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LMS President’s Message, February 2018

Come, join us and use your voice to change health care at the 2018 Physicians’ Day at the Capitol!

February 7, 2018, “Physicians’ Day at the Capitol,” is rapidly approaching. Regardless of your specialty, as a group of physicians, our unified voice will resonate much more loudly to our legislators in Frankfort.

Does anyone know what health care means? When a person becomes ill, does the person need health care or a doctor?  Well, once government, health insurers, and hospitals limited physicians’ rights and choices, they assumed control over the delivery of medical care, and the term “health care” was created.  Thus, doctors became health care “providers.”  Physicians were blindsided by the endless assault of regulations, mandates, and practice guidelines, all cleverly disguised and marketed to improve the quality and reduce the cost of medical care

 

A growing number of physicians are openly vocalizing their extreme dissatisfaction with our broken medical system. To effect change, though, we must unite to expose the etiology of this brokenness, and advocate to our legislators for changes to improve the practice of medicine.  We must stop government regulations and insurer demands (Prior Authorizations, preferred medications, permission to order tests and consultations) which have not resulted in better care for our patients.  From failed EMR (Electronic Medical Records), MU (meaningful use), MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015), MIPS (Merit Based Incentive Payments System), and MOC (maintenance of certification) to protocol-driven cookbook medicine, these mandates were intended to satisfy interest groups, not improve the care that physicians provide to their patients.  We must courageously and honestly reveal those entities (government, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies) who seek financial and political benefit at the expense of physicians’ ability to care for their patients.  Non-physician groups who seek to mandate “professional standards” to benefit their own agendas, not the interest of patients must be stopped.  Not only that, physicians should not have to practice in a climate of unsubstantiated regulations and bullying.  This is not about just improving the quality of physicians’ lives and their freedom to practice good medicine.  It is about allowing physicians to practice the art and science of medicine unrestrained by special interest groups and regulations that do not benefit patients.

On January 26, 2018, the Lexington Medical Society Alliance will host a “Legislative Update” at the Hartland Clubhouse. Featured speakers include Dr. Ralph Alvarado (KMA and LMS member, and State Senator from the 28th District), Kim Mosher (State Representative of 64th District, KMA Alliance member, and President of AMA Alliance), and Pat Padgett (Executive VP of KMA).   They will provide us with updates to health care related bills which will be discussed at the 2018 legislative session.

I encourage everyone to attend this function to prepare for the “Physicians’ Day at the Capitol.”  KMA will start the morning out with a breakfast with our legislators and an update on our current legislative priorities. Cory Meadows, the KMA Director of Advocacy and Legal Affairs always gives an excellent inside-baseball like update that will more than prepare you for your meeting with your legislators. I recommend arranging your meeting your legislators in advance. Here is a link to find out who your legislators are and their contact information. A common comment from our legislators is that they don’t hear from physicians enough as compared to other professions. Our effort to advance our legislative priorities doesn’t end when we leave Frankfort. LMS is forming a Legislative Network to develop strategies to communicate with our respective congressional people. The intent is to link those who are interested in this effort virtually, via Basecamp, and through the use of Go to Meeting. Contact Chris Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO, to get set up. Hippocrates said, “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”  This is our opportunity!  I implore you to come to Frankfort, KY, this February and speak your mind.