Fam­ily physi­cians raise train­ing and cov­er­age is­sues

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD -

Fam­ily physi­cians will an­nounce a new mul­ti­year mes­sag­ing cam­paign this week called “Fam­ily Medicine for Amer­ica’s Health.”

The cam­paign will be launched one day after the Amer­i­can Academy of Fam­ily Physi­cians’ an­nual pol­icy-set­ting meet­ing Oct. 20-22 in Wash­ing­ton.

Dr. Don­ald Berwick, for­mer CMS ad­min­is­tra­tor and founder of the In­sti­tute for Health­care Im­prove­ment, will be the fea­tured speaker at the Oct. 23 un­veil­ing of the new cam­paign.

AAFP Pres­i­dent Dr. Reid Black­welder said the cam­paign will build on the suc­cess of the Fu­ture of Fam­ily Medicine project, which re­sulted in the de­vel­op­ment and dis­sem­i­na­tion of the pa­tient­cen­tered med­i­cal home prac­tice model.

“The cam­paign is about how we will con­tinue to re­form how health­care is de­liv­ered, how it’s paid for and how we train the fam­ily physi­cian work­force that the na­tion needs,” said Black­welder, a Kingsport, Tenn., doc­tor who will step down as pres­i­dent to be­come board chair­man of the 115,900-mem­ber group.

Dr. Robert Wer­gin of Mil­ford, Neb., will be the next AAFP pres­i­dent. Dr. Wanda Filer of York, Pa., and Dr. Daniel Spogen of Reno, Nev., are both seek­ing votes to be the next pres­i­dent-elect.

One is­sue that con­cerns fam­ily physi­cians, Black­welder said, is how the growth of high-de­ductible health plans will af­fect pa­tients and physi­cians. “We want all Americans to be cov­ered with in­surance, but we need cov­er­age that meets their needs and is af­ford­able,” he said.

He added that he has en­joyed his ten­ure as pres­i­dent. “I’ve had an ab­so­lute blast go­ing around the coun­try rep­re­sent­ing our mem­bers and meet­ing them in the trenches,” he said. “It’s been hum­bling and in­spir­ing.”

—An­dis Robeznieks


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