Florida Medical Association Delegates Discuss Policy Changes With Focus on Access to Care

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The 500-member Florida Medical Association House of Delegates over the weekend in Hollywood, Fla., met to discuss a number of potential policy changes, with much of the focus on access to care, the Miami Herald reports.

Karl Altenburger, an allergist who became FMA president over the weekend, said that the group has entered a “period of transition” and faces many changes in health care during the next five to 10 years. According to Altenburger, some physicians in high-risk specialties have decided to leave the state because of Amendment 8, a ballot measure passed by voters in 2004 that allows the revocation of the licenses of physicians who lose three malpractice lawsuits. The state to date has not revoked the licenses of any physicians under the amendment.

Altenburger also said that high malpractice insurance premiums and low Medicaid reimbursement rates have prompted some physicians to leave the state. In addition, he said that the federal government has continued to limit the number of positions for medical residents in the state. An FMA spokesperson said that the meetings and sessions of delegates are “private” and that the group will announce any policy changes at a later time (Dorschner, Miami Herald, 8/25).
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