House bill aims to protect physician decision-making under ACA

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 31, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R, Ga.), said during a congressional hearing Dec. 13 that he planned to reintroduce a bill that would better protect a physician’s ability to make health care decisions under the Affordable Care Act.

The law effectively empowers the Health and Human Services secretary to use measures to determine whether a doctor is providing quality health care to people gaining coverage under the statute, Dr. Gingrey claimed. Failure to meet these quality measures, which are undefined by the law, means physicians could lose their health insurance contracts and be forced to shut down their practices, said Dr. Gingrey, a member of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee. He voiced his concerns during the panel’s hearing on various ACA provisions.

In particular, this could hinder physicians from treating patients who obtain their health insurance through the law’s exchanges, Dr. Gingrey said. If the HHS secretary determined, for example, that mammography for women under 50 was unnecessary, “would a physician be able to treat patients in the exchange if they recommended a mammogram for a 49-year-old woman? Apparently not,” he said.

The Safeguarding Care of Patients Everywhere Act would repeal this provision, “protecting patients’ access to their medical providers and ensuring physicians may continue treating individuals as they deem necessary,” Dr. Gingrey said in an earlier statement on the bill.

The legislation was introduced in August, and Dr. Gingrey said he would reintroduce the bill during the 113th Congress, which starts in January 2013.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn