Earnest and determined to fight the political system, Texas Medical Association leaders and the Coalition of State Medical Societies descended upon Washington, D.C., this week for two packed days of meetings with elected officials and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) leadership.
They brought a long list of physicians’ complaints to address.
While great strides were made in last week’s federal budget agreement, many concerns of the House of Medicine remain in limbo, particularly with respect to physician Medicare payment cuts, regulatory relief from the more onerous components of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), and restrictions on physician-owned hospitals.
Led by TMA President Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, a Texas delegation was slated to visit the offices of 14 congressional leaders. The delegation is comprised of past and present TMA board members and American Medical Association and county medical society leaders.
“We are talking to our senators, representatives, and members of the Trump administration about what comes next,” Dr. Cardenas said. “The two-year budget approved last week lays out a road map for us to navigate.”
Also on the agenda are visits with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, and CMS Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich, MD.
Among the items on the agenda:
- Opposing cuts to physicians’ Medicare payments;
- Imposing a two-year moratorium on new regulatory requirements of physicians’ practices;
- Lifting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) moratorium on physician-owned hospitals;
- Eliminating all MACRA penalties that discourage participation;
- Further reducing MACRA requirements for small and rural practices;
- Stabilizing the individual insurance market;
- Allowing each state to choose the best Medicaid options for its residents; and
- Maintaining the ACA’s insurance reforms that protect physicians and patients, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits.
TMA will report back on progress made during these meetings.
Last Updated On
February 28, 2018