Ever Advocates for Connecticut Physicians and their Patients, Connecticut State Medical Society leaders descended upon Washington, D.C., this week for two packed days of meetings with Connecticut’s elected federal Representatives and Senators.
The CSMS leadership brought a long list of physicians’ complaints to be addressed by Congress.
While, as noted in a news item in the February 15 edition of CSMS E-News, significant progress was made in last week’s federal budget agreement, Connecticut physicians still have many concerns, particularly with respect to physician Medicare payment cuts, regulatory relief from the more onerous components of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), and the need to provide adequate funding to help with the opioid crisis.
With CSMS President Steven Thornquist, MD, and CSMS AMA Delegation Chair Seyed Aleali, MD, leading the charge, the CSMS leadership visited the offices of both US Senators from Connecticut, sitting down personally with Senator Murphy, as well as visited the offices of three of Connecticut’s five US Representatives, with constructive discussions with both US Representative Larson and Courtney. CSMS SVP of Governmental Affairs, Ken Ferrucci, MPA, stated that the meetings were both “informative and productive” and provided an opportunity for CSMS leadership to talk one to one with our elected federal representatives and their key health and legislative staff.
Among the agenda items CSMS leadership discussed where:
- Opposing cuts to physicians’ Medicare payments;
- Reducing administrative burdens of physicians through regulatory relief;
- Adjusting MACRA to focus more on care delivery and less on penalties that discourage participation;
- Maintaining the ACA’s insurance reforms that protect physicians and patients, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits; and
- Providing significant funding and expanding programs tied to opioid abuse treatment, as well as prevention.