DAY IN DC FOR THE GOOD OF PATIENTS-empowering physicians to put patients first.

In the Oath of Hippocrates, physicians promise to work for the good of their patients, according to the best of their ability and judgment, and to do no harm. We support a return to this ethic in American medicine, and oppose policies that harm patients by subjugating care to the interest of the government and third parties.

Reform Issues:

  • Overregulation and mandates restrict access, stifle innovation, impede transparency, block competition & raise costs.
  • Fraud, waste, and shortages are rampant because special favors to middlemen.
  • Employer-based and government-run insurance discourages rational insurance practices.
  • Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupting the federal government, states, and doctors.
  • In the era of COVID, the consequences of usurping of patient and physician autonomy and freedoms are becoming increasingly apparent and dangerous.

Proposed Solutions: to protect freedom, increase options, encourage competition, and unwind unsustainable spending.

  1. End mask, vaccine, and other mandates and policies that intrude on patient autonomy. This also includes protecting Americans from World Health Organization policies that too often become mandates.
  2. Protect physician and patient freedom of speech in all venues, including the Internet. The government and media must not limit legal speech and must be transparent about their sources of funding and control. (See Texas HB 20.)
  3. Protect physician and patient autonomy in treatment and vaccination decisions. Early treatment for COVID saves lives and should not be improperly blocked by government or other bureaucrats. See AZ SB 1416 and MO HB 2149). Vaccine mandates are hurting vulnerable patients at low risk for COVID and must end. (See FL HB 1B, 3B, 5B, 7B).
  4. Protect due process rights of physicians who too often face retaliation, simply for advocating for patients, by employers, hospital administrators, licensing boards, and others who control their ability to practice. Needed reforms include repealing HCQIA’s qualified immunity for sham peer review, reform of the National Practitioner Databank, and rights for physicians employed by private equity controlled corporations.
  5. Work toward independence from China CCP medications, tech, manufacturing, goods and WHO influence.
  6. End regulations blocking alternatives to ACA, employment-based, Medicare, and Medicaid plans, while allowing those who wish to keep their current government plan to do so.
  7. End ACA’s ban on physician owned hospitals. Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act of amended section 1877 of the Social Security Act to generally prohibited those who know best how to care for patients from running the facilities where care for the most seriously ill and injured often takes place.
  8. Encourage transparency. Health care entities receiving taxpayer-subsidized funds from any source must disclose all prices that are accepted as payment in full for products and services furnished to individual consumers. Transparency by agencies (FDA, CDC, NIH, etc.) that control and influence health policy and treatment guidelines is also paramount. Transparency in training, so that patients know the qualifications of the clinicians caring for them, is also needed as patients are increasingly pushed to obtain care from individuals with significantly less training than physicians. Databases disclosing potential conflicts of interest must include all entities receiving or offering payments (e.g. device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, PBMs, GPOs, hospitals, insurers) not just physicians.
  9. Remove legal protection for kickbacks. Remedy GPO and PBM abuse of safe harbors by encouraging Congress to repeal 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(3)(C) and amplifying HHS-OIG efforts to stop exploitation of 42 C.F.R. § 1001.952(j) and related regulations. Ending kickbacks is a crucial aspect of ending America’s reliance on China for drugs and supplies.
  10. Decouple Social Security benefits from Medicare Part A. Citizens should be permitted to disenroll from Medicare Part A without forgoing Social Security payments. This would immediately decrease government spending and open the potential for a true insurance market for the over-65 population.
  11. Repeal Medicaid rules that decrease Medicaid patients’ access to independent physicians. ACA requires physicians ordering and prescribing for Medicaid patients to be enrolled in Medicaid. This creates barriers for Medicaid patients who seek care from independent physicians but wish to use Medicaid benefits for prescriptions, diagnostics, and hospital fees. This is a particular problem for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for opioid addiction.
  12. Explicitly define direct patient care (DPC) agreements as medical care (instead of insurance) so patients can use their HSAs, HRAs and FSAs for DPC.
  13. Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  Examples of needed reform include repealing the requirement that an individual making a tax-deductible contribution to an HSA be covered by a high deductible health care plan; increasing the maximum HSA contribution level; allowing Medicare eligible individuals to contribute to an HSA. HSA reform will help end tax discrimination. Individual’s payments for medical care should not be taxed differently than payments made by employers.
  14. End Restrictions on Health Sharing Ministries. Open the door for secular charitable sharing plans. Health Care Sharing Plans engage in voluntary sharing and are not a contractual transfer of risk.
  15. Encourage indemnity insurance and competition instead of managed care HMO plans. No limited networks of physicians and facilities.
  16. Address shortcomings of the No Surprises Act, that unfairly increase insurance company control over the ability of patients’ to access care from the physicians of their choice on mutually agreeable terms and that increase red tape for physicians.
  17. Increase options for addressing pre-existing conditions. Invigoration of competition, by implementing the above changes, would bring a variety of products for patients with pre-existing conditions, including reinsurance, and inexpensive guaranteed issue and renewability protections, and most importantly, lower overall cost of care.

Conclusion: Congress has passed law after law that disrupts the patient-physician relationship, corrupts medical decision making, and increases costs. During the COVID era, overregulation and regulatory capture is a greater threat to our nation than ever.   Harmful laws and policies cannot be fixed by adding new regulatory burdens or further usurping patient and physician autonomy. True reform starts with repealing laws and correcting errors, restoring the freedom, under constitutionally limited government, that made America great.

The solution to healthcare is…

Most agree that we need a healthcare system that encourages people to take care of themselves and covers catastrophic injuries and disease for all people.

I trust the free-market more than government, and some trust the government more than the free market.

MACRA, ACA, HIPAA, HMO act, Medicare and Medicaid were supposed to reduce costs and expenditures. Obviously government only makes it all worse. Looks like a job for the freemarket!

Either way, whichever philosophical system is selected by the people, individuals must freedom of choice and bear their own responsibility to the extent that is humanly possible.

Craig M. Wax DO

CNBC reports:

Medical emergency: ER costs skyrocket, leaving patients in shock

  • Americans are being overcharged by more than $3 billion a year for ER services, according to data from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
  • Bills can be nearly 13 times the rates paid by Medicare for the same services.
  • Americans in the Southeast and Midwest, and poor and minority patients, are the most exploited by emergency-room billing practices, especially at for-profit hospitals.

Read full story:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/10/medical-emergency-er-costs-skyrocket-leaving-patients-in-shock.html

A Tool for Patients to Bypass MACRA Rationing and Privacy Intrusion?

Could the below HHS regulation be a potential tool to help patients do an end run around MACRA privacy intrusions and rationing guidelinesMedicare patients CAN refuse to authorize the filing of a Medicare claim and pay cash as outlined below.
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In 2013 HHS updated HIPAA regulations giving cash-paying patients greater ability to restrict the disclosure of health information.  Here’s what the final rule states about Medicarepatients’ ability to assert this right:

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EHR vs paper record – debate rages

(Excerpt from LinkedIn)

How much Epic, Cerner, other vendors spent to lobby Congress

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/how-much-epic-cerner-other-vendors-spent-to-lobby-congress.html

Paper files are reliable, medical legal standard and ultimately recyclable. How about your computer? They look bad and are toxic to landfills for a thousand years. Your old hard drives when discarded may still be accessible to piracy. By the way, I support your right to keep medical records in any way, shape or form that you and your patients see fit. The government HITECH HIPAA ACA/Obamacare violates my right to record keeping systems that might benefit my patients, yet force me to comply, and make me subject to penalties when the mandates system fails. #EpicFail

Craig M. Wax DO

Cleveland Clinic Foundation violates HIPAA once again

Last week I received a fax from CCF, that had my name on it. The letter was written to me from a CCF doctor on a patient that isn’t mine. I contacted CCF supervisor “Provider Relations” and I informed her that this is another HIPAA violation and that they need to notify the patient of a security breach to their medical records. I informed her of the big liability for me due to my name being listed as the doctor and that I want their legal department to send me a letter indicating that my name would be removed from such medical documents.

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What would happen if doctors say goodbye to the AOA?

Guest post from Gina Reghetti, D.O.

What would happen if doctors would no longer be members of the AOA? Here’s the power that they exert on us. Once we are no longer “Active” members with the AOA, they will immediately make our board certifications which are “Time-Limited,” go “Inactive.” I know that is illegal. It is a violation. Let’s stand united to seek justice.

I also believe that “Time-Dating” Certifications is illegal! Mandatory Membership is not a good idea; it’s control. Whenever one doesn’t have an option, then that puts individuals at risk due to loss of FREEDOMS. Continue reading

Mandates vs. Real Medicine

Bob Maurer, D.O. writes:

Yesterday, in Atlantic City, I moderated a seven hour program on the Business of Medicine. One two-hour presentation consisted of some of the most onerous and burdensome mandates that physicians have to face today: HIPAA, ICD-10, and
Medicare CPT codes.

There is nothing in these mandates that has anything to do with patient care.

This past Friday, I went to an old time osteopathic physician for an ENT visit. He did not use a computer, a code book, or a pen. What he did use were his ten fingers, along with his eyes, his ears and his brain. He had a pleasant smile and a good amount of compassion.

A good doctor should be a doctor who is attentive to his patients, not a doctor who is forced to spend most of his time complying with government mandates and regulations.

To paraphrase a statement once attributed to Patrick Henry:

“NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD DOCTORS TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR PROFESSION”