Politics & policy

Insight into federal and state health care legislation & CMS regulation

Bill Would Change Negotiation Rules For Physicians

It's called the Quality Health Care Coalition Act — and it's one of the most potentially explosive pieces of health care legislation to be introduced this session. But don't let the name fool you. This bill has to do with collective bargaining, not quality.

Introduced by Republican Rep. Tom Campbell of California, the bill would allow health care professionals, including physicians in private practice, to band together to negotiate contract terms with HMOs and insurers in the same way unions can bargain with corporations. The bill is modeled on the 60-year-old National Labor Relations Act.

Chances of passage: Unclear. Hearings have commenced, but this bill will take a back seat to patient rights, in the view of most observers. The AMA has yet to weigh in on this legislation.

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