It goes without question that the US Government has a lot to do with what goes on in the medical community. Government funding goes to everything from medical schools and scholarships for medical students to laws and regulations that effect how medicine in the country is performed.
Not all doctors and medical professionals are satisfied with the results of our medical system. Each year advocates try to catch Washington's ear in regard to matters involved in the country's health care system. Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado was one of twenty-one anesthesiologists who traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2010.
"In 2010, I traveled with other anesthesiologists to the American Society of Anesthesiologists' Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. We went to advocate for the changes that needed to be made for all anesthesiologists. It was our hope to educate legislatures on the issues related to our medical practice," says Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado.
When Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado and his fellow advocates traveled to Washington, D.C. they had four areas of focus. "The first point we wanted to discuss was the undervalued work of anesthesiologists. We call it the "33 Percent Problem" because Medicare fee schedule values anesthesiology services at 33 percent of usual fees compared to 80 percent for other specialties," says Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado.
Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado also asked legislatures to not put Medicare cuts into place. Medicare cuts were their second focus with truth and transparency being their third focus. "We believed the use of ‘doctor’ by non-physicians was deceptive to patients especially in health care so we wanted to advocate a need for transparency so there would be no confusion between doctors of health care compared to professionals in other fields." says Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado.
The third focus point by Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado dealt with Rural Pass-Through. "In small hospitals, nurses provide anesthesia services. We wanted it changed so even small hospitals would be able to benefit from actual physician anesthesia services," explains Matthew Uhlenkott of Aurora, Colorado.
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