End the surprise insurance gap

Physicians for Fair Coverage Elects New Board Ahead of Legislative Push to End Surprise Medical Bills

Date created

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 14:54


Physicians for Fair Coverage Elects New Board Ahead of Legislative Push to End Surprise Medical Bills


(Washington, DC)– Today, Physicians for Fair Coverage (PFC), a non-profit, non-partisan multi-specialty alliance of physician organizations dedicated to improving patient protections and ending the surprise insurance gap, is pleased to announce the election of new officers to its Board of Directors for 2019. 


Stepping down as the first Chair of PFC is Co-FounderWilliam C. “Kip” Schumacher, MD, FACEP, Founder and Executive Chairman of Schumacher Clinical Partners and a board-certified emergency medicine physician from Lafayette, LA. Schumacher will remain engaged with PFC’s work in the role of ‘Immediate Past Chair.’“I was honored to lead Physicians for Fair Coverage from its inception in 2016, and I am pleased by our progress in advancing key legislation to protect patients and establish fair reimbursement standards in states across the country,” said Schumacher. “I have confidence that our incoming leadership team will build on these successes in 2019 and in the years to come. As an emergency medicine physician, I take great pride in the unconditional commitment my colleagues and I have made to treat every patient who walks into an emergency room. Unfortunately, insurance companies are taking advantage of this promise by refusing to negotiate with physicians in good faith to establish fair reimbursement standards. By shortchanging physicians, insurance companies are forcing more and more doctors out of network, leaving patients confused and unsure about what their coverage means. Patients deserve health coverage that works for them, not their insurance companies.”


The next Chair of the PFC Board will be Dr. Sherif Zaafran, MD, of Houston, TX.  Zaafran is a board-certified anesthesiologist by the American Board of Anesthesiology and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Clinical Governance Board for USAP South Texas, as President of the Texas Medical Board, and as a Member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. "I am proud to be leading Physicians for Fair Coverage at a time when there is strong bipartisan consensus that we need to close the surprise insurance gap that leads to surprise medical bills. Our organization and our members are dedicated to protecting patients from surprise bills associated with unanticipated out-of-network care including unexpected deductibles and copays," said Zaafran. "Over the past several years, health insurers have been systematically narrowing their coverage networks pushing more and more physicians and patients out-of-network. These shrinking coverage networks increase deductibles and copays and create more surprise medical bills due to higher patient cost sharing, especially during medical emergencies. Physicians for Fair Coverage is fighting back against this trend by working to protect patients from inadequate health insurance plans that leave them exposed when they are most vulnerable."


Dr. Anthony Gabriel, MD, a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Radiology Partners, the largest radiology practice in the country, is the new Chair-Elect.  “Research confirms what patients and physicians have long known: as insurance companies continue to shrink their coverage networks, patients face more unanticipated out-of-network medical bills,” said Gabriel. “When a medical emergency arises, people should not have to worry about whether their insurance will cover their care.  It is time we put patients ahead of profits and work together to ban balance billing for unexpected out-of-network care, create better financial protections for our patients and establish a fair reimbursement standard that ensures access to care where and when they need it.”


Serving as the new Board Treasurer for PFC is Brett Cannon, MD, MBA, FACEP of Marietta, GA.  Cannon is board certified in emergency medicine and is a Divisional President for ApolloMD.“As bipartisan interest in eliminating surprise medical bills continues to grow in Washington and state capitols across the country, it’s important all physicians remain engaged in this effort, advocating on behalf of their patients,” said Cannon. “Working together, we can capitalize on the momentum built in the last year in states like Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and others to ensure families are protected from surprise bills and the surprise coverage gap that causes them.”


More About Physicians for Fair Coverage


Physicians for Fair Coverage (PFC) created the End the Surprise Insurance Gap campaign to advocate on behalf of patients and the physicians who care for them. The goal of the campaign is to advance legislation that protects patients from unexpected costs associated with unanticipated out-of-network care, establishes fair reimbursement standards to preserve needed access, and creates greater network and pricing transparency.

PFC is comprised of tens of thousands of physicians in a variety of specialties serving communities in all 50 states. Its partners include the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the Emergency Department Practice Management Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Society of Anesthesiology, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Association of Emergency Medicine, the Society of Hospital Medicine, multiple state medical societies, and dozens of other state physician and patient organizations. To learn more, visit www.endtheinsurancegap.org