Saturday, February 04, 2006

ACS to take Ball and Go Home.....
From a reader:Surgeons to boycott Georgia:
In the latest twist of a long-standing health-care debate, a national group of doctors is boycotting Georgia over the state's laws governing which types of doctors can operate outpatient surgery centers.

The American College of Surgeons, which represents more than 70,000 surgeons, sent letters to Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce saying that it will not consider Georgia as a site for any future conventions or meetings until the state changes its "egregious policy."

What egregious policy? Read on:
The policy causing the controversy stems from Georgia's system for regulating the expansion of health-care services, which is known as the certificate-of-need or CON program.

In Georgia, physicians who are considered single-specialty, such as orthopedic or plastic surgeons, can operate ambulatory surgery centers without having to go through the lengthy and often-contentious CON process. But general surgeons are not considered to be single-specialty.
This is a legislative priority of the Medical Association of Georgia. The hospitals don't like the idea of "going around" a CON commission to get this done:
The commission was given two years to do its job, and has been holding monthly meetings since last summer. CON commission members have said that they would not propose any changes until 2007. But health-care insiders are speculating that a bill could be proposed this year specifically on this issue of general surgeons.

That troubles many hospitals.

"They're trying it to pre-empt the work of the CON commission," said Veazey of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. "The CON commission was set up to look at all these issues. It's the obligation of the commission to look at all aspects of CON."

Hospitals say it is essential because hospitals often treat patients who cannot pay and often get reimbursed less than their costs.
The ACS hasn't held a meeting in Georgia in years. There was apparently a move to have the 2007 clinical Congress held in Atlanta with the availability of New Orleans in question:
The group also recently declined to let the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau bid on hosting the group's annual convention, which attracts 15,000 to 18,000 attendees. The convention has a direct economic impact of $10 million to $12 million, according to the American College of Surgeons.
According to the ACS site New Orleans is to be dropped in 2010 for Washington D.C.
Taking the broader view, general surgeons are at a disadvantage in Georgia compared to other surgical specialists. They should be allowed to open their own ambulatory surgery centers. What I see in the future is hospitals hiring their own surgeons, the "surgical hospitalist" to provide coverage for their emergency rooms.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?