NAM News - May 31, 2022
In This Issue

Major Legislative Wins for Physicians in 2022

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on April 28, ending a session that included significant gains for organized medicine. TMA obtained coverage for audio-only telehealth services, cemented payment parity for virtual health care, and protected doctors from being in conflict with federal law and the state's COVID-19 statute. We also saw significant insurance reforms and reduced administrative burdens for patients and physicians. Lawmakers allocated an additional $10 million in funding for graduated medical education, which will receive a $20 million federal match.
Thanks to the physicians and managers who joined us for our annual Day on the Hill in March. Your presence has an impact. Look out for the 2022 Legislative Report card which NAM and TMA will share with you!

Project Access Nashville 2021 Impact

Take a look at the 2021 MFN Annual Report! As Project Access Nashville Specialty Care (PANSC) continued to expand in Middle Tennessee, the program set new record highs for program achievement in 2021.
  • MFN/PANSC coordinated 3,427 clinical volunteer hours between our patients and volunteer physician specialists
  • MFN/PANSC care coordinators had 55,341 connections with patients, which is nearly double the number for 2020.
  • MFN/PANSC staff worked with 42 referring clinic partners to serve patients in 32 counties.
Project Access Nashville is partnering with the TN Department of Health to increase health care access in the region, and this expansion was rolled out strongly during 2021, serving patients in 32 counties as shown below, and will continue in 2022. If you are a physician in any of the counties in Middle Tennessee and would like to learn more about volunteering, please contact Anastacia Volz at 615-712-6236, ext. 101, or

House of Delegates Recap

Thank you to the many Nashville Academy of Medicine members who served as 2022 delegates to the Tennessee Medical Association House of Delegates on May 21. We were honored to have the largest delegation of local voices representing medical students, residents, fellows, practicing physicians, and retired physicians from many specialties.
Delegates participated in a special session which included testimony from TMA physician leaders about patient care issues and concerns due to prior authorization. It was identified as a top issue facing Tennessee physicians and their patients, and a resolution was introduced to combat its detrimental effects.

Physician well-being was another top concern raised by incoming TMA president Ed Capparelli, MD.  NAM's PROSPER program was used as an example of one such great program in the state. The expansion of healthcare services to rural and underserved populations through the development and fortification of existing programs like Project Access and utilization of existing infrastructure was also prioritized.

Congratulations to our NAM member, Dr. George “Trey” Lee, III, who served as Vice-Speaker of the TMA house of delegates, and to Dr. Leah Jesse who was recognized by the TMA Resident and Fellows Section for her leadership as statewide chair of the section for the last two years.   

Independent Practice Goes to Summer Study

The issue of scope of practices will be the focus of a summer work group by the Tennessee Senate Commerce & Labor committee. The work group will focus on independent practice issues for advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, including whether to continue to remark form collaborative practice agreements.
Legislators say they want to facilitate meaningful compromise on the issue. Physicians with particular insight or experience on this issue are invited to share their thoughts with TMA. For more information, contact
Thank you to
our sponsors:
Burke Financial Group, LLC
Board of Directors:
  • Nicole Schlechter, MD - 
    Board Chair
  • Gregg Shepard, MD -
  • Michael Beckham, MD President-Elect
  • Laura Lawson, MD
  • Christin Giordano McAuliffe, MD 
  • George "Trey" Lee, MD
  • Matthew Pollard, MD
  • James Powers, MD  
  • Adrian Rodriguez, MD
  • M. Kevin Smith, MD
  • Duane Smoot, MD
  • Carl Willis, MD

Contact Us:
General Inquiries
Phone: (615) 712-6236  
Project Access Nashville 
Specialty Care
Phone: (615) 712-6237
Rebecca Leslie, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

Nikki Ringenberg, MPA
Senior Director

Taylor Crawford, MPH
Director of Strategic Projects
and Operations

Anastacia Volz
Director of Project Access
Nashville Specialty Care

New 2022 Laws Enacted Effective Immediately

New laws enacted by the 2022 General Assembly are effective and may be of special interest to physicians since they could require action or reporting. Others are for information only. Contact the TMA Legal Department at 800-659-1862, ext. 1645, or with any questions.
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