In a letter to President Trump, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) thanks him for increasing the options available to Medicare beneficiaries, allowing them to access private treatment and insurance without losing their Social Security benefits.
AAPS also agrees with the need for transparency, but emphasizes that patients need access to honest prices, information about the qualifications of the clinicians they see, the identity of persons making coverage decisions, and treatment choices not necessarily included in drop-down menus in their electronic heath record.
Unfortunately, in the managed-care methodology that increasingly controls medical practice, “transparency” may mean the end of patient privacy along with increasingly intrusive monitoring of physicians to enforce conformity.
AAPS is also concerned about a push to replace physicians with mid-level “providers.”
“There is a reason for the rigorous training that physicians undergo,” stated AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “The work done by a minimally trained person is not the same as the work of a highly trained, experienced person even if the same procedure code is assigned.”
The Administration has acknowledged the need to eliminate nonproductive administrative demands. But AAPS points out that these are necessitated by price controls, “value-based” payment, and “Maintenance of Certification” (MOC) requirements.
“All of the pointless administrative overhead is completely eliminated in private, self-pay fee-for-service or direct-patient-care models,” Dr. Orient stated.
“The critically important effect of this Executive Oder is to permit patients to exercise their freedom,” Dr. Orient concluded. “In private transactions between patients and physicians, problems can be solved immediately without wasteful bureaucratic involvement.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.