CMS Connect Login:

Login Assistance

Message from the CMS President

Moving Ahead in 2019

WE ARE well past the holidays and into a blustery January. As we hunker down for a polar vortex, let’s reflect on the fact that even in a polarized political climate, medicine was able to lay the groundwork for an ambitious 2019 agenda. Our agenda is built on the ideas you brought to the Chicago Medical Society in the past year. You and your colleagues directed us to:

• Seek an ICD-10 code for prior authorization. We brought the proposal to the AMA, which voted to create a national system for tracking of insurer prior authorization requests. This effort will gather data in order to document the time burdens.
• Reform insurer contracts so the job of recouping out-of-pocket costs and deductibles is squarely on the health plan since it determines these amounts. Require insurers to pay physicians the full fee negotiated on the physician’s contract with the health plan. Pursue state and federal legislation to address these practices.
• Modify IRS rules under which Direct Primary Care is considered a health plan so that patients can use their Health Savings Accounts to make periodic DPC payments.
• Seek an independent accounting of the true cost of educating a medical student.
• Require all compensation reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to include a verifiable receipt signed by the physician. Remove any contested compensation from the federal website until it’s validated with a signed receipt.
• Address prescription drug price gouging, including “me-too” drug development, uneven generic drug competition, and discrepancies between new agents and popular generics. Replace time-specific patent protections with negotiated payment schedules and indefinite exclusivity for FDA-approved drugs in Medicare Part D.

My year in office saw movement on other fronts, with CMS:

• Advancing the intersection of school security and mental health. Our proposal wound up in legislation drafted by Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, only hours before the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. We had several conference calls with Senator Cassidy’s office and the U.S. Department of Education. 
• Standing publicly with Senator Durbin as he unveiled new legislation to strengthen oversight of pharmaceutical companies and overdistribution of opioid medications. We also endorsed his prescription drug pricing transparency legislation earlier in the year.
• Hosting medical-legal education through our partnership with the ABA’s Health Law Section. Topics included contract negotiation; employer and hospital relationships; payment models and regulatory changes. 
• Receiving a proclamation from the Chicago City Council and Mayor Emanuel for our historic contributions to medicine in the community, since 1850.

After nearly 170 years, CMS remains a broad-based and local voice to advocate on issues common to all physicians.

This is my last column as your president. I’m thankful for the unconditional support I received from the CMS leadership and membership. Please join me in welcoming A. Jay Chauhan, DO, as he takes my place on February 1.

Vemuri S. Murthy, MD
President, Chicago Medical Society

Document Actions

Join CMS

Why join?  The Chicago Medical Society offers many benefits, including career placement, advocacy, networking, and member to member collaboration. Click here to explore all the benefits of membership.

CMS Connect

CMS Connect is an exclusive community that allows members to discuss the issues impacting their practices today. Visit CMS Connect today.