By AAFP’s Federal Advocacy Team
This month, the AAFP advocacy team has fought for family medicine on several important fronts, including a major effort to call for congressional action to avert impending Medicare payment cuts for physician services. AAFP president, Dr. Tochi Iroku-Malize, Dr. Patricia L. Turner, executive director/CEO of the American College of Surgeons, and Dr. Ryan Mire, president of the American College of Physicians, outlined the risks of not address looming Medicare cuts for physicians in an opinion piece for Modern Healthcare.
“Continued financial challenges, administrative burdens and staff shortages, coupled with outdated Medicare payment policies, make it more difficult for physicians to maintain their practices and operate in their communities…. Congress must take action to protect patients’ access to care by halting the payment cuts that will take effect Jan. 1.,” they wrote.more
By Larry Kravitz, MD, Natalie Close, and Jonathan Tao
To quote Robert Grossman, the dean of New York University Health, free medical school tuition “recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.”
Seven medical schools offer free tuition in the United States: NYU, Cornell, Columbia, UCLA, Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, and Washington University, although only NYU, Kaiser Permanente, and Cleveland Clinic cover 100% of their students. Some schools, such as TCU, University of Houston, and Dell Medical School offered free tuition for their initial entering class.more
Each year, AAFP holds the National Conference of Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leader Forum together in Kansas City, Missouri. NCCL representatives and ACLF attendees from across the nation gather to discuss various issues, suggest policies and programs to AAFP, and receive leadership training. In 2023, the conferences will be held May 9 - 11 and TAFP is looking for members to serve on the delegation or apply for scholarships to attend.
Texas Delegation to NCCL
Spots are available for 10 TAFP members to represent each of the five constituencies: new physicians (physicians who have been out of residency for seven years or fewer), women, minorities, international medical graduates, and LGBT physicians. TAFP reimburses up to $1,400 for expenses for each of the five delegate and five alternate delegates. In addition, TAFP offers two other opportunities to attend NCCL with funding. These scholarships will be awarded to one third-year resident and one minority physician.more
By Jonathan Nelson
The U.S. Department of Education has updated its eligibility criteria for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program so that physicians in Texas and California are now eligible to apply, a change that should attract more physicians to practice in safety net hospitals and specialize in primary care. The program is designed to discharge the remaining federal student loan balance for professionals working in public service for governmental and nonprofit organizations after they have made 120 payments on their loans.
The existing PSFL regulations inadvertently excluded Texas and California physicians who treat patients in private, nonprofit community hospitals, children’s hospitals, and rural hospitals from participating because state laws prohibit private nonprofit hospitals from directly employing physicians. In an August 2022 letter, AAFP urged the Department to modify existing PSLF eligibility requirements to support the inclusion of all physicians providing patient care at nonprofit hospitals regardless of employment type — direct employee or contract employee.more