What We Have Done as a Society
- Protecting MICRA: TCMS/CMA tort reform has reduced malpractice insurance rates in California to roughly one-third of rates in states without these reforms. That’s worth hundreds of thousands to physicians and our overall healthcare system. We anticipate an attack on our reform – known as MICRA - from the trial lawyers sometime in 2012 or 2013, and organized medicine needs physician support to protect MICRA. Any changes to this landmark malpractice reform law would have devastating effects on liability premiums and would reduce access to care.
- Stopped a 30% Cut in Medicare Reimbursement: In 2011, we galvanized Congress to stop Medicare cuts five different times. In the end, we were able to garner support for preserving the 2.3% increase from 2010 for the duration of 2011. But we need to remain focused on the bigger goal – eliminating the SGR and instituting a fair payment methodology.
- Advocating for Smart Implementation of Health Care Reform: Ensured the California Legislature took the action needed to leverage the opportunities in the Federal health care reform bill for the benefit of physicians and patients, such as expanding coverage where needed, establishing a high-risk insurance pool, and adopting insurance reforms.
- Preserving Physician Autonomy from Hospital Interference: Successfully fought multiple attempts in the California Legislature to allow hospitals to employ physicians directly. This erosion of the “corporate bar” could compromise patient safety by removing the arms-distance contractual relationship doctors currently have with hospitals, and render physicians’ medical groups irrelevant.
- Prevented Further Erosion of the Medi-Cal Program: CMA continued to defend its 2008 lawsuit which successfully blocked the State’s ability to impose a 10% Medi-Cal rate cuts, and blocked a number of cost-savings measures that would have interfered with patient care. A recent tremendous victory for CA physicians and patients.
- Provided Leadership on Health Information Technology (HIT) Implementation: Created tools and resources to assist physicians with choosing and implementing EMR and qualifying for up to $44,000 (Medicare)/$66,000 (Medicaid) in Federal incentive payments. Providing leadership on the formation of a regional health information exchange, a key requirement for meeting the standards needed to qualify for the funds.
- Helped Hundreds of Physicians Recover Millions of Dollars from Medicare and Commercial Health Plans: TCMS and CMA help members with Medicare enrollment problems that have caused Medicare to stop paying doctors, and helped resolve disputes with commercial health plans that continue to unfairly deny claims. remain a central focus, we helped hundreds of physicians deal with a broad range of practice management and medical-legal questions.
Protected Public Health and Patient Safety: Continued to promote advancements in public health through partnerships with other community groups, and developed tools and resources to help doctors address public health challenges like diabetes and obesity. We also protected patient safety by ensuring medical services are provided only by properly trained medical professionals.