It is our goal to ensure the timely delivery of health care services and payments and to reduce administrative burden for our physicians.” Tuesday Cook, M.D., President, MCMS

On Thursday January 5, MCMS President Tuesday Cook, M.D., led an eye-opening discussion with Montgomery County’s legislative delegation regarding issues that our physician members face every day as they care for patients. Issues raised included prior authorization, Medicaid funding, any willing practitioner, and scope of practice-patient safety.

Dr. Cook and other MCMS members shared examples of heart-breaking stories their patients have faced which had adverse implications from prior authorization processes.

Prior authorizations are burning out physicians…and can be fatal to patients.” – Dr. Carolyn O’Conor. Dr. O’Conor relayed a gripping story about a patient with COPD who died as a result of the inability to get her existing medication re-authorized.

My patient wasn’t able to receive her post-operative nausea medicine on a weekend due to prior authorization requirements, therefore she was forced to go to the emergency room.” – Dr. Tuesday Cook

We know each of you may have similar stories of how prior authorization processes have delayed or denied care or may have caused worsening conditions or possible death. Join forces with MCMS and MedChi to educate the public and legislators and fight back against roadblocks to quality care that the payors have created to improve their own bottom lines. Share your story with us.

MCMS & MedChi believe patients deserve care led by physicians – the most highly educated, trained, and skilled health care professionals. Your profession is at risk as more PAs, NPs, podiatrists, optometrists, and pharmacists attempt to diagnose and treat patients without adequate physician supervision.

Another hot topic discussed during the call meeting was Medicaid funding. Physician practices which provide Medicaid services have been economically impacted by the pandemic. If Medicaid payment rates fall physicians may not be able to accept Medicaid patients. Did you know over 1.5 million Marylanders are enrolled in Medicaid? MCMS and MedChi feel that the 2024 Medicaid budget must maintain E&M rates at 100% parity with Medicare to recruit and retain the primary care physicians necessary to serve all Medicaid enrollees.

In addition, during the meeting, MCMS physicians shared insurance carriers are excluding some practitioners from participating in their network, creating a barrier for patients to access care. Patients need access to physicians who are willing to see them at the right time and the right place. MCMS and MedChi are encouraging our legislators to support legislation which would ensure physicians are not inappropriately excluded from participating in insurance networks when they are willing to accept the terms and conditions of the agreement.

If you are mad and don’t want to take it anymore – reach out, take action, and join the MCMS team as we fight for your patients and you and your colleagues! Watch your inbox for legislative alerts and use MedChi’s Legislative Action portal to send messages to your legislators about important patient care issues. Visit the portal often: https://www.medchi.org/TakeAction

MCMS would like to thank members of the Montgomery County Delegation for attending this legislative briefing:
Senator Craig Zucker, District 14
Delegate Linda Foley, District 15
Senator Susan Lee, District 16
Delegate Ariana Kelly, District 16
Delegate Marc Korman, District 16
Delegate Jared Solomon, District 18
Senator Jeff Waldstreicher, District 18
Delegate Emily Shetty, District 19
Senator Benjamin Kramer, District 19
Dr. James York, MedChi President

To learn more about members of the Montgomery County delegation to Annapolis: https://montgomerycountydelegation.com/contact.html