MAINTENANCE OF CERTIFICATION
For the second year in a row, TMA will have legislation filed to give physicians relief from the costly, burdensome and in many cases valueless requirement of Maintenance of Certification (MOC). TMA will work to try to prohibit hospitals and health insurance companies from requiring MOC for physician credentialing or network participation.
PAYMENT REFORM / EPISODES OF CARE
Decisions about the state’s episodes of care payment model are continually made without physician agreement and in many cases with physician opposition. The Tennessee Health Care Innovation Initiative must be fixed in TennCare before any other programs move further. TMA is prepared to have legislation filed in 2018 if fundamental flaws in the design are not addressed.
The Tennessee Farm Bureau and the insurance industry have pushed the Tennessee General Assembly to remove the ban on the corporate balance of medicine. TMA wants to protect physicians’ rights to balance bill and will continue to fight for a solution that is fair to all parties, especially physicians and patients. TMA will oppose any effort that gives health insurance companies even more undue leverage to force providers to accept unfair contractual terms.
PATIENTS FOR FAIR COMPENSATION - UPDATE!
A Georgia-based group called Patients for Fair Compensation has since 2015 lobbied the Tennessee General Assembly to shift physician liability cases from the civil court system to a government-run administrative system. Doctors raised fundamental concerns about verifying proponents’ claims that their plan would save the state money, and preserving medical liability insurance in the event a patient compensation system did not work. The opposing groups could not resolve fundamental issues, and Patients for Fair Compensation has assured TMA that it does not plan to introduce any related bills in the 2018 legislative session.
DOCTOR OF MEDICAL SCIENCE (or successor name)
TMA remains opposed to legislation that would create a new academic degree called Doctor of Medical Science. As introduced in 2017, the bill would have effectively given physician assistants independent practice in Tennessee as a solution to a perceived shortage of access to primary care in our state. TMA will continue working with bill sponsors to ensure that PAs who earn the degree will continue practicing in a team-based care model with appropriate physician leadership, and to try to remove the term “doctor” from the bill.