Rules penalize doctors for spending time on patient care instead of Biden Administration’s political agenda.
On Thursday, Attorney General Lynn Fitch joined Dr. Amber Colville of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Dr. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, Kentucky, as well as the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Montana in filing suit against a new federal rule penalizing physician reimbursement for not creating and implementing anti-racism plans for their practices.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
“Doctors should spend their time pursuing the best possible health outcomes for their patients,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “Penalizing them for putting patient care above pursuit of the Biden Administration’s political agenda is indefensible. We do not condone racial discrimination in medicine of any kind, but this rule could end up reducing quality of care, including for the very people that it claims to be written for.”
The filed complaint states that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule that pays doctors more money if they will promulgate an “anti-racism” plan and said the Anti-Racism Rule violates the law.
“These anti-racism plans must include a “clinic-wide review” of the doctor’s “commitment to anti-racism” based on a definition of race as “a political and social construct, not a physiological one,” the filed complaint states.
“Congress enacted the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015— the statute that creates the Merit-based Incentive Payment System that CMS is changing (MIPS, for short)—to encourage doctors to keep costs down while maintaining the best quality care. It is concerned with care and cost, not race. And by incentivizing doctors to spend time on an activity that CMS concedes is heavily time consuming, the Anti-Racism Rule has doctors elevate creating an “equity plan” over focusing on patient care and wellbeing,” the complaint continued.
The complaint stated that CMS’s rule encourages doctors to go against the principle of racial equality embodied in the Declaration, guaranteed by the Constitution, protected by federal law, and enforced by the Supreme Court.
“It encourages doctors to elevate faddish theories about race above patient care. It is unlawful, unreasoned, and un-American,” the complaint said.
You can view the filed complaint below.