Ensuring Patient Access to Specialty Physicians
The number of challenges presented to specialty physicians has ballooned in recent years. Healthcare reform brought a wave of new mandates and penalties, and it created a new cost cutting mechanism that will disproportionately target physician reimbursement. There is a growing shortage of specialist providers. Medical liability insurance premiums continue to grow. And doctors are forced to choose between privately contracting with just a single Medicare beneficiary and staying in the program.
Taken together, these challenges make it harder and harder to maintain a viable practice, and they’ve made it harder and harder for plastic surgeons to participate in Medicare. Fortunately, though, you can fight back, and ASPS focuses on four areas that will help you do just that:
You shouldn't have to leave Medicare if you want to enter into a private payment agreement with a patient, and that patient should be able to use Medicare dollars - their Medicare dollars - to help pay for private procedures.
THE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD (IPAB)
Created by the Affordable Care Act, this board of unelected bureaucrats has a mandate to cut Medicare spending when it exceeds a certain level. Because parts of Medicare are exempt from the cuts, physician payments will be heavily targeted. Since Congress can't reduce the spending cuts the IPAB would demand, the Board must be eliminated.
GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION
There is a silver tsunami coming toward the United States in the form of the aging baby boomers. By 2025, there will be a shortage of more than 125,000 physicians, half of which will come from specialties. Tell Congress that it must ensure access to specialty physicians by increasing the number of federally funded residency slots.
MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM
Defensive medicine is expensive for our healthcare system. Medical liability insurance is expensive for your practice. Commonsense reforms have already produced meaningful positive results at the state level.