Raising the profile of osteopathic medicine at the state level
The AOA supports the osteopathic profession by monitoring and advocating on state-level legislation, regulations and licensure issues.
Partnering with state and specialty affiliate organizations, the AOA tracks legislative issues, compiles research data, develops issue briefs and engages state policymakers in support of the osteopathic medical profession. Key areas of focus include scope of practice, osteopathic recognition and equivalency, pain management, funding to increase care in rural and underserved areas, and medical liability reform. Read further for information on our latest efforts and advocacy wins.
State Priority Areas
Scope of Practice & New Licensure Types
- Support legislation that promotes the physician-led, team-based model of health care delivery, which values each member of the patient care team while protecting patient safety through appropriate physician involvement.
- Support uniform, evidence-based licensure pathways for physicians, as well as non-physician clinicians, based upon scope of practice.
Osteopathic Equivalency and Recognition
- Ensure that legislation appropriately recognizes osteopathic physicians (DOs), postdoctoral trainees, and students, as well as osteopathic examinations and board certifications, as equivalent to their allopathic counterparts.
- Educate legislators about currently accepted osteopathic terminology and the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine, including osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). Support DO licensure and regulation by osteopathic medical boards in dual board states.
Truth in Advertising
- Support legislation that requires all health care providers to affirmatively communicate their degrees and licensure type to patients, to help reduce patient confusion and protect patient safety by preventing fraud and deceptive practices. Support patients’ ability to make informed decisions about who provides their care by opposing advertisements of physician board certification unless the board possesses legitimate training and testing requirements.
- Work to increase public awareness and implement evidence-based recommendations and best practices related to public health issues, including firearm safety, tobacco products, and electronic nicotine delivery systems, and vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Support funding to strengthen our public health care infrastructure and workforce, reduce health care disparities and establish a robust, well-coordinated, national strategy to combat future public health emergencies that integrates national, state, and local public health departments.
- Support enactment of legislation that increases the physician workforce by increasing funding for graduate medical education and expanding financial incentives to facilitate physicians’ ability to care for patients in rural and underserved communities.
- Support the delivery of appropriate health care services, including the prescription of controlled substances, through telemedicine and other communications-based technologies. Advocate for payment parity between these services and similar services delivered in-person.
Prescription Drug Misuse, Abuse and Diversion
- Support a cautious, evidence-based approach that balances the need to curb prescription drug misuse while ensuring access to timely, appropriate health care for patients with legitimate pain care needs. Support legislation that promotes non-pharmacological pain management modalities, such as osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), and provides funding for research and treatment.
Access and Affordability
- Support legislation that enhances access to timely, affordable, high-quality care for all patients. This includes:
- Supporting network adequacy and transparency standards for insurers, as well as physicians’ rights to voluntarily contract with insurers and establish their own out-of-network rates, which enable them to maintain viable practices.
- Supporting legislation to stabilize state health insurance exchanges and expand Medicaid as authorized under the Affordable Care Act, while opposing policies that erode benefits, eligibility, or coverage.
- Supporting access to affordable prescription drugs, including by regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers.
- Supporting enactment of legislation that alleviates arbitrary burdens in step therapy and prior authorization to improve patients’ access to needed prescription drugs and physician services.
- Oppose any legislation that would interfere with the physician-patient relationship and physicians’ ability to provide evidence-based information and care to their patients.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (COMPACT)
- Support enactment of the Compact, which enhances physician license portability and increases patient access to care.
Connect and Get Involved
- Advocate on behalf of your profession and patients by staying up to date on policy developments and getting involved in your community.
Osteopathic Advocacy Network (OAN)
The AOA is working on your behalf every day, but you are the best advocate for the osteopathic profession and your elected officials must hear from you. Your experience and knowledge can help guide your lawmakers to craft impactful legislation for you and your patients. Learn more.
- The DO Engage
AOA members receive The DO Engage newsletter detailing current legislative and regulatory activity, and updates on issues that affect our members.
- Advocacy Action Alerts
AOA OAN members receive calls to action to stimulate grassroots engagement when legislative activity takes place that may significantly impact the profession.
- DO Day on Capitol Hill
Held each spring, this event serves as the osteopathic family’s premier opportunity to lobby Members of Congress on the issues that are most important to the practice of osteopathic medicine. Learn more.
- Training in Policy Studies (TIPS) Program
Training opportunities for osteopathic resident physicians in health policy to support their future engagement in advocacy and policy development on behalf of the profession. Learn more.