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2019 Council Resolution Update

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POSTED IN: EPIC - The Official Newsletter of MOCEP, November/December 2019,

Written by Evan Schwarz, MD, FACEP, FACMT
MOCEP President and Councilor

Just prior to the ACEP Scientific Assembly in October, the Council met. For those not familiar with the Council, it’s a lot like the House of Representatives except hopefully it’s a lot more functional. Each chapter gets a specific number of councilors based on their total membership. Resolutions are discussed, debated, and then voted on. The resolutions give the ACEP Board of Directors direction and priorities for the College over the next year.

Some resolutions were passed, others were not, and a few were sent to the Board for further debate. What follows is a little bit about some of the more significant ones. A list of all submitted resolutions can be found online.

One that may have flown under the raider, stops the College from using the general term provider. Instead, ACEP will refer to the clinician by who they are physicians, NPs, PAs, etc. Given the movement to blur the distinction between these, and the consequences of doing so, the Council thought it was important to be clear about this distinction and that all the parts are not interchangeable pieces.

Firearm violence was discussed. This is obviously a very touchy subject for some, and given our large membership, we know that there are a variety of opinions about the subject. However, the resolutions that passed seemed to be much less controversial. One directed ACEP to support public health approaches to prevent firearm injuries and violence and work with the organization AFFIRM to advocate for firearm-related research. A second resolution dealt with the aftermath of many of the tragic mass casualties that we’ve seen. While it may appear that many of the victims die quickly, we really have limited knowledge of the exact injuries that led to their death and what else we could do to assist after these injuries are sustained. This may sound unnecessary, but experts in social medicine response confirmed the need to better study this.

Another resolution dealt with the negative effects of private equity firms on emergency medicine and emergency physicians. A second resolution formally stated what occurred to the residents at Hahnemann was wrong and that residency spots should not be viewed as property to sell.

Other resolutions looked to improve working conditions. This includes that care delivered under the EMTALA mandate have liability coverage and the Missouri resolution to prevent arbitrary downcoding of charts based on a final diagnosis. Resolutions also focused on preventing legislation that created criminal penalties for physicians providing standard care…of course the trick is to make sure it doesn’t protect dangerous care provided by ‘functional’ physicians and the like. There were also resolutions to increase social work access in the ED and the use of telehealth by emergency physicians. Finally, a few resolutions advocated to increase vaccination rates and to allow the use of droperidol in the ED. Yes, if you weren’t aware, companies are beginning to make droperidol again and the worry about significant QT prolongation is very much overblown.