MGMA's Washington Update Session

October 12, 2009
Sean Johnson

Leah Cohen, a Government Affairs Representative for MGMA, led off her presentation today by announcing to the large crowd that she is “only the messenger.” It was a great way to break the ice, and her comment got many laughs from the physicians in the audience who were looking to her to sort out some of the legislation that affects them.

Leah Cohen, a Government Affairs Representative for MGMA, led off her presentation today by announcing to the large crowd that she is “only the messenger.” It was a great way to break the ice, and her comment got many laughs from the physicians in the audience who were looking to her to sort out some of the legislation that affects them. However, they may not have the closure they wanted from this meeting, because Leah rightfully informed them that much of the information she had on her slides changes daily.

Her presentation touched on a number of key issues that physicians hear about all the time — PQRI, Medicare, reimbursement, employer requirements, and so on. She did a nice job explaining very complicated issues and spoke at length about what the House and Senate Finance Committee are trying to accomplish in the next few years. There were enough pie charts, graphs, and numbers to make anyone’s head spin, but aside from all the talk about government legislation, Cohen also provided some interesting resources. There are two in particular that all physicians should familiarize themselves with:

MGMA’s Grassroots Services

Cohen continually encouraged the audience to get involved by sending letters to legislators regarding healthcare reform. She also said to send them often and to keep them updated. However, this can be tedious, and she knows that. So she referred listeners to www.mgma.com/grassroots, where visitors can input their information and have a pre-written letter at their disposal at any time.

SwipeIT

Project SwipeIT is “an industry wide initiative launched by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in January 2009 to advance the adoption of standardized patient health-insurance identification (ID) cards containing machine-readable information. MGMA estimates that the health care industry wastes as much as $2.2 billion annually as a result of nonstandardized cards.” Want to learn more about this initiative? Click here.