The actions of the General Assembly directly impact how healthcare is delivered in Tennessee. TMA's Day on the Hill gives physicians a chance to share their expertise with the legislators who represent them, and advocate for their patients on the most critical healthcare issues.
Top issues for 2017 include:
HEALTHCARE PROVIDER STABILITY ACT/PAYER ACCOUNTABILITY
The first-of-its kind law would limit how often health insurance companies can change provider fee schedules and payment policies/methodologies, and make such changes more transparent to healthcare providers. If passed, it would increase financial practicability for physicians by limiting arbitrary reimbursement changes in the middle of a contract period.
MAINTENANCE OF CERTIFICATION
TMA wants to address the ever-increasing cost and hassles for physicians associated with specialty board MOC, which has become a topic of discussion nationwide and prompted legislation in other states. TMA will not seek to change initial certification requirements.
TMA opposed 2016 legislation that would have prohibited "surprise billing" and is working with various stakeholders on an insurance network adequacy model bill. The legislature created a task force in 2016 to study the issue and is expected to consider its report during the 2017 session.
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
TMA physicians participated in a legislative task force established during the 2016 session to explore healthcare access and nursing scope of practice issues. TMA remains firm in advocating for a team-based approach between physicians and advanced practice nurses.
A Georgia-based group called Patients for Fair Compensation filed legislation in 2016 in an attempt to move medical malpractice lawsuits against physicians out of the court system and into a government-run administrative system. The legislation did not pass but is expected to be filed again in 2017. TMA has exposed significant problems with the concept and will continue to oppose it as an unproven and unnecessary change that would adversely affect our healthcare system without any guaranteed benefits.