1. Patients. For better or worse, much of patient care is directly impacted by our healthcare payment system. And in the United States, total healthcare payments are split in approximately equal shares between public dollars (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and private dollars from insurance plans which are federally and state regulated entities. So, if a doctor “cares about patient care”, then physician voices need to be in the decision-making processes about payment regulations.
2. Physicians’ Quality of Life. The challenges of being a doctor today are well known. The data on physician ‘job satisfaction’ is sobering, and troubling for the future of healthcare in our country. Government regulations directly impact doctors’ scope of practice and certain professional standards issues. Doctors must be involved in the future of their own profession. It is not an acceptable alternative to leave crucial medical decisions to others without the strong input of physicians.
3. Civic Responsibility. Aside from the issues related to patients and the practice of medicine, physicians are a part of our community and have a strong interest in a well-functioning society. The basic attributes of smart, evidence-based decision-making that physicians seek around healthcare policy, also serve us well in other areas of public policy. Supporting and helping elected officials who base all their decisions on logic and evidence is a goal of most physicians.
The Columbus Medical Association has a public policy and political action program that tries to help physicians act on these interests and engage in a way that makes a difference. All CMA physicians are welcome to participate in this work at any time. The CMA will help support your interests, regardless of political affiliation or perspective.