Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dissent roils the AMA, the nation's largest doctors group

As usual the media over-reacts to events. Such is the case regarding the AMAs ambivalent attitude toward the Affordable Care Act.  The AMA sees health care through it's own prism. There is no one in the organization, nor non members who do not support universal access to quality health care, but the devil in in the details.

‘Followers rather than leaders’

That kind of caution is characteristic of the AMA, which generally prefers to work behind the scenes and press its agenda at the negotiating table, rather than rally the public.
“They end up being followers rather than leaders because they want to be where the action is,” said Dr. Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a senior lecturer in the department of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School.
More than 190 medical organizations with various agendas are represented through the AMA’s House of Delegates, forcing the organization to balance often-competing interests. On top of that, there’s growing political polarization among doctors, now split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. And clinicians are further divided by type of practice and employer.
Because the AMA’s tent is so large, “they have difficulty articulating strong policy positions,” said Berenson, the Urban Institute scholar.

           The affordable care act has been a giant step toward the goal. However it has many near fatal flaws written into a non-flexible law. Now is the time for all physicians to step up and encourage changes that will make it successful.

           The numbers of how many more people are insured is no measure of success.  The cart has been placed before the horse. Despite the built in bureaucratic mandates it is paper tiger unrelated to real quality care in provider's offices.  In fact it has reduced efficiency, increased cost and in no way has improved quality of care.  The only measure Health Train Express has seen is the reduction in admissions within 30 days of discharge from a hospital.  I am not certain how that equates to an improvement in QOC except it saves CMS (taxpayers) dollars.

Dissent roils the AMA, the nation's largest doctors group
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