AOA’s Problematic Response to President Trump’s Executive Order

Friend of IP4PI, Richard Koss, D.O., writes in:

Below is the response from the AOA regarding the recent presidential executive order regarding Medicare.

Well they do make some accurate points towards the end of the letter there are many problems and issues that need to be brought out.

First. The federal government like most of America do not know what a DO or osteopathy is. Since this is a presidential executive order, does the President of the United States even know what osteopathy is? I doubt it! therefore the bureaucrats in Washington DC will not pay attention to this letter.

Second. The AOA does not speak for the 145,000 DO’s in this country. They can only speak for their membership which at this point is below 30% of all DO’s. since the AOA has not brought this information out to the membership and asked for support they cannot speak for any DO at this point. Likewise only 15% of MDs belong to the AMA. And again the AMA cannot speak for the vast majority of physicians in this country. Yet they do.

Third. Where in this response letter does the AOA expound on the difference between allopathic and osteopathic physician’s? And show our superiority in quality, cost containment etc. based on OSTEOPATHIC PRINCIPLES! Where does the AOA champion the use of osteopathic manipulative medicine in the care for seniors.

Interstate licensure Compact…NO!

Continue reading

Federal Judge Ends Mandatory AOA Membership Tied to Board Certification

“A federal judge in Camden has granted final approval to an $84 million settlement of an antitrust class action against the American Osteopathic Association,” related to the tying of AOA membership to the ability to maintain specialty certification through Osteopathic Continuous Certification, reported the New Jersey Law Journal on December 4, 2018.

The lawfirm leading the case, Duane Morris, LLC, earlier reported on what is in the settlement:

In addition to agreeing to end its practice of conditioning AOA board certification on purchasing annual membership in the AOA, which was at the center of the lawsuit, the AOA has also agreed to provide a host of other economic benefits to the more than 45,000 class members, such as:

  • for three years reducing its annual dues by $90 and
  • waiving a $90 board certification fee;
  • for two years offering AOA members two free CME courses of up to 12 aggregate credits;
  • contributing not less than $2 million to an osteopathic awareness campaign;
  • eliminating distinctions between online and in-person CME for purposes of AOA membership;
  • lifetime board certification is restored for all those certified prior 1997;
  • committee of independent private practice physicians will be created to represent independent practice considerations to the AOA board; and
  • physicians will not lose membership in the AOA as a result of failing to meet the CME requirement, provided that the physicians meet the CME requirements for the state(s) in which they practice.

Weighed against the uncertainty and expense of protracted litigation, the valuable benefits the AOA has agreed to provide to resolve the claims against it demonstrate that the settlement is in the best interest of the class and sub-classes, as well as the AOA, stated Duane Morris.

https://www.duanemorris.com/pressreleases/osteopathic_physicians_class_action_settlement_0718.html

For a full copy of the settlement agreements, see:
https://www.duanemorris.com/site/static/AOA_joint_motion_for_certification_0718.pdf

For a full history of the suit, see:
https://www.duanemorris.com/site/osteopathclassaction.html

Here is the wording from the motion on the key items:

Remember when the AOA worked for their members?

Gina Reghetti, DO shares her response to the AOA’s email alert opposing the repeal of ObamaCare:

Dear Dr. Buser:

I am writing in response to your “Urgent Action” email that I received on July 22, 2017, regarding the repeal of the PPACA, which is attached below.

I do not agree with your position that if the PPACA is repealed it would “significantly jeopardize our heath care system.” Since you represent the AOA as its president, I feel that you are using your position to influence political agendas that are not in the best interest of American patients and their doctors.

I would hope that the AOA does not use doctors’ membership dues and board certification fees to support such agendas that do not support the Osteopathic Philosophy of independent, private, practice osteopathic doctors that deliver one-on-one direct, private care to their patients without government or third party intruders, and that stay true to the practice of Osteopathy, as Andrew Taylor Still, D.O., M.D., founded.

Your stance appears not to support the Free Markets in the USA, and direct pay practices which are far better solutions than a government controlled healthcare system.

I take great insult that the AOA, through your voice as president, uses osteopathic doctors’ hard earned money to push agendas that are not reflective of the American way, and I believe that it constitutes just another AOA federal violation.

I am also very concerned as to why the AOA cashed my ninety dollar check for my board certification dues, yet the website displays that my board certification is inactive for the public to view, when that is incorrect since my board certification is dated to expire in 2022; although it should be a lifetime certification. Worse yet, the message to the public is to indicate that if osteopathic doctors do not hold board certifications through the AOA then they are somehow less qualified to practice medicine. I find this to be very defaming, and I request that this serious issue be corrected immediately and removed from the public website.

I remember when the AOA worked for their osteopathic physicians and surgeons and supported Osteopathy, but over the many years that role does not appear to be so any longer. Rather the AOA uses their power to lobby, such agendas, that are against the osteopathic oath and training of osteopathic physicians and surgeons here in the USA.

The AOA does not correctly reflect the opinions of their doctors; especially, when emails as yours are sent. There is no room for Politics in Medicine!

I would highly recommend that you, and the AOA, cease immediately from sending emails out that reflect your political stance rather than the Osteopathic Profession’s.

I strongly oppose your views as do the majority of practicing physicians and surgeons across this great nation.

Let us keep the United States of America a free nation for all and let us keep the government out of peoples’ lives, and especially out of healthcare, since it will only do more harm than good.

I thank you for your understanding and immediate attention to this serious matter.

I look forward to hearing from you to inform me that my Inactive board status is corrected back to Active status as it should be.

Respectfully,

Gina Reghetti, D.O.
AOA #64509
Attached: Dr. Buser’s email below:

 

 

 

Advocacy Action Alert


Dear Colleagues:

As you may have heard, the Senate will soon vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) without a legislative alternative. Should this vote be successful, it would significantly jeopardize our heath care system, and result in a loss of coverage and access to care for up to 32 million Americans, and the potential for significant increase in premium costs.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins, (R-ME), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have expressed their opposition and concerns about this plan. It is critical for any health care legislative proposals to achieve a high-quality, patient-centered, and cost-efficient system that meets the needs of our patients. I urge you to contact your senator to express your support for her pragmatic approach to health care reform and her vocal opposition to repealing PPACA without a legislative alternative, in order to ensure our patients have the continued access to health care.
The time is now to write to your senator and support her pragmatic approach to health care to ensure that our aforementioned goals on transforming the health care system focus on our patients.

Boyd R. Buser, DO

AOA President

 *Wondering how the AOA has developed its position on health care reform and the AHCA to date? Watch our webinar that explains the process.

UPDATE: AOA BOS fails to gut HOD policy opposing OCC MOC Mandates

Breaking: American Osteopathic Association (AOA) House of Delegates (HOD) affirms member opposition to use of OCC MOC as condition of licensure, hospital privileges, employment, and insurance reimbursement.

Special thanks to delegates:

Jeff Davis DO
Sheila Page DO
Kelli Ward DO
Sam Urick DO
Leroy Young DO


Here’s our original post with details about what the HOD successfully defeated:

Can you say “tone deaf”? It seems the AOA is not hearing the message that physicians and patients across the U.S. continue to drown in a sea of red tape.

While opposing ObamaCare repeal and replace, the AOA is attempting a repeal and replace of its own.

In a brazen act of self dealing, the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists is sponsoring resolution H-227 at the AOA House of Delegates, currently underway at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel.  H-227 would repeal established AOA policy opposing OCC mandates and replace it with the following:

The AOA opposes any efforts to require OCC as a condition for medical licensure, 12 insurance reimbursement or network participation, malpractice insurance coverage or as 13 a requirement for physician employment  RESTRICT THE USE OF BOARD CERTIFICATION AS A MARK OF EXCELLENCE, AND SUPPORTS ITS USE BY ENTITIES TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC AND ASSURE THE DELIVERY OF HIGH-QUALITY PATIENT CARE.

Click here for a link to the full resolution.

Here are a few powerful ways you can voice YOUR opposition to this harmful change!

  1. Use Twitter hashtag  to encourage the HOD to oppose H-227.
  2. Tweet your opposition to @AOAforDOs.
  3. Retweet this Tweet:

 

Lawsuit against AOA restriction of trade will proceed

On June 12, 2017, the U.S. District Court in NJ denied the AOA’s motion to dismiss a suit brought by osteopathic physicians to end the requirement tying AOA dues to the ability to remain board certified.

The lawsuit will continue. Here is the link to the court order:
http://www.almcms.com/contrib/content/uploads/sites/292/2017/06/MTD-Order.pdf

For more information visit: https://www.duanemorris.com/site/osteopathclassaction.html

What’s the AOA doing to combat insurer discrimination against OMM/NMM?

Friend of IP4PI Dr. Domenick Masiello shares correspondence with the AOA:

From: Domenick Masiello
Date: February 26, 2017
To: “Doss, Yolanda” <ydoss@osteopathic.org>
Cc: “Wooster, Laura” <lwooster@osteopathic.org>

Subject: Re: Issues in OMM/NMM

Well, I guess now I have to respond point by point. I am staring at my wall, looking at the 2 AOA board certifications that I have. One is Family Practice and osteopathic manipulative treatment and the other is a separate, different certification called Special proficiency in osteopathic manipulative medicine, C-SPOMM. So, Yolanda, there are actually 3 certificates flying around NOT two. Now we have a residency so there is also Neuromusculoskelatal medicine/OMM. the Special Proficiency is NOT a FP certification. I should know, I didn’t just speak to somebody with 20 years experience, I actually possess these certificates and have been in practice for 30 years! there is no gold standard, just confusion created by the AOA and its various certifying boards. I didn’t say that insurance carriers or hospitals recognized any DO claiming to be a specialist in OMM, I just said that some FPs advertise themselves as such, thereby adding to the confusion for the public.

Yolanda you did offer to help with Aetna over a year ago – it just would have been nice to hear back on the issue. You sort of kept that to yourself until recently about 9-10 months later. Aetna is not the only insurance company that doesn’t recognize our OMM specialty. I have had problems with Connecticare, Empire in NY, Oscar/magnacare in NY in addition to Aetna in NY and CT. In fact none of the exchanges in NY recognize OMM but they do have acupuncture and chiropractic listed in EVERY exchange! Recently I even tried Liberty Health Share, a Christian healthcare cost sharing provider. They would have me contact them for approval first before every visit and then submit treatments plans like a PT because they don’t know what I do.   You haven’t heard about other instances of this insurance problem because many DOs who do manipulation are not members of the AOA. Some doctors who completed their OMM residencies chose not to sit for the exam and many more have cash businesses as I did for the past 29 years. You also don’t have any outreach to folks like me so why would you hear from us. last summer I begged and pleaded for a specialty specific email blast for AOA members to no avail. You assume we will be contacted by our specialty boards but we are not and you assume that we will be contacted by our state societies but many of us are not members of those societies because they don’t serve our needs as traditional osteopaths.  recently, at a meeting of the Bergen County osteopathic Society in NJ, it was suggested that perhaps this less than ideal treatment of physicians board certified in OMM might be because of our minority status within our own profession. Most AOA members are FPs and they have the loudest voice and the rest of us are a minority within a minority profession. Also that the creation of a board certification for manipulation may have been experienced by the FPs as a threat to their insurance reimbursement. Ultimately, the point is not that you are working on it but how does this kind of thing happen in the first place? OMM should be your top priority because that is what makes us different despite our small numbers. Continue reading

The Progress and Consequences of the ACGME Merger: A Call for Action©

“The profession should reverse course [on ACGME merger], continue to maintain its own osteopathic graduate medical education system, fix the existing problems with that system, expand it, innovate with it, particularly by developing ambulatory-based programs which reflect the reality of clinical practice,” writes Dr. Norman Gevitz in his call to action published today.  Click here to this important article.

Dr. Gevitz is Professor of the History and Sociology of Medicine & Senior Vice President—Academic Affairs, AT Still University. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications including The DOs: Osteopathic Medicine in America 2nd edition (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).

Additional Related Resources:

An Open Letter from the AACOM Executive Committee in Response to Dr. Gevitz’s previous call for action.
Letter To Medical Economics from Craig M. Wax, DO