We are quickly learning that doctors receive little education and training on the role that diet and nutrition play in our health. It’s simply not part of the curriculum at medical schools in any meaningful way. Doctors are now speaking out, because we now know what a critical role nutrition plays in chronic diseases like heart conditions, diabetes, obesity and even some cancers.
Their concern is that the American Medical Association gets most of its funding—$72 million a year—from selling the codes that insurance companies require doctors to use to get paid. There is little to no incentive to cure.
A growing number of doctors, pediatricians and physicians see a better way. They are advising patients on the important role that nutrition and integrative medicine play in our health, but they find that they are up against a broken healthcare system. In response, a new organization has come together. They head to Washington, DC this week to present their case:
New Coalition Hopes to Play Role in ‘Healthy’ Verdict, Counter AMA
A new coalition of doctors’ organizations is gearing up to have its say in Washington – and the timing couldn’t be better.
As the new administration gears up to repeal, replace or revamp the Affordable Care Act, Practicing Physicians of America, the new coalition, wants a say, if not a seat at the table. The bipartisan group has invited lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to a town hall meeting, Thursday morning, Feb. 2, at the Library of Congress, said PPA meeting organizer Dr. Marion Mass, a Philadelphia pediatrician.
PPA is a grassroots consortium of national medical organizations that include the Association of Independent Doctors, Let My Doctor Practice, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, Physicians Working Together, and United Physicians and Surgeons of America, among others.
“What these groups have in common is that their members are all fed up with the liberties government, hospitals, and insurance companies have taken at doctors’ and patients’ expense,” said Marni Jameson Carey, executive director of AID, a national nonprofit trade association with 1,000 members in 31 states.
“These entities have all taken more money from the system while making it worse,” she said.
Carey will be among the panel of speakers who will work to advise and inform lawmakers about the concerns those on the front lines of health care believe need to be part of the new health-care plan.
At the meeting, titled “Healing Our Doctors and Our Healthcare System,” presenters will address issues of reporting mandates, the importance of preserving independent doctors, new models of mental and public health care, harnessing social media for better health, and doctors’ disconnect with the American Medical Association.
“We want to provide a voice for doctors separate and apart from the AMA,” said Dr. Westby Fisher, a Chicago surgeon, who will be presenting.
“The members of the coalition, and most practicing physicians in this country agree that the AMA has not represented America’s doctors for some time,” Fisher said of the nation’s oldest politically active medical association.
“The AMA gets most of its funding—$72 million a year—from selling the codes that insurance companies require doctors to use to get paid,” said Mass. “Any doctor paying attention can see the conflict of interest. By serving insurance companies, the AMA places its own financial opportunism above the concerns of doctors.”
“Never in the nation’s history have doctors been so disenchanted with their profession, and never has there been such an opportunity to effect change,” said Dr. Brian Jamal Dixon, a child psychiatrist who will present on a new model of psychiatric care.
In short, the coalition hopes to get lawmakers to understand why listening to the very doctors who practice is good for America’s health care system, said Mass.
The town hall meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in the Members Room of the Library of Congress, which is on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington. Lawmakers, media and health-care administrators are invited.
For more information about Practicing Physicians of America’s efforts, or to learn more about the upcoming town hall meeting, contact Mass at [email protected].