The largest body of Indian-American doctors on Friday asked President-elect Donald Trump to enact medical liability reform, which it claimed is driving up the healthcare cost in its current shape through “extra testing and the practice of defensive medicine”. “AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) supports a healthy doctor-patient environment by curbing aggressive litigation targeting physicians,” AAPI president Ajay Lodha said in a statement in which he congratulated Trump on his victory in the presidential election.
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Lodha said, “such lawsuits have had a chilling effect and driven up the cost of healthcare, through extra testing and the practice of defensive medicine”.
In the 112th Congress, The ‘Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011’, limited the conditions for lawsuits and punitive damages for healthcare liability claims.
It established a statute of limitations and limited noneconomic damages to USD 250,000, he rued. AAPI wants modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he said.
Under the ACA, hospitals and primary physicians would transform their practices financially, technologically, and clinically to drive better health outcomes, lower costs, and improve their methods of distribution and accessibility.
“We believe that the current ACA could be improved upon greatly. To merely repeal the ACA would result in 20 million losing their health insurance coverage and that would be problematic to say the least,” he said.
“A more reformed system with emphasis on free-market while retaining the provisions protecting consumers with pre-existing conditions would be ideal,” he said.
AAPI represents the interests of over 60,000 physicians and 25,000 medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the US.
In the statement, Lodha also invited Trump to address the delegates at the next AAPI Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey next year.