South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday November 24, 2020

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October 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 4

Decreased Pressure Provides Opportunities for Targeted Reform

Some interesting data is starting to emerge which indicates that health care is of lesser concern to the electorate during this election cycle than in previous years. The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported on these trends that show the public’s focus has clearly been impacted by the emergence of seemingly more immediate concerns such as the economic impact of COVID-19 and social justice issues.

The precipitous drop of health care as a key voting issue is an interesting phenomenon that demands further study; however, it may usher in short-term opportunities for targeted reforms that often get overlooked amongst the drive for more sweeping change.
Individuals polled still rank affordability and access to care as the most important health care issues. As the November elections approach, it is those issues that the Dade County Medical Association continues to address in our ongoing discussions with current and future elected officials.
There is no doubt that reduced regulation and payment parity for telehealth services during the pandemic has enabled physicians to expand access to care in rural communities and for vulnerable populations. This regulatory relief and payment parity should be made permanent by the Florida Legislature.
Insurance company utilization of step therapy procedures and strict treatment guidelines often delay provision or restrict access to medically-necessary care. These delays can increase cost of care through mismanagement of conditions, or shift the costs of treatment onto patients who cannot get care approved. The DCMA supports legislation that would require insurance carriers to provide patients with transparency and accountability in the utilization of such procedures.
Finally, the economic fallout from the pandemic will undoubtedly leave many Floridians without access to employer-sponsored health insurance. Our organization supports traditional or innovative programs to provide access to coverage on a temporary basis to those impacted.
The 2021 Legislative Session may provide a small window of opportunity to land some of these targeted reforms without the cloud of sweeping reform hanging overhead. We encourage physicians and patients to work with the DCMA and our elected officials to deliver improved access and affordability of health care.

Dr. Rudolph Moise is President of the Dade County Medical Association. For more information, contact the DCMA at (305) 324-8717.

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