MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
Telephone: (516) 488-6100
For Immediate Release
October 8, 2019
MSSNY STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON MEDICARE
Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“We appreciate the goal of the President’s Executive Order (EO) to protect and strengthen the Medicare program for the tens of millions of seniors enrolled in the program who depend upon its coverage to meet their health care needs. We certainly support aspects of this initiative to reduce the administrative burdens associated with facilitating needed care for our patients. However, we are very concerned with a number of the policy directions this Executive Order appears to advance.
In particular, we are concerned with the apparent goal to expand the Medicare Managed Care program, which likely could include efforts to disincentivize continued or new enrollment in the Medicare fee for service program. This is especially problematic in light of multiple instances in recent years where Medicare managed care plans dropped huge numbers of physicians from their MA networks. This in turn significantly reduces care options for our patients.
We are quite troubled by proposals that seek to expand already cumbersome Medicare value based payment programs. Many smaller physician practices have reported significant challenges associated with participating and succeeding in the current Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The significant reporting requirements associated with the current MIPS program and other value programs are increasing “burnout” among physicians who must spend more time checking boxes on their HIT systems rather than treating patients to meet well intended but often overreaching value programs. A recent Annals of Family Medicine study reported that, during a typical 11 hour workday, primary care physicians spent more than half their time (nearly 6 hours) on data entry and other HIT system tasks, instead of with patients. There must be a comprehensive review of the fairness of the existing MIPS program before advancing measures that would expand it.
We are also very concerned with proposals that appear to seek to expand the scope of certain health care practitioners. There are many different types of health care professionals, each of which provide essential care for patients. However, patients benefit most from the combined care of a team headed by a physician whose education and training enables them to oversee the actions of the rest of the team, in order to provide the patient with optimal medical treatment. While the EO appears to recognize the applicability of state laws that govern the limitation of the scope of practice of certain health care practitioners, we are very concerned with the perpetuation of a false narrative that promotes equivalency of non-physicians despite the lack of similar education and training. Such scope expansions could lead to an increase in the “siloing” of care delivery rather than care received through an integrated team-based approach.
We look forward to working with medical associations across the country to work with the Administration towards preserving and strengthening the Medicare program so that our seniors continue to have timely access to the quality care they need and deserve.”
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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.
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Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302