Physician Patient

Welcome

Minnesota Physician-Patient Alliance, Inc. ("MPPA") is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving our health care system. We do this by communicating information to the public and within the industry about important health care issues.

MPPA believes that efficient, quality health care depends on strong doctor-patient relationships. Interference in the doctor-patient relationship by third parties such as health plans and the government, is widespread in today's health care system and often limits what doctors or patients are allowed to do, altering market-based reimbursement, and undermining the traditional ethics of the medical professions. While the intentions of the third parties in interfering with the relationship may be honorable (for example, to control costs or improve quality), ironically the cumulative effect of this interference is unnecessarily high costs and reduced quality. Efforts to reform health care, therefore, must first and foremost address the issue of strong doctor-patient relationships.

The MPPA board consists of physicians, health care consumers, and others who share these concerns and values. We seek to communicate our message by collaborating on research and publication, sharing information about market developments, and individually being active in a variety of health care and community organizations.

To see who belongs to MPPA, please visit our Who We Are page by clicking on the link to the right. To see some of our communications, click on one of the Publications links to the right. If you would like to learn more about MPPA or our positions, click on the Contact Us link to the right.

MPPA was established in 1997 as a Minnesota 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organization. If you would like to be added to the MPPA listserv, the respected MPPA online discussion group, send us your contact information and we will add you.

Mar 17

As  emphasized in the March 17 Star Tribune editorial, the real priority for achieving “mental health parity” should be to help “struggling families,” rather than enfranchising the [health care] industry. We have ample proof that insurance company payment criteria for mental and substance use disorders cover short-term and crisis-focused mental health conditions and disregard the value to patients and families of continuity of professional relationships, as well as allowing adequate payment for non-acute, complex, chronic, care (including children and adolescents). 

The (bipartisan) federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Dominici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (signed by President Bush) enfranchised insurers to decide on claims of “medical necessity.” Thus, an unintended consequence of (well intentioned) mental health parity legislation is industry justification for denial of third party payments for mental health care.

Why not encourage the patient’s insurance company to pay mental health insurance benefits directly to the enrollee (patient or family)? Then, regulators can monitor and compare real money spent on “physical” and “mental” conditions, and consumers can choose licensed “providers” who are responsive to their needs?

References:

http://www.startribune.com/help-those-with-mental-health-issues-by-passing-parity-bill/507227482/

Minnesota Legislation

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/03/05/1748331/0/en/U-S-Federal-Court-Finds-UnitedHealthcare-Affiliate-Illegally-Denied-Mental-Health-and-Substance-Use-Coverage-in-Nationwide-Class-Action.html

Lee Beecher, MD
President, Minnesota Physician-Patient Alliance

Mar 10

Reference: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-administration-weighs-publicizing-secret-031600937.html

Minnesotans want to know the actual prices of their medical care and what their insurance plan will pay for it whenever feasible. And, patients and their families also want to know who among Minnesota’s practicing physicians and other professionals post their professional fees online and are available and willing to see them.

Absent knowing actual prices and the real-time availability of doctors, how can Minnesota consumers (patients and families) make intelligent choices about doctors, evaluating hospitals, and purchasing medical products (including medications)? Most third party health care insurance (private and public) pays the health care “provider” directly while leaving the consumer (patient and family) out of the money loop — until after the service is provided and the dreaded medical bill arrives.Our state and federal policymakers need to hear from you.

Minnesota politicians say they want price transparency. Contact them and tell them that only with real price transparency can we have a competitive health care marketplace which is shaped by the needs and preferences of individual consumers when selecting our health care services and third party insurance.