Noticias y eventos
UAG Medical Student Noel Hawkins Advocates for Patient Access and Primary Care Workforce on Capitol Hill
By: UAG School of Medicine
UAG School of Medicine is proud to recognize the efforts of our medical student, Noel Hawkins, who recently participated in an advocacy trip to Capitol Hill with the American College of Physicians (ACP). During this trip, Noel and other medical professionals focused on advocating for legislation aimed at enhancing patients’ access to care and fortifying the primary care workforce.

In this event served as a crucial platform for the College to amplify its presence on Capitol Hill and advocate for shared concerns with U.S. lawmakers. It provided an invaluable opportunity for both ACP and its members to enhance visibility in Washington and illuminate issues of mutual interest.

Participants receive a comprehensive orientation and briefing on ACP’s key legislative priorities. Additionally, they have the privilege of directly engaging with legislators and their staff, while also receiving in-depth briefings from influential figures such as White House officials, Capitol Hill staffers, and members of Congress—key decision-makers in the realm of healthcare policy.
Advocating for Patient Access
One of the key legislative measures advocated for during the trip was the Safe Step Act of 2023 (H.R.2630/S.652). This bipartisan bill aims to mandate group health plans to establish an exception process for any medication step therapy protocol. By ensuring patients have access to necessary treatments safely and efficiently, this legislation has the potential to improve patient outcomes significantly.

Addressing the Physician Shortage
Noel and the ACP delegation also urged Members of Congress to support the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023 (H.R.2389/S.1302). This crucial legislation proposes a gradual increase in the number of Medicare-supported Graduate Medical Education (GME) positions by 2,000 per year for seven years. With the growing shortage of resident physicians, this initiative is vital for ensuring that communities have access to the healthcare services they need.

Advocating for Physician Fee Schedule Updates
Additionally, Noel and his colleagues advocated for the Physician Fee Schedule Update and Improvements Act (H.R.6545). This proposed bill seeks to elevate the threshold for implementing budget-neutral payment cuts and advocates for periodic increases based on the Medicare Economic Index (MEI). By updating the fee schedule and ensuring fair compensation for physicians, this legislation aims to support the sustainability of healthcare practices and maintain patient care access.

Noel Hawkins' participation in the ACP advocacy trip exemplifies UAG School of Medicine's commitment to shaping future healthcare leaders who advocate for policies that prioritize patient access and quality care. Through his advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, Noel has contributed to the advancement of legislation that will positively impact patient care and the healthcare workforce. We commend Noel for his dedication to advocacy and look forward to seeing the positive changes his efforts will bring to the healthcare landscape.
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