it was agreed that the need for continuing medical education to improve the quality of care, the expense and clinically irrelevant process of MOC often proved overly burdensome.

MOC is designed to show that once a physician’s formal training is over, they are continuing to practice lifelong learning by continuing to challenge themselves to keep up with the latest developments in their chosen field. However, while physicians do support efforts to improve the quality of care of their patients, physicians have argued for years that MOC is overly expensive and often clinically irrelevant to everyday practice.

For example, the American Board of Internal Medicine has long required internists to pass Maintenance of Certification exams every 10 years to keep their board-certified status. However, this policy has recently come under scrutiny due to its high burden to doctors and the lack of sound evidence that recertification processes improve doctors’ quality of care. The ABIM announced it would offer a new assessment option starting in January 2018, allowing doctors to be recertified through shorter, but more frequent, assessments. But it’s not clear that this will make much difference.

To alleviate some burden on our physicians, the Medical Association’s Counsel on Medical Services studied the need for MOC and presented a formal resolution to the House of Delegates during Annual Session in April. The resolution, which passed, created a formal policy to oppose adding any further requirements for MOC as a condition of licensure, reimbursement, employment or admitting privileges at a hospital.

Posted in: Advocacy

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Medical Association Joins AMA for Release of Opioid Education and Resource Toolbox

Medical Association Joins AMA for Release of Opioid Education and Resource Toolbox

BIRMINGHAM – The Medical Association and the American Medical Association partnered in the development and release of a toolbox of data, education and other resources to aid physicians in their continued fight against Alabama’s epidemic of prescription drug misuse, overdose and death. The toolbox was released in a press conference during the Association’s November Opioid Prescribing Education conference in Birmingham.

This toolbox is part of the Medical Association’s continuing efforts – legislative and other – to reverse this epidemic, and Alabama is one of two states participating in this pilot program.

“Although Alabama is no longer the top prescriber of opioids in the country, we still have a very long way to go as far as educating our physicians and other prescribers how to properly handle the prescription of opioid pain medication and those patients that require that medication,” said Medical Association Executive Director Mark Jackson. “This toolbox will help physicians not only educate patients about pain, but also provide resources for overdose prevention and treatment.”

Jackson said he hopes Alabama’s physicians will find the toolbox useful and help strengthen their physician-patient relationships as they continue to discuss pain-related issues with their patients.

“This toolbox contains the types of data and resources that physicians can rely on to help improve their practices for their patients,” said Gerald Harmon, M.D., chair-elect of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees, who also spoke at the press conference. “We recognize that we have much more to accomplish, but physicians in Alabama and across the nation already have made important strides to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic, and using these resources will help physicians continue that progress.”

Alabama, along with Rhode Island, are the only two states in this grant. These states were chosen due to many factors, including high rates of opioid-related harm as well as diverse demographic, socioeconomic, geographic and other characteristics. The characteristics offer excellent opportunities to study the implementation of the toolbox, refine it, and potentially use it as a model for other states that want to undertake similar efforts.

The toolbox can be viewed online at www.SmartAndSafeAL.org/physicians.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Providers’ Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (grant no. 5H79TI025595) from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Posted in: Smart and Safe

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