Part­ner con­fu­sion?

AMA says it’s not part of new AHA doc ef­fort

Modern Healthcare - - The Week in Healthcare - David Burda

The Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s new ef­fort to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of physi­cians seems to be off to a queasy start. The AHA kicked off its Physi­cian Lead­er­ship Fo­rum last week at a break­fast meet­ing in San Diego at the AHA’s Lead­er­ship Sum­mit. The or­ga­ni­za­tion aims to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of physi­cians who are work­ing closely with hos­pi­tals on new mod­els of care de­liv­ery. Specif­i­cally, the new or­ga­ni­za­tion will fo­cus its en­ergy on ed­u­ca­tion and lead­er­ship; physi­cian ad­vo­cacy and pol­icy de­vel­op­ment; qual­ity and pa­tient safety; and part­ner­ships with other health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions.

In­for­ma­tion about the new group is avail­able at aha­physi­cian­fo­rum.org.

“The AHA’s ini­tia­tive is par­tic­u­larly timely,” said Dr. Wil­liam Jessee, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Med­i­cal Group Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion. “We see more and more of our mem­bers be­com­ing mem­bers of hos­pi­tals and in­te­grated de­liv­ery sys­tems.” The MGMA is a part­ner or­ga­ni­za­tion of the new fo­rum, and Jessee spoke at the kick-off break­fast.

Other ex­ter­nal part­ners in­clude the Amer­i­can Board of Med­i­cal Spe­cial­ties, the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil on Grad­u­ate Med­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion, the Joint Com­mis­sion and the So­ci­ety of Hos­pi­tal Medicine, ac­cord­ing to the AHA.

A 20-mem­ber ad­vi­sory board will over­see the new group chaired by Dr. Mike Rock, the chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. John Combes, AHA se­nior vice pres­i­dent, said the in­tent of the new or­ga­ni­za­tion is not to com­pete with the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion or or­ga­nized medicine. Combes also spoke at the break­fast. “We are not rep­re­sent­ing physi­cians’ in­ter­ests to Congress,” Combes told Mod­ern Health­care. Rather, the new group “pro­vides an av­enue for physi­cians to af­fect AHA pol­icy.”

In fact, the AHA lists the AMA as one of the group’s ex­ter­nal part­ners. How­ever, the AMA says it’s not part of the group.

In a state­ment to Mod­ern Health­care, Dr. Robert Wah, AMA board chair­man, said, “The AMA is ac­tively en­gaged in ad­dress­ing the im­por­tant is­sues af­fect­ing all physi­cians, in­clud­ing hos­pi­tal-based physi­cians, such as en­sur­ing new mod­els of care de­liv­ery are de­vel­oped in a way that pro­vides the best re­sults for physi­cians and pa­tients. We are in­ter­ested in hear­ing more about the AHA Physi­cian Lead­er­ship Fo­rum, which seeks to ad­dress many of these same is­sues.”

“Cur­rently, the AMA has no for­mal par­tic­i­pa­tion in the new AHA ini­tia­tive,” Wah said.

The AHA, along with the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tals, suc­cess­fully lob­bied to have se­vere re­stric­tions on physi­cian own­er­ship of hos­pi­tals in­cluded in the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Affordable Care Act. At the same time, many of the in­cen­tives cre­ated by the new re­form law have re­sulted in physi­cians sell­ing their prac­tices to hos­pi­tals.

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