AAFP Congress of Delegates Report

Last week, from September 11th-14th  the AAFP held its annual Congress of Delegates in Orlando, FL to determine future policies and elect the newest leadership of the organization.

The Indiana chapter was well represented at the Congress by our voting delegates Clif Knight, MD and Richard Feldman, MD along with alternate delegates David Pepple, MD and Windel Stracener, MD. These delegates and alternates are elected for two year terms by the IAFP’s Congress of Delegates.

The first two days of the Congress were almost solely devoted to determining new policies and actions for the AAFP.  The AAFP Congress of Delegates considered 47 resolutions submitted by State chapters and the AAFP National Conference of Special Constituencies. Read more about resolutions of interest below.

On the last day of the Congress the IAFP learned the results of the AAFP Board of Directors election. The newest Board members are Wanda Filer, MD of York, PA; Daniel Spogen, MD of Reno, NV; and Julie Wood, MD of Kansas City, MO. Each Board member will serve a three year term.

The newest President of the AAFP, Glen Stream, MD of Spokane, WA was installed at the Congress and will serve until the close of the 2012 Congress in Philadelphia. The newly elected AAFP President-Elect Jeffrey Cain, MD of Denver, CO will succeed Dr. Stream.

At the same time the closing of the Congress marked the last day on the AAFP Board of Directors for Indiana’s own Tom Felger, MD of Granger, IN. We are proud of Dr. Felger’s accomplishments on the Board and are thankful for his service to the AAFP and to organized Family Medicine.

Selected Resolutions Discussed at the AAFP Congress of Delegates

One of the biggest discussions was around several resolutions requesting that the AAFP remove themselves from the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) and that the AAFP create an alternative system.  All these resolutions (311, 312, 313, 314) were referred to the Board of Directors by the Congress. The will of the Congress was to allow time for the current Board’s efforts on the RUC issue. These efforts include current ultimatum to the RUC that the AAFP will leave if primary care is not given more representation within the next six months and the collaboration between AAFP and CMS to create an alternative system for valuing the care provided by physicians. The Board is hopeful that their current actions will lead to the solution that the resolutions on the RUC were seeking - an end to the AAFP’s participation in the RUC and a new system where Family Medicine is represented fairly to CMS.

Included below is a sample of the resolutions considered, a full reporting of the actions of the Congress and the archived telecast can be found on www.aafp.org/congress.

Resolution 203 “Content of FamilyDoctor.org” was amended and adopted by the Congress. The resolution requires that the AAFP take greater control over the FamilyDoctor.org website and make changes to ensure that the website and patient materials do not promote other specialties over Family Medicine

Resolution 510 “Over-the Counter Pseudoephedrine” was not adopted by the Congress. The resolution requested that the AAFP support federal legislation that would make pseudoephedrine a controlled substance and available by prescription only.

Resolution 511 “Scope of Practice of Naturopaths” was adopted by the Congress and asks the AAFP to oppose any expansion of the scope of practice of Naturopaths.

Resolution 605 “Making Graduate Medical Education Financing and Reform a Priority of the AAFP” was amended and adopted by the Congress. This resolution mandates the AAFP make the expansion and funding of primary care medical residencies a priority on their national political agenda.