WHA Physician Leaders Council Guides MD Regulatory Burden Agenda

October 23, 2018

Physician leaders from small, large, urban and rural Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) members discussed several agenda items impacting WHA member physicians at the October meeting of the WHA Physician Leaders Council.  Chaired by Steve Kulick, MD, Chief Experience Officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System, the Council discussed:

  • WHA physician regulatory burden agenda
  • Physician assistant scope of practice legislation
  • New CMO track at 2019 WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference
  • November election and impacts on health care
WHA Physician Regulatory Burden Agenda
The Council continued its work on developing a comprehensive physician regulatory burden agenda for 2019 and beyond focused on state and federal regulatory relief and organization and physician leader-targeted education that can help reduce physician time spent on non-clinical work.  

The Council provided input on a WHA staff-developed summary of eight areas of potential state public policy reforms and actions to reduce physician regulatory burden.  

Each of the potential reforms was identified based on input sought and received throughout 2018 at previous Council meetings, WHA Board meetings, the WHA CMO survey, and other member contacts.

The Council also discussed WHA federal advocacy focused on regulatory relief, particularly the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2019 physician fee schedule proposed rule. That rule included several proposed coding changes and consolidation CMS indicated are intended to reduce physician documentation burden.  (See previous WHA newsletter article and the WHA comment letter.

The CMS proposal illustrated potential challenges and tradeoffs involved in reducing some types of documentation burdens related to billing and reimbursement. To help guide WHA’s physician regulatory burden agenda, the Council also provided guidance to help WHA find the right policy balance between the desire of providers to be scored utilizing precise measures versus the documentation burdens related to support higher levels of precision. 

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice Legislation
WHA was recently approached by the Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA) regarding legislation that WAPA would like to introduce in 2019 that would, among other things, change the existing supervision relationship between a physician assistant and a physician. 

At the June Council meeting, the Council identified regulatory changes addressed in the bill that could appropriately reduce physician oversight burden of Physician Assistants, but also identified concerns that parts of the draft bill would create a misalignment with federal payment policy, thus putting organizations at risk. 

As a follow up to the June discussion, the Council reviewed potential alternative bill language developed by WHA staff to address the Council’s June recommendations.  Following that input, WHA will work with WAPA with the goal of addressing those recommendations in any future legislation. 

New CMO Track at 2019 WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference
WHA staff shared the agenda for the 2019 WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference at the American Club in Kohler March 15-16, 2019.  In addition to the traditional education track for developing physician leaders, the 2019 conference will feature a second Saturday morning educational track specifically for CMOs and senior-level physician leaders that will include both a speaker and a guided round table discussion focusing on navigating challenges facing senior physician leaders.  Registration for the conference will open in November.

November Election and Impacts on Health Care
WHA staff provided the Council with an analysis of the November election and potential impacts on WHA’s 2019 public policy agenda.  

If you have questions about the WHA Physician Leaders Council, contact Chuck Shabino, MD, WHA CMO, or Matthew Stanford, WHA General Counsel. 

This story originally appeared in the October 23, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter