By Kirsten Stoesser, UAFP Delegate

Greeting from sunny Philadelphia for the 2019 AAFP Congress of Delegates (COD)! Your representatives for the Utah constituency include myself  (Kirsten Stoesser MD) and Jesse Spencer MD as Delegates, and Chad Spain MD and Sarah Woolsey MD as Alternate Delegates. Today, Sunday September 22nd, launched the first day of the 4-day session, which is followed by the AAFP FMX national CME conference.  As part of the Credentials Committee, I helped check in delegates and alternates from across the country.   Your AAFP President, Michael Munger MD, and President-Elect, Gary LeRoy MD, led off the Congress with a Town Hall Meeting that touched on achievements of the AAFP in the past year, current priorities, and strategic plans. 

They celebrated in reminding us that hard-fought changes in payment reform, including changes in E/M billing requirements, and introduction of new alternative payment models from CMS, are on the horizon. The AAFP Board of Directors will prioritize advocating for planned changes to be implemented by 2020. Details of pending changes in payment reform can be found at https://www.aafp.org/news/blogs/inthetrenches/entry/20190820itt-2020mpfs.html  

The Board of Directors of the AAFP has created a Rural Health and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Task Force in the past year, with the assertion that “Rural Health Matters.”  The overarching goal is to improve access to care and the health of patients in rural areas, especially among pregnant women and their infants.  Women living in rural areas are traveling further and further for obstetric care, and supporting family physicians to provide rural care is a key part of the solution to both better patient outcomes and maintaining the strength of our profession.

Strategic initiatives of the AAFP over the next ten years will focus on four core areas; 1) Supporting and sustaining comprehensive family medicine practices, 2) Growing a diverse family medicine workforce, 3) Equipping members with expertise to provide better individual and population health, and 4) Decreasing administrative complexity and burden placed on family physician and family physician practices.

On Monday September 23rd, resolutions from all states will be presented and testimony heard regarding issues affecting our patients, our practices, and our profession. We have 2 resolutions from Utah, focusing on creating additional financial incentives for medical students to choose family medicine, and on developing better communication of CME offerings between chapters of neighboring states. A full list of 2019 COD resolutions, with current updates as changes are made, is linked to the AAFP website.  Stay tuned for further information on items discussed, and for tomorrow’s post!

Kirsten Stoesser, UAFP Delegate (second from left) with the Congress of Delegates Credentials Committee.