PARCA coalition sends letter to oppose removal of "non discrimination" clause from the Affordable Care Act The Patient’s Access to Responsible Care Alliance (PARCA) has sent a letter to Congressmen Fred Upton (R MI) and Henry Waxman (D CA) to

PARCA coalition sends letter to oppose removal of “non-discrimination” clause from the Affordable Care Act

The Patient’s Access to Responsible Care Alliance (PARCA) has sent a letter to Congressmen Fred Upton (R-MI) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) to register PARCA’s strong opposition to H.B. 2817. The bill was introduced by a coalition of MD specialty organizations to remove the non-discrimination clause, Section 2706, from the Affordable Care Act. The bill is disingenuously entitled “Protect Patient Access to Quality Health Professionals Act of 2013.” PARCA argues, in part, that “limiting patient access to and choice of qualified, licensed and certified non-MD/DO health care providers as H.R. 2817 intends, would further reduce competition and concentrate market share and economic benefit into the hands of select providers -a misguided policy that would increase costs for consumers and the delivery system as a whole.”

The PARCA coalition comprises the American Academy of Audiology, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Chiropractic Association, American College of Nurse Midwives, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Optometric Association, American Physical Therapy Association, American Podiatric Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

Comment: These professions used to be called “allied health providers.” Ever since the American Medical Association’s Scope of Practice Partnership was created in 2006 to beat back and corral these “allies” into ever smaller corners of turf so as not to threaten medical hegemony, the set of disciplines should perhaps  be better characterized as “non-aligned health professions.” Witness the recent Cochrane review on the better outcomes from midwives over that of obstetricians, reported under Professions, this Round-up. The American College of Nurse Midwives are part of PARCA. Take a guess if the medical OB-Gyn’s organization is a supporters
of 2817
. There is a good reason that it has taken organized medicine 100 years to begin to organize itself around the values of better patient experience, enhanced population outcomes and lower cost. The values can be
unfriendly to their interests. (The group backing 2817 is family doctors, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, anesthesiologist, plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists and yes, obstetricians.)

Integrative MD leader Delia Chiaramonte in key role in Maryland win for chiropractors on manipulating children

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently celebrated an important win for the field in the state of Maryland. The September 5, 2013 ACA e-news prefaced their comments this way: “Despite past advocacy efforts by the ACA and the profession, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield (CareFirst) has had a long-standing policy against pediatric spinal manipulation.” Then: “However, thanks to the persistent efforts of many, CareFirst recently changed its policy on spinal manipulation by removing any ‘limitations related to age.’ This is a significant step forward for DCs in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.” The new policy went into effect July 22, and CareFirst has stated that any existing contracts with pediatric manipulation restrictions will be changed to reflect the new policy. Among those thanked was Delia Chiaramonte, MD, an integrative medicine leader at the University of Maryland Program in Integrative Medicine. Contacted by the Integrator about her role, Chiaramonte responded via e-mail: “My chiropractic colleagues thought it might be helpful to include a physician champion in the discussions with CareFirst’s medical director. I was happy to help and am pleased with the outcome.”

Comment: A simple, good news article, of mutual respect and collaboration. This follows a series of other advances for chiropractic doctors that I document in this recent piece: Chiropractic Doctors Hit a Trifecta in Move for “Cultural Authority”.  Nice work, Dr. Chiaramonte.

Getting into the Nation’s team-care movement: HRSA-funded Center opens website and invites participation

A recent post from Barbara Brandt, PhD, director of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (NCIPE) announced the opening of the Center’s website – The site notes that the Center “is the only such organization in the United States, designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the sole center to provide leadership,
scholarship, evidence, coordination and national visibility to advance interprofessional education and practice as a viable and efficient health care delivery model.” The Resource Exchange invites contributions from all interested in the subject area. Individuals and organizations are invited to create profiles and engage in forums. The Center is fueled with $4-million from the US Health Resources Services Administration and $8.1-million from four foundations. The project is presently funded for 5 years.

Comment: I just signed up, personally, and will soon be signing up the organization with which I am affiliated and posting some documents that will be useful to the field. Only roughly 150 people have yet signed up. (I saw the name of one registrant who is of a naturopathic physician I know, Dhai Barr, ND.) This is the big round table for convening that many have dreamed about for years. As George Thibault, MD, CEO with Center-funder the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation said at a related Institute of Medicine meeting, US health care needs to “widen the circle” of players who can be helpful. (See Widening the Circle: ACCAHC Report from the 1st IOM Global Forum on Interprofessional Education.) Get in the game!