The AOA Deeper Dive Webinar is approaching fast, and a major vote on medical liability reform is set for this week, but first, there are reports the Senate currently has no plans to publicly release their draft health care bill.

–The Senate’s Plan for Health Care Reform: With the self-imposed Fourth of July deadline several weeks away, all eyes are on the Senate and the release of their GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The problem? The Senate may not have a public hearing on the bill or release its draft to the public. According to a report by USA Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may bypass the traditional legislative process. The bill may be sent to the Congressional Budget Office to be evaluated and scored without input from Senate Democrats, or other Republicans.

Why it matters: Process, process, process. It is pertinent for the Senate to be as transparent about the process as possible in order to create legislation that is robust and addresses the priorities and the concerns expressed by many outside groups and organizations including the AOA. Interested in learning more about the pending Senate health reform bill and the legislative process? Sign up for our AOA Deeper Dive webinar HERE.

— Medical Liability Reform Bill Set for a Vote: On Thursday, June 15th, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act. H.R. 1215 contains comprehensive medical liability reforms that are critical to bringing down health care costs and ensuring access to care for all patients. As an osteopathic physician or medical student, these meaningful reforms will benefit your patients and you through greater access to care and lower costs. The bill would cut federal healthcare spending by $44 billion over 10 years and reduce the national deficit by $50 billion, and will continue to provide full economic compensation to deserving patients, while putting an end to medical lawsuit abuse and maintaining access to vital medical services for all. Please contact your Member of Congress right now to ask him or her to support medical liability reform by voting for H.R. 1215 when it comes to the floor this week.

–CMS Weighs in on the American Health Care Act: On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaids’ Office of the Actuary released its report estimating the “financial effect of the ‘American Health Care Act of 2017”, legislation that would repeal and replace portions of the Affordable Care Act. The CMS Actuary report differs significantly from the CBO’s estimate of the House-passed bill. Notably, according to the CMS Actuary estimates:

  • Over a 10 year period 13 million more Americans would be uninsured than compared to the Affordable Care Act. The CBO score fluctuated from 24 to 23 million over the various iterations of the bill.
  • The AHCA will reduce federal spending by $328B, an increase of $209B in savings over the CBO projection of $119B.
  • Gross premiums would be 13% lower in 10 years than under the Affordable Care Act.
  • But net premiums, after federal and state subsidies, would be 5% higher. And the amount of cost-sharing that people would have to pay would be 61% higher

For more information regarding the CMS report, click HERE.

–The opioid crisis and how physicians think about pain: Has the recent opioid crisis changed the way physicians think about and treat pain? A report by VOX looks at the opioid crisis in West Virginia and how physicians are adjusting the way they treat patients. Read the full details here.

–The AOA is seeking CVs and Resumes for the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF): The AOA is interesting in nominating highly qualified DOs to serve on The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF). The CPSTF is an influential panel of public health and prevention experts authorized by Congress to provide evidence-based findings and recommendations about community preventive services, programs, and policies to improve health. The CPSTF produces recommendations (and identifies evidence gaps) to help inform the decision making of federal, state, and local health departments, other government agencies, communities, healthcare providers and organizations, employers, schools and research organizations.

If you are interested in being considered for an AOA nomination, please share your CV and a short bio by June 23, 2017 to llattany@osteopathic.org. The AOA will notify all applicants of their status and should an applicant not progress to an AOA nomination, they are welcome to self-nominate for this opportunity by following the guidance provided on the Federal Register announcement in advance of the application deadline of July 3, 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

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