Public Policy

AOA addresses private practice challenges in a statement to the House Committee on Ways and Means

By AOA Staff


On May 23, the AOA submitted a statement to the House Committee on Ways and Means hearing on the collapse of private practice and the challenges facing independent medicine. The letter highlights many issues that we have heard directly from our members, including the negative impacts of healthcare consolidation, such as reduced access to care and increased physician burnout, especially in rural areas.

The letter noted the potential detrimental effects of private equity acquisitions, which often prioritize profits over patient care, leading to poorer patient outcomes and increased hospital-acquired conditions. The statement also covered the economic pressures causing rural hospital closures and increased travel distances for patients seeking care. The letter calls on Congress to support several bills that help address challenges facing independent medicine, including:

  • The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 2389), which increases the number of residency positions funded by Medicare, with particular emphasis on hospitals in rural areas and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs);
  • The Rural Physician Workforce Production Act (H.R. 834), which aims to increase residency positions and financial support for rural hospitals, and;
  • The Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474), which provides financial stability by providing inflationary updates to Medicare physician payment.

Additionally, the AOA called for sustainable physician payment models and adjustments to Medicare’s budget neutrality threshold to ensure the viability of independent practices. These efforts are part of the AOA’s ongoing commitment to advocate for policies that support osteopathic physicians and improve patient care. Read the full statement to learn more about how the AOA is representing you in Congress.