Whether you are a partner in a democratic group or employed by a large medical group, hospital, or academic center, you deserve to be paid fairly. It is disheartening to hear of the burdensome amount of debt with which many of our recent graduates are leaving residency. Recruiting the best and brightest to our specialty requires us to be diligent in our methodology and to ensure fair payment for our services.
ACEP needs to vigorously advocate to ensure insurance companies pay fairly. We have to engage policymakers, the media, the public, and other decision makers on the value of the care we provide. We must ensure that there is a standard for what constitutes fair payment. We have to work with patient advocacy groups to make sure the high-deductible plans have affordable patient responsibilities and do not shift more health care dollars to insurance companies.
As states pass laws that “rate set” emergency physician payments, we need to take an aggressive legal and possibly even lead a Constitutional challenge to make sure that insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid pay their fair share. As Medicaid and Medicare numbers expand and the number of insured commercial patients decreases, we need to make sure that all pay fairly. This responsibility cannot be shifted to a decreasing number of commercially insured patients.