Family physicians raise training and coverage issues
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.”