Letter from the President-Charlotte County Medical Society

Dear friends and colleagues;

There has never been a time in medicine that was more important for physicians to speak with a unified voice. We have come to a time where our practices and our livelihoods are under fire from all directions. Physicians are on the verge of losing control of our profession forever, and we need to be united to reverse course. 

There has never been a more important time for you to join or renew your membership in the Charlotte County Medical Society.

For the past few years, the Charlotte County Medical Society has been years ahead of the curve, leading the charge at the FMA for a novel solution to our medical malpractice issues in the state. We have introduced multiple resolutions to move forward the concept of a Patient Compensation System, a no-fault, no-blame system where doctors have no personal financial liability for medical errors. You probably never heard of this solution that has been introduced in the Florida legislature for the past few years, but quietly died without support. This week, this solution was featured on Medscape: 

“Finally: An End to Malpractice Litigation?”

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/840337

At the end this legislative session, Rep Jason Brodeur, chairman of Health and Human Services committee, vowed to again bring up this issue of tort reform and take on Certificate of Need (CON) laws in the coming year. These are big issues on the radar of CCMS.

Last year, Charlotte County Medical Society led the state and introduced a resolution to the FMA in opposition of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, specifically opposing requiring MOC to maintain licensure in the State of Florida. Multiple medical societies co-sponsored our resolution and it was adopted by the FMA House of Delegates. 

The importance of this initiative is highlighted in the most recent issue of Newsweek:

http://www.newsweek.com/ugly-civil-war-american-medicine-312662


Again, the Charlotte County Medical Society was well out in front of this. 

As we attempt to be in front of issues, we see a situation brewing where employed physicians might need to plan for a different future, much like in the late ‘90s, when employed physicians were released without warning. There is a potential future where physicians and patients can contract directly, without the outside influence of third parties. I personally authored this proactive and protective legislation, which was introduced as a bipartisan Health Innovation Sub-Committee bill, HB 7047. This bill was hailed as one of the best pieces of legislation to move through Tallahassee in recent years. Despite its near unanimous support, it suffered the same ill fate as 1,000 other bills, as this legislative session closed abruptly due to the gridlock in Tallahassee. However, its importance was recognized and is one of a handful of bills that will be allowed to be resurrected in the Special Session on the budget beginning June 1.


http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=54523


Our County Medical Society has a stronger voice with a stronger membership. We have large issues facing us ahead. For those that have renewed your membership investment, THANK YOU for your continued support. For those members that have not yet renewed, we continue to fight the fight. We need your continued support. Please renew today. 

For those that are not members, consider what the Medical Society does on your behalf. Also, consider that your Charlotte County Medical Society provides you with the local opportunity of 40 hours of CME during your renewal cycle, including those that are required by the State of Florida. As well as the opportunity in participation in our health insurance policy for you, your family and staff. 

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you.


Regards,

Samir Vakil, D.P.M.

President, Charlotte County Medical Society

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Membership Benefits

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Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Trust

CCMS and BC/BS have partnered to provide health insurance for our members and their staff. Our partnership with BC/BS allows the trust to share in the profit, which is set aside in an account owned by the physicians. The money is then used to buffer rate increases.

OptaComp - FL Worker’s Comp Insurance

OptaComp offers a 5% discount to all CCMS members. You will actually receive dividend checks personally delivered to you. Checks are on average, 20-23% of your paid premium.

Free Legal Advice, Discounted Contract Review and Negotiation

The Florida Medical Association maintains a Legal Hotline open to ALL members. Call 1-800-762-0233. If you have a legal question – from patient records to confidentiality to terminating a patient relationship you can call for fast, free, and authoritative guidance.

CME

Members can enjoy 15-18 credits of free continuing education dinner seminars throughout the year at our meetings. We also offer mandatory CME courses which satisfy the mandatory required CME’s for license renewal at least once a year. As well as a discount from CE Broker at a reduced subscription rate to our members at $24 per year, $5 off of the normal rate of $29.

Networking

The CCMS hosts 5 membership meetings & dinners and an annual Fundraiser. These events are a great way for physicians to network with fellow doctors and others in the medical community.

Representation in the Legislature

CCMS joins with the FMA to effectively lobby the legislature and offer testimony before legislators on issues including managed care, licensing and regulations, medical liability reform and health care access, cost containment and many other healthcare topics.

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Working with the FMA, CCMS provides member physicians with up-to-date information on legislative and regulatory issues concerning doctors via broadcast faxes and e-mails.

Patient Referral

The CCMS receives hundreds of telephone calls from individuals seeking physicians.We provide referrals only to CCMS members.

Physicians Directory

Members are featured in our Physicians Directory at no charge.

20,000 copies of the directory are in all Charlotte County Member offices, and hundreds of Florida Weekly locations throughout Charlotte County.

Physician Information Service

The Society is pleased to answer the numerous inquiries from the public about member physician’s medical backgrounds, board certifications and fellowship training. A wide variety of other patient questions are also answered on a daily basis. The office also assists with questions from members’ office personnel.

Website

Our website www.ccmsdoctors.com allows those seeking a physician the opportunity to find you. You too have access and may request a link to your own site. Our site offers links to many resources and invaluable links.

Notary Service

Free to all members. Please contact us if you need this service.