Physicians to tell Capitol Hill: Our Patients Need Options, Not Mandates

Jul 16, 2012, 13:47 ET from Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The physician members of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons ( are on the front lines of patient care and know what works (and what doesn't) for improving their patients' access to quality, affordable medical care.  On July 18, 2012, two AAPS physician members will join with Congressman Paul Broun (GA-10) for a briefing on Capitol Hill to provide information on the common sense solutions offered in his OPTION Act.  In addition, Drs. Keith Smith and Juliette Madrigal will discuss what is already happening outside the Beltway to put patients in charge instead of bureaucrats.

TIME: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Noon to 1 p.m.

LOCATION: 402 Cannon House Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

PARTICIPANTS: Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA-10)
Juliette Madrigal-Dersch, M.D., President-Elect AAPS
G. Keith Smith, M.D., Founder, Surgery Center of Oklahoma

BACKGROUND: Most people understand the basic points that not all patients are the same and not everyone reacts to the same treatment the same way. Yet many don't fully understand how truly unique each and every patient is that walks into a doctor's office and how critical it is for individuality to determine the treatment. Past policies as well as the current trends in politics—coming from both parties—reflect this misunderstanding. Congress has, in effect, inserted the government into the exam room alongside the patient and physician to enforce one-size-fits-all "solutions." This degradation of the patient-physician relationship leads to undesirable consequences: poorer health outcomes, increased costs, and less availability of care.

There are good ideas. Doctor Broun's OPTION Act doesn't downplay individuality for questionable cost savings; his bill raises individuality to new levels by providing increased flexibility to those very individuals. The OPTION Act frees the patients and the physicians to provide even higher quality care, increased access to care, at lower prices. And this isn't just theoretical.  Innovative medical practices are already implementing and proving these ideas work for patients from all walks of life and levels of health.

AAPS supports policies that give patients and physicians more freedom, and Dr. Broun's OPTION Act fosters that freedom by providing patient-centered solutions developed by the people that know patients' needs best - their doctors.


Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. For most of his career, Dr. Broun has practiced general medicine and, in 2002, he went out on his own, establishing a unique practice of full-time house calls. Dr. Broun enjoys the freedom of practicing medicine without bureaucratic encumbrances and has used his experience to introduce commonsense solutions to our nation's health care financing crisis.

Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma. The center's website displays all-inclusive pricing for surgical procedures, a move that has gained national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.

Dr. Juliette Madrigal is a graduate of Texas A&M Medical School, and was Chief Resident at OU School of Medicine. She started her own traditional medical practice in 1992 in Marble Falls, Texas. She makes house calls and gives discounts to teachers and preachers and sees patients who have cancer for free. She is currently the Burnet County Health Authority and President-Elect of the AAPS.

SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)