Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

63d88afa50e21a1cf4ac_mini_magick20180403-124436-eggmvq.jpg
72183ae4eca0883d281c_978f25985b4cbd9b93cc_2124.jpg
Dr. Peter DeNoble
63d88afa50e21a1cf4ac_mini_magick20180403-124436-eggmvq.jpg

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make it to Governor Murphy’s desk in the coming weeks, designed by insurance companies to decapitate out-of-network providers themselves.   But what the Governor and other state legislators have completely overlooked in their zeal for this initiative is the innocent bystanders who this legislation hurts the most: the thousands of hard-working middle-class New Jerseyans who work for the enormous nexus of small business private medical practices around this State.

While the A-2039/S-485 bill is complex, in a nutshell it uses a heavy-handed arbitration model to line the pockets of insurance companies while drastically cutting reimbursements to the independent physicians who provide the bulk of emergency care in our state’s 72 emergency rooms.  With far fewer specialists available in your local hospitals, it will make the overpriced benefits of all New Jerseyans worthless, as these doctors will not be available at all hours to cover emergencies such as strokes and traumas.

But even if our legislators aren’t concerned with a dearth of specialists in our local emergency rooms, slashing physician reimbursement rates will have the real effect of jeopardizing the jobs of many hard-working middle-class New Jerseyans who work tirelessly on behalf of our practices and patients.  For some perspective on the scope of the economy this bill targets, the AMA’s 2018 Economic Impact Study concluded that each physician in New Jersey supports 12.4 jobs, and physicians collectively infuse $20.5 billion directly into wages and benefits for their employees.

Sign Up for E-News

My colleagues and I unanimously agree that we could not function as physicians without our dedicated staff, many of whom have loyally served our patients for several decades.  And as the emergency care segment of New Jersey’s enormous healthcare economy collapses under the weight of revenue shortfalls, many of these former New Jersey middle-class tax-payers will be forced to enter the local unemployment lines, uncertain about their futures in this state.  Could this really be Governor Murphy’s opening salvo after spending the past year promising to “grow and protect the middle-class”?

Sadly, cutting reimbursements to doctors will do nothing to save even one dime for union members and hard-working middle-class, desperate for relief from their egregiously-inflated premiums.  How do we know this?  Because similar laws passed in other states, including California, Maryland, and Illinois have never yielded the savings promised by their politicians.  Furthermore, Governor Murphy himself admitted in his own budget statement that change to out-of-network “is not anticipated as a savings to the State budget for fiscal 2019.” (http://www.nj.gov/treasury/omb/publications/19bib/BIB.pdfpage 19). 

And just as Seton Hall establishes its brand new medical school this year, this bill simultaneously creates inhospitable economic realities for physicians.  In fact, a report just last week from Wallet Hub found that New Jersey currently ranks as the worst state for doctors to practice in the United States.  Putting the screws to physicians with A2039/S485 will only further deter future graduating doctors from building their careers in New Jersey, not to mention the countless potential jobs that will never be created to support these doctors.

And with all of this said, New Jersey consumers still deserve protections from surprise medical bills, so where should we turn?  New Jersey’s medical organizations all agree that New York should serve as an appropriate bellwether.  Another high cost-of-living state like New Jersey, New York passed a bill into law in 2016 that protects both consumers from surprise bills and preserves its independent doctors and their thousands of employees.  The key difference in New York’s law is that its arbitration model for fee disputes between physicians and insurers is directly linked to the FAIR Health fee schedule. FAIR Health is a nationally-recognized, independent benchmarking service that has already been adopted by several other states, including New York and Connecticut with good results.  

Fortunately, New Jersey’s politicians still have time to protect access to care for millions of New Jerseyans and protect the jobs of countless middle-class employees by implementing the FAIR Health amendment to the A-2039/S-485 arbitration process.  The futures of healthcare in New Jersey and thousands of middle-class jobs depend on it.

Dr. Peter DeNoble is the president of the New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance and an orthopedic upper-extremity surgeon in Wayne, NJ.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Vehicle Stolen from Residence; Millburn Police Department Investigating

May 10, 2018

On May 2, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Barbosa responded to Neiman Marcus on a theft report. Neiman Marcus personnel report a black male wearing a black jumpsuit with the word “Kappa” on the front, and a black male wearing a blue shirt with the word “Champion” on the front each took a backpack valued at $1195.00 each and left the store without making payment. The incident ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Upcoming Millburn Township Committee Primary Election

May 12, 2018

Dear Fellow Millburn and Short Hills Residents,

Having given the selection of a candidate for the upcoming Millburn Township Committee primary election some serious thought, I have come to the conclusion that Corey Biller has the credentials to move the Township forward in a positive manner.

I know that Corey will bring a new and positive sensibility to the Committee, one that is ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c19129d5beaa356fde55_409d9c91c7a0a2c72ef9_image

Sun, May 20, 12:00 PM

YB Fitness, Short Hills

Cycle for Wheels Spin-a-thon for MSHVFAS

Carousel_image_f26368aa9b02b695afce_3fc10d7c6037ec8915fb_0952ca79b18478625c5395f2431688f1

Mon, May 21, 7:45 PM

Education Center, Millburn

Millburn Board of Education Meeting

Carousel_image_27a1c651521c971f9a4d_1cdb218c0a6934197fac_b2a4cff22151f502f44b2552724bef71_xl

Thu, May 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Understanding Hearing Loss

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_5e04ad2ab20990a85225_da97f2a9df7ada16e603_best_crop_05ec05a6516f3f538bac_3a7a784dfab2e460085f_img_0033_2x

Wed, May 30, 6:15 PM

Millburn High School (Back grass fields), Millburn

Millburn Color Run

Arts & Entertainment Education Giving Back Other

Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training coming to Millburn Library May 23

May 19, 2018

Caring Contact, a crisis hotline that serves Northern and Central New Jersey, will host Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training at the Millburn Library on May 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. There is no cost for this training but space is limited so registration is recommended.

 

To register, visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/SuicideAwarenessSpring2018.

 

Caring contact's ...

Uber & Mack-Cali Partnership Expands to Four New Locations in Short Hills

NEW JERSEY - Uber and Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE: CLI) are announcing the expansion of their relationship to include a commuter ridesharing partnership at four commercial properties in Short Hills, NJ. Similar to a program that was announced in February at Mack-Cali’s properties in Metropark, the partnership caters to the modern office worker’s desire to live a car-free, ...

Street Dedication Ceremony Honoring Scoutmaster Fineran Set for Sunday

Street Dedication Ceremony Honoring Late Scoutmaster Ken Fineran Officially Scheduled
Sunday May 20 at 11:00 am

Millburn Township and Boy Scout Troop 17 of St. Rose of Lima will be honoring the life and accomplishments our beloved Scoutmaster Kenneth W. Fineran on Sunday, May 20th. Troop 17 Scouts, in conjunction with Millburn Township and St. Rose of Lima Church, have scheduled two ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...