• AOA Statement on Senate Health Care Bill

    The following statement was released by the AOA in response to the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the proposed Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:

    “In light of the Congressional Budget Office analysis, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) reiterates its opposition to the Senate health care bill on the basis that it would cut coverage and access to 22 million more Americans over the next decade while failing to address the fundamental problem of rising health care costs.

    Osteopathic physicians understand that controlling the cost of health care is a top priority in our collective effort to improve our nation’s health care system. As patient advocates, we cannot accept that under the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) patients in need will no longer have the coverage they require to access health care services. The BCRA does nothing to control health care costs but instead focuses on reducing federal health care expenditures by cutting coverage of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals and eliminating policies that promote access to the preventive care services that can actually drive down expenses while improving patient outcomes. 

    The AOA, a physician-led association advocating for nearly 130,000 DOs and osteopathic medical students, recognizes the many challenges our current health care system faces and is supportive of efforts to improve it. But we can see that the BCRA exacerbates the shortcomings of the current law and will harm the millions of Americans, especially the most vulnerable populations – from newborns to elderly nursing home residents – who depend on Medicaid.”

  • DO Engage: June 23, 2017

     

    The AOA was a big hit at the Congressional Baseball Game, opioids continue to top inpatient care spending, and the AOA is seeking your help for a major advocacy issue. But first, the Senate health reform bill was released this afternoon.

    — Health Reform Episode V: The Senate Strikes Back: After over a month of negotiation behind closed doors, the Senate finally released its health care reform legislation. The legislation, if passed, would make drastic changes to the current Affordable Care Act and make large cuts to the Medicaid program. A vote on the bill is scheduled for late next week. Here are 3 key takeaways from the draft legislation:

    1. The legislation would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates, and taxes.
    2. The legislation phases out the Medicaid expansion program over three years, ending in 2024.
    3. The legislation significantly limits Medicaid spending by converting the program to per capita limits. The spending growth rate would become stricter in 2025.

    — The AOA Speaks Out: The AOA, along with many other physician organizations, hospital organizations, and patient groups have expressed disappointment in the Senate health care legislation and its potential impact on patient access to high quality care and plan affordability. For more information regarding AOA President Boyd Buser’s statement on the Senate health care bill, CLICK HERE.

    –The AOA Needs Your Voice: Over the last several weeks, I’ve gotten the privilege to email and chat with many of the members of the AOA family. And while many have expressed various opinions about the Affordable Care Act and both the House and Senate repeal legislation, there is one common concern: the lack of transparency regarding the legislation. So far there have been no hearings in the Senate committees of jurisdiction, no input from physician organizations, medical societies, and patient groups, and there will be limited floor debate on the bill.

    As an organization, we are concerned a lack of input from those on the front lines of healthcare, such as physicians like you, will result in legislation that does not align with the AOA’s Priorities for Health Care Reform. Many of you have received emails from AOA President Boyd Buser, DO, urging you to write or tweet your Senators and ask them to engage in an open and transparent process to craft real bipartisan legislation to reform our health care system. We hope that you will join us in this effort to ensure that patients receive access to affordable, high-quality care that is done in an open and transparent process. For more information about how the AOA has developed its position on health care reform and the AHCA to date, watch our webinar that explains the process.

    This is the DO Engage for June 22, 2017. We are officially deep into the summer and your author is patiently waiting for two things, the release of the Senate health care bill CBO score, and the release of pictures of Beyonce’s twins (not necessarily in that order). She is also desperately seeking a list of summer jams to rock out to. Please share your top songs of the summer (or podcasts) to llattany@osteopathic.org. And don’t forget to follow the AOA on Facebook and Twitter @AOAforDOs.

    –The AOA Scores a Big Win at the Congressional Baseball Game– Thursday June 15th, marked the annual Congressional Baseball Game where members of both sides of the aisle compete for charity and bragging rights. This year the AOA sponsored the Presidents Race, where our own Ali Abdallawah, D.O., provided the pre-race sports physical. The AOA was so excited to be a part of such a wonderful Congressional tradition, and to highlight the osteopathic philosophy. Check out the race HERE.

    –Opioid Epidemic Increasing Emergency Room Visits: According to a study by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, between 2005 and 2014 the rate of opioid-related emergency room visits nearly doubled for both sexes and all age groups. There were 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in 2014 alone. For more information regarding the report and the overall impact on the health care industry, CLICK 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.

     

     

  • DO Engage

    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.

  • DO Engage Updates from AOA

    The information below was shared by Leigh Mayo, DO Engage contact for the American Osteopathic Association.


    Opioids, physician pay, and health care cyber security, but first: a rundown of the biggest advocacy related events from AOA House of Delegates.

    –Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt addressed the AOA House of Delegates, saying that CMS knows they’ve “lost the hearts and minds of physicians,” and arguing that MACRA’s simplified reporting and other changes will help win them back. While discussing the present and future state of the health care system, Slavitt noted that the osteopathic philosophy “while over a century old, feels very modern today.” Read the full text of Slavitt’s remarks.

    –Michael Botticelli, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy, took part in an AOA Town Hall on the opioid epidemic noting that “DOs have an important role to play in ending this epidemic because they can offer alternative pain management options to their patients beyond opioid medications and prevent people from developing opioid use disorders.” The full video of Director Botticelli’s remarks and his responses to questions from DOs in the audience is available on the AOA Facebook page.

    –AOA Advocacy Bank. At House of Delegates, your inquisitive DO Engage author conducted 4 hours and 28 minutes of interviews with DOs and OMS from around the country. The AOA is endeavoring to get DOs, OMS, and patients to deposit thousands of video testimonials telling personal stories about how public policy impacts physicians and patients – or any issue in health care you are passionate about. The personal stories deposited into the advocacy bank will be powerful messages that will be used to influence decision-makers when issues heat up. Start thinking about a story you want to share – in the coming weeks we will be opening up the Advocacy Bank for all members to make deposits.

    This is the DO Engage for August 2, 2016. After a week off to attend and recover from the AOA House of Delegates in Chicago we’re back. Email me (lmayo@osteopathic.org) the harrowing stories of how you survived a week without the DO Engage, and don’t forget to follow the AOA on Facebook and Twitter @AOAforDOs.

    –Opioid crisis is an election issue for candidates on both sides of the aisle. We’ve previously noted candidates running campaign ads related to the opioid epidemic. Addressing the opioid epidemic has become a bipartisan issue and was front and center at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. The Washington Post covered the issue at both conventions.

    –Opioid crisis renews interest in OMT. While addressing DOs at the House of Delegates, Director Botticelli noted OMT as an effective non-opioid alternative to the treatment of chronic pain, and there is new interest in OMT in the wake of health officials asking doctors to write fewer opioid prescriptions. Modern Healthcare has the story.

    –What science says to do if you your loved one has an opioid addiction disorder. Families are often given guidance that bears no resemblance to what the research evidence shows – and patients are commonly subjected to treatment that is known to do harm. To try to help sort fact from fiction, FiveThirtyEight put together an evidence-based guide about what the science of opioid addiction recommends for people trying to help a loved one suffering from addiction. Full article from FiveThirtyEight loaded with links to research about treating opioid use disorder.

    –What physicians get paid. New compensation data shows that median annual compensation for specialty physicians continues to outpace that of family practice physicians and pediatricians, who earn $229,000 and $224,000, respectively. The specialties topping this year’s list are:

    Orthopedic surgeons: $555,000
    Invasive cardiologists: $541,000
    Radiation oncologists: $500,000
    Radiologists: $475,000

    Analysis, more specialties, and six years’ worth of compensation data in the full story at Modern Healthcare.

    –Health care organizations the target of 88% of all ransomware cyber-attacks. The reason? Health care has been a target for ransomware campaigns because the industry has often paid ransom to retrieve vital customer data quickly. Furthermore, health care organizations use an abundance of systems and devices that are crucial pivot points for an attacker. NTTSecurity offers a summary the reports key findings.

    –Trivia Challenge. In the Harry Potter series of books, what potentially fatal contagious disease occurs in wizards and witches? The sixth correct emailer (lmayo@osteopathic.org) gets to submit the trivia question for the next DO Engage.

  • Meet our Featured DO: Dr. Rebecca J. Bowers

    Bowers Rebecca

    The South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS) is excited to present our newest addition to the website…our Featured DO! We will update this section regularly with the stories of osteopathic physicians in the state of South Carolina.

    Congratulations to our first Featured DO, Dr. Rebecca J. Bowers!

    Name & Credentials:
    Rebecca J. Bowers, DO, C-NMM/OMM

    Your location and type of practice:
    Fulcrum Osteopathic Wellness, LLC is my private practice in Greenville, SC where I treat patients with Neuromusculoskeletal Osteopathic Manipulation (website: www.fulcrumclinic.com) & I am also an assistant professor of OMM at VCOM-Carolinas in Spartanburg, SC

    How long have you practiced in SC and why did you choose this area?
    I moved to Greenville, SC in January of 2015 because the area is beautiful, the people are warm and friendly and I felt I could meet a need as there were no Neuromusculoskeletal Osteopathic Manipulation specialists in the state at that time

    What prompted you to become a physician?
    I wanted to interact with people in a meaningful way and help them achieve their wellness goals

    Why did you choose osteopathic medicine as your career?
    I attended massage therapy school and became fascinated with anatomy, physiology and the effect touch can have on a person’s health.  I wanted to further my understanding so I could better help people and medical school seemed the way to do that.  Once I learned about osteopathic medicine, I knew that was the path for me.

    Hometown/Where did you grow up?
    I have lived in many places.  Yet, I believe New Hartford, NY has earned the designation of being my hometown.

    Undergraduate Education:
    Started out at UNC-Charlotte.  Then obtained my degree in massage therapy in Pompano Beach, FL before finishing up my undergraduate education at Utica College of Syracuse University in 2006.

    Graduate Education/Medical School:
    Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine class of 2011

    Residency, Fellowships, etc:
    I spent a year doing Family Medicine in Beckley, WV before I decided to switch residencies and went to Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, MI and completed a residency in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine.

    Are you involved in any community/volunteer activities?
    I am the advisor to the VCOM-Carolinas chapter of the Student American Association of Osteopathy, participate in VCOM student clinics and missions trips, and am a trustee on the board of the South Carolinas Osteopathic Medical Society.

    Tell us more about you: significant other, children, pets, hobbies, interests:
    I enjoy the outdoors, gardening, music, books, good food, experiencing new places and cultures, and spending time with my family and pets.

  • SCOMS Gives Back to Local Medical Students

    StethoscopeSCOMS presents MDF stethoscopes to students at the VCOM-Carolinas White Coat Ceremony each year. The White Coat Ceremony will be held in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College in Spartanburg on Saturday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m.

    We look forward to this very special event!

  • A New Website for SCOMS!

    Now, you can expect to see more news, services, events and member benefits…all starting with the new and informative SCOMS website. Stay tuned for further updates throughout the fall!

  • Join SCOMS!

    SCOMS Square Logo BWAs a DO or osteopathic medical student in the State of South Carolina, we invite you to join SCOMS or renew your membership now! You can join or renew online, learn about the benefits of joining, or find out more about levels of membership. We sincerely appreciate your support of our mission to enhance the availability of quality healthcare in South Carolina and to provide services to our members. For up-to-the-minute news from SCOMS, follow our social accounts at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.