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Doctors Meet to Discuss Ways to Stay Independent

The fight for doctors' independence was all the talk at the AID-Florida town hall dinner meeting Wednesday night.

After a busy networking hour, AID co-founder Tom Thomas kicked off the evening and addressed those who attended the members-only event at the Sheraton in Maitland. Recapping what the association had accomplished since it began in a cardiology group's lobby in 2013, Thomas highlighted AID's victories in working with the Federal Trade Commission to successfully block or unwind three large mergers, its numerous appearances in major media, its positive efforts to create cost transparency and consumer awareness, and its rapid growth.

Today AID has nearly 1,000 members in 33 states, and chapters in California, South Carolina, New England and Florida. Two more chapters will be announced next month.

A highlight of the Florida gathering was the number of charter members who attended -- 23 in all.

Executive Director Marni Jameson Carey also spoke about what AID was doing on the national and local levels to help independent doctors. Carey outlined the strides AID is making toward its five goals: stop hospital-medical group consolidation, increase transparency, eliminate facility fees, enforce anti-trust laws, and stop the abuse of the tax-exempt status by nonprofit hospitals. A stimulating discussion followed.

The meeting capped off a series of town halls AID has hosted this month beginning in California, then heading to South Carolina, and ending in Florida.
"It's been a busy month," said Carey, "but meeting our members where they live and work, and hearing what is affecting them locally has been a great experience."

She invited those attending the town halls and AID members to send ideas for ways AID could help resolve issues facing independent practices. Specifically, AID wants ideas for legislation or concerns the association can put before the Federal Trade Commission or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, agencies Carey will be meeting with next week.

AID is grateful to Coverys, an A rated provider of medical malpractice insurance, for sponsoring the events. Coverys partnered with AID in July to offer doctor members a 15 percent discount on med-mal insurance, one of many benefits AID offers its members to help them stay independent.

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