PBCMS has a strong record of advocacy for physicians and patients.

We have in recent years:

  • Lead liability reform efforts
  • Obtained retro payments for physicians from the Health Care District
  • Tirelessly worked to block Medicare cuts
  • Stopped scope expansion
  • Played a leadership role in the prescription drug crisis
  • Addressed Emergency Department specialty coverage
  • Established Project Access which has provided the uninsured over $11 million in donated care
  • Worked to improve Medicaid access and reimbursement
  • Established award-winning Emergency Response Coalition and Medical Reserve Corps
  • Passed legislation to strengthen physician rights in the courtroom
  • Extended medical malpractice exemption from assessments levied by Florida Hurricane CAT Fund.

Palm Beach County Medical Society

Statement on Health Reform

March 2017

For the past 97 years, Palm Beach County Medical Society (PBCMS) has advocated for access to quality health care. While the Affordable Care Act was an important step in providing access and coverage, we recognize that there are problems that need to be addressed. As the journey to improved health care continues there are fundamental reforms that we believe are essential.

Physician compensation is estimated to be only 5 percent of the US health care budget and to reduce costs and keep health care affordable efforts need to be made to reduce drivers of cost inflation for the other 95 percent of health care costs. It is important to note that PBCMS currently has 3 physician representatives to the American Medical Association and is committed to being actively engaged in the discussions shaping the future health care delivery system.

Other priorities include:

  • Maintain key insurance market reforms, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue and parental coverage for young adults, and no annual/lifetime limits on benefits
  • Stabilize and strengthen the individual insurance markets. Prevention of mega mergers of insurance companies that threaten to limit choice and raise cost to patients.
  • Ensure that low- and moderate-income patients are able to secure affordable and adequate coverage.
  • Ensure safety net programs are adequately funded but also realize that Medicaid program has serious problems and should be reformed.
  • Reduce physician regulatory burdens that detract from patient care and increase costs.
  • Provide greater cost transparency throughout the health care system especially insurance practices regarding pharmaceutical rebates. Health insurance companies are not informing patients of the actual cost of medications and actual payments made on behalf of patients. It is standard for health insurance statements that describe how much they “saved you.” Patients are presented with drug bills that show retail cost but no mention of the actual negotiated price and that patients often pay the majority of the cost of medication.
  • Incorporate common sense medical liability reforms.
  • Incorporate patient responsibility as a key component of potential health care savings.
  • Provide a choice of insurers, HSAs and physicians.
  • Provide access to affordable prescription drugs. Major FDA reform is needed to improve drug pricing by removing burdensome regulations. Stop the FDA “Pay to Play” practices. The rapid escalation of generic drug prices is directly related to the loss of competition among manufactures. Most generic medications are no longer made in the USA.  FDA policies which include slow approvals and regulations and additional fees and taxes has helped push manufacturing outside of the United States.
  • Understand physician wellness is becoming a national crisis and providers are being pushed away by the current system and leads to more cost and bigger physician shortages.

Our health care system is need of significant change. We look forward to working our members of the U.S. Congress to address these challenging goals.

Shawn Baca MD, FACR
Past President, Palm Beach County Medical Society
[email protected]

Tenna Wiles
CEO Palm Beach County Medical Society
[email protected]
561 433-3940