Transparency, site-neutrality, and stopping the consolidation of hospitals and independent medical groups were all on the agenda this week at the National Physicians' Council for Healthcare Policy meeting in Washington DC. Hosted by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), the NPCHP meets twice a year, and brings together more than 100 policy-minded physicians, medical economists and lawmakers who want to fix the nation's broken health-care system.
A regular speaker at these meetings, AID Executive Director Marni Jameson Carey presented Sunday on "The Case for Site-Neutrality." Other speakers covered the need to repeal the Safe Harbor Act (which allows group purchasing organizations and pharmacy benefits managers to siphon $200 billion out of the health-care system each year), the true cost of electronic health records, and the need for balance billing and expanded health savings accounts and more.
Among the officials who presented to the group were U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon (Ind.), a cardiothoracic surgeon; U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (Ore), current chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee; U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.); Dr. Vanila Singh, chief medical officer for the Department of Health and Human Services; and Demetrios Kouzoukas, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As you can imagine, the group had many questions for these officials.
After the two-day NPCHP meeting, Carey attended additional congressional committee meetings including one on health policy where U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall (Kan.), and U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (Wisc.), co-author of HR 4808, a transparency bill, both shared their thoughts on fixing the individual insurance market and listened to physicians' concerns. Carey spoke to this group on ways to solve issues facing independent doctors. She also attended receptions, panel discussions, and breakfast meetings, where she met with a variety congressional leaders, staff, and lobbyists to share AID's message, and the recently released White Paper that she co-authored with Dr. Marion Mass and Dr. Vicki Wooll.
Right: Carey top left with white paper co-authors Dr. Marion Mass, top right, and seated left, Dr. Vicki Wooll, and NPCHP Founder Dr. Marcy Zwelling.
Left: (L-R) U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), Carey and Dr. Jim Thomas, interventional radiologist from Penn.
Right: U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall (Kan.)
fields doctors' questions at a breakfast he hosted at the Capitol Hill Club.
Left: Demetrios Kouzoukas, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services takes questions from a frustrated crowd.
Right: U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) is a proponent of returning power back to the states as the nation's founding fathers intended.
Below: (L-R) Dr. Thomas, Dr. Mass, U.S. Rep. Marshall, Dr. Wooll, attorney Cynthia Stamer and Marni Carey at congressional dinner.