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Monday Rx: Advocacy for Minority Practices, Statements on Governor Newsom's Budget Revision and LACMA Fighting for Physicians.

Monday Rx: Advocacy for Minority Practices, Statements on Governor Newsom's Budget Revision and LACMA Fighting for Physicians.

Insult to Injury

The injury is COVID-19 and the daily crisis for physicians, particularly those in private practice: from budget cuts, inadequate federal response, poor testing exacerbated by lack of access for the most vulnerable populations are, quite frankly, insulting. Doctors shouldn’t have to form lines at Santa Monica College or Habitat for Humanity to get life saving masks, shields and hand sanitizers. The images of the great depression come to mind. What was once food lines have become mask lines. We set aside $100,000 which has now grown to $125,000 to help doctors in need. In fact, as of today, we will transition our practice relief efforts to help women and minority-owned practices as they struggle without adequate resources. We have shared CMA information on reimbursement, grants, loans and resources for physicians. It's still not enough. Doctors serving South and East Los Angeles communities shouldn’t be last in line for federal funding.
 

View Article Here

 
 

Governor Gavin Newsom's Budget

 

The Governor has now shared his budget and the only word I can come up with is “catastrophic”.

Dr. Sion Roy, LACMA President has this to share:

“Given the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew the governor's proposed budget was going to be a difficult one. The drastic cuts to Medi-Cal that the governor has proposed, however, threaten basic access to care for millions of vulnerable, mostly minority, Los Angelenos who are suffering disproportionately from this crisis at a time when they need healthcare access the most. Governor Newsom has made healthcare a priority during his time in office, and we look forward to working with his administration to find the funding needed to make sure our most vulnerable get the healthcare access they need.”

CMA President, Dr. Peter Bretan offered this:

“California will not be able to truly reopen until we can stabilize our health care system. That means ensuring we have the physicians we need to care for patients, regardless of whether those patients have commercial or public health coverage. Unfortunately, the budget outlined by Gov. Newsom will create additional pressure and uncertainty for physician practices. While we agree that the federal government must do more to stabilize our health care system and our economy, we know we cannot depend on federal action to ensure we have a budget that truly reflects California's values.”
 

Visit www.cmadocs.org for full text.

 

Fighting For You

 

Yes, we need to fight. Literally. Fight for all of you. Fight for funds, resources and partnerships that yield the kind of results that keep practices open, without risk, indefinitely. Fight to showcase our members who are now serving on key committees such as Dr. Hector Flores who now serves on Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Soliz’ LA County Economic Resiliency Task Force (view press release) or Dr. David Hopp who now sits on the City of Beverly Hills Medical Advisory Council and advises the mayor directly as plastic surgeons are left guessing what to do next. No one should have to “guess” about how to open a practice or when to open a practice. Every practice is essential. Period. Since we launched our COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative 8 weeks ago, we have helped over 400 practices.

 

Still, Not Enough.

I wanted to share what one physician shared with me just today:

“Here are the problems our 8 doctor orthopaedic surgery practice is confronting:

1. inconsistent social distancing:

3/8 doctor are upset that they are not seeing patients as fast as they used to due to the demands of social distancing. They are demanding a full schedule (6 patients per hour) which means a lot of people sitting in rooms/waiting rooms/waiting rooms for x-ray. We've tried to institute waiting in cars, but it's not being strictly adhered to, forcing staff to police it.

The staff in turn feels that those doctor's are not adhering to appropriate social distancing, some refusing to work with them.

2. Inadequate staff:

We initially laid off a large number of employees while some have returned to work others have not, possibly due to apprehension. However, there is concern that some are making more money on unemployment or enough on unemployment that they do not want to return. Leaving us to consider termination which will likely terminate their benefits, an ugly path to go down.

3. Difficulty finding PPE. You've helped greatly with this.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the flier that came with the masks offers to sell surgical masks for .65 cents and N95 masks for $3.30. But the catch is you have to buy 100 N 95 masks to get the 65 cent ones. a $3.30 front end load on buying 65 cent masks looks like thinly disguised price gouging to me. Can you please look into this? Any other source of inexpensive simple surgical masks or equivalent would be appreciated.

Thanks again for your help.

 

The physician is 100% right. We’ve had to become broker, distributor and problem solver in real time. The price point for masks is a challenge but we are dealing with a chaotic market until the tide turns. My team and I will continue to look for the best products at the best price for our physicians to access for free (as in the two events) or at a reasonable price point.

Here are links to media coverage from the PPE event last week:

Santa Monica Daily Press Article

Santa Monica Daily Press Article (Downloadable PDF)

 

There are also several webinars coming up for physicians to access and thus be armed with intel as they transition to the new normal: View Here

We won’t rest until the injury is healed and the proverbial insults are a thing of the past.

 

#MondayMotivation



"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."
-Kahlil Gibran


Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”