In Defense of the Independent Physician. Interview with Marni Jameson: Executive Director, Association of Independent Doctors.

marni-jameson

Marni Jameson is the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Doctors. It’s a national organization with over 1000 physicians members, dedicated to defending and supporting independent practitioners.

We talked with Marni about health care consolidation and the impact it has, not only on you and your practice but also your patients. We’re going to learn more about what  Marni and her team are doing for you, even if you are currently employed with a hospital.

We’re also going to learn more about Marni’s background and experience. It’s pretty impressive. She was only 22 when she founded her own health care public relations firm. After ten successful years, she sold the firm to pursue her passion for journalism, becoming a health reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and later, the Orlando Sentinel.

She also has a passion for design. Even with all the demands of running the AID, she manages to find time to write a nationally syndicated column on home design. “At Home With Marni Jameson,” appears in more than 30 newspapers across North America, reaching 7 million readers. She’s also the author of two best-selling books.

Marni has quite a story and Keith and I really enjoyed our conversation with her. We know you will too. So let’s get started…

Show Notes:

-Marni’s path through health care and journalism.

-“Somebody needs to do something about this.” How AID (Association of Independent Doctors) got started.

-The trend towards consolidation and physician employment:
In 2000, 57% of US doctors were independent. Today only 33% are.

-The pressures on independent physicians. Monopoly health care, gov’t regulation, payer networks, etc.

-How larger hospital systems use their leverage to control the market and negotiate higher payments from insurance carriers.

-Which specialists are most likely to become hospital employees?

-Why should patients care? The negative impact on patient care.

-How independent practitioners help keep medical costs down.

-The Stark Law. How do hospital systems use their influence to keep patients “in-house?” Why they pay close attention to “patient leakage.” Data and quotas.

-Don’t give in yet! Why Marni says to interdependent doctors, “it is hard…hold on, help is coming.”

-”AID Save:” Discounts on medical supplies.

-How AID is working with other independent physician groups. Two sides of the same coin.

-How AID is working through Washington and the media to fight for independent physicians.

-What you need to know before signing a hospital employment contract:

-Responsibilities.
-Performance standards.
-Physician autonomy.
-Office hours.
-Call coverage.
-Office space and resources.
-Outside activities.
-Restrictive clauses.
-…and more.

-Want to get out of your contract? Legal resources available for AID members.

-MACRA and bundled payments.

-Three victories where AID has lobbied the FTC to block anti-competitive mergers.

Links and Resources:

MACRA: https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/understanding-medicare-payment-reform-macra

http://obroncology.com/imshealth/content/IMSH_Oncology_Trend_Report_020514F4_screen.pdf

Hospital Prices Increase in California, Especially Among Hospitals in the Largest Multi-hospital Systems:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=27284126

http://www.aid-us.org/media

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