AMA del­e­gates may move on from Oba­macare de­bate

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —An­dis Robeznieks

When the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion House of Del­e­gates meets in Chicago for its an­nual pol­i­cy­mak­ing meet­ing this week,

con­ser­va­tive doc­tors are un­likely to again take cen­ter stage in bat­tling to roll back AMA sup­port for the pil­lars of Oba­macare.

In­stead, the agenda for the June 7-11 meet­ing sug­gests the 945 del­e­gates and al­ter­nates will take a for­ward look at is­sues such as telemedicine, prac­tice sus­tain­abil­ity and the role of physi­cians in leading team-based care and cop­ing with value-based pay­ment mod­els. They also will con­sider a wide range of pub­lic health is­sues, in­clud­ing tax­ing am­mu­ni­tion and the safety of head­ers in youth soc­cer.

Still, the Oba­macare de­bate is not over. The del­e­gates will con­sider a re­port on re­defin­ing AMA po­si­tions on health­care re­form. There also will be the an­nual rit­ual of voting to halt the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ICD-10 codes. Dr. Robert Wah, chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer for Com­puter Sci­ences Corp., will suc­ceed Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven as pres­i­dent. His suc­ces­sor will be Dr. Steven Stack, an emer­gency physi­cian at St. Joseph East hospi­tal in Lex­ing­ton, Ky., who is run­ning un­op­posed for pres­i­dent-elect. Eight can­di­dates, in­clud­ing three in­cum­bents, are com­pet­ing for five open board seats. Dr. Bar­bara McA­neny, an Al­bu­querque on­col­o­gist who is chair-elect, will have to win her elec­tion to take over as chair.

The 228,000-mem­ber AMA saw its third straight year of in­creased mem­ber­ship in 2013. But its streak of 13 straight years of show­ing an op­er­at­ing sur­plus came to an end. The costs of re­lo­cat­ing its down­town Chicago head­quar­ters led to a $15.1 mil­lion loss for the year de­spite a 2.4% rev­enue in­crease.

Wah

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