Ohio Academy of Family Physicians President Don Mack, MD, represented the OAFP at the most recent meeting of the Ohio Primary Care Physicians Workforce Collaborative (OPCPWC) held on June 5.
Several members of the OPCPWC met with Ohio Office of Health Transformation Director Greg Moody on May 24, to strategize about what next steps should be taken to achieve the OPCPWC’s mission, vision and goals. OAFP Executive Vice President Ann Spicer represented the OAFP at that meeting. Director Moody applauded OPCPWC’s effort and said the Kasich administration tried to take on revising the graduate medical education (GME) distribution formula twice, but realized quickly how entrenched the deans are in the current system. The administration, at that point, decided to put its emphasis on implementation of value-based payment because they thought they could have more success in that arena.
The leadership in the Office of Health Transformation will be departing when the new governor takes office in January 2019. Regardless of who wins the election, we will be dealing with new people who will have new priorities and strategies for achieving those strategies. Clearly the Kasich administration is concerned about and wants to protect Medicaid expansion and is working with the DeWine campaign to pressure/secure that same position of support. That was not the position taken by candidate Mike DeWine in the primary election, but the candidacy of Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor drove DeWine and his positions to the right. The Cordray campaign has already stated its support for Medicaid expansion.
Director Moody suggested taking a more sweeping approach than just focusing on workforce. He suggested making the case that primary care support is important for cost effective and preventive care rather than episodic care. He thinks we should be talking about a bigger, better version of primary care and obviously his strategic vision is a much bigger task than what was originally envisioned when the OPCPWC was created. Director Moody thinks messaging to legislators should be focused on Medicaid while generally making state legislators and officials more broadly aware that everyone needs coverage. Businesses and consumers will likely see the vision that we need to cover everyone.
Director Moody’s idea was to establish a more broad-based group that shares interest in building a better version of primary care. If the OPCPWC follows the strategy outlined by Director Moody, it would not only continue to seek involvement from the Ohio Coalition of Primary Care Physicians, but it would also involve the Ohio Medicaid Coalition and possibly the Ohio Hospital Association in its planning work. The OPCPWC would prepare a request for the new administration to create a group, within the Ohio Department of Health, charged with working with medical schools to teach physicians effective population health strategies.
The Government Resources Center continues to collect and organize data from licensing boards so that data could be utilized to determine how current and projected workforce will meet population health needs.
A summer intern has been hired to take a look at what other states have done relative to primary care workforce and she will present her analysis at the OPCPWC meeting in August.
In addition, members of the OPCPWC were invited to have dinner with Michael Dill, director of workforce studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges on June 6.
The next meeting of the OPCPWC is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7.