Q&A with ACP's Bob Doherty on future of healthcare
Physicians should prepare for uncertainty coming out of Washington, D.C. because President Donald Trump is poised to shake up healthcare policy, says Robert Doherty, senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy for the American College of Physicians (ACP).
Related: Top MACRA apps to download
In fact, Trump’s early executive orders, including a travel ban involving seven Middle Eastern countries and loosening of regulations in regards to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), have already created confusion for both physicians and patients, Doherty told Medical Economics.
“I think we are in an era of major disruption and it’s not entirely clear yet what policies the administration and Congress will pursue and in what order,” he says.
Trump’s unpredictability makes it difficult to gauge where healthcare policy will move under his leadership and that of the Republicancontrolled Congress. Doherty says the ACP is working to provide clarity to physicians on some major issues, including Obamacare, Medicare payment reform, electronic health records (EHRs) and administrative burdens.
Q: Medical Economics: Is there any sense of what the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will be like under the Trump Administration? Are they committed to value-based care?
Doherty: I think they are committed. Remember, MACRA was passed by a huge bipartisan majority and passed by a Republicancontrolled Congress. So this has the Republican brand all over it. In his confirmation hearings, Dr. Price [Tom Price, MD, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services] indicated he remained supportive of the goals of that law, to move it toward value-based payment.
I do think Dr. Price comes at issues from the perspective of not wanting to put unnecessary burdens on doctors. He’s been very strong in his belief that the doctor-patient relationship needs to be protected from intrusions from third-party payers, including the government. Dr. Price did vote for MACRA, by the way.