Hitting the Road for Health Care

Greetings, everyone! The last couple months have taken me on the road to keep up with the never-ending developments in the health care arena. My first stop was Milwaukee, where I attended the Spring 2011 meeting of the Health Professions Network. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to network and form alliances with a number of health care associations, from the American Medical Association to the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

A presentation at the meeting that I found particularly enlightening was that of Ron E. Peck, Esq., general counsel and senior vice president of the Phia Group, LLC. Mr. Peck provided an update on how the insurance world is adjusting to health care reform, as well how the current political and economic climates could affect such changes. He raised the possibility of insurance companies departing the health care arena altogether, rather than navigate the new rules and requirements expected to come with health reform.

All of the presentations given at the HPN meeting were informative, and I encourage you to review them if you have the opportunity. The HPN has made them available at http://www.healthpronet.org/milwaukee_april_2011.php, and you can view a summary of the meeting at http://www.healthpronet.org/docs/2011-04_hpn-summary-Milwaukee.pdf.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to our nation’s capital for an allied health workshop sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A highlight of the meeting was a statement by Susan Chapman, PhD, RN, of the UCSF School of Nursing. Dr. Chapman described medical assisting as the “profession of the decade,” and the parties in attendance expressed their agreement. The workshop featured much talk about the value of medical assistants in patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). As a follow-up comment to a presentation about expanded use of medical assistants in PCMHs, I emphasized the importance of patient protection, and that medical assistants should be graduates of programmatically accredited medical assisting programs. I also spoke of the necessity of medical assistants possessing a current medical assisting credential that includes the depth, breadth, and rigor to protect patients and employers from substandard and potentially patient-jeopardizing medical assisting services.

Needless to say, a great deal is going on in the world of health care, and medical assisting will be directly affected by the coming changes. We must ensure the profession has a voice in the health care arena.

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
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12 Responses to Hitting the Road for Health Care

  1. CMA (AAMA) says:

    Thank you Mr. Balasa for all the work you do for the CMA (AAMA) profession!

    • You are very welcome, and thank you for your kind words!! Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

      • Lynn says:

        Now, if hospital’s and not just private practice office’s, would reconize a Medical Assistant. They do not and I was told by hospital upper managent, Ohio State does not reconize a Medical Assistant.

        Thank you for all you have done for us.

      • You are welcome, and thank you for your kind words!

        My sense is that medical assistants more frequently are being hired to work in ambulatory care areas of hospitals. The AAMA will monitor this to see whether it becomes a trend. Because of the wide array of competencies and knowledge possessed by a medical assistant who has graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, and who has passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination and has kept the CMA (AAMA) current, this is not surprising.

        Medical assistants are named specifically in Ohio law. I will send you via e-mail the language about medical assistants from the Ohio law.

        Thank you again.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  2. Kay E. Biggs says:

    August 24, 2011…Don…I am just catching up with you “Legal Eye” reports…reading the response from Lynn dated 6/15/11…there is only one Ohio State…so I am assuming she is referring to the OSU Medical Center, formally OSU Hospital. It has long been known that OSU Medical Center has not hired MAs routinely for hospital duties. Unforunately, Lynn must not be aware of the local chapter here in Franklin County as well as the state society, OSSMA. There are many private physician practices associated with OSU that DO hire MAs in there offices and are quite pleased with the variety of skills the MA is trained to do. If you can trace back to Lynn’s email to you or perhaps her membership and advise her that she is more than welcome to join our local chapter for the September meeting…or if you can send me her email address…I will be more than happy to guide her to our meeting and maybe to some better networking within the Central Ohio area.
    Thank you for being there for all MAs and am looking forward to seeing you in Indianapolis!!
    Kay Biggs,CMA(AAMA) Columbus, Ohio
    katrinka1224@wowway.com

    • Thank you for your post, Kay! It is always great to hear from you! I hope all is well.

      And thank you for your follow up regarding Lynn. Hopefully, she will read your post. We will see what we can do on our end.

      Thank you for your kind words, Kay, and I look forward to seeing you and all our other colleagues at the Indianapolis Annual Conference.

      Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  3. RoxAnne Sealing, CMA(AAMA) MSMA President says:

    I am a CMA(AAMA) from Maryland and im my State you do not have to be a CMA to work in a medical (private) office they will give you on the job training. In the Nursing homes in Maryland you have to be a CNA, (Certified Nursing Assistant) or GA(Geriatric Aide) to dispense medication you have to be a cma(certified medicine aide) injections are usally given by an LPN or RN. Assisted living facility if they state skilled nursing care there must be an RN or LPN on each shift you are not allowed to give any medication unless certified other wise you are a care-taker and do not have to be certified and no rules by any government agency to follow. THE RN/LPN have rules they have to follow. I am the only current CMA(AAMA) where I am currently employed but yet my employer says we 5 CMA”s and 1 MA. My employer (office administrator) does not get it. I gave her all the info on how to check who is current and who is not nothing changes!!!!!!!. Thanks Mr.Balasa for keeping me informed with all the changes in the health care industry as it pertains to all CMA(AAMA) in Maryland and the other 49 states. Who am I makes a Difference and so do YOU!!!!!!! See you in Scottsdale.

    • Thank you for your kind words, RoxAnne, and you are very welcome! I would be happy to write a letter to your employer, and/or speak with the appropriate party by telephone.

      Thank you again, RoxAnne. Yes, I look forward to seeing you and our colleagues in Scottsdale at the Annual Conference!

      Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  4. Karen says:

    How will the health care reform affect the need for medical assistants in Florida?

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      It is my opinion that health care reform will increase the demand for medical assistants–especially CMAs (AAMA)–in all states, including Florida.

      Thank you again for your question. I will be writing more articles about this during the upcoming months.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  5. I appreciate it for posting “Hitting the Road for
    Health Care | Legal Eye”. I personallywill surely be returning for a lot more browsing and writing comments
    soon. Thanks a lot, Debbie

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