Washington, DC (January 19, 2018)—On behalf of the more than 560,000 physicians and medical students represented by the combined memberships of our organizations, we strongly urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to put patients first, and reconsider its support of state waiver requests that would prohibit qualified providers from participating in the Medicaid program.
Our organizations issued joint principles on this issue, which we shared with Acting HHS Secretary Hargan and CMS Administrator Verma in a December 8, 2017 letter. These principles urge CMS to “do no harm” when evaluating and approving waiver proposals from states. We continue to believe that CMS must, at a minimum, maintain access to any qualified provider.
States must not be allowed to deny coverage of Medicaid primary and preventive care by qualified providers of women’s health services. These efforts violate Medicaid’s federal “any willing provider” and “freedom of choice” protections, which were enshrined in law to ensure that there are enough providers to care for Medicaid beneficiaries.
The Medicaid program was created to ensure access to needed care. CMS’ message today will only prevent low-income individuals from getting the care they need, and especially adversely impact women’s health.
We strongly urge CMS and the states to pursue policies that put patients first. State waiver requests that discriminate against otherwise qualified providers of women’s health services by denying them funding should not be approved.
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 137,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Visit DoctorsThatDO.org to learn more about osteopathic medicine.
About the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.