Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019 - 8

President's Message

Dear BCMS Member,

Michael L. Haas, MD
President

I

t seems like only yesterday that Dr. Dan Kimball signed on to Health Talk for the very first time.
Health Talk has been the weekly radio show on WEEU brought to you by "YOUR Berks County
Medical Society." In fact, the show has been on the air for 15 years! It has served one of the very
core tenets of our Medical Society: education of the Berks County populace. We have had a long list of
engaging hosts, whose invited guests represented the very finest physicians from a staggering number of
specialties.
I am therefore saddened to announce that as a result of the financial uncertainty surrounding the
Reading Eagle, parent company of WEEU, the radio show has been canceled. We are very hopeful
that this is a temporary stoppage and we are actively researching other avenues to achieve continued
communication with Berks Countians, including possible use of Podcasts and YouTube. We are of
course concerned that these newer approaches will not reach much of the population that loyally learned
from Medical Society members over the AM airwaves. It also complicates the use of "call-ins" to our
experts. We will investigate all of our options, and I hope to announce to you next quarter how we will
move forward and continue the great work started by Dr. Kimball all those years ago.
One of those esteemed hosts over the years has been Dr. Andrew Waxler. If you happen to see him
in the halls of Penn State Hershey St. Joseph Medical Center or around town, please stop him and say
thank you. A high five or hug works too. He has been a vocal champion at the state level regarding a
very serious issue for our member physicians-prior authorization. This is a significant problem that
is worsening almost continuously. How many of us have had to fight with insurance companies for
clearly appropriate tests and therapy, only to be denied? Delays in receiving authorization are common.
Frustrating peer to peer calls are constant and require interruption of our clinical duties. As more and
more of our members feel themselves under the RVU (productivity) pinch by employers, these intrusions
are not only upsetting, they negatively impact the care we provide.
Our patients deserve better. Physicians should be able to provide state of the art care without regard
to a patient's ability to pay. As many of you know, I am a Radiation Oncologist (cancer physician). On
an almost daily basis I am forced to discuss with a patient why he or she cannot receive a PET/CT scan
to help diagnose a condition, or the latest radiation treatment that will provide benefit with the fewest
possible side effects. Really? It's our cancer patients for whom we choose to withhold coverage?
Please help Dr. Waxler succeed in his efforts. Take
a moment and contact your state representatives. Urge
your Representative to #FixPriorAuth by co-sponsoring
HB 1194. If you need assistance, please contact TJ at the
Medical Society office at (610) 375-6555. He's always
happy to help!

left to right, are Dr. Andy Waxler, Dr. Dan
Kimball, and Dr. John Dethoff at WEEU

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

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