Physicians from all across the nation are speaking out in a loud voice as their “US Physicians Appeal”, a petition signed by more than 10,000 doctors from all across the U.S., is delivered to the entire Senate body in their Capital Hill offices. The sum-up? Doctors want to be involved in a big way in revamping national healthcare strategies, and they promise to work hard on making real healthcare reforms happen by lowering the costs.

Sermo, an Internet-based organization with more than 110,000 doctors all across the country, points out that “US physicians have a unique perspective on the systemic changes needed because they are on the forefront of care every day… understand the need for pragmatic reform, not politically negotiated reform.” They accurately state that physicians must be included in creating those reforms if reform is going to work. Sermo is presenting the US Physicians Appeal on behalf on their members.

A poll of Sermo’s physician-members shows they believe true healthcare reform will only succeed if:

1) Tort and malpractice laws are reformed;
2) Billing is streamlined and pricing made transparent, ending systemic support of the AMA owned billing codes (CPT Codes);
3) The insurance industry is reformed;
4) Payment systems are simplified so they align with the growing need for preventive medicine.

These positions are very different from those of the American Medical Association (AMA). Sermo’s second point goes so far as to pose direction opposition. Many people do not know that the AMA claims copyright on the CPT codes and charges a licensing fee to use them!

Though the AMA has been a very vocal voice in medicine in the past, suggesting that their voice represents all physicians, the numbers tell a different truth. Fact is, for all their venerability, the AMA’s membership is a small fraction the doctors in the United States, and its membership has been on a steady decline. The very existence of Sermo is clear indication that there is a serious parting of ways between the doctors and the AMA. For example, one Sermo survey showed that 95% of physicians surveyed responded that the AMA did not speak for him/her when it (the AMA) endorsed HR3200, a Healthcare Reform Bill . That’s a lot of physicians begging to disagree!

Sermo’s point is strong. Doctors (and their staff members) are right there in the trenches. Who better to show where to cut the fat and enact real, practical changes? When over 100,000 physicians agree on something regarding medicine, it is wise to pay attention.