Annual KMA Meeting Discusses Health Reform’s Impact on Kentucky Physicians

Published 09-19-2011 11:37 AM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  



From the Western Purchase area to the Central Bluegrass region to the Eastern mountains and coal fields, one thing is certain: Kentucky has excellent physicians who truly care for the health and well-being of the people of this Commonwealth. This fact was made evident to me yet again as I spoke at the Kentucky Medical Association's (KMA) Annual Meeting in Louisville last week.

It was great getting to see some old friends such as Dr. Carlos Hernandez, former Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and Dr. Greg Cooper, Family Practice physician from the Cynthiana Area. It's always good to reconnect with old colleagues that you share such a strong relationship with. It was also a delight to meet other physicians from across Kentucky, many who are graduates of UK College of Medicine. The topic of this year's meeting was near and dear to my heart: "Health Reform's Impact on Kentucky Physicians."

It was a pleasure being part of such a distinguished panel, comprised of UK's own Dr. Kevin Pearce, professor and interim chair of Family and Community Medicine and member of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians, and Douglas McSwain, a Lexington attorney from the firm Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC. 


My portion of our presentation covered updates on implementation of the Patient Protection Act and Affordable Health Care Act which were passed into legislation in 2010. This massive piece of legislation is so multifaceted that many physicians are oftentimes (and rightly so) left wondering what the exact implications will be on their careers and practices. I hope that after leaving our presentation, physicians had a clearer understanding of what they can do to ensure that the health care overhaul becomes an opportunity to embrace change rather than a stumbling block.   

It is valid to question if there will be enough physicians and medical professionals to provide proper care for this group of newly-insured individuals in addition to those that were already insured. Specifically, in Kentucky, rural areas are already struggling to retain physicians. What will the implications of this be? What are our options to make health care delivery more efficient and cost effective? 

Page last updated: 1/30/2015 2:53:22 PM