AMA Interim Meeting Adopts Guiding Principles for Employed Physicians

AMA-HODPhysicians entering into employment and contractual arrangements received a strong show of support this week when the AMA House of Delegates adopted new guiding principles to protect their autonomy.

The principles were part of an AMA Board of Trustees report that spelled out guidelines on conflicts of interest, advocacy, contracting, hospital-medical staff relations, peer review, and performance evaluations and payment agreements.

The principles reaffirm that patients’ welfare must take priority in any situation where the interests of physicians and employers conflict.  

Delegates also adopted policy recommending a set of principles that should be included in a Medicare defined contribution system that would enable beneficiaries to purchase the coverage of their choice from among competing health insurance plans, including traditional Medicare.

“This policy provides the framework to create the needed balance of access, affordability and financing and allows seniors the choice of coverage options that include both traditional Medicare and private insurance plans,” AMA President-elect Ardis D. Hoven, MD, said. “We will continue to explore the effects of transitioning Medicare to a defined contribution program on cost and access to care.”

The House also passed various other policies this week.

ICD-10: The House resolved to vigorously advocate that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminate the implementation of the ICD-10 code set. CMS is requiring physicians to use ICD-10 as the new standard for Medicare billing starting Oct. 1, 2014.

Medicaid eligibility: Delegates set policy for the AMA to advocate at the state level to expand Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The new policy calls on the AMA to push for an increase in Medicaid payments to physicians and improvements and innovations in Medicaid that will reduce administrative burdens and deliver health care services more efficiently, even as coverage is expanded.

Physician leadership of health care teams: The House approved a set of principles to guide physician leaders of health care teams to optimize patient-centered, coordinated, high-quality care.

Vaccination for health care workers: Delegates voted to support mandatory, annual influenza vaccination for physicians and any other workers who have direct contact with patients in long-term-care settings.

Read about other news and events from the Interim Meeting in the American Medical News coverage.


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