AZ Chapter Dinner 3/9/2016 Featuring Twila Brase

Is a “free trade zone” for medical care possible in the U.S.? Join us on March 9, 2016 for dinner and a presentation by Twila Brase, founder of the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF).  She will review CCHF’s Wedge of Health Freedom, an innovative free-market health care solution that will defuse Obamacare.

In addition, special guest Senator Nancy Barto, Chair of the AZ Senate HHS Committee, will give an update on healthcare related bills under consideration this session at the Arizona Capitol.

CLICK HERE to RSVP today. Seats are limited; you will not want to miss out on this important event.

What: AAPS Arizona Chapter Dinner Meeting

When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

  • 6 pm – Networking and Drinks
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner
  • 7 pm – Presentations

Where: Old Spaghetti Factory,
1418 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Cost: No Charge; free will contributions welcome

RSVP: http://aapsonline.org/azdinner

Questions: Call AAPS Business Manager, Jeremy Snavely, 520-270-0761 or email [email protected]

AAPS Supports SB 1443, SB 1444, and SB 1445

The Arizona Chapter of AAPS provided the following testimony to the AZ Senate HHS Committee:

Feb 10, 2016

To: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and its Arizona state chapter support SB 1443, SB 1444, and SB 1445.

AAPS was founded in 1943 to preserve and promote the practice of private medicine and the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. It is a national organization representing thousands of physicians in all specialties, including hundreds in Arizona, and the thousands of patients they serve.

The ethical standard of AAPS is the Oath of Hippocrates, which states: “I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.”

The best regimen for an individual patient may not be found in the drop-down menu of “expert guidelines.” Innovative treatments may take years or decades to become accepted, and “standard-of-care” treatments may be prescribed long after they should have been discarded. The mutilating Halstead radical mastectomy of my medical school days comes to mind.

Resistance to change is a human characteristic—especially if enormous profits are being made by continuing the current regime. If we are to see breakthroughs in medical treatment, we must encourage pioneers, not suppress them or even drive them out of the profession by turning “guidelines” into rigid mandates. An “evidence base” can never develop for a treatment that cannot be tried. A large number of beneficial, widely used treatments would have to be outlawed if we applied the same standard to them as to new or off-label uses of, for example, hyperbaric oxygenation for neurological conditions, long-term antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease, or adult stem cells. Patients and their physicians need freedom to pursue options that in their judgment are best for the individual patient. For every possible medical intervention there is “potential harm” in using it—or in withholding it.

If regulatory boards are to serve the interests of the public, their actions must be transparent, they need to follow fair rules that assure due process, and members need to be held accountable.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director, AAPS

Anti-MOC & Physician Bill of Rights Resolutions at ArMA meeting

The Pima County Medical Society is bringing several important resolutions to the Arizona Medical Association Annual Meeting this Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, 2015.

Details about the meeting are here: https://azmed.org/?page_id=1294

If you are eligible to attend and participate your help is needed to speak in support of these resolutions. Please drop us a quick note by replying to this email if you are attending.

1) Resolution 5-15, Protecting Patients and Physicians from harmful effects of MOC:
https://azmed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Res05-15MaintenanceofCertification.pdf

2) Resolution 7-15, Protecting physician autonomy in medical decision making / Physician Bill of Rights:
https://azmed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Res07-15ConsolidationResolution.pdf

3) Resolution 6-15, Compensation for Non-Face-to-Face Work:
https://azmed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Res06-15MedicaidNon-Face-To-FacePhysicianReimbursement.pdf

Thank you! ~AAPS

Testimony of AAPS for SB 1257 and SCR 1003 (Anti-MOC, Anti-Compact)

Arizona Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Feb 11, 2015

Senator Barto, Members of Committee:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and its Arizona State Chapter thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of SB 1257 and SCR 1003. We urge Arizona to protect its sovereignty and to reject the influence of out-of-state private corporations seeking to control the practice of medicine.

AAPS is a national organization of physicians in all specialties founded in 1943 to protect private medicine and the patient-physician relationship. I am Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of AAPS. I was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 1977.

SB 1257 and SCR 1003 are important because of a national campaign by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) to persuade legislatures to require current specialty certification by a board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for a basic medical license (Maintenance of Licensure or MOL). Continue reading “Testimony of AAPS for SB 1257 and SCR 1003 (Anti-MOC, Anti-Compact)”

AZ Senate Hearings on MOC, Feb 11, 2015

The Arizona State Senate will be holding a hearing at 2pm, Wednesday, February 11 on bills to protect the rights of Arizona physicians and patients!

Your input is crucial; we need your presence at this hearing!

Time/Date:
2pm, Feburary 11, 2015

Place:
Arizona State Senate
Senate Hearing Room 1 – Health and Human Services Committee
1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ

(Note: Also plan to join us at 6pm for dinner after the hearing. This will serve as the first AZ AAPS chapter meeting of the year. Details coming soon.)

Thanks to Senator Kelli Ward, DO, two bills have been introduced to curb the intrusion of mandatory, time-wasting, Maintenance of Certification requirements that detract from patient care.

This is a significant opportunity to take a stand against MOC and for protecting patient access to the physicians of their choice.  

Help kick bureaucrats out of the exam room by coming to support these important pieces of legislation!

Please reply to this email if you will plan to come.  All that is needed is for you to briefly explain how MOC impacts your practice.

P.S. Following the hearing the Arizona Chapter of AAPS will be holding its first dinner meeting of 2015.  Plan to join your colleagues at 6pm for food, discussion, and presentations by special guests to be announced soon.  More details coming soon.

AZ Chapter Meeting, July 2, 2014

Senators Kelli Ward, D.O. and Judy Burges as well as State Senate candidate Ralph Heap, MD have confirmed that they will attend our AAPS Arizona Chapter Meeting on July 2, joining Senator Nancy Barto and Gubernatorial Candidate Frank Riggs.

Space is limited. RSVP today so you don’t miss this chance to meet with your colleagues and hear the latest on upcoming health care policy in our state.

Arizona AAPS Chapter Meeting – July 2, 2014, 6 pm to 8:30 pm

Come join your colleagues for dinner and discussion with current and future AZ elected officials about protecting patient care in Arizona from failed federal and state policy.

You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to network with fellow AZ AAPS members and friends.

When: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 6 pm to 8:30 pm

6 pm – Networking and cocktail hour

6:30 pm – Dinner

7 pm – Presentations

Where: Macayo’s, 4001 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85012,

Aztec room, ground floor. Parking to north and east of restaurant.

Cost: No Charge

Special Guests: Senator Kelli Ward, D.O., Senator Judy Burgess, Senator Nancy Barto, Senate candidate Ralph Heap, MD, & Gubernatorial Candidate and former United States Congressman Frank Riggs.

RSVP:  Email [email protected] call/text 520-270-0761

Hope to see you there!

Arizona Stands Together Against Obamacare – April 25, AZ Capitol

Rally at Arizona Capitol – April 25

Stop Medicaid Expansion in AZ

 

Dear Arizona AAPS members and friends:

Please read the message below from our friends at Americans for Prosperity AZ about an important event at the Arizona Capitol on Thursday April 25, 11am.

We hope to see you there!

~ AAPS


Header

Dear Arizona Health Care Freedom Activists,Please join the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Goldwater Institute, Representative Warren Petersen, and other Legislators for a special press conference and rally this Thursday, April 25th at the Arizona State Capitol.

At the rally, you will hear experts and lawmakers explain why expanding Medicaid in Arizona under ObamaCare would be a costly and dangerous policy choice.

The rally begins at 11:00 am, but please arrive early to find parking and a place to stand in unity with others who oppose ObamaCare.  The Capitol is located at 1700 W. Washington Street – just west of downtown Phoenix (map).

I will be speaking at the rally, along with Christina Corieri of the Goldwater Institute and several lawmakers.

Now more than ever, health care freedom advocates must unite to oppose ObamaCare’s deceptive and damaging government takeover of health care in Arizona.  We must send a message to the Governor, to the Legislature and to the hospital industrial complex that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is very bad medicine for Arizona.

For more information about the rally, please visit our website or the Arizona Against Obamacare Expansion Facebook page.

Stand with us on Thursday as we fight for health care freedom and patient protection!

For Liberty, TomTom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

AAPS responds to GOP support for Medicaid Expansion

OPEN LETTER

Arizona Legislators
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

RE: March 26th letter from Randy Pullen

Dear Legislators:

We disagree with the analysis in Mr. Pullen’s letter defending Gov. Brewer’s decision to push hard for expanding Medicaid. Continue reading “AAPS responds to GOP support for Medicaid Expansion”

Medicaid Expansion a Trap, Not a Solution, Says Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The following statement was issued by the Arizona State Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:

“Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer, like some other Republican governors who say they oppose ObamaCare, is pushing for implementation of a key feature of the Affordable Care Act: an expansion of Medicaid.

“The media campaign features the standard formula of presenting hard-luck stories. An upstanding, hard-working citizen has, through no fault of her own, a serious illness, and has lost her insurance, right in the middle of treatment. The only answer: Enroll her in AHCCCS (pronounced ‘access,’ the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the Arizona 100-percent managed care Medicaid system).

“We should be asking a couple of questions. First, will she get the treatment she needs from AHCCCS? Answer: not necessarily. She might not be able to find a doctor, or the system might not approve the treatment-or approve it soon enough.

“Second: what will happen if her income rises above the threshold of 133% of the federal poverty level? Answer: she will become ineligible for AHCCCS, possibly right in the middle of treatment.

“While ‘job lock’ ties people to a job because they fear losing health insurance, Medicaid is a poverty trap that locks people out of getting a job.

“A spokesman for Gov Brewer claimed that, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, a previous expansion of Medicaid saved lives. This study looked at death rates from all causes before and after expansion in three states (New York, Maine, and Arizona). Only in New York did a decline reach statistical significance. Less than 15%
of the study population was on Medicaid, and Medicaid may have had nothing to do with the slight decline in mortality rate.

“The federal government promises to cover added costs, at least at first. Gov. Brewer proposes a ‘circuit breaker’ if funds are not available. If the federal government allows this, what happens to the program’s new dependents?

“The governor didn’t mention that the state might be able to seize the amount paid into AHCCCS on a person’s behalf after age 55 from his estate, even if no actual services were received. For older patients, AHCCCS enrollment is a loan.

“Only one effect is certain: some $2 billion would flow into the coffers of program contractors-managed care plans-and maybe 25% would trickle down to hospitals.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) , which was founded in 1943, is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties.

Medicaid Expansion: Statement by AAPS AZ Chapter

AAPS is opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it is an unconstitutional program that forces citizens to pay money to private entities, ostensibly for a public purpose, and to support programs to which they have a moral objection, or else pay an extra “tax.”

ACA will drive up the cost of insurance and medical care; reduce the availability of care, intrude into the patient-physician relationship, and damage the economy.

States could prevent the implementation of ACA by declining to set up Exchanges or to expand Medicaid. We are disappointed that Gov Brewer, despite her expressed opposition to ACA, now supports a Medicaid expansion, and respectfully ask her to reconsider.

Instead, Governor Brewer and Arizona legislators should consider innovative and proven solutions that empower patients instead of bureaucrats and cut waste such as the Volunteer Physician Health Care Act under consideration in New Jersey.  This act is based on a real life charity care clinic where the cost per patient visit is $13 compared to $160 at a federally funded facility.

It’s like a game of Prisoner’s Dilemma: If all (or enough) states “cooperate,” meaningful reforms could be achieved. However, if too many “defect,” those who remain true to their principles will be disadvantaged (i.e. get less federal money) compared to those who defect.

The Medicaid expansion has been compared to the gift of a baby elephant plus hay for a few years. The Governor believes that if the federal government reneges on promised support, we can undo our decision. That would probably be as hard as shooting an elephant. But we would be dealing with real human beings who are now dependent on the program.

Tax revenues intended to pay for medical care for the poor are instead a cash cow to pad the salaries of administrators, managed-care companies, and hospital executives.

Looking at the 2010 Care1st Health Plan combined statement for Arizona and California, revenue was $651 million, expenses for “healthcare services” were $554 million, taxable income was $24 million, and “selling, general and administrative expenses” were $69 million. While it is not known exactly what is included in “healthcare services,” it is clear that at least $100 million in taxpayer funds went to just one plan for things other than patient care. (AAPS News, January 2013).

Betsey Bayless, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) earlier in 2013 received “a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.” (Seeing RedAZ Blog).

While the Arizona Medical Association has endorsed the expansion of AHCCCS, there is no evidence that the majority of physicians support it or, more importantly, would be willing to provide the promised medical services. Many physicians decline to participate because of:

  • Costly, burdensome administrative demands
  • Difficulty in getting patients the services they need
  • Ever-increasing threats of audits or even prosecution because of errors that are called “waste, fraud, or abuse”
  • Payment that does not cover their costs.

Many eligible patients also decline to enroll, but may be forced to do so to avoid the mandate/penalty/“tax.” This may swell the rolls owing to the “woodwork effect.” Some persons may even be enrolled automatically. Reasons for nonenrollment include:

  • The burdensome process of enrolling, and repeatedly re-enrolling
  • The difficulty in finding a doctor
  • Covert rationing by managed care of services that are “covered” but not approved
  • The estate recovery process that means that enrollees age 55 or older are receiving a collateralized loan that can be recovered from their assets after death

Materials supplied by AHCCCS make it plain that the estate may have to pay back the total provided to the AHCCCS program contractor even if that is much greater than the value of any services that were received. This is comparable to a 100% “death tax” on the middle class and poor with no threshold.

Questions that legislators need to answer include:

  • While many Arizona hospitals may need funds, hospitals receive only about 25 % of the funds that go to AHCCCS. Why not fund hospitals directly, without AHCCCS overhead?
  • The AHCCCS expansion is claimed to create jobs. What jobs? And how many jobs will be lost from taxes, crowding out private insurance, loss of facilities owing to AHCCCS regulatory costs and poor payment, and so on? Is the model for predicting jobs different from the one that inaccurately predicted that ARRA (the “stimulus”) would bring unemployment below 6%?
  • Is the bed tax a tax or not? How can it be a “tax” to meet requirements for attracting federal dollars, and “not a tax” for meeting requirements for raising taxes? If it is argued that hospitals aren’t really paying the tax because more dollars come back from Washington than are sent, how does this dollar multiplier work despite the administrative losses? And do the same people get the revenue as paid the tax? If hospitals don’t pass along the tax to patients, where does the money to pay it come from?
  • Should the State of Arizona engage in systems gaming and word play to extract more dollars from federal taxpayers? Is this a form of fraud? Aren’t accounting gimmicks like the bed tax likely to be prohibited in the future?
  • If the State of Arizona supports the principle of systems gaming to get more tax dollars back than it puts in, it can hardly complain if other states beat us at the game. How can we be sure that we will stay ahead and be a tax recipient rather than tax donor, especially given this Administration’s history of actions damaging to Arizona? Why should we send any optional taxes, on the gamble of getting a bigger return?
  • People who earn a little too much lose their Medicaid benefits, the equivalent of a greater than 100% marginal tax rate. How does this affect work incentive and tax compliance?