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    New HHS Secretary Dr. Price promises physician-friendly reforms

     

    Throughout his time in Congress, Dr. Price has supported traditional and innovative changes to the medical liability ecosystem, from caps to courts. Dr. Price consistently backs federal proposals modeled on successful state reforms that provide fair compensation to patients and limit frivolous lawsuits and awards for noneconomic damages. Additionally, he voted in favor of a bill that protects physicians when they follow "best practice" guidelines, as well as the potential misapplication of quality measures.

    Dr. Price also promotes the provision of grants to states to establish specialized courts that have judges dedicated full time to resolving health care disputes. According to Philip Howard, a noted commentator on the effects of law and bureaucracy on human behavior and society, so-called health courts "hold the key to eliminating the staggering waste of defensive medicine better than any other proposed reform."

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    While the nature of changes to the Medicare program remain uncertain, there's little doubt that Dr. Price, if confirmed as HHS secretary, will promote decentralization and continue down the path of value-based reimbursement. First and foremost, Republican leaders hope to transition the Medicare program from bestowing defined benefits to a premium support model. Although Dr. Price voted for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), he recently criticized reporting requirements that are especially burdensome to independent physicians. He has also called for an end to mandatory bundled payment demonstration projects, such as the one changing how Medicare pays for joint replacements, which, according to Dr. Price, irresponsibly tie doctors' hands.

    Through UROPAC and frequent conference appearances, Dr. Price has long been connected to urologists. He has considerable experience in Congress and the exam room. At this critical time facing physicians and the health care sector, Dr. Price will, according to a spokesman for the Trump transition team, "work to restore the patient-doctor relationship and clamp down on government overreach."

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