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News & Press: Newsletter

August 2016 Newsletter

Friday, August 12, 2016   (0 Comments)



Upcoming Events

OMED | Sep 17-20 | Anaheim, CA

AOSED Strategic Planning Committee Meeting | Dec 1 | Austin, TX

AOSED Membership  Meeting | Jan 17, 2017 | Tampa, FL

Executive Directors Institute / Advocacy for Healthy Partnerships |  ​Jan 17-19, 2017 | Tampa, FL

AOA Mid-Year Meeting | Feb 2017 

OMED 2017 | Oct 7-11, 2017 | Philadelphia, PN

OMED 2018 | Oct 6-10, 2018 | Sand Diego, CA

- Angela Cole Westhoff, President (ME)
- Suzanne Frederick (ID)
- David Walls, Past President (OR)

- Ed Williams (MS)
- Frazier Edwards (AR)
- Erin Wernert (IN)
- Pete Weirthem (AZ) 

President's Corner
Angela Cole Westhoff, AOSED President

Thank you to all who attended the AOSED meeting in Chicago last week. We had a full audience and many wonderful presenters! The agenda was full and I appreciate your patience as we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. All of the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations are available on the AOSED website.

Some of our AOSED members have not been to the website to sign in and create your profile. We strongly encourage you to do so, as we will be using the website to share important information and to build an archive of key resources for state executive directors. If you need assistance logging into the website please contact David Walls (Immediate Past President) at

AOSED installed new Board of Trustee members and officers last week. They include:

Angela Cole Westhoff (Maine): President
Suzanne Frederick (Idaho): President-elect
David Walls (Oregon): Immediate Past-President
Ed Williams (Mississippi): Trustee
Erin Wernert (Indiana): Trustee
Pete Weirthem (Arizona): Trustee

​Pete Weirthem, Erin Wernert, Suzanne Frederick, Angela Westhoff, Ed Williams, and David Walls
We also said good-bye and recognized the achievements of three key AOSED members:
• Denise Selleck (Nevada) is leaving the association after 21 years as their Executive Director. We wish Denise well in her new endeavors.
• Mario Lani (Pennsylvania) is moving over to his state’s osteopathic foundation after 40+ years in his role as Executive Director.
• Kathie Itter (Washington) will be retiring this fall.
Congratulations to all! We thank you for your many years of dedicated service and wish you all the best!

​Denise Selleck & Kathleen Creason
AOSED Meeting in Review: Key Resources for Members
The first day of our AOSED meeting focused largely on continuing medical education requirements, changing rules, membership recruitment, marketing, and the future of osteopathic state associations. We had interesting and productive discussions including a panel discussion with Adrienne White Faines, AOA CEO, and members of her Senior Leadership team, including Alissa Craft, DO, MBA, AOA Director of Accreditation; Charlie Simpson, AOA Director of Communications; and Catherine A. Galligan, RN, CPA, MM, the AOA’s Chief Operating Officer. We concluded day one with a reception at the Chicago Athletic Club. A special thank you goes out to our three sponsors--Renova, 3WON, LLC and ELC Medical, Inc.--for helping to support this enjoyable networking event!

Day two of the AOSED meeting focused on advocacy tools and tips, changes in reimbursement models/ policies and audit updates, including the recent proposal by a local Medicare manager to change and limit the payment and use of OMT. If adopted, these new payment guidelines will curtail our members’ ability to bill for an appropriate office visit when OMT is performed. You can learn more at

All presentations from the recent AOSED meeting are posted on the website at: As previously mentioned, there have been a number of important changes to the rules regarding continuing medical education. If you missed the discussion about CME or would like to review the new rules in detail, please click here for more information.
House of Delegates Highlights
The American Osteopathic Association House of Delegates met July 22-24 to create important AOA policies on diverse issues such as physician burnout, collective bargaining and concussion treatment. The House also installed the 120th President of the AOA, Boyd R. Buser, DO, FACOFP. You can watch Dr. Buser’s inaugural address through this link.

Here are the highlights of some of the most notable resolutions passed at the House of Delegates meeting:

1. Concussion safety
: The House passed a policy paper that provides guidelines on concussion evaluation, treatment and return-to-play/return-to-learn protocols. This evidence-based information will assist states when they are updating their concussion and return-to-play laws. Since 2009, every state has passed legislation on concussion safety, but the laws vary widely from state to state.

2. Physician burnout and wellness: With three resolutions, the AOA House supported devoting more resources to physician wellness and mental health. The first calls on the AOA to develop a Mental Health Task Force in which physicians, medical students and residents, among others, will collaborate with state and specialty societies and other affiliates on relevant mental health initiatives. Another resolution directs the AOA to work with state affiliates to develop programs, potentially for CME credit, to help physicians manage stress, overcome burnout and understand how and when to seek professional help. A third resolution calls for the AOA to create a task force to identify the needs of physicians and medical students at risk for suicide and make recommendations on the best ways to help them and raise awareness of the issue.

3. Medical student finances: The AOA encourages residency program directors to evaluate the implementation of teleconferencing for graduate medical education (GME) interviews because remote interviews would ease the financial burden on medical students. Another resolution passed by the House directs the AOA to advocate for affordable health care for osteopathic medical students while they are in medical school.

4. Student loans
: The House supports advocating for federal legislation that would allow for $50,000 of professional student loan payments per year to be tax-deductible, regardless of modified adjusted gross income.

5. GME funding
: The House also passed an updated resolution on GME funding which states the following:
• The AOA opposes GME funding cuts for DO and MD programs while other professions’ programs receive funding increases.
• The AOA supports the distribution of federal funds for GME in a way that prioritizes areas most in need of DO and MD programs.
• The AOA supports all payers for health care also funding the costs of GME.

6. Substance abuse disorders: The House supports advocating for medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse disorders as the most clinically effective intervention. Medication-assisted treatment involves therapy and medications that lessen cravings and block the effects of the substance being abused. The MOA’s resolution, H-440, Evidence Based Treatment Programs for Substance Use Disorders, was passed with minor edits.

7. Physician collective bargaining: The House passed a resolution directing the AOA to establish a task force to look into the process of creating an independent collective bargaining unit for physicians and review its potential impact at the state and national level.

8. Eliminating abuse of the ACA grace period: The House resolved that insurance companies should be required to pay providers for services provided during the Affordable Care Act’s grace period. Explanation: Patients who fall behind on premiums have a 90-day grace period in which to catch up, but some may only pay their monthly premium every two or three months. Some insurance companies do not reimburse physicians for care provided to patients who are behind on payments, even though a grace period exists.

9. Physician-led team-based care: The AOA supports payment models that incentivize high-quality, coordinated care and enable physicians to cover associated costs, both in the MACRA Medicare payment system and among private health insurers.

Additional information and a list of all resolutions can be found here.

Call for AOSED Committee Volunteers
AOSED volunteers are sought to join our various committees including:

• Budget & Finance Committee
• Bylaws & Policy Committee
• Continuing Medical Education Committee
• Strategic Planning Committee
• Technology/Website & Online CME Committee
• Nominating Committee
• OPAC Liaison Committee
• State-to-State Mentoring Committee
• Program Committee
• Resolutions Committee

Anyone interested in volunteering for a new committee or continuing to serve on an existing committee, please contact Angela Westhoff at by August 10, 2016. Meetings are typically held by conference call as needed. Chair positions are open for various committees as well.

Upcoming Dates & Important Reminders
The AOA’s Advocacy for Health Partnerships (AHP) meeting has been moved from November to January. Please note we will not have an AOSED meeting in November but will meet in conjunction with the AHP conference in January. Mark your calendars for January 17-19, 2017 in sunny Tampa, Florida. You can read more about AHP here.                                                                   

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