AMA House of Delegates Adopts New Policies During Semi-Annual Meeting

Meeting in New Orleans, the AMA House of Delegates this week adopted new policies covering a wide range of health care issues:

Guidelines for Health Insurance Exchanges created by Affordable Care Act

The new policies include support for using the open marketplace model for exchanges to increase competition and maximize patient choice, and the involvement of state medical associations in the legislative and regulatory processes concerning state health insurance exchanges.

Stop the Implementation of ICD-10

The House of Delegates voted to work vigorously to stop implementation of ICD-10 (The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision), a new code set for medical diagnoses. ICD-10 has about 69,000 codes and will replace the 14,000 ICD-9 codes currently in use. AMA says the implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no benefit to individual patients’ care.

Virtual Medical IDs

New policy encourages the availability of portable medical identification alert systems for patients. Virtual medical identification systems allow emergency medical personnel to access a patient’s medical history and emergency contact phone numbers through a pin number that can be attached to clothing, a key, or stored in a wallet.

Combat National Drug Shortages

New AMA policy supports federal drug shortage legislation, such as HR 2245 and SB 296, that would require manufacturers to notify the FDA of any discontinuance, interruption, or adjustment to the manufacture of a drug that may result in a shortage. In the past few years, AMA reports that shortages of medically necessary drugs have worsened appreciably, with the number of FDA identified shortages tripling between 2005 and 2010.

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