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Monday, November 1, 2010

TEXAS BRINGING FOUR RESOLUTIONS TO AMA; WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association House of Delegates has submitted four resolutions — including one that would reorganize AMA membership — for the house to consider at its interim meeting, which starts this weekend in San Diego. Before I outline our four resolutions, though, I have a question for you. What message should we carry to AMA for you? Regardless of whether you’re a member, what suggestions do you have to help make AMA a true national voice for physicians and patients? Send me an e-mail with your ideas. Now, for our resolutions:
  • First, we ask AMA to take another hard look into turning itself into an organization of organizations (PDF) instead of an individual-membership association. AMA is losing membership at an unsustainable rate at a time of unprecedented change and upheaval in the American health care system. It’s a time when physicians and patients need the support and strength that comes from the ability of AMA to say it represents the majority of America’s physicians.
  • Second, we ask AMA to sponsor an annual, state-by-state study of retention rates (PDF) for medical students and residents trained in each state. Such a study will help states, and state medical societies, plan how to invest in undergraduate and graduate medical education.
  • Third, we ask the house to support pending federal legislation (PDF) that would exclude from consumer credit reports, within 30 days, medical debt that has been fully paid or settled. This would motivate patients to pay off their medical debt as quickly as possible.
  • Finally, we ask AMA to restate its recent position on antitrust protections (PDF) for accountable care organizations (ACOs) to emphasize that those protections should apply only to physician-led ACOs. We need to give physicians — not hospitals or insurance companies — those protections.

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