The late Dr. Xavier Barrios M.D. (left) presenting a certificate of appreciation to Rob Suezaki, DDS.

At Physicians Organizing Committee, we assist our member physicians in their efforts to secure individual patient needs, while advancing the ability of medical professionals to improve the overall health of the community. Since 1983 our Benefit Program has consistently grown in response to the day-to-day
realities of medical practice, and has built the staying power to be there for you, your patients and the future of our profession.

Benefits are resolved both on a case-by-case basis, as well as through categorical approaches to the problems
faced by several or more members. Benefit requests begin with a member explaining his or her analysis of the problem and desired outcome. A POC benefit staff volunteer will develop a plan of action with the member to fulfill the request, which may include:

• advocacy to curb abusive practices on the part of hospital review committees, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other government agencies;

• legal advice from volunteer attorneys on topics such as interpreting contract language or how to hold HMOs and insurance companies liable for covering medically necessary services for patients;

• medical consults with POC member physicians to obtain a second opinion outside a health maintenance plan or other insurance company that is denying necessary care to a patient;

Stanford medical student Nikola Teslovich (right) trains fellow volunteer Belen Ramirez in the complexities of fighting insurance company denials during one of POCs benefit advocacy training sessions.

• Advocacy with insurance companies and government bodies denying physicians supplies, medicines and equipment needed for your patients.

POC members have also organized a membership benefit designed to support physicians working to reverse policies hindering ethical patient care. This benefit is under the direction of the Physicians Advocacy and Information Task Force (PAITF) which serves as a delegate body for determining collective actions while avoiding the errors and limitations faced by Independent Practice Associations (IPAs), physician unions or the development of physician-controlled integrated health care delivery systems. PAITF is charged with three objectives:

a) to categorize the benefit requests POC members submit according to the specialty of medicine involved in the request and to develop committees of POC member specialists willing to advocate and intervene with insurance companies or government bodies responsible for the policies in question.

b) to provide analysis of the successes and failures of various forms of collective action while developing and advising on new ones that steer clear of historical pitfalls.

c) to consult, advise, and teach members how to apply POC’s successful method of organizing which includes building a base of community support to wage campaigns to reverse the corperate takeovers of medical systems that deny access to quality health care. These campaigns have fought removal of lawfully elected Medical Executive Committees, unlawful hospital closing, and more.