Thank you for your reply.
If I may, a few follow-up questions/comments.
You mentioned the AOA’s Bureau of Federal Health Programs.
1- How often do they meet and who is part of this board?
2- Are the board members physicians in private practice, academia, non-physicians?
I was well trained at PCOM. The Osteopathic tradition of treating individuals, not their disease, and making the individual the central focus of each encounter is how my practice is set up. By the AOA continuing to allow third parties and government regulators to micromanage/macrodamage Osteopathic physicians goes against the very fabric of Osteopathic principles and practice. I hope the AOA continues to work toward private contracting legislation but also becomes much more vocal about private options for physicians.
” The AOA’s decision to begin Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) was the profession’s answer to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program as required under current law.”
1- What law are you referring to?
I along with most of my physician colleagues do not believe that OCC is positioned to address the needs of our patients, our practice or the healthcare system. Recently the AMA had a meeting where over 60% of physicians voted against MOC being that it was an overreach and not evidenced-based. The AAPS has filed suit to stop MOC. With so much opposition to MOC, why does the AOA keep pushing on with MOC before enough data proves it helps patient care?
” Ultimately government impact on medicine is a reality for the nation’s health care system and the physician community. While we could bury our head in the sand as a profession and attempt to ignore that fact, it would not be prudent nor beneficial to our physicians and the patients you serve.”
Government impact is a reality. But that does not mean we should allow the government to further influence our profession.
Politicians and bureaucrats do not provide medical care. Physicians do!
Insurance companies do not provide medical care. Physicians do!
Our country needs more physicians, not more politicians or more laws that make providing care more difficult.
The AOA is an organization whose function is to serve its physician members and represent our interests and our principles, especially those that allow us to do our jobs for those that matter the most, our patients. Abdicating this responsibility to third parties and government has, in my opinion and again in the opinions of many of my colleagues, created the healthcare issues we have today.
By the AOA capitulating to the whims of government and third party insurers, it is my belief that the AOA is burying its face in the sand at the extreme cost of the survival of the Osteopathic physician to provide care freely, without burdensome regulations. At some point the AOA has to say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
The time is now to open a real dialogue between the AOA board members and those physicians out in private practice, not just those in academia or those employed by hospitals/corporations. For when the government and insurers fully take over healthcare, which I believe is their intention, there will be no private physicians, and there will be no distinction between Osteopaths, Allopaths, Nurse practitioners or mid-levels. Our Osteopathic degree that we worked our entire lives for will be devalued. When that occurs at the blessing of the AOA’s present direction, the AOA will cease to be. We are digging our own grave with shovels provided by the third parties and government. If you do not believe that will occur, just look at the AMA membership. AMA practicing physicians membership since healthcare reform has passed has decreased yearly from 17.4% in 2008, to 14.5% in 2010, to 13.9% in December 2012. With the further decline in independent private practices, do you really think those numbers will improve? Do you think the AOA is not far behind?
I look forward to a continued dialogue.
Steven Horvitz, D.O.