AMA 2024: Updates on Legislation Related Policy Adopted at the AMA 2024 Annual Meeting

( The House of Delegates (HOD) convened at the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, in June 2024. During the HOD, voting members of the legislative body of the organization deliberated, debated, and cast votes to finalize the healthcare policies that the organization would implement as official guidelines. A variety of important new policies related to urology and medical legislation were considered and passed.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare saw a rapid expansion of telehealth services. Currently, the telehealth related flexibilities in Medicare reimbursement are set to expire at the end of 2024. Telehealth has played a pivotal role in improving access to urology care, particularly in rural areas where there is a significant workforce shortage. New AMA policy passed at the HOD calls for the removal of the December 31, 2024, deadline for Medicare to stop reimbursing telemedicine services. The policy supports the indefinite continuation of Medicare reimbursement for telemedicine, as determined by the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC).

Another issue significant for the practice of urology that was considered at the annual AMA meeting was the concept of cost-sharing for cancer screening. The HOD passed a policy entitled “Prohibit Health Benefit Plans From Charging Cost Sharing for Covered Prostate Cancer Screening.” This new policy specifically advocates for federal legislation requiring that health insurance plans are not permitted to charge any form of cost sharing with patients related to covered prostate cancer screening.

As some states have passed legislation or instituted court rulings limited access to reproductive healthcare services, another resolution was adopted relevant to urologists: “Protecting Access to IVF Treatment.” This new AMA policy opposes any legislation or ballot measures that could criminalize in-vitro fertilization, and calls for collaboration with other organizations to resist any legislation, ballot measures, or court rulings that equate gametes (oocytes and sperm) or embryos with children.

Other policies that were adopted included those advocating for reduced patient financial burden for Medicare Part B related costs, expanding access to overdose reversal medications in educational settings, and increasing children’s hospital graduate medical education funding for training slots.

Written by: Ruchika Talwar, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, @RuchikaTalwarMD during the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting, June 7 to June 12