South Florida Hospital News
Saturday December 7, 2019
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July 2007 - Volume 4 - Issue 1

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Broward County Medical Association President: A Look at Upcoming Challenges

As I write this; we are well into 2007 and the year seems to be flying by. The number of issues with which our Association is dealing; seem to be as numerous and as complex as ever and the solutions can sometimes be elusive and the outcomes uncertain.

Some of the large over-arching issues such as Physician reimbursement and tort reform are so far reaching and national in scope; that they are likely to be ongoing battles for years to come. We have made some progress on the tort reform front; but affordable Med Mal insurance, especially for high-risk specialties, continues to be prohibitively expensive. Most physicians who do not carry med mal insurance will likely continue to go bare.

One place where that squeeze will likely continue to show up is in the area of Emergency Department specialty coverage. While Broward has its own problems; Palm Beach County’s problems are approaching crisis proportions. The prospect of patient care in the context of the high risk and relatively uncontrolled environment of the ED; is not very appealing to many physicians. Couple that with the fact that many of these physicians are bare; and it really gets un-palatable. However, without those very services; the emergency care system would be in danger of imploding. As physicians, we do have the responsibility to ensure that the system of care is working. If we are to ever regain true control of our health care system, we have to ensure that while working on permanent fixes; we do not allow the public to be harmed. We must be a major, if not the major; voice in any proposed solution. Working from within; rather than protesting from the outside, is no doubt the best way to have our ideas and proposals accepted and implemented.

With looming public health threats related to Pandemic Influenza, and other possible events; we need a strong healthcare system, if we are to minimize morbidity and mortality. With practice patterns and reimbursement being dictated by MCO’s; physicians find themselves squeezed on all fronts. If Medicare reimbursements continue on their seemingly perpetual downward slide; more and more doctors may be forced to stop providing services under that plan. Also, we are losing doctors to other parts of the country; where practice conditions are not so inhospitable. This all amounts to decreased access for patients; especially the elderly and those with limited incomes.

Locally, we continue to meet with area hospital CEO’s in an effort to foster better relations between doctors and the medical centers at which we practice. I believe that if we are engaged in constructive dialogue with the hospitals; it affords us the best opportunity, to help each other solve our respective problems and work together to address common concerns.

I have been very happy to see a lot of new and returning members joining the BCMA. While the statewide and national agendas are very important to us; our main mission continues to be that of championing the interests of the local physicians in Broward County.

I look forward to the rest of the year; as we seek to move the Medical community forward on many fronts. If you have any questions or particular concerns or comments; please feel free to contact me through the BCMA office. Thanks and all the best into the future.

Michael A. Weston, M.D., President, Broward County Medical Association, can be reached at MWeston@bcma.com or (954) 714-9772.
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