SVS looks to maintain AMA House of Delegates representation

Nicolas Mouawad

To maintain its seat in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates—and, importantly, be able to provide information that impacts physician reimbursement—a 20% share of Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) members must also maintain active membership at the AMA. The SVS, currently 60 members short of meeting this required threshold, has until Sept. 1 to meet this membership metric.

If the SVS loses its seat within the AMA House of Delegates, the impact will be significant, as SVS also would lose its representation on the RVS (Relative Value Scale) Update Committee (RUC). The RUC is the main advisory body to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on relative values for new and revised Current Procedural Technology (CPT) codes, said SVS member Nicolas Mouawad, MD.

The RUC includes 32 physicians and more than 300 other representatives in each sector of medicine, including primary care physicians and specialists.

Mouawad, the SVS delegate to the AMA, said he understands that many members may have negative feelings about the AMA. However, the organization manages the RUC, which provides critical input to CMS on procedural codes and relative values on both physician work and direct practice expenses, which then drive both positive and negative trends in reimbursement, he said. Thus, “it is crucial that SVS is represented at the RUC.”

Actively engaging with the AMA also provides various benefits beyond the House of Delegates and CPT/RUC activities, including participation in coalition activities, promoting the interests of vascular surgery, and ensuring collaboration across the House of Medicine.

Though the AMA deadline is September, SVS leaders hope to reach the membership threshold before then. “Please join the AMA and notify SVS by emailing [email protected] when your membership is confirmed. That will let us know when we reach the number needed to keep our seat,” Mouawad said.

Taking this simple step, he added, can collectively “make a vital difference for our specialty.”

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