On July 24, Rep. Andy Harris, M.D., (R-MD), the first physician anesthesiologist ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced H.R. 2817, the "Protect Patient Access to Quality Health Professionals Act of 2013." This legislation would repeal the non-discrimination provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which prohibits health plans from "discriminating" against non-physician health care providers in plan participation.
In a joint letter with six other specialty societies, ASA endorsed Rep. Harris’ legislation to repeal this onerous provision of PPACA. The American Medical Association also supports repeal. The ASA letter explained:
"We are deeply concerned that for certain covered services in a number of states, this new part of the Public Health Service Act will be interpreted to provide that all health professional groups be considered as if their education, skills and training were equal even if their state-based medical and healthcare professional licenses or certifications are very different.
This ACA provision disrupts over a century and a half of dynamic state-based licensure and certification, interjecting the federal government into interpreting the limits of scope of practice and procedure."
Rep. Harris' legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. ASA will closely monitor and support this important legislation.
Review the ASA and medical specialties' letter endorsing the repeal of the non-discrimination provision. Review the legislation.
Follow H.R. 2817.