NDMA Policy Forum 2023

The policy forum is strategically designed to increase participation from members on critical policy issues that impact physicians and the care of patients.


The policy issues were presented and discussed during the 2023 NDMA Annual Meeting then forwarded to the Council for further vetting. The Council met on November 28 to further review and discuss the comments on each policy issue shared during the policy forum.

The Council took action and passed the policies. To learn more about policy development and how it works, check out this guide



Regulatory Oversight of the Use of Artificial Intelligence for Prior Authorization and Patient Claims
To manage the increasing number of prior authorization requests and payment claims, insurers turn to artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up requests. The use of artificial intelligence can interrupt care, divert resources from patients and complicate medical decision-making.

NDMA should advocate greater regulatory oversight of the use of augmented intelligence for review of patient claims and priorauthorization requests, including whether insurers are using a thorough and fair process.

Adopted November 28, 2023

Physicians' Medical History and Credentialing

Organizations involved in credentialing should only require disclosure of physical or mental health condition when a physician is suffering from any condition that impairs judgment or ability to practice medicine.

NDMA should work with the North Dakota Board of Medicine, the North Dakota Hospital Association, and insurers, to develop policies and strategies to ensure that medical credentialling forms will disclose information that is reasonably needed to address the applicant’s current fitness to practice medicine and respect the privacy of physician’s protected health information.

Adopted November 28, 2023

Physician Retention
Research indicates that a great clinician resignation lies ahead and predicts a more widespread clinician exodus. The exodus became exasperated by the pandemic, which has driven physician burnout to crisis proportions.

NDMA should create a stakeholder group to closely study physician retention to identify areas that need change and develop recommendations for consideration by the NDMA Council.

Adopted November 28, 2023

Radon Awareness
This invisible gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer and North Dakota is among the highest-risk states for radon exposure. More education is needed to make homeowners, home buyers and sellers aware of the dangers.

NDMA should work with other health care leaders to raise radon awareness in the community and work with other stakeholders to submit a bill for the 2025 session requiring disclosure knowledge of radon testing and mitigation and provide information to buyers and tenants about the dangers of radon and importance of testing.

Adopted November 28, 2023

Medicare Payment Reform
Medicare physician payment effectively declined 26% from 2001 to 2023, even before additional inflation. Congress needs to turn its attention to fixing Medicare so we can preserve access for patients.

NDMA should advocate with our congressional delegation to work with other members of congress to reach a solution to physician reimbursement in Medicare.

Adopted November 28, 2023

Plans of Family Care

Pregnant, postpartum, and parenting individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD) or other substance use disorder (SUD) should be encouraged to enter treatment and not suffer punitive actions for starting or continuing treatment, including when medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) are part of the treatment protocol. Confusion about the difference between “notification” of substance exposure versus a “report” of alleged abuse and neglect often results in a pregnant woman with substance abuse disorder to avoid seeking care for fear of being separated from her children.

NDMA should work with the ND Dept. of Health and Human Services and other partners, including policymakers, to propose legislation in the 2025 session.

Adopted November 28, 2023.


The 2023 Policy Forum discussion included many great debates to assure the ideas presented would contribute to sound policy. Here are a few photos of the event:



Dr. Joan Connell shares discussion on the importance of providing care for families with substance use disorders.

  Dr. GiGi Goven shared concerns about physician well-being and burn-out prevention.

Dr. Glenn Thoreson took the mic to share concerns on the importance of maintaining care integrity.





Dr. Erik Heitkamp shares concerns about providing care for pregnant moms.  

Dr. Tim Mahony provided insight on changes in health care.




Dr. Steph Dahl stressed the importance of recognizing that radon is a carcinogen and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. In North Dakota, there is a need to bring more awareness to communities about the dangers of radon.   Dr. Ana Tobiasz shared concerns about reporting requirements as it relates to opioid use disorders and pregnant patients. Her goal is to help patients receive the necessary care so both the baby and mother have healthy outcomes.



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