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    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).


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    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. Robert Doherty

    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.


    Popular online: Need to create doctor-friendly technology is more important than ever


    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.

    Next: Will Congress continue to push doctors to use EHRs?

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      When Doherty and ACP speak, guard your patients' safety and your practice wallets. This is the crew (along with AMA, AAFP) who have pushed the onerous and dangerous policies of HITECH, ACA, and most recently MACRA/MIPS. If anyone has done more to harm patient access to care, patient safety, and promoted doctor burnout than Doherty and the pseudodocs, I have no clue who it might be. Unfortunately, CMS listens to these deleterious ideas and we who try to actually care for patients do not have the time or wherewithal to espouse the true problems and possible solutions. Let's hope Congress will ignore the alphabet pseudodoc organizations and their spokespersons (Doherty) and eliminate these harmful regulations impeding safe, efficient patient care and burning out the best among us. The answer: charting is for physicians and patients. There should be absolutely NO regulation determining how an individual keeps her records for her patients. Payment based on quality will NEVER be fair or work. Fee for service but make the reimbursements reasonable. That will eliminate the need for the EHR's. Insurance limited access through "panels" should be outlawed. Preauthorizations outlawed. Finally, get the lawyers out of medicine - start with the proposed cap on noneconomic damages now being debated. A no-brainer. Let docs be docs

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