Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, July 17, 2009: Academy Board of Directors
with Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) (front center).
This note is to advise you of a document developed by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Academy’s responses. The AMA has developed a series of 10 documents entitled Scope of Practice Data Series. One volume in this series is entitled “Audiologists.” Its stated purpose is to aid physicians in “countering advocacy efforts of audiologists to expand their scope of practice to allow for direct access to patients without a referral” (p. 5). I know you’d like to see the direct quote for yourself; unfortunately, the document does not appear to be publicly available.
The AMA indicates that the modules in this series are developed to inform legislators, regulatory bodies, and other governmental decision-makers about the education of physician and non-physician health-care providers. To that end, the AMA distributes these modules to state medical associations, state medical boards, national medical specialty societies, and national medical organizations. However, it is not their policy to provide the modules to individual physicians, and by inference, the general public.
As it has not been made publicly available, the Academy cannot provide a copy of this module to you at this time. However, the board has asked me to convey to you the following points:
- This document is not unique to audiology. The AMA has already written or will write similar monographs about dentists, naturopaths, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, podiatrists, and psychologists. This series appears to be part of a strategic initiative to oppose all forms of state or federal legislation perceived by the AMA to expand the scope of practice of non-physician providers of health care.
- The Academy will respond.
- A task force is reviewing the document and will submit a draft response paper by the end of August. This is an unusually short turn-around time with many people coordinating their efforts. Your patience is appreciated!
- We are creating a “toolkit” set of materials to help you develop your own responses in your settings.
- We are coordinating efforts with other audiology organizations.
- Finally, we forge ahead with H.R. 3024, our Direct Access bill. On July 17, the board spent time on Capitol Hill to discuss our bill with members of Congress. Concurrently, the Government Relations Committee launched a Virtual Advocacy Day for Academy members from across the country, resulting in over 400 letters of support sent to members of Congress. H.R. 3024 currently has 16 co-sponsors. Click here for more information and to contact your member of Congress to ask him or her to support H.R. 3024.