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Predicting the Impact of Price's Departure at HHS

Predicting the Impact of Price's Departure at HHS

Welcome to the latest edition of the Physicians Practice Pearls Podcast. In this podcast, we'll bring you some of the most interesting and influential guests in healthcare. If you have any ideas for podcast guests or topics, email us at editor@physicianspractice.com.

Last week, Tom Price, MD, resigned from his post as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) amid a scandal about his use of a private charter plane. Don Wright, MD, the assistant secretary for HHS, was named the acting HHS secretary until the Trump administration nominates a permanent replacement.

With HHS in a state of limbo, what does this mean for Medicare and other programs affecting physicians? Physicians Practice asked long-time guest of the Physicians Practice Pearls Podcast, Anders Gilberg, vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), to join us and discuss the ramifications of Price's departure. While Price's popularity among physicians wasn't universal, Gilberg says he understood their issues — especially the programs plaguing those who are in small practices.

"Whether you support or don't support Dr. Price, he practiced as a physician, so he can certainly relate [to physicians]….The fact he had real experience that he brought to his position in Congress as well as HHS was a good thing for physicians. If you set aside some of the more political elements, he was open to hearing what ailed the healthcare system and interested in that impact on physicians and patients," Gilberg says.

On the podcast, Gilberg also grades Price's brief tenure running HHS and outlines what he and MGMA would like to see out of his successor. In particular, he says Price's focus on cutting out administrative burdens on physicians should be a priority for whoever takes over at HHS. 

Gilberg also discusses CMS Administrator Seema Verma's reported candidacy and what it could mean for continuity of important Medicare programs, such as implementation of the Quality Payment Program.

 
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