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Tennessee Physicians Advocate for Good Health Care Policies in Nashville 

March 8, 2023
 

Nashville, TN — More than 300 physicians and health care advocates gathered in Nashville this week to bring the voice of organized medicine to state legislators at the Tennessee Medical Association's annual Day on the Hill.

The event gives doctors the opportunity to share their expertise with the Tennessee General Assembly regarding important issues affecting the practice of medicine in Tennessee.

The impressive attendance signified physicians' eagerness to engage in the legislative process and address big challenges faced by the profession. It also spotlighted advocacy efforts led by TMA, which was recently named the most influential advocacy organization in Tennessee.

"TMA put forward an aggressive legislative agenda this year," said TMA President Ed Capparelli, MD. "We believe the best way to influence the outcomes we seek is through direct involvement in the process.

"In order to reach policymakers that impact the practice of medicine, it is important that we stand up and be counted."

The event brought together practicing and retired physicians, residents and students from multiple specialties and geographic locations throughout the state. Participants attended committee hearings and held individual and group meetings with legislators throughout the day.

"Doctors are widely respected, and our voices carry an outsize influence," said Dr. Capparelli. "We represent our profession, our medical practices, and our specialties, but perhaps most importantly, we have a responsibility to share the experiences and concerns of our patients. We are hopeful that the constructive dialogue generated will resonate with our elected representatives and result in some positive changes in the laws."

Participants received a presentation from Rep. Esther Helton-Haynes (R-East Ridge) regarding her sponsorship of HB 883. The legislation seeks to change the affirmative defense component of the state's "trigger" law, implemented last year following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, to a legal exception allowing doctors to terminate pregnancies in life-threatening situations without facing prosecution. It would also enable doctors to provide preventative care for medically futile pregnancies.

One of TMA's top legislative priorities is addressing these concerns with the state's abortion "trigger" law. Other priority issues on which physicians advocacted this week include Prior Authoriation, Scope of Practice, Balance Billing and Physician Wellness.

Read more about TMA's legislative priorities at tnmed.org/legislative.