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