This year's day of physician advocacy was a busy - and successful - one for CSMS physicians and their CT ACS colleagues:
The day kicked off with breakfast and networking. State Sen. Kevin Witkos and State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski stopped by to say hello, and stayed to talk with physicians about a range of healthcare issues.
After breakfast, physicians had time to visit with their state legislators. Many chose to visit the elected officials from the district where they practice, as well as from their home districts. In between meetings, CSMS invited State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri to provide an update on the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant and other state efforts to address patient care disparities. Also on hand was Andrea Ravitz, Marketing Director for Access Health CT, the state insurance exchange, who discussed enrollment trends.
The working lunch opened with remarks from State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, MD, the only physician in the General Assembly. In emphasizing the importance of physician advocacy, Dr. Srinivasan noted that "[e]veryone here wants to do the right thing, no matter which side of the aisle we are on." He pointed out that the trial lawyers are a regular presence at the Capitol, and encouraged physicians to be equally vigorous advocates. Dr. Srinivasan reminded physicians to "open your CSMS emails every week," stay informed about pending bills, and reach out to legislators with information to help them make the best decisions.
CSMS President Henry Jacobs, MD, JD then introduced our keynote speaker, Commissioner of the CT Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris. Mr. Harris began by describing a “new day" at DCP, with new approaches to regulation and enforcement. He talked about the DCP's interest in developing a more collaborative relationship with physicians, and "keeping regulation and oversight as simple and fair as possible."
Commissioner Harris discussed the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and the medical marijuana program. He then took questions from the audience, and stayed after the meeting to talk with physicians.
Many thanks to all the CSMS and CTACS physicians who participated in today's program. If you have questions about legislation or advocacy, please contact Ken Ferrucci, CSMS SVP for Government Affairs.