Rep. Heck Listens to PCMS Concerns

During an event in University Place on the evening of July 9, 2018, US Representative Denny Heck (D-WA) listened as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised several issues on behalf of the membership. 

He emphasized that it is important for Congress to have a mindset moving forward that there are still many challenges for all sectors of the health care system in America including those providing care and noted the high levels of stress in the physician profession. 

Several examples of federal policy areas that need consideration were articulated including patient access to care through potential deductible assistance since having insurance that is unaffordable to use creates barriers to physicians and other providers, getting insurance companies to cover more of the prescription drugs and treatments that physicians believe are the best course of action for their patients, pressing the drug companies to have their products be as affordable as possible, overcoming barriers physicians face in treatment and referral of patients with behavioral health issues including through financial incentives to encourage new physicians to go in to behavioral health (as well as primary care), HIPPA reform to reflect 21st Century technology and realities of care, and reduction of administrative burden including improvement with the physician EHR experience in an already overscheduled week.  He made Rep. Heck aware that administrative burdens for many physicians include charting during non-clinical hours such as evenings and weekends because other related care responsibilities already fill up those clinical hours.   

Rep. Heck serves in the US House for the 10th District of Washington that includes a large section of Pierce County such as the Eastside of Tacoma,  communities south of Tacoma to the Thurston County line such as University Place and Lakewood as well as east of Tacoma such as Puyallup.  With his seat on the House Financial Services Committee, he could be particularly instrumental in pursuing legislation providing debt relief or grants to new physicians to enter practice in the fields of behavioral health and primary care.