Leaders from TMA and the medical associations from California, Florida, and New York stormed Capitol Hill last week with our plan to take the regulatory burden off physicians’ practices. Former TMA Board of Trustees Chair Carlos Cardenas, MD, joined TMA lobbyist Dan Finch and me in D.C. The group visited with 25 lawmakers or their offices, including Texas Reps. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), and Gene Green (D-Houston), and House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price, MD, of Georgia. The Coalition of State Medical Societies’ priorities included calls for Congress to:
- Eliminate federal mandates, like the poorly named “meaningful use” program, that compel physicians to do unnecessary make-work and wade through convoluted reporting systems;
- Stop the bounty-hunting Medicare Recovery Audit Program contractors (RACs);
- Maintain the state-based system of licensing physicians;
- Be prepared to act quickly to protect physicians’ practices from financial problems caused by the new ICD-10 coding system;
- Clarify that maintenance of certification is not and never will be a nationwide condition for physicians to receive or keep a state license or to participate in Medicare or Medicaid;
- Allow physicians and patients on Medicare to contract for services directly; and
- Bolster funding for graduate medical education.