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

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I should not be mandated to PAY-to-Practice this great noble profession of Osteopathy.

IP4PI supporter Gina Reghetti, D.O. shares correspondence regarding continued attacks on the osteopathic profession.

Just a note to let you know that I received a letter today from the AOA, dated 1-9-2017 and signed by Jeffrey L. Weaver, O.D., yes, OD, not DO, an Optometrist who is the Vice President, Certifying Board Services, and from Eunice Lee, Associate Vice President, Client and Member Services, informing me that I have until February 1, 2017 to renew membership to keep my AOA board certification active. My board certification is wrongfully time-dated to expire in December 31st, 2022.

My scanner isn’t connecting to my PC wifi so I am unable to email the letter to you currently.

I called Jeffrey L. Weaver, O.D., this morning to confirm that he is not a DO, and I had a conversation with him for more than an hour regarding my views and concerns of the wrong agendas that the AOA has enforced on their doctors, such as re-certifications, and OCCs and membership dues connected to certifications. Continue reading

No Mandatory MOC – A physician pushes for reform in Maryland

Received from Maryland physician Jef Fernley, DO:

I have just got off the phone with Mary Beth Carozza, my State Delegate. Following in the wake of legal actions against MOC in OK, MI, Florida, and others, I expressed to her that I wish to have her champion legislation ending compulsory MOC in Maryland. The bill I’d offer basically says, if you wish to participate in Maintenance of Certification efforts, you are welcome to, if you do NOT, no employer, payer, etc. can use your board certification status to hire, fire, pay, not pay, promote, demote, etc. you. It makes MOC voluntary.

If you love MOC, truly believe that it’s improved the quality of your patient care, made you a better doctor, and that it’s completely worth the time, effort, and $$ you’ve invested, and you care not one bit how your board has used that tremendous surge in their income, then I apologize for having bothered you with this, feel free to delete without reading further. Continue reading

Quality of U.S. Medical Residents is In Steady Decline – What Must Be Done!

 

Guest Post From David R Schwartz MD:

As a physician educator practicing in the ICU/hospital environment for >15 years, I have noted a steady decline in the average resident’s knowledge base, clinical skill and efficiency, bedside manner and overall motivation. I am a harsh critic with extremely high standards, though I’ve supervised and been responsible for student/resident/fellow ICU rotations from an educational standpoint throughout.  The vast majority of my colleagues throughout the nation have supported this observation. More telling, daily report from the ICU nurses has chronicled a perennial erosion of their confidence in housestaff!

If true, this poorly documented but worrisome phenomenon combined with the anecdotal, but near universal, acceptance of increasing complexity and acuity of hospitalized patients is a prescription for failure. Explanations are numerous and pervasive.

THE STUDENTS

1) The public regard and economic rewards classically afforded physicians have dwindled dramatically.  While this may select for a less gifted cohort entering our medical schools, I believe the effect on the finished “product” far exceeds any deterioration in raw materials. Our new medical students and young physicians are still gifted.  Continue reading

Rowan Univ. School of Osteopathic Medicine Remembers Dr. Robert Maurer’s 39 Years of Service

Dear Faculty, Staff, Residents, and Students,

With sadness, we share the news of the passing of Dr. Robert Maurer on September 11, 2016.

Dr. Maurer served as a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine with the School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) for 39 years. During his time of service, he held a number of administrative and clinical roles. He retired from active employment at SOM in 1997, but continued in a volunteer role as an adjunct associate professor until his passing. Continue reading

R.I.P. Dr. Robert Maurer – a gentleman, a statesman, a renaissance man of Osteopathic medicine

Colleagues,

It is with a sad heart that I write to inform you that my longtime mentor, personal friend and friend to the Osteopathic profession passed away yesterday evening. Robert “Bob” Maurer DO died after a prolonged battle with cancer over the last few years. He was a gentleman, a statesman, and an osteopathic physician, through and through. He brought a kind, commonsense approach to his patient care and the professions fight for recognition and excellence. He was a PCOM graduate 1962, practiced family medicine and rheumatology, and was part of the team that established the school of osteopathic medicine at UMDNJ that became Rowan SOM. He worked for the school in the Department of family practice and established the Sicklerville healthcare center. In his career of that spanned more than four decades, he was a champion of the philosophy and politics of osteopathic physicians and their patients, tirelessly, until his final day. He spoke truth firmly to power, which is virtually unheard of nowadays.

He was described by his longtime friend Albert Talone DO:

“Dr. Bob was the most dedicated man to the profession, I know. His intellect, leadership and integrity were a rarity these days. I will surely miss him   We have truly lost a good friend; a renaissance man of Osteopathic medicine and letters.”

The funeral will be at Temple Emanuel, 100 James Street, Edison, NJ 08820 at 12:30 pm on Thursday.

Internment Beth Israel cemetery 2:15pm.

An In Memoriam from NJAOPS includes more info about Dr. Maurers accomplished lifetime of service:

Born in Brooklyn, he completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953 and received his doctor of osteopathic medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1962. Between degrees, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1953-1958.

Dr. Maurer joined NJAOPS in 1963, and served as the 1976-1977 president. He also served the osteopathic profession as a long-time officer of the Middlesex County Osteopathic Society, the NJAOPS House of Delegates, the AOA House of Delegates and the New Jersey Osteopathic Foundation. He was recognized for his contributions as the NJAOPS 1990 Physician of the Year and Life Membership in 2002.

An outspoken advocate for osteopathic physicians and their patients, he ran for the New Jersey Senate in 1983 and the New Jersey General Assembly in 1987.

Beyond New Jersey, in 1970 he became the youngest member ever elected to the PCOM alumni board, provided long-time leadership to the American Osteopathic College of Rheumatology, and secured financial support for osteopathic medical school scholarships and continuing education as a member of the Area VII Physicians Review Organization.

Continuing his advocacy on behalf of his colleagues long after his retirement from practicing medicine, Dr. Maurer has spent the last several years pressing for a reevaluation and reform of physician evaluation and testing unless it can be proven to improve patient care.

Best wishes for good health,
Craig M. Wax, DO
Family Physician
National Physicians Council on Healthcare Policy member
Host of Your Health Matters
Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM
http://wgls.rowan.edu/?feed=YOUR_HEALTH_MATTERS
Twitter @drcraigwax

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AROC conference spring 2016. (above)
Craig M Wax DO, Robert Maurer DO, Albert Tallone DO

maurer

 

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