American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Testifies in Support of Physician Payment Reform

Statement attributable to Geraldine T. O’Shea, DO testifying before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association

WASHINGTON, January 22, 2015  We can all agree that it is time to look past short-term solutions and instead consider the Medicare system as a whole – physicians, other providers, and most importantly seniors. The impact of inaction today or a continuation of only treating the short-term problem could have negative repercussions for the health of Medicare.

Quality of care will ultimately improve when payment incentives increase and are aligned with health care quality. The proposal agreed upon in the last Congress [H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access of Medicare Act] would stabilize physician payments while transitioning into a system that promotes the delivery of high-quality patient care. The new system would include a strong recognition of the importance of primary care as supported by the Patient-Centered Medical Home - the American Osteopathic Association was one of the four organizations which developed the principles of the PCMH.

The proposal also would work to align the current disjointed quality reporting programs to ease the administrative burden placed upon physicians. This means we would spend less time with paperwork and more time with our patients, where we are needed the most.

Jeopardizing patient access to care within the Medicare program cannot be an option. Permanently reforming the physician payment system is one barrier to access that we are working to remove in this process.  

Editor’s Note: Dr. O’Shea is medical director of Foothills Women’s Medical Center in Jackson, California and is a member of the American Osteopathic Association Board of Trustees.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 110,000 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. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at


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