ASA Urges FTC to Support Physician-led Care - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

FDA & Washington Alerts

ASA Urges FTC to Support Physician-led Care

In response to a public workshop on ”Examining Health Care Competition,” ASA submitted formal comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the importance of physician-led teams to ensuring safety, quality of care, and consumer protection in the development of provider networks, benefit design, and alternative payment models.

The FTC, along with the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, held the second public workshop in the series on February 24-25, 2015 to study recent developments related to health care provider organization and payment models that may affect competition in the provision of health care services. Topics up for discussion included:

·               Early observations regarding accountable care organizations;

·               Alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payment models; trends in provider consolidation;

·               Trends in provider network and benefit design strategies, as well as contracting practices and regulatory activity that may enhance or undermine these strategies; and

·               Early observations regarding health insurance exchanges.          

The comments provide in part that, “ASA supports a health care model of physician-led patient care teams that may include non-physician provider types. However, provider network and benefit design must account for distinctions between physicians and non-physicians based on education, hours of training, clinical skills, independent research and public opinion surveys.” The comments also debunk statements about physician anesthesiologists that were misrepresented in other comments submitted to the FTC.  Specifically, ASA highlights distinctions between physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists with respect to quality of care and patient outcomes, cost of services, physician supervision and group practices.

ASA commends the FTC for its continued dedication to studying how the changes in the health care system affect competition and consumer protection. 

See the Federal Register Notice Soliciting Public Comments

Learn more about the Examining Health Care Competition Series and Watch Videos from the Workshop

Read Comments Submitted to the FTC

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