Physicians Urge Legislators to Strengthen Team-Based Care

PAMED President  Bruce MacLeod, MD, speaks at Physician Leadership Day, as Gov Tom Corbett and physicians look on.

View more photos in
the album on PAMED’s
Facebook page.

With millions more Pennsylvanians potentially gaining health insurance as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect, their physicians want to be sure that care is team-based and physician-led.

To spotlight physicians’ concerns, on Dec. 10, 2013, PAMED leaders and members gathered at the Capitol in Harrisburg for a media event with Gov. Corbett and Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga), as part of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED’s) Physician Leadership Day.

Two bills that would help build a stronger framework for our health care teams have been introduced by Sen. Judy Schwank and Rep. Matt Baker. The bills propose a Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council to help nurture the growth and development of patient-centered care.

Following the media event, the physicians and physicians-in-training visited with their legislators to push for support of measures to help keep Pennsylvania’s health care teams strong, physician-led, and patient -centered.

PAMED physicians also urged their legislators to support bills to improve access to care for the uninsured, retain and recruit the physician workforce, especially through student debt forgiveness and expanded residency slots; prevent prescription drug abuse through a controlled substances database; and improve access to health care technology in Pennsylvania.

“What’s important to remember is that the future delivery of care in Pennsylvania will be strongly influenced by legislative issues, including many aspects of Governor Corbett’s Healthy PA initiative, as we strive to ensure quality, value, and access to care,” said Dr. MacLeod.

Gov. Corbett said that his recently introduced Healthy PA plan supports patient-centered, team-based care, as well as the top physician concerns.  “Doctors today have been asked to be many different things; business men, accountants, and other things. But Healthy PA says that they should be something else: doctors should be doctors” he said.

PAMED President Bruce MacLeod, MD, told the media: “There’s a looming question on many minds: Will we have enough physicians to keep up with demand that could occur due to the Affordable Care Act and newly insured individuals seeking first-time care?… Even though we’re in good shape now, we have to make sure we can replace those physicians who are retiring or planning to retire while keeping up with health care demand.”