Health Equity

Being a physician in the District in the 21st century means being on the front line of the most pressing public health issues in the world. In our small geographic boundaries, physicians help address issue found in every state all in one area. The issues are too lengthy to list on one webpage but physicians are on the front lines of addressing health issues for all District residents.

News, Statements, and Testimony on Health Equity Issues

25th Council session information coming soon.


You're Not Dreaming - Prior Auth Reform Passes the DC Council

Nov 7, 2023, 15:19 PM by MSDC Staff
The Council passed MSDC-supported comprehensive prior authorization reform legislation for the first time ever.


November 7, 2023, is a day DC physicians have wanted to see for a long time. That is because today prior authorization reform has passed the DC Council.

B25-124, the Prior Authorization Reform Amendment Act, passed via the Council's consent agenda at its legislative meeting. With the second vote to pass, the bill is considered passed by the Council and will now go to the Mayor for her signature.

This bill is not perfect and it will not solve every prior auth issue in the District. But when it goes into effect, it will allow DC to join 40 other states who have passed some restrictions on prior authorization.

MSDC thanks Councilmember Brooke Pinto and the other council members who introduced and supported the bill. We also thank MedChi DC, other DC physician organizations, the American Medical Association, DC Hospital Association, DC Primary Care Association, DC Behavioral Health Association, and other healthcare organizations that helped advocate for this legislation.

The bill will now go to the Mayor who will hopefully sign the bill. Once she signs it - or it goes into effect without her signature - the bill will go through a Congressional review period. After that, the legislation can go into effect. We anticipate this will be in the early spring of 2024.

Our advocacy work is not yet done. The legislation applies immediately to private insurers but must be funded to apply to Medicaid. MSDC and partners will continue to push for funding for the bill in the DC budget. MSDC will also seek technical corrections and updates in future bills to adapt to the changing healthcare environment and address if/when insurers avoid the bill's requirements.

Load more comments
New code

Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC Tracked 


Student Access to Treatment Amendment Act (B23-467)

What does it say? The bill allows for the administration of medicinal marijuana in schools as well as allows students to bring sunscreen to schools and apply it without a prescription.

MSDC position: MSDC supports the language permitting sunscreen application in schools

Current status: A win for DC physicians and public health! The legislation passed the Council in February and was signed by the Mayor. Previous temporary and emergency legislation permitted students to use sunscreen at schools this school year already.

Electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment Registry Amendment Act (B23-261)

What does it say? The bill requires DC Health to establish an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment registry (eMOST).

MSDC position: MSDC supports this legislation to more easily allow patients to make their treatment orders known.

Current status: A win for the physician community and our patients! The Council passed the bill in December and the Mayor signed it into law on January 16, 2020.

Healthy Beverage Choices Amendment Act (B23-495)

What does it say? The bill would implement a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of "sugary" beverages. The money collected from the tax would establish a Healthy People, Healthy Places Open Spaces Grant Program.

MSDC position: MSDC sent a letter to Council Chair Mendelson asking for a hearing to discuss all of the issues around a beverage tax.

Current status: The bill was introduced October 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development and the Committee of the Whole.