The American Medical Association, Colorado Medical Society and 98 other specialty societies and state medical societies sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma in response to a request for information on identifying burdensome Medicare regulations that exceed state scope of practice laws and limit non-physician providers from practicing at the top of their license.
This request for information is a follow up to the president’s executive order #13890: “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors.” The executive order specifically directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to propose reforms to the Medicare program, including ones that eliminate supervision and licensure requirements of the Medicare program that are more stringent than other federal or state laws. Per the federal CMS’s RFI, “these burdensome requirements ultimately limit health care professionals, including physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses, from practicing at the top of their professional license.”
The letter spearheaded by the AMA expresses concerns with the broad scope and far-reaching implications of the request, provides comments on the benefits of physician-led health care teams, and urges the administration to rely on fact-based resources on the education and training of nonphysician health care professionals and the impact on the overall cost and quality of care.
The letter concludes: “While all health care professionals play a critical role in providing care to patients, their skillsets are not interchangeable with that of fully trained physicians. The scope of practice of health care professionals should be commensurate with their level of education and training, not based on politics. Patients – and in this case Medicare patients – deserve nothing less.” Read the full letter here.