OSMA Statement Regarding Oct. 3 Medicare Executive Order

In an Oct. 3 Executive Order, President Donald Trump directed U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar to examine and report on potential Medicare savings and efficiencies.

President Trump also asked Sec. Azar to propose a regulation in the next year that would “eliminate burdensome regulatory billing requirements, conditions of participation, supervision requirements, benefit definitions, and all other licensure requirements … that are more stringent than applicable federal, or state laws require and that limit professionals from practicing at the top of their profession.” (Italics added.)

The President gave HHS a one-year deadline to propose a regulation to ensure that services, “whether done by physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners, are appropriately reimbursed in accordance with work performed rather than the clinician’s occupation.”

“While this proposal includes opportunities to remove regulatory inefficiencies and expand care, we are greatly concerned by the suggestion this can be achieved by making it more difficult for physicians to provide high-quality care for their patients,” said Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) President Larry Bookman, M.D.

“Physicians undergo significantly more training than nurse practitioners and physician assistants and should lead the health care team in patient care. To suggest roles are equivalent is not only misguided, it’s also an insult to those who have devoted more than a decade of their educational career to preparing for a wide-range of patient illnesses and treatments. Our seniors deserve the best care, no matter where they live. And they deserve to have a highly-trained physician leading that care.

On behalf of OSMA’s 4,000 physician members, we will ensure our concerns are heard by the President’s administration as well as our congressional leaders.”