Washington State Medical Association Receives Awards for Excellence in Patient and Physician Outreach

Jul 22, 2013, 13:19 ET from Washington State Medical Association

SEATTLE, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) has received two 2013 Profiles of Excellence (PoE) Awards for outstanding achievement in medical society management from the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE). The WSMA was recognized in two categories: Communications, for its Know Your Choices – Ask Your Doctor patient and physician outreach campaign, and the President's Award (Preparing Members for Health Care Reform), for its program to help Washington physicians understand the state's health benefit exchange and how it will affect the practice of medicine and patient care.

WSMA's Know Your Choices-Ask Your Doctor campaign, launched in 2012, continues to educate physicians and give patients the tools they need to make informed choices about their care. The statewide campaign has three components: utilizing the national Choosing Wisely® initiative, led by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports, which encourages conversations between physicians and patients about the necessity of certain tests and procedures, promoting the successful ER is for Emergencies campaign to educate patients on the appropriate place to receive health care, and promoting WSMA end-of-life patient and physician resources.

"I couldn't be more proud of the WSMA for the recognition of our important programs. The WSMA continues to be a national leader on advancing programs that improve quality of care and patient safety as well as increase patient access to care," said Jennifer Lawrence Hanscom, executive director/CEO. "As health care reforms are implemented and the cost of care continues to increase, physicians must be leaders and participants in the solution. Receiving the prestigious President's Award is a tremendous honor."

Recognizing the complex challenges physicians face with the new health care reforms—for their practices and their patients—the WSMA has worked closely with its physician members to educate them and help them prepare for upcoming changes. The organization is distributing information on the state's recently launched Coverage Is Here campaign, an effort to help increase enrollment for both the exchange and Medicaid populations.

"Access to care remains a priority for physicians in Washington state," said Dr. Nick Rajacich, president. "As we work to educate our members about the upcoming health benefit exchange and Medicaid expansion, the WSMA will continue to advocate for network adequacy—to ensure there are sufficient networks of physicians participating in the exchange and Medicaid to actually see the patients who will need care."

The awards were presented at the 2013 AAMSE Annual Conference, held July 17-20 in St. Louis, MO. The Profiles of Excellence Awards were established in 2011 to recognize AAMSE member organizations for their contributions to the field of organized medicine. For more information on the Profiles of Excellence Awards, visit www.aamse.org/PoE. The full winning submissions are available to AAMSE members at www.aamse.org/PoEWinners.

About the Washington State Medical Association
The Washington State Medical Association's vision is to make Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. The WSMA represents over 9,500 physicians throughout Washington state. For more information about the WSMA, please visit www.wsma.org. For more information on Know Your Choices – Ask Your Doctor, please visit www.Know-Your-Choices.org.

About American Association of Medical Society Executives
The American Association of Medical Society Executives is the professional organization of more than 1,300 medical society executives and professional staff across North America. Through its more than 300 member organizations, AAMSE advances the profession of medicine through education, communication of knowledge, leadership development and collaboration. For more information, visit www.aamse.org.

SOURCE Washington State Medical Association