Timothy Craig Allen (2017) Twenty-First Century Pathologists' Advocacy. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine: July 2017, Vol. 141, No. 7, pp. 940-943.
SPECIAL SECTION—THIRD PRINCETON INTEGRATED PATHOLOGY SYMPOSIUM: THORACIC PATHOLOGY
Pathologists' advocacy plays a central role in the establishment of continuously improving patient care quality and patient safety, and in the maintenance and progress of pathology as a profession. Pathology advocacy's primary goal is the betterment of patient safety and quality medical care; however, payment is a necessary and appropriate component to both, and has a central role in advocacy. Now is the time to become involved in pathology advocacy; the Medicare Access and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) are 2 of the most consequential pieces of legislation impacting the pathology and laboratory industry in the last 20 years. Another current issue of far-reaching impact for pathologists is balance billing, and yet many pathologists have little or no understanding of balance billing. Pathologists at all stages of their careers, and in every professional setting, need to participate. Academic pathologists have a special obligation to, if not become directly involved in advocacy, at least have a broad and current understanding of those issues, as well as the need and responsibility of pathologists to actively engage in advocacy efforts to address them, in order to teach residents the place of advocacy, and its value, as an inseparable and indispensable component of their professional responsibilities.