Chapter Report, February 2016

President’s Report

I am happy to report that because of your support, the Florida chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is up and running. We are in a position to make medical practice in Florida great for physicians and patients – despite the overbearing posture of the government, insurance companies and hospitals. We have it in our power to save the medical profession. Our chapter will be working to providing education to our members on how to set up practices that thrive, working to promote freedom and choice in medical care and will be advocating for you in Tallahassee, the private sector and through media outreach. We will need your continued support to do so. Soon we will be launching a voluntary fundraising drive for our chapters. There will be no dues and no arm twisting, just give what you can. More importantly, we will be counting on you to help us grow as a chapter by recruiting new AAPS members, helping us in committee work and hosting us in regional meetings of our state chapter. The future is bright with AAPS-FL and on behalf of our new board, I thank you for your continued membership and involvement!

Sincerely, David McKalip, M.D.

Florida Chapter of AAPS established!

Florida Members of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons gathered in Orlando Florida on 1/30/15 and created our new state chapter. The chapter was created pursuant to the national bylaws and included the creation of a set of Bylaws for our own state chapter. The meeting was very successful and held in conjunction with the “Thrive, not Just survive” seminar the previous day. The chapter will be organizing an annual meeting conducting business to represent AAPS physicians in the public and private sector in Florida.

Bylaws Preamble Identifies Purpose of AAPS-FL (Remember the “Action alert” below!)

An important item of business for the organizational meeting for the Florida Chapter of the AAPS was creating a set of bylaws that defines how the organization will be structured. There was lengthy debate and detailed considerations and amendments by all in attendance. The following was produced as the preamble of our bylaws, describing our chapter’s purpose.

“PREAMBLE: The purpose of this Association is to improve medical care, by preserving the freedom of choice for the patient and physician, protecting the private practice of medicine and the sanctity of the physician patient relationship, and educating physicians and the public to recognize and to resist efforts that would weaken a free-choice system of medical care.  The Florida Chapter will work in concert with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeon to achieve these goals for Floridians and assist the national organization in their objectives.” 

Your AAPS-FL Board! (Remember the “Action alert” below!)

We were very fortunate to have ten eager members step up to serve in leadership of our Florida Chapter.

  • President, David McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg
  • Vice-President, Joseph Gauta, M.D., Naples
  • Secretary, Caryl Hyland, M.D., Pensacola
  • Treasurer, Joel Francki, M.D., Tampa
  • Board members (one year Term):
    Mirand Sharma, M.D., Celebration, Jim Coy, M.D. Fruitland
  • Board members (two year Term):
    ;Patrick Abuzeni, M.D., Miami, Larry Gorfine, M.D., West Palm Beach
  • Board members (three year Term):
    Lee Alice Goscin, M.D., Clearwater, John Littell, M.D., Ocala

Legislative report (see action alert on SB 132 below – we need you to act!)

At the first board meeting of the AAPS-FL chapter, the Board agreed that we would work to support legislation that helps Direct Primary Care practices in Florida (SB 132/HB0037) (see action alert below!). We also voted to strongly oppose an attempt to ban out of network billing (Sb 1442/HB221).  The out of network billing ban would make it illegal, with fines up to $5,000 per incident, to bill a patient for services you provide in a hospital if you are not contracted with their insurance plan. This would greatly harm patients and medical practices. It would give inappropriate, government sanctioned powers to insurance companies to coerce doctors to sign insurance contracts or move them into hospital employment to survive. AAPS-FL is fighting hard against this bill. Already we received feedback from two senators on the bill appreciating our public position against it. In the first committee, the bill passed but only by one vote 5-4. The good news is that it was not immediately scheduled for a hearing in the next of two more committee stops, while SB 132 was. This indicates that there is some resistance to passage of SB 1442 developing.  In addition, it has not yet been scheduled for the final stop in the House (the Appropriations committee). That said, the Tallahassee “horse traders” have no problem bargaining away the constitutional and moral rights of physicians and patients. So the AAPS-FL chapter will remain vigilant!

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