AMA Wire&#174; http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:58:00 GMT Avoid these mistakes when borrowing money for your practice http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_avoid-mistakes-borrowing-money-practice Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:58:00 GMT <p> Office expansions and new equipment for your practice are expensive.  If you’re planning either of these changes, you’ll likely need to take out a loan. Before you do, make sure you aren’t making one of these common mistakes.</p> <p> Jeffrey A. Orr, senior vice president for distribution at Millennium Brokerage Group, shares the top mistakes physicians make when seeking financing.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Using the wrong banker. </strong>“Picking out a good banker is essential,” Orr said. “You want to have someone who understands physician needs, equipment and expansion needs and who is well acquainted with the collateral required for those loans. Bankers who aren’t acquainted with physicians aren’t going to have the same kind of insight into putting a practice together.”<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Misjudging your ability to repay. </strong>Orr said physicians should take into account their ability to repay loans by examining the practice’s cash flow and thinking realistically about their options. “Sometimes physicians are so busy that they don’t think about their real capacity for lending,” Orr said.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Turning a blind eye to your financial profile. </strong>“Often physicians are targets for identity theft, and things can creep onto their credit reports without them being aware,” Orr said. Before you seek financing, he recommends examining your own credit history and the credit reports of your practice or your partners to be sure there are no surprises. If there are things that may be red flags to lenders, take action on those items or make sure you can explain the issue to your lending institution.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Borrowing money for your own spending. </strong>“Some physicians finance their accounts receivable just to have the cash,” Orr said. “It’s inadvisable for a physician to borrow money against his accounts receivable to buy a new car, for example. It’s never a good idea.” If you need to borrow money, first ask yourself if you plan to use the money for something that adds value and income to the practice.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Having unrealistic expectations. </strong>Take a solid, realistic look at your own situation and the typical requirements of loans that will work for you. Once you’ve put your own financials in order, see if you are to show a growth trend. “Get educated about what’s possible and how to put together a lending request,” Orr said. “Make sure that what you bring to a lending institution is realistic and you’ve got a good story around it.”</li> </ul> <p> Millennium Brokerage Group is an approved member of AMA Insurance’s <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/products/partner-programs.html" rel="nofollow">Physicians Financial Partners</a> program. AMA members can get more information on equipment and practice financing from <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/membership/membership-benefits/member-value-program/mvp-wells-fargo.page">Wells Fargo</a>, part of the AMA MVP Program.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:68e697af-33ae-40df-be83-b782f2c59584 4 key changes needed for a modern GME system http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_4-key-changes-needed-modern-gme-system Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:57:00 GMT <p> Experts agree: The country’s graduate medical education (GME) system needs an overhaul. Many groups have outlined proposals to fix the system, but which solutions will be best? Here are four key changes the GME system needs, and how physicians are making these changes happen.</p> <p> The problems with GME received national attention last year after the long-awaited <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/gme-financing-system-needs-overhaul-iom-report">report from the Institute of Medicine</a> (IOM) called for transitioning the current system to a transparent, performance-based system. While the AMA agreed with many of the report’s provisions, the IOM didn’t recommend adding funds to protect against looming physician shortages—a fact that concerned the AMA.</p> <p> In a January <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/graduate-medical-education-letter-16jan2015.pdf">letter</a> (log in) to the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, the AMA outlined key reforms for an improved GME system:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Remove the existing cap on publicly funded residency positions. </strong>This policy, based on statistics from 1996, no longer accurately reflects current patient needs, regional demands and access to certain specialties. Without the cap, training programs could expand or contract over time, aligning with patient and population needs and changes in local priorities.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Increase the number of GME positions to ensure access to care.</strong> Workforce experts predict a shortage of more than 45,000 primary care and 46,000 specialty physicians in the United States by 2020. In response to this impending shortage, medical schools have increased overall enrollment by nearly 28 percent, but residency positions have not kept pace.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Promote educational experiences in the broadest range of sites.</strong> Innovative practice models are developing across the country, and residency programs should reflect all practice settings. “GME funding should support a broad range of clinical experiences available in both rural and urban settings,” the letter said, including hospital and ambulatory settings “so residents can learn to practice in a variety of care environments and care for diverse patient populations.”<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Explore additional sources of GME funding, including states and all-payer models. </strong>Innovative solutions such as the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/california-allots-7-million-primary-care-residency-slots">Creating Access to Residency Education (CARE) Act</a>, which would authorize $25 million in grants for new GME positions in states with a low ratio of medical residents, are needed, the letter said. “For many years, the AMA has urged that not only <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/california-allots-7-million-primary-care-residency-slots">states</a>, but all relevant payers and stakeholders play a role in funding GME,” it said. “An all-payer system would expand resources so that all training programs, regardless of location, receive adequate funding.”</li> </ol> <p> Physicians voted in 2014 to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/alternative-gme-solutions-needed-meet-workforce-demands">investigate new solutions</a> for workforce expansion, again calling for innovative ideas based on a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/alternative-gme-solutions-needed-meet-workforce-demands">report</a> from the AMA <a href="https://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education.page?">Council on Medical Education</a>.</p> <p> The AMA is addressing this issue by continuing its advocacy for additional GME funding and for programs in rural and underserved locations. In addition, the AMA is working across stakeholder groups to reduce restrictions to rural and other underserved community experiences for GME programs and encouraging innovative ways to train physicians, with emphasis on physician-led, team-based care.</p> <p> Students and residents also are advocating for expanded GME programs, using social media and other tools to call on Congress to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/students-residents-saving-gme">#SaveGME</a>.</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>How would you fix the country’s GME system? Tell us in a comment below or on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow">AMA Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:94e347b2-1664-4851-9d48-9bc5cd991982 States take up interstate compact to simplify medical licensure http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_states-up-interstate-compact-simplify-medical-licensure Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:10:00 GMT <p> Eleven states have endorsed an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-licensure-streamlined-under-new-interstate-compact">interstate compact</a> designed to facilitate a speedier medical licensure process with fewer administrative burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.</p> <p> Developed by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the <a href="http://www.fsmb.org/policy/interstate-model-compact/" rel="nofollow">compact</a> will make it easier for physicians to obtain licenses in multiple states while providing access to safe, quality care. The AMA endorsed the compact in November and created new policy to work with interested medical associations, the FSMB and other stakeholders to ensure expeditious adoption of the compact and the creation of an Interstate Medical Licensure Commission.</p> <p> States began considering the compact for adoption in January, and already, legislators in 11 states—Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming—have introduced the legislation.</p> <p> Last week, FSMB released a <a href="http://www.fsmb.org/policy/interstate-model-compact/" rel="nofollow">new map</a> that highlights the growing support in state legislatures for the compact. The interactive map allows physicians to see if their state has introduced legislation supporting the compact.</p> <p> The compact is based on several key principles:</p> <ul> <li> The practice of medicine is defined as taking place where the patient receives care, requiring the physician to be licensed in that state and under the jurisdiction of that state’s medical board. This tenant aligns with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-telemedicine-bolster-care-delivery" target="_blank">principles for telemedicine</a> that were developed by the AMA Council on Medical Service and adopted at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting.</li> <li> Regulatory authority will remain with the participating state medical boards, rather than being delegated to an entity that would administer the compact.</li> <li> Participation in the compact is voluntary for both physicians and state boards of medicine.</li> </ul> <p> Among states that adopt it, the compact would act as an independent law and as a contract among the states to help ensure ongoing cooperation and adaptation.</p> <p> "The AMA has long supported reform of the state licensure process to reduce costs and expedite applications while protecting patient safety and promoting quality care,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a September statement when FSMB introduced the compact. “State-based licensure is an important tenet of accountability, ensuring that physicians are qualified through the review of their education, training, character and professional and disciplinary histories. The interstate compact … aligns with our efforts to modernize state medical licensure, allowing for an expedited licensing pathway in participating states.”</p> <p> The AMA will continue to work with the FSMB and other stakeholders to advance this compact among interested states. Visit the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/telemedicine.page?">Web page on telemedicine</a> for more information on the interstate compact.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:26a8c305-8847-4bd2-8efa-8382d00775b1 What CMS’ meaningful use changes could mean for physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_cms-meaningful-use-changes-could-mean-physicians Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:01:00 GMT <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday its intent to modify meaningful use requirements, the notoriously burdensome electronic health record (EHR) incentive and penalty program, potentially making it easier for physicians to meet meaningful use.</p> <p> The agency said it would “engage in rulemaking” this year to reduce the reporting burden on physicians. The new rule, expected this spring, would address physicians’ concerns with the program, including software implementation, information exchange readiness and other concerns, according to a <a href="http://blog.cms.gov/2015/01/29/cms-intends-to-modify-requirements-for-meaningful-use/" rel="nofollow">blog post</a> by Patrick Conway, MD, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer for CMS.</p> <p> The agency is considering two changes to the program that could affect physicians:</p> <ul> <li> Modifying aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity and lessen physicians’ and hospitals’ reporting burdens</li> <li> Shortening the EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days to accommodate these changes</li> </ul> <p> CMS also is considering realigning hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year, which would allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and better align with other CMS quality programs.</p> <p> Today’s announcement to make changes in requirements for 2015 through rulemaking is separate from the forthcoming proposed rule on Stage 3, which is expected to be released by early March. It is unclear at this time whether the changes proposed in this rule will apply to both Stages 1 and 2 or just Stage 2.</p> <p> “We hope the new rule will be issued expediently to provide the flexibility needed to allow more physicians to successfully participate in the meaningful use program and better align meaningful use with other quality reporting programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System and the value-base modifier,” said AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD. “Additionally, we hope the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will address problems with interoperability and support technologies that provide the ability for information to be exchanged, incorporated and presented to a physician in a contextual and meaningful manner.”</p> <p> CMS’ rule also is expected to “propose changes reflective of developments in the industry and progress toward program goals achieved since the program began in 2011,” the blog post said.</p> <p> According to CMS data released in mid-December, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals will face payment penalties next year because they could not fulfill meaningful use requirements. Only about 3 percent of physicians and other eligible providers had attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of the program.</p> <p> The AMA has engaged in aggressive advocacy to push for the adoption of solutions to the one-size-fits-all program, as outlined in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program">blueprint submitted to CMS</a> in October.</p> <p> In addition, the AMA is building on a new <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable">framework for EHR usability</a> that it developed with an external advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives. The AMA is working with physicians, EHR vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care. </p> <p> Most recently the AMA and more than 30 physician groups recommended <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-outline-improvements-ehr-certification-process">three changes to improve the EHR certification process</a> to make it easier for physicians to use EHRs and care for patients, sending a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.</p> <p> Finally, the AMA has sent <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/digital-health/medicare-medicaid-incentive-programs.page"> multiple letters</a> to the agency since the program’s 2011 debut asking for increased flexibility.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:d8d7e96d-4409-403d-bce6-6e20d8c911b5 Things to consider before you choose a practice setting http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_things-consider-before-choose-practice-setting Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:33:00 GMT <p> Residents and fellows who are coming to the end of their training are probably thinking: What next? First, assess your practice options.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/3/7b0112b6-63f3-4388-a30c-f948f98bfd71.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/3/7b0112b6-63f3-4388-a30c-f948f98bfd71.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>Choosing a practice setting ultimately will be based on your unique combination of needs and desires, but there are some things to know about different settings that may help influence your decision.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Solo practice.</strong> Starting or purchasing your own practice will give you the utmost control and autonomy, and you’ll need have strong business sense to successfully manage the practice. While this option offers the most freedom, it also can be the most difficult, as administrative burdens, high startup and overhead costs and unpredictable work hours all fall on your shoulders.</li> <li> <strong>Group practice.</strong> Entering into a single-specialty or multi-specialty group often means gaining an established patient base, and you’ll probably share patient responsibilities. These settings may offer more predictable work hours and income, but on the other hand, also limits your autonomy. In group practice, you may have less of a voice in income distribution, office management and other practice issues.</li> <li> <strong>Hospitalist practice.</strong> Physicians who want to focus on the medical care of hospitalized patients may find they enjoy the shift-based schedule, which can be more predictable and flexible. Practicing as a hospitalist often means being busy on the first day of work, because the hospital is your patient-generating stream. However, the shift work can be long, and can result in a schedule that requires working more nights and weekends. Hospitalists also have limited patient continuity of care.</li> <li> <strong>Academic medical practice.</strong> This setting offers opportunity for research and being at the cutting edge of knowledge and skills, including taking on the toughest patients to diagnose and treat. Meanwhile, the complex leadership and bureaucratic structures at academic medical centers can be discouraging, and the resident duty-hour limits that governed your work hours as a trainee often mean attending faculty must fill in gaps in patient care.</li> <li> <strong>Employment.</strong> Joining a managed care organization, hospital-based specialty, corporate health department, public service or other employed agreement often means income guarantees and set hours. Employed physicians typically don’t deal with billing and administration and inherit an established patient base. At the same time, employed physicians may have little, if any, ownership interest or control over the practice. If you’re interested in employment, read <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/starting-job-hunt-use-employment-resources">tips that can help you negotiate</a> the job hunt.</li> </ul> <p> Use the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section/succeeding-medical-school-practice.page?">Succeeding from Medical School to Practice</a> resource for more information to help you decide on a practice setting.</p> <p> Follow the “Life After Residency” series at <em>AMA Wire</em>® for more things to consider as you approach the end of your residency.</p> <p> <strong>Add your voice to this conversation:</strong> What’s next for you in your career path? What are you considering before you make decisions about the next phase of your career? Leave a comment below. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:77704f35-8f69-4735-9562-4248bb4d0e9d Refine your patient payment management process with these tips http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_refine-patient-payment-management-process-tips Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:29:00 GMT <p> With more patients obtaining health insurance and seeking care, now is the right time for physician practices to review their patient payment management process and ensure making payment is convenient and transparent for both the practice and patients.</p> <p> Start by making sure you have your patients’ current contact information, including all current phone numbers. Having this information at the ready will ensure you can easily reach patients and follow up regarding payment when necessary.</p> <p> Next, consider these ways to sharpen your payment management process:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Make all materials clear and concise.</strong> Patients might not understand why they are being asked for payment, so make sure all communications clearly detail the date of service, services performed, insurance payments received and other pertinent information. You can also <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-tips-patients-securing-health-insurance-2015">review the details of health plans </a>with patients, which will save them time later and allow them to get the care that’s best for them.</li> <li> <strong>Offer several options.</strong> You can accommodate most patient preferences by offering flexibility in the method and delivery of payment. For example, consider using online patient portals or waiting room kiosks to facilitate payment. Remember to check with your legal counsel before implementing new payment options.</li> <li> <strong>Be kind and courteous.</strong> Make sure your staff is trained in proper telephone etiquette, and remind them of the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated. This can go a long way in establishing a strong patient-physician relationship.</li> <li> <strong>Choose the right time. </strong>Avoid discussing financial issues when patients are in pain, anxious or stressed—for example, the moment prior to a procedure. This sensitivity will protect and cultivate your practice’s positive relationship with patients.</li> </ul> <p> More resources <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives/managing-patient-payments/maximizing-post-visit-collections.page">on this topic</a> are available on the AMA’s administrative simplification Web page.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives.page?" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about how you can spend less time with paperwork and more time with your patients by using AMA resources to streamline claims processing, and check out the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-tips-providing-point-of-care-pricing">top tips for providing point-of-care pricing</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ffd7a437-caaf-4457-8690-21ae64dad8aa Improve your understanding of medical record compliance http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_improve-understanding-of-medical-record-compliance Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:03:00 GMT <p> Get in-depth assistance for today’s changing health environment with a recently updated guide, featuring new topics such as electronic health records, ICD-10 coding, health information management and other issues essential for maintaining compliance.</p> <p> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2530024&navAction=push"><em>Medical Record Auditor, fourth edition</em></a> can help you:</p> <ul> <li> Learn critical auditing fundamentals</li> <li> Understand real-life examples through case studies</li> <li> Test your knowledge with checkpoint exercises</li> <li> Improve your process with downloads of actual audit forms</li> </ul> <p> AMA members receive a discount on this product and others from the <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/" target="_blank">AMA Store</a>. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b669cff7-e3ac-44a4-ad53-b0006e5ba889 Health care reform begins with physician advocacy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_health-care-reform-begins-physician-advocacy Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:02:00 GMT <p> <em>An <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank">AMA Viewpoints</a> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/12/59c9a096-7407-40b8-9c10-1c61bda538fb.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/12/59c9a096-7407-40b8-9c10-1c61bda538fb.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>As January comes to a close, I’m reflecting on our strong start to the new year. We began 2015 with two advocacy conferences—the State Legislative Strategy Conference in January, and the upcoming National Advocacy Conference in February—bringing together the top minds to work for physicians’ interests.</p> <p> It is so important for physicians to be active in advocacy efforts. There are seismic changes sweeping through medicine, from electronic health records to regulatory programs and increased consumer engagement to debilitating chronic diseases. These are major opportunities. No one understands these challenges more than those of us on the front lines. As physicians, we are one of the most important voices at the table.</p> <p> So now we must maximize this opportunity to shape and lead health care transformation and reform. At the State Legislative Strategy Conference, the AMA’s Advocacy Resource Center brought state and specialty societies together to discuss <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-4-issues-physicians-will-state-legislatures-2015">state-level issues that affect physicians</a> and their practices. We learned how physicians can influence these issues and policies to create change at the local level. From telemedicine to big data to Medicaid reform, look for more on these issues from the State Legislative Strategy Conference in coming weeks at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> Next, we’re turning to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-10-issues-physicians-watch-2015">federal issues</a> with our <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/shape-medicines-future-national-advocacy-conference">National Advocacy Conference</a>, Feb. 23-25 in Washington, D.C. Attendees will hear from political insiders, industry experts and members of Congress about current efforts in Medicare physician payment reform and regulatory relief. We’ll also have time to march up to Capitol Hill and speak to our legislators face-to-face, which is sure to impact the future.</p> <p> The year ahead promises many changes and challenges for the medical profession. It’s the perfect time to lead, collaborate and chart a path forward to establish a better environment for patients and physicians. Leveraging the unified voice of medicine, we are positioning ourselves as leaders—if we don’t speak up, someone else will. Together, with a focused set of objectives and a unified voice, we are stronger.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:19cabc20-c817-4a1a-ad09-773a624eab48 How to fit wellness into your busy schedule http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_fit-wellness-busy-schedule Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:10:00 GMT <p> As the first month of 2015 winds down, ask yourself: Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy and fit? Busy medical students might find it hard to dedicate time to wellness, but by committing to your own health, you also are committing to the health of your community and patients.</p> <p> The start of the new year is typically a time for reflection and goal-setting—if you’re not swamped with <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/USMLE_Prep/1">studying</a>, tests and other stressors students face. Sustainable wellness is possible, even if you’re busy, with these tips selected by the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) during the section’s annual #WeekofWellness campaign on Facebook and Twitter.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Make exercise a daily habit.</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents/posts/767545593293030" rel="nofollow">This article</a> suggests considering all the practical obstacles that stand between you and exercise and how to eliminate them. For example, prep your gym bag the night before so you don’t have the excuse of not having time in the morning.</li> <li> <strong>Psych yourself up.</strong> Principles of psychological motivation can help you maximize your potential for change—and as a medical student, you rely on science. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents/posts/767869383260651" rel="nofollow">Try out strategies</a> to maintain behavioral change and be better prepared to sustain your own healthy habits.</li> <li> <strong>Get some help from outside sources.</strong> If you need some external motivation, you’re not alone. Whether your goals are health-related or lifestyle-oriented, there’s something out there to help you stay on track. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents/posts/768211039893152" rel="nofollow">Find a website</a> that can help you stick to your resolutions.</li> <li> <strong>Don’t let budget be a factor.</strong> Even if you don’t have any money, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Use <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents/posts/768740929840163" rel="nofollow">heart healthy recipes</a> in your own kitchen as a substitution for your take-out pizza.  If you can’t afford a gym membership, do some easy <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents/posts/769151016465821" rel="nofollow">at-home exercises</a>.</li> </ul> <p> Remember, as a future physician, it’s important to practice what you preach.</p> <p> “We see one especially important patient every day: It’s the face in the mirror,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, wrote in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physician-wellness-global-issue">Viewpoints blog post</a> on physician wellness. “We have to take care of this patient so that we can be at our best to take care of all our other patients.”</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>In six words or less, what are your best tips to leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself well? Share in a comment below or on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents" rel="nofollow">AMA-MSS Facebook</a> or <a href="https://twitter.com/AMAmedstudents" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a> using #6WordWellness.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:bc700ac8-162d-4b64-9d28-95e1ba1935f4 How physicians are taking on Rx drug use in 2015 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-taking-rx-drug-use-2015 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:09:00 GMT <p> Nearly four dozen people die each day from prescription drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the number of people dying from heroin overdose is rapidly increasing. Effectively reducing opioid misuse and increasing overdose prevention and treatment efforts are a key part of state and federal advocacy in the coming year.</p> <p> “We are on the cusp of not only really exciting changes with our health care delivery system, but also where we are with drug policy,” Michael Botticelli, acting director of the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/" rel="nofollow">Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)</a>, told physicians at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/arc-meetings/state-legislative-conference.page">AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference</a> earlier this month in New Orleans. “Science and data must guide our work to support all our efforts.”</p> <p> To start, the focus of 2015 will be on addressing substance use disorders earlier in the disease process, supporting the use of effective prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), expanded access to treatment, and addressing the stigma associated with substance use disorders. Botticelli detailed ONDCP’s goals in each of these areas:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Improve PDMPs to make them usable in busy medical practices.</strong> Many states have turned to these data registries to track patients’ use of prescription drugs, but programs may not be effectively implemented into a prescriber’s practice or easy to use. To make PDMPs useful, physicians must be able to delegate authority so others in the practice can get reports. Encouraging innovation that allows data to move from PDMPs to electronic health records is another priority.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Expand access to naloxone.</strong> “We need good, sound state legislation,” Botticelli said. This includes making the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone available and enacting “Good Samaritan” provisions that allow others to aid an overdose victim without the fear of being arrested. About one-half of states have laws such as these.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Reduce the stigma around substance use disorders. </strong>Substance use disorders are a brain disease, and as with other diseases, early intervention is needed. Diabetes and substance use disorders have similar prevalence rates, but a large gap exists between those who seek treatment for each disease, Botticelli said. Physicians can play a key role in helping patients receive treatment by screening and identifying patients for referral, as well as receiving training to be certified for office-based medication-assisted treatment. “It’s important for us to create a vibrant and visible recovery community in the United States,” Botticelli said. “To be able to walk into a physician’s office for treatment and be indistinguishable from other patients is an important step.”</li> </ul> <p> As physicians and policymakers tackle the prescription drug issue head-on, progress is being made on the state and federal levels. The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/white-house-convenes-experts-tackle-prescription-drug-abuse" target="_blank">White House hosted a national summit</a> last June to discuss federal, state and community responses to prescription drug misuse and deaths from overdose, underscoring the enormity and importance of the problem. The AMA supports efforts to address the prescription drug abuse issue require a public health approach, focusing on treatment, prevention and education. Law enforcement alone will not solve the problem.</p> <p> North Dakota is one of the first states this year to introduce legislation to increase the availability of naloxone, and the AMA will be advocating that all states have such a law by the end of 2015.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Pain_Management/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about this issue at <em>AMA Wire</em>®, and visit the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/combating-prescription-drug-abuse-diversion.page" target="_blank">Web page on combating prescription drug abuse</a> to learn more.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b5759949-19e4-4a58-b4bc-c6b4b368223d Meaningful use tip sheets help meet specific measures http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_meaningful-use-tip-sheets-meet-specific-measures Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:30:00 GMT <p> Get the help you need to meet specific core measures of the meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) incentive program with a series of tip sheets. The deadline to submit 2014 data and demonstrate meaningful use is Feb. 28.</p> <p> According to data the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released in mid-December, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals will face payment penalties in 2015 because they could not fulfill meaningful use requirements. Use the AMA’s tip sheets on some of the more complex Stage 2 core measures.</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-tip-1.pdf" target="_blank">Enable patients to view, download and transmit health information</a> (log in). Physicians must both make it possible for patients to see their health data, and get at least 5 percent of patients to actually use the online patient portal to see their data.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-tip-3.pdf" target="_blank">Allow physicians to send electronic care summaries for patients transitioning from one care setting to another</a> (log in). This measure has three different parts that physicians must achieve to successfully demonstrate meaningful use.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-tip-4.pdf" target="_blank">Conduct or review a security risk analysis</a> (log in). This measure allows physicians to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/comply-meaningful-use-hipaa-conduct-risk-analysis-now" target="_blank">stay in compliance</a> with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act while also meeting meaningful use requirements.</li> </ul> <p> Physicians also should know how to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-tip-2.pdf" target="_blank">protect against—and respond to—an audit</a> (log in). Most audits are conducted randomly, but CMS may target physicians where it detects suspicious data. Learn how to avoid being audited, and what to do if you are audited.</p> <p> The AMA will continue to press policymakers for the adoption of solutions to the one-size-fits all meaningful use program, as outlined in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">blueprint submitted to CMS</a> in October. In a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/digital-health/medicare-medicaid-incentive-programs.page" target="_blank">letter</a> (log in) sent last week to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the AMA and 35 physician groups said there are many issues with EHRs, but addressing EHR certification is an improvement that can be made in the short-term to guide further efforts in the long-term. Read about the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-outline-improvements-ehr-certification-process" target="_blank">suggested improvements</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> In addition, the AMA is building on a new <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">framework for EHR usability</a> that it developed with an external advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives. The AMA is working with physicians, EHR vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care. </p> <p> Learn more about how to demonstrate meaningful use and get resources at the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/digital-health/medicare-medicaid-incentive-programs.page">meaningful use Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b2375b70-decf-4119-80bc-b3f10c5b880c Become a part of the AMA-WPS policymaking process http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_become-part-of-ama-wps-policymaking-process Sun, 25 Jan 2015 19:00:00 GMT <p> Consider joining one of the AMA Women Physician Section (WPS) committees that contribute to the section’s policymaking process:</p> <ul> <li> Resolution Committee. The AMA-WPS Resolution Committee will convene at least one month prior to the AMA-WPS resolutions deadline (March 30). This committee will be responsible for generating resolution ideas and working with the section delegate and alternate delegate to vet potential resolutions. Interested individuals should contact the AMA-WPS by <strong>Feb. 15</strong> to join this committee.<br />  </li> <li> House of Delegates Handbook Review Committee. The AMA-WPS Handbook Review Committee will convene prior to each WPS Business meeting to review items of business that are referred to each HOD reference committee. In advance of the WPS Business meeting, committee members will work with the AMA-WPS delegate and alternate delegate to review a portion of the handbook for items of business that are relevant to the AMA-WPS and propose an initial course of action for relevant items. Interested individuals should contact the AMA-WPS by <strong>April 30</strong> to review items for the 2015 Annual Meeting.</li> </ul> <p> The deadline to submit resolutions for consideration at the 2015 Annual Business Meeting of the AMA-WPS is <strong>March 30</strong>. Please email the <a href="mailto:wps@ama-assn.org?subject=I-13%20Resolution" rel="nofollow">AMA-WPS</a> to submit a resolution. Learn about writing resolutions on the AMA-WPS <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section/wps-meetings.page" target="_blank">Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ac239a79-40ff-43aa-93e3-7e074f245225 AMA-IMG members: Submit resolutions for Annual Meeting http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-img-members-submit-resolutions-annual-meeting Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <div> The deadline to submit resolutions for consideration at the Annual Meeting of the AMA International Medical Graduates (IMG) Section in June is April 1. If you have resolutions or ideas, please <a href="mailto:img@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">submit</a> them by the deadline. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Learn about writing resolutions on the AMA-IMG <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates/meetings/resolution-writing-guidelines.page" target="_blank">Web page</a>.</div> <div>  </div> <div> More information regarding providing your comments on the AMA-IMG Section Virtual Congress online forum will be coming soon.</div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:edd63387-679f-4a07-9ca4-f8e2557336b8 Top personal finance tips from experienced physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-personal-finance-tips-experienced-physicians Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:00:00 GMT <p> If you could turn back the clock to your residency days, what changes to your personal financial planning would you make? In hindsight, the majority of physicians say they would have made major changes to their approaches to finance. Use these six lessons from physicians over 60 to avoid regret later in life.</p> <p> Retirement savings is a top concern, according to the <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/resourcecenter/work-life-profiles-of-todays-us-physician.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s Physician</a>  released last year by AMA Insurance. About one-half of physicians think they are behind where they should be in retirement savings. But with smart planning, it is possible to be secure in your personal finances.</p> <p> “My goal when I finished my residency was to be able to walk away from medicine at age 55—knowing I never would, but having the financial security to do so,” said Louis Weinstein, MD, professor and former chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital who is 68 years old. Here are some tips from Dr. Weinstein and other physicians who want to share their best advice.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 1. Work with a trusted financial advisor. According to the survey, only 6 percent of physicians consider themselves “ahead of schedule” in planning for retirement  and a majority of physicians would have sought the advice of a financial advisor Get help early in your career to build your knowledge about your personal finances and goals.  </p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> Your advisor is there to make sure you “cross your Ts and dot your Is,” said Angus McBryde, Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine who is nearly 78 years old. “The physicians I know who have gotten into trouble [with money] didn’t get good advice. You’ve got to have a resource.”</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 2. Always plan for the worst. “You’ve got to plan for at least one disaster,” Dr. McBryde said. Unexpected illness, bad investments or family troubles can deplete you financially, and young physicians should take this into consideration. “Everybody’s going to have some big bumps in the road, so you can’t just look at the projection of what you’ll have when you’re 60,” Dr. McBryde said. “You’ve got to shoot for more than you’ll think you’re going to need.”</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 3. Don’t skimp on disability insurance. “There’s a higher chance of you becoming disabled than dying,” Dr. McBryde said. “I carried a huge amount of disability insurance. Fortunately I’ve never had to use it, but I have friends who were underinsured.” Think preventatively and learn <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/need-physician-disability-insurance">what you need to know about disability insurance</a> while it is still only a possibility</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 4. Review and update your <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/products/ancillaryproducts/retirement-and-legacy-planning.html" rel="nofollow">estate plan</a>. More than two-thirds of physicians under age 40 don’t have an estate plan at all. Work with your financial advisor to have the minimum in place—a will, plus end-of-life and medical directives—so that the responsibility to make those decisions is not the only thing inherited by your family members.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 5. Know your investment options. Physicians under age 60 are unsure what investments they should make which often results in no investments at all. Spend time with your advisor learning about your options, and, instead of finding time, make time to work on your personal finances quarterly or monthly.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 6. Educate yourself on your own finances. “I started reading about finances and investing very small amounts of money,” said Dr. Weinstein. “Doctors can be really dumb about finances, but it’s only because they never taught themselves.” Be sure you know how your money is working for you.</p> <p> Besides these tips, a piece of advice from Barbara Schneidman, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine—who just turned 71—is to manage credit cards wisely.</p> <p> “Always pay off credit card debt each month,” she said. “If it isn’t possible, stop charging things.” Read tips for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/five-ways-manage-student-debt">students</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/5-top-tips-financial-life-after-residency">residents</a> to avoid credit card debt and manage personal finances.</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>What advice would you give to young physicians about planning for the future? Share your top tips in a comment below or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:d1590fd2-25f5-4db4-a6b4-a1295972fbcb Journal articles target hand hygiene compliance in hospitals http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_journal-articles-target-hand-hygiene-compliance-hospitals Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:00:00 GMT <p> Hand hygiene compliance reduces rates of health care-associated infections in hospitals, but has proven difficult to sustain. The most recent issue of <em>The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety </em><a href="http://www.jointcommission.org/sustaining_and_spreading_improvement_in_hand_hygiene_compliance/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">takes a closer look at the issue</a>.</p> <p> In the first article, “Improving hand hygiene at eight hospitals in the United States by targeting specific causes of noncompliance,” Mark R. Chassin, MD, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission, and co-authors, provide a detailed account of The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare’s first patient safety project on hand hygiene. The Center convened teams of experts in performance improvement and infectious diseases from eight hospitals for the project, which was conducted from December 2008 to September 2010. Lean, Six Sigma and change management methods were used to measure the magnitude of hand hygiene noncompliance, assess specific causes of hand hygiene failures, develop and test interventions targeted to the specific causes, and sustain improved levels of performance.</p> <p> In the second article, “Beyond the collaborative: Spreading effective improvement in hand hygiene compliance,” Dr. Chassin and colleagues chart the development of the Center’s Targeted Solutions Tool® (TST®) for hand hygiene. The tool helps organizations discover the most important, specific causes of hand hygiene noncompliance in their facilities and target interventions at those causes.</p> <p> In an accompanying editorial, “Toward more reliable processes in health care,” Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, supports the implementation of using Lean, Six Sigma and change management methods in health care. Dr. Pronovost emphasizes the importance of managers and leaders championing quality improvement processes as a way to direct their health care organizations. The editorial concludes, “In the struggle to find the balance between art and science, patients would be better served if more emphasis was placed on management science.”</p> <p> <a href="http://www.jcrinc.com/the-joint-commission-journal-on-quality-and-patient-safety/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety</a>, available by subscription, is a monthly, peer-reviewed publication that promotes the quality and safety of health care.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e0ddbc53-4504-465f-a9c6-217aadbe52a7 AMA-SMS to meet June 5-6 in Chicago http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-sms-meet-june-5-6-chicago Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:35:00 GMT <p> Academic physicians should plan to attend the AMA Section on Medical Schools (SMS) meeting, June 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago.</p> <p> Attendees will have the opportunity to:</p> <ul> <li> Play a role in shaping AMA policy by expressing your viewpoints on reports and resolutions to come before the AMA House of Delegates</li> <li> Network with your academic physician colleagues from other U.S. medical schools</li> <li> Hear about the progress of the AMA's $11 million initiative to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">accelerate change in medical education</a></li> </ul> <p> More details will come soon. Be sure to check the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools.page" target="_blank">AMA-SMS Web page </a>to stay apprised of updates.</p> <p> Read a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-school-deans-faculty-debate-policy-ama-sms-meeting-highlights" target="_blank">summary</a> of the Nov. 6, 2014 AMA-SMS meeting held in Chicago.</p> <p> The AMA welcomes your feedback: Please <a href="mailto:section@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">email the section</a> or call (312) 464-4635.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b0e24209-fe14-4241-9e51-377d7d92a5e3 Allopathic, osteopathic GME programs move closer to alignment http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_allopathic-osteopathic-gme-programs-move-closer-alignment Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT <p> The accreditation system merger is now underway. As of Jan. 1, the accreditation systems for allopathic and osteopathic graduate medical education (GME) programs are partners, driving forward the implementation of a single accreditation system for all GME programs in the country. The move is another significant milestone on the path to creating an ideal medical education continuum.</p> <p> The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) now are members of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Eventually, the partnership will lead to a system in which graduates of allopathic and osteopathic schools will complete their residency or fellowship in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common competencies. Currently, the ACGME and AOA maintain separate accreditation systems for all allopathic and osteopathic programs.</p> <p> Beginning July 1, AOA-accredited programs will launch a five-year transition to ACGME accreditation. Osteopathic standards will be added to ACGME standards to define osteopathic programs, and MDs and DOs will be eligible for all residencies, meaning graduates will be able to transfer from one accredited program to another without being required to repeat education.</p> <p> The organizations agreed last year to unite under a single system designed to align GME structures and foster greater accountability to the public. The move comes at a time of rapid growth in osteopathic medicine—of nearly 5,000 DO graduates seeking residencies in 2014, 45 percent entered ACGME programs, according to the AOA.</p> <p> The AOA and AACOM have appointed two members from each organization to serve on the ACGME Board of Directors and two new ACGME osteopathic review committees will evaluate and set standards for osteopathic aspects of GME programs.</p> <p> The shift to a single system will provide “the greatest opportunity for optimization of use of the GME resources provided by the public to the profession and maximizes opportunities for the residents of today and tomorrow,” Thomas J. Nasca, MD, CEO of the ACGME said in a <a href="http://www.acgme.org/acgmeweb/Portals/0/PDFs/Nasca-Community/AOA_letter_to_the_Community.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">letter</a> last year.</p> <p> The accreditation systems of allopathic and osteopathic medical education have largely followed separate paths, according to a <a href="http://ama-assn.org/resources/doc/council-on-med-ed/x-pub/cme-rpt4-a-14.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> (log in) from the AMA Council on Medical Education that explores some principles for an ideal medical education continuum. The report discusses how to foster a medical education continuum, which would follow a learner from premedical education through medical school and residency training and into practice.</p> <p> “In the ideal continuum, there is coordination of the processes for both the accreditation of educational programs and the assessment of learners,” the council report states. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/move-align-gme-accreditation-paves-way-ideal-continuum">Read more</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>® about the medical education continuum and the role of the single GME accreditation system.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:159b440c-38b5-4878-ae69-25f65a1949e0 Physicians outline improvements to EHR certification process http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-outline-improvements-ehr-certification-process Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT <p> Physicians can’t meet meaningful use requirements without certified electronic health records (EHR), but the current EHR certification program ties EHR design and testing too closely to the meaningful use program. Medical associations recommended three broad changes to improve the EHR certification process and make it easier for physicians to use EHRs and care for patients.</p> <p> In a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/digital-health/medicare-medicaid-incentive-programs.page" target="_blank">letter</a> (log in) to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, 36 physician groups said there are many issues with EHRs, but addressing EHR certification is an improvement that can be made in the short-term to guide further efforts in the long-term.</p> <p> “Ensuring patient safety is a joint responsibility between the physician and technology vendor and requires appropriate safety measures at each stage of development and implementation,” the letter said. “Ultimately, physicians must have confidence in the devices used in their practices to manage patient care.”</p> <p> In 2014, regulators made <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/rule-offers-meaningful-use-program-changes-but-not-enough" target="_blank">some improvements</a> to the meaningful use program, including allowing physicians to use new, old or a combination of both versions of certified software to meet meaningful use. But the changes didn’t go far enough, and only about 3 percent of physicians and other eligible providers had attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of the program.</p> <p> To make improvements to the EHR certification process, physician groups told ONC it should focus on three areas:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Usability. </strong>The method used to test EHR usability is underdeveloped, and testing  doesn’t often mimic real-world medical practice. More rigorous testing to include a variety of different scenarios, including test cases that represent the needs of medical specialists, would help to improve how the technology is used in real-life workflows. EHRs should also demonstrate their ability to handle input errors, bad data or system malfunctions. For optimal performance, an EHR should be able to flag and manage erroneous data entered by mistake to protect patients from unsafe events.</li> <li> <strong>Interoperability. </strong>“The act of two computers sending and receiving data does not constitute functional interoperability—the ability for information to be exchanged, incorporated, and presented to a physician in a contextual and meaningful manner.” the letter said. Rather, efforts should be placed on ensuring the necessary health information follows patients during transitions of care. For example, currently EHRs exchange lengthy documents that provide little value if they’re simply imported in to a patient’s record. ONC must clarify and standardize how these documents should be exchanged and create tests to verify their conformance to those standards.</li> <li> <strong>Security. </strong>Protecting the privacy and security of patient information is crucial, yet current methods for accessing data, like passwords and tokens, are cumbersome and can still be compromised. Health IT regulators and EHR vendors should look toward advancements in consumer electronics and developing identification solutions to reduce many of the authentication difficulties medical professionals face.</li> </ul> <p> Last year, the AMA released a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">blueprint</a> outlining ways to improve the meaningful use program and a framework that details <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">eight priorities</a> for moving toward more usable EHR systems.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/improving-ehrs-reports-comments-changes-2014" target="_blank">Read more</a> about EHR improvement at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>What would make the EHR certification process easier for physicians? Tell us in a comment below or at the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b9d46097-b7d0-45fb-a062-e1a4689f1471 The unintended consequences of physician burnout http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_unintended-consequences-of-physician-burnout Thu, 22 Jan 2015 21:00:00 GMT <p> Learn about the causes of physician burnout and the unintended effects of burnout on organizations and quality of care with a new <a href="http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/jha/article/view/5616" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">article</a> in the <em>Journal of Hospital Administration</em>.</p> <p> The article also identifies possible solutions to the problem. The authors note the cumulative stress that all areas of the health care enterprise impose on providers and the potential it has to affect workers on a personal, physical, emotional and cognitive level.  Stress and burnout are taking a toll on current practicing physicians, they say, and will only exacerbate the physician shortage.</p> <p> Read more about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Physician_Health/1" target="_blank">physician wellness</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b5471196-de0f-4fb8-8eb4-d42ee1e081cd Nominations due by March 6 for 2015 AMA-SMS Governing Council http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_nominations-due-march-6-2015-ama-sms-governing-council Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> Use your experience and talent in the service of the medical profession. AMA members can take advantage of the opportunity to serve on the 2015 <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools.page" target="_blank">Section on Medical Schools</a> (SMS) Governing Council.</p> <p> AMA members are invited to apply for the following open positions on the governing council to begin in June 2015:</p> <ul> <li> Chair-elect</li> <li> At-large member (three slots)</li> <li> Liaison to the AMA Council on Medical Education</li> </ul> <p> The deadline for nominations is<strong> March 6.</strong></p> <p> Visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools/leadership.page?" target="_blank">AMA-SMS Web page</a> for position descriptions and term lengths. The section’s nominating subcommittee will review all applications and make recommendations to the AMA-SMS Governing Council. If the proposed slate is approved by the governing council, it will be brought before the section for a vote at its annual meeting, June 5-6 in Chicago.</p> <p> To apply, email <a href="mailto:fred.lenhoff@ama-assn.org?subject=SMS%20nominations" rel="nofollow">Fred Donini-Lenhoff</a> of the AMA or call (312) 464-4635 to obtain the application form.</p> <p> AMA members are also invited to become more involved in medical education at the national level by seeking appointments to serve on Boards and Committees of key national medical education organizations. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education/leadership.page?" target="_blank">Learn more now and view current openings</a>. Email <a href="mailto:mary.oleary@ama-assn.org?subject=Nominations" rel="nofollow">Mary O'Leary</a> of the AMA or call (312) 464-4515 with questions.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0ae44b1d-ce6a-4c4e-870d-77539e942168 Complete PQRS with alternate reporting option http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_complete-pqrs-alternate-reporting-option Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:23:00 GMT <p> Physicians will face a 2 percent <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent">payment penalty</a> in 2017 if they do not successfully report for Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) this year. As the AMA works to lessen this burden, you can take advantage of a reporting option that can help improve patient outcomes while simultaneously lessening your chances of incurring penalties.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/5-things-clinical-data-registries">Clinical data registries</a> provide meaningful clinical information to improve the quality and value of health care, according to a <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/cms/x-pub/a14-cms-report8.pdf">recent report</a> (log in) from the AMA Council on Medical Service. The <a href="http://www.nqrn.org/" rel="nofollow">National Quality Registry Network</a> (NQRN®), a voluntary network of organizations that operate registries is coordinating the nation’s 100-plus registries to increase the usefulness of the information contained within them.</p> <p> PQRS reporting options included registries in 2008 and expanded these to include the more robust Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) option in 2014. For 2015, physicians have the option to report through the QCDR, which is a clinical registry that passes qualification requirements, including providing regular feedback reports to participants, as well as collecting and submitting PQRS and non-PQRS performance measures, to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).</p> <p> In 2014, 36 organizations with clinical registries successfully qualified as QCDRs— a substantial number of those who applied and more than one-quarter of all known U.S. national clinical registries. For 2015, CMS continues to expand the QCDR program with additional requirements, including public reporting and growth in the number of outcomes and other measures. It is expected that the 2015 QCDR program will continue to promote the role of clinical registries in health care improvement.</p> <p> According to a recent <a href="http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/PQRS/Downloads/PQRSeRx-ExperienceReport-DataBrief.pdf" rel="nofollow">CMS report</a>, 99 percent of PQRS registry participants in 2012 satisfactorily reported at least one individual measure, compared to only 83 percent for the PQRS program as a whole. In 2012, 11 percent of PQRS participants used the PQRS registry option and continues to grow as CMS is moving away from claims based reporting. Although the 2015 PQRS program no longer has incentives available—only penalties—physicians using the registry option successfully completed the PQRS submission process at a higher rate than with the claims or electronic health record submission options.</p> <p> Learn more about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/improve-quality-avoid-penalties-using-clinical-data-registries">avoiding penalties with this reporting option</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:85d60612-5bcb-496b-a236-c361cf8485cd Top 4 issues physicians will take to state legislatures in 2015 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-4-issues-physicians-will-state-legislatures-2015 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:22:00 GMT <p> Physicians across the country will see some key issues play out in their home states over the next year, as outlined by about 200 medical association leaders who last week came together to discuss strategy around these legislative and regulatory priorities. Four issues came out at the top of the list.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 1. <strong>Ensuring physician-led team-based care. </strong>Nearly every state plans to take <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/physician-team-based-care.page">team-based care</a> issues to their legislatures, advocating for an environment that encourages flexible, innovative health care teams under a framework of physician leadership.<br /> <br /> “Physicians drive a tremendous amount of positive economic benefit to the states,” AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, told attendees at the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/arc-meetings.page?">State Legislative Strategy Conference</a>. “You are drivers of change, and we continue to work for policies that support that positive impact.”</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 2. <strong>Reforming Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. </strong>Since October 2013, 9.7 million new enrollees joined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. Expect considerable activity around <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/reforming-medicaid.page?">Medicaid</a> as many states look to constrain growing budgets and seek new care and payment delivery models that can cut costs, improve quality and improve access to care.<br /> <br /> Implementation of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/state-health-reform.page?">Affordable Care Act</a> (ACA) brought to light a variety of issues, including health insurance exchanges, network adequacy and quality initiatives.<br /> <br /> “There is a lot going on, and it can be confusing, yet there are multiple places for physicians to be at the table,” said Sarah Somers, a managing attorney for the National Health Law Program.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 3. <strong>Protecting the patient-physician relationship. </strong>In recent years, states have been introducing legislation that attempts to place limits on the information exchanged between physicians and their patients. Increasingly, physicians are seeing restrictions on conversations about firearms, interactions with gay patients, end of life care and other subjects, said R. Alta Charo, the Warren P. Knowles professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> These hot topics are the ones that motivate legislatures across the country to actually introduce bills, Charo said. She pointed to the idea of legislation that would ensure medical care doesn’t become politicized. “The key thing here is to proactively try to focus on the more principled, global concerns… if it’s introduced and discussed before you have controversy on something, you have the opportunity to take over the conversation.”<br /> <br /> Physicians in many states will be working toward <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/public-health-improvement.page">protecting this relationship</a> and ensuring no legislation infringes on the matter or breadth of information a doctor can share with a patient.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 4. <strong>Reducing prescription drug abuse and overdose. </strong>In 2015, physicians will see more activity around pharmaceutical and prescribing issues, including new emphasis on drug abuse treatment and prevention and regulations restricting the prescribing of opioids. Watch for more movement on prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) and increased access to naloxone, as well as providing Good Samaritan protections for those who try to help an overdose victim. AMA has <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/combating-prescription-drug-abuse-diversion.page">extensive resources</a> to help medical societies address these and other related areas for state legislative advocacy.<br /> <br /> “We, as the leaders of medicine in our states and in our nation, must take an active role in acknowledging that we can always do better,” said Michael Botticelli, acting director of national drug control policy for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “We have to be involved in developing evidence-based guidelines. We have to ensure PDMPs have the resources we need to be effective. If we do not lead, others will fill that vacuum.”</p> <p> Among other issues physicians can expect to face this year include medical liability reform, managed care and contracting issues, administrative simplification and network adequacy. The AMA is working in conjunction with state and specialty medical associations to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns.page?">advance these priorities</a> through model bills and state-specific activity. Watch for coverage on these important issues at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:bd17c867-23f4-45ce-b5ed-f213ad169339 New medical ethics journal to appear next month http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-medical-ethics-journal-appear-next-month Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:00:00 GMT <p> Look to the new <em>AMA Journal of Ethics</em>, beginning next month, for valuable insights into ethical decision-making and the challenges medical students and physicians confront in their training and daily practice.</p> <p> For the past 15 years, the AMA’s online ethics journal, <em>Virtual Mentor</em>, has been committed to helping students, residents and physicians make better, more ethical decisions in response to the challenging circumstances of their everyday professional lives. Beginning in February, <em>Virtual Mentor </em>will be known as the <em>AMA Journal of Ethics</em> to better reflect the journal’s subject matter and publishing roots.</p> <p> With the name change come a refreshed website and an easy-to-read monthly email summary of each issue. Get easy access to a monthly ethics poll and a podcast on ethical issues in medicine with the monthly email alert.</p> <p> And the MEDLINE-indexed <em>AMA Journal of Ethics</em> is now accepting manuscripts on all medical ethics topics for peer review.</p> <p> While the journal’s name will be different, the editorial mission remains unchanged: Ethics case commentaries and other articles that offer practical guidance and foster professional reflection.</p> <p> Medical students and residents drive content, suggesting themes and soliciting articles from ethics experts and experienced physicians.  <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/expand-career-unique-journal-editor-opportunity">Read more about this experience</a> through the eyes of medical students and residents at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> The <em>Journal </em>is advertisement-free and open-access, in line with the belief that ethics education for physicians and physicians-to-be is in the public's interest and should be made available without charge.</p> <p> Watch for more on the new <em>AMA Journal of Ethics</em> at <em>AMA Wire</em>, or <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/subscribe-newsletters.page?">subscribe</a> to receive email alerts about each issue.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:947b45e8-ec48-41f4-9f79-cd679e9befe4 Prep for ICD-10 and get CME at summit http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_special-summit-can-ready-icd-10-deadline Tue, 20 Jan 2015 23:46:00 GMT <p> In preparation for the Oct. 1 ICD-10 implementation deadline, go beyond the basics with a summit June 1-2 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Get in-depth training on coding, documentation and compliance training for medical practices, and receive continuing medical education (CME) for participating.</p> <p> Day 1 features an <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2600001&navAction=push#download-tab" target="_blank">ICD-10-PCS pre-conference</a>, which is important for clinicians who admit patients to the hospital or perform procedures in a hospital. The afternoon of Day 1 will <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2600002&navAction=push" target="_blank">explore ICD-10-CM</a>, including:</p> <ul> <li> A walk-through of an implementation road map</li> <li> Key testing strategies for readiness</li> <li> Information on the data tracking you need to properly monitor revenue during and after the transition</li> </ul> <p> Day 2 offers a deep dive into the ways in which ICD-10-CM will affect your specialty practice. Strengthen your fundamental knowledge and application skills for this new diagnostic code set and avoid payment delays after Oct. 1. Focus your attention on one of five specialty-specific tracks:</p> <ul> <li> Cardiology/cardiothoracic</li> <li> General/primary care</li> <li> OB/GYN</li> <li> Orthopedics</li> <li> Pain management</li> </ul> <p> Those who attend may qualify to earn continuing education applicable to coders, documentation specialists, physicians and nurses. The summit is approved for a maximum of 13 <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credits</em><em>™</em>. <a href="http://www.decisionhealth.com/icd-10specialtycoding/materials.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Learn more</a>.</p> <p> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2460007&navAction=push" target="_blank">Register for the full summit</a> at the AMA Store by March 27 to receive the early bird rate, a discount of $100.</p> <p> The AMA continues to urge regulators to ease the burden of ICD-10 implementation on physicians, citing <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/icd-10-implementation-costs-much-disruptive-new-study" target="_blank">dramatic implementation costs</a> in an already onerous regulatory environment. However, practice management experts caution that physicians now should begin preparing their practices for the transition to ICD-10.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:afb57764-12ea-4a7e-b831-00593245146e Physician voices are crucial in tech development http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physician-voices-crucial-tech-development Tue, 20 Jan 2015 23:45:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/3/cdb3a40b-855a-43af-b315-d86935ac96d6.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/3/cdb3a40b-855a-43af-b315-d86935ac96d6.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>As physicians, we are well aware of the promises and problems of medical technology. I was fortunate to be able to discuss some of these challenges at a recent meeting of AdvaMed, a trade association for medical technology, representing 80 percent of medical technology firms in the United States. It was the first time a representative from the AMA had ever spoken to this particular group.</p> <p> As the first AMA physician to meet with these manufacturers of treatments, I knew that testing and technology was the first step toward breaking down the divide that still seems to exist between physicians and industry.  In conversation at the event, industry members told me they thought physicians were standoffish when it came to tech, which surprised me.</p> <p> There shouldn’t be two separate arenas working on innovative technology. Instead, we need clinical and industrial collaboration. Physicians aren’t Luddites—we know the tools and equipment we use today will continue to rapidly evolve, and we’re excited for what the technological future holds. We will always embrace technology that helps us take better care of our patients.</p> <p> At the same time, as physicians, we will always push back and resist technology that hinders our work. Therefore, we have to be involved in the evolution to ensure we can actually use these developments. Unfortunately, technological evolution often moves without proper feedback.  So, with the constructive and collaborative input of the physicians who use the technology, the industry can make larger strides in bringing innovation to health care.</p> <p> I believe to my core that physicians must take charge to shape and lead the digitization of health care, or the technology won’t be worth using. We must harness technology and not let technology harness us.</p> <p> This theme echoed throughout the AMA’s State Legislative Strategy Conference earlier this month in New Orleans. We heard from experts in telemedicine who delivered the same message: Collaborate on these innovations now, or potentially struggle with them later. Look for more news on this conference at <em>AMA Wire</em>® in the coming weeks.</p> <p> We’re already seeing this play out in the evolution of electronic health records (EHR), the No. 1 piece of technology in every physician’s office that holds so much promise but brings so many pitfalls. The AMA identified EHRs’ many pain points last year and, in September, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">released a framework for EHR usability</a> that focuses on leveraging the potential of EHRs to enhance patient care, improve productivity and reduce administrative costs.</p> <p> The AMA is using this EHR usability framework to work with physicians, vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care. We know many of the problems with using the systems are rooted in the way the government says they must be certified for the meaningful use program and we are tackling those concerns as well. We’re taking steps to break down existing barriers and make the future of health care a true collaboration.</p> <p> <strong>Share your thoughts: </strong>Besides EHRs, what other medical technology would you improve, and why? Tell me on <a href="https://twitter.com/robertwahmd" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a>, at the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/amaresidentsandfellows" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook page</a> or in a comment below.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:5f608b62-a592-46ed-a65d-4a2055062b56 AMA Foundation seeks senior physician volunteers http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-foundation-seeks-senior-physician-volunteers Mon, 19 Jan 2015 19:00:00 GMT <p> The AMA Foundation is seeking senior physicians to serve on selection committees for its programs, including reviewing and scoring applications and selecting grant recipients.</p> <p> In 2013, more than 60 individuals volunteered their time to review and score applications and select grant recipients. Selection committee opportunities are open to physicians, public health experts, donors, past grantees and medical school administrators, depending on the program. </p> <p> A selection committee <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/ama-foundation/selection-committee-interest-form.docx" target="_blank">interest form</a> (log in) is available online. This form will help match interested volunteers with the appropriate selection committee. Please contact <a href="mailto:bernadette.lim@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">Bernadette Lim</a>, the AMA Foundation’s program associate, with any questions.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:f634106c-70e2-4424-864e-1e380464310e Why you should attend your medical student region meeting http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_should-attend-medical-student-region-meeting Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:40:00 GMT <p> As a busy medical student, sometimes it’s hard to dedicate time to attend the AMA’s Annual and Interim meetings, especially if they’re far away. Check out your AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) Region Meeting to experience a more locally-focused program, learn more about the medical profession and connect with your peers.</p> <p> Over the next three months, the seven AMA-MSS regions will bring together medical students from across the country to cover key topics catered to local interests. The meetings are either free or very low-cost. Christina Kratschmer, a fourth-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, said she especially encourages students to attend their region meeting if they’re unsure about how involved they would like to be in the AMA.</p> <p> “Region meetings are less of a financial burden than the AMA Annual or Interim meetings,” she said. “The region meetings are a really warm, welcoming environment. Nearly all of the students in my region will carpool to the meeting and once there, we stay with students at the host school. It’s a great opportunity to make connections with students in your region that you might not otherwise have gotten to know.”</p> <p> Second-year medical student Daniel Ebner, who attends the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said he finds the atmosphere welcoming as well.</p> <p> “The Annual and Interim meetings operate at a breakneck speed,” he said. “The region meeting provides a much smaller and almost intimate environment where you can meet students who are nearby and establish connections before heading off to one of the AMA’s bigger events. These are often the people you’ll be drafting policy recommendations and working with across the lifetime of your involvement with the AMA.”</p> <p> Besides meeting new people and forging connections, each region meeting focuses on specific themes, such as health care technology innovation and career development. “The programming is fantastic,” Kratschmer said. “It’s geared locally so we can really focus on issues of interest to students in our states.”</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/our-leaders/regions.page?" target="_blank">Find your region</a> on the AMA-MSS Web page then check the list below to see when your region meeting is and what the theme will be:</p> <ul> <li> The Region I meeting will be held from Feb. 6-8 at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine with a focus on engagement in the changing landscape of health care policy.</li> <li> The Region II meeting will be held from Feb. 27-28 at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, with a focus on the 10-year forecast for the future of medicine and medical education.</li> <li> The Region III meeting will be held from March 27-28 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, with a focus on addressing changing patient demographics.</li> <li> The Region IV meeting will be held from Feb. 20-22 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, with a focus on health care disparities.</li> <li> The Region V meeting will be held from Jan. 30-31 at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, with a focus on leadership and innovation at the crossroads of medicine.</li> <li> The Region VI meeting will be held from March 6-7 at Georgetown University School of Medicine, with a focus on patient-centered outcome improvement.</li> <li> The Region VII meeting will be held from Feb. 7-8 at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, with a focus on medical practice and advocacy in the 21st century.</li> </ul> <p> “If you’re interested in helping with meeting planning, or have an idea for a presentation, the region meetings offer a good opportunity to step up,” Kratschmer said. “It’s much easier to get involved with the planning and presentation than it is with national meetings,” she added. “It’s a great professional development opportunity, and often a stepping stone to other AMA activities.”</p> <p> Look for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/our-leaders/regions/region-meetings.page?" target="_blank">details on your region meeting</a> on the AMA-MSS Web page.</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>Are you planning to attend your AMA-MSS region meeting? What do you hope to see there? Tell us in a comment below or on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents" rel="nofollow">AMA-MSS Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:689798bc-67a2-4856-a43d-6b1d4b755d3f How a new three-year curriculum is producing primary care physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-three-year-curriculum-producing-primary-care-physicians Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:37:00 GMT <p> <em>A </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/MedEd_Innovation/1" target="_blank"><em>Spotlight on Innovation</em></a><em> post by Tonya Fancher, MD, program director and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of California Davis School of Medicine. This appeared in the January 2015 edition of </em>AMA MedEd Update<em>, a monthly medical education newsletter.</em></p> <p> Our nation faces an urgent need for more and better-trained primary care physicians to meet society’s healthcare needs. Fewer than one-third of California counties have enough primary care physicians to satisfy demand.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:366px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <a href="http://www.kcra.com/news/chasing-paper-the-college-debt-crisis/28160878" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/3/adc8dccc-953f-4ede-b379-6f27965affaa.Large.jpg?1" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <em><span style="font-size:11px;">The University of California Davis School of Medicine’s new three-year program to produce primary care physicians was featured on a local Sacramento news station. Click to watch the video.</span></em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> To address this crisis, the University of California Davis School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente Northern California developed the Accelerated Competency-based Education in Primary Care (ACE-PC) Program, a three-year medical school pathway for students committed to primary care careers. After completing school in three years, ACE-PC students gain conditional acceptance into a Kaiser Permanente or UC Davis primary care residency program.</p> <p> Prior to joining the school’s traditional curriculum, ACE-PC students complete a six-week summer immersion course focused on team-based care, basic doctoring skills and clinical reasoning. They also begin a longitudinal primary care clinic under the supervision of a Kaiser Permanente physician mentor, in which they manage a panel of patients over a period of three years. In the summer following the first year, each student will complete a primary care clerkship in either a KP or UC Davis primary care residency clinic. The ACE-PC clerkship year will be a longitudinal integrated clerkship emphasizing outpatient practice and continuity of learning sites, teachers and mentors.</p> <p> The ACE-PC program launched in June with a diverse cohort of six students, many from communities underrepresented in medicine. UC Davis matriculates the most diverse medical student body in California, with more than 40 percent of the Class of 2016 coming from such communities.   </p> <p> The innovative program has sparked important changes within UC Davis and beyond, including the passage of California Assembly Bill 1838 in July. This new law allows allopathic and osteopathic students who graduate in less than four years from programs approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (such as ACE-PC students) to qualify for a California medical license. The legislation was initiated by our team and co-sponsored by the UC Office of the President and the California Medical Board.</p> <p> The program is funded through the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page?">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative, which provided 11 U.S. medical schools with $1 million grants to reshape the way physicians are trained in order to improve health care. The ACE-PC program is the sole project focused on accelerating primary care training and preparing physicians for 21st century practice within an integrated health system.</p> <p> Future plans include development of accelerated training programs in other workforce shortage areas such as general surgery and psychiatry.</p> <p> <em>Get the AMA MedEd Update</em> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/subscribe-newsletters.page" target="_blank"><em>sent to your inbox</em></a><em> monthly to see this column and more medical education news.</em></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:40ac3764-a273-447d-8e92-3d2053b44695 4 new topics to kick off your 2015 CME http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_4-new-topics-kick-off-2015-cme Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:31:00 GMT <p> Start the new year with the <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Education.aspx" target="_blank">AMA Online Learning Center</a>, an efficient way to explore top issues in medicine and health care and earn <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit</em>™.</p> <ol> <li> <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2796381/Detail.aspx">Collaborative documentation and administrative simplification</a>. Learn how to implement a collaborative documentation process in your practice to delegate medical record-keeping tasks so you can focus on your patients.</li> <li> Prediabetes screening and treatment. Learn how to increase screening for patients with prediabetes and implement appropriate interventions with this three-part series. The <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2741078/Detail.aspx">first part</a> covers screening, the <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2741081/Detail.aspx">second part</a> focuses on implementing plans for improvement and the <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2741082/Detail.aspx">third part</a> hones in on reviewing your effectiveness.</li> <li> <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2751917/Detail.aspx">Physician-led team-based care</a>. Consider successful interprofessional care teams with strong physician leadership and effective communication and how these teams function on a day-to-day basis.</li> <li> <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/1981026/Detail.aspx">Appropriate patient boundaries</a>. Learn how to identify and maintain proper boundaries with patients, and why these boundaries are important, with information from the AMA’s <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em>.</li> </ol> <p> These activities have been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit</em>™.</p> <p> Don’t forget that you can <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/cme.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">access journal CME through your subscription to the JAMA Network</a> at any time. To obtain credit, read an article and complete a brief online quiz.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:56104bf2-2960-4be0-9163-5e4c7e2ea56a AMA members serve as organized medicine leaders http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-members-serve-organized-medicine-leaders Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:30:00 GMT <p> Two AMA members were recently appointed by external organizations to leadership positions. These individuals were nominated by the AMA to the respective organizations. Each organization made the final appointment decision from among the candidates it received.</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:12px;">Nyapati R. Rao, MD</strong><span style="font-size:12px;">, Massapequa, New York, has been appointed to the</span><strong style="font-size:12px;"> Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates</strong><span style="font-size:12px;">, effective January 2015.  Dr. Rao has been an AMA member for </span><span style="font-size:12px;">19 years. </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/img-representative-appointed-ecfmg" style="font-size:12px;">Read more</a><span style="font-size:12px;"> about this appointment at </span><em style="font-size:12px;">AMA Wire</em><span style="font-size:12px;">®.</span></p> <p> <strong style="font-size:12px;">Michael S. Bednar, MD</strong><span style="font-size:12px;">, Maywood, Illinois, has been appointed to the </span><strong style="font-size:12px;">American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery</strong><span style="font-size:12px;">, effective October 2014.  Dr. Bednar has been an AMA member for 12 years.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;">AMA members can apply for AMA nomination for leadership positions with other organizations. To be considered for nomination by the AMA, visit the AMA’s </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education/leadership.page?%5d." style="font-size:12px;">leadership opportunities Web page</a><span style="font-size:12px;">.</span></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e28e3d01-0929-484a-9e41-be9097e2268f Med students raise preventive health awareness http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_med-students-raise-preventive-health-awareness Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:28:00 GMT <p> Medical students at the University of Florida College of Medicine collaborated with pharmacy and dental students to host an interdisciplinary health fair to promote preventive health, earning the school recognition for the AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) Event of the Month.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:361px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/12/99c717a1-7046-4f08-8c29-2d72c595e7f4.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/12/99c717a1-7046-4f08-8c29-2d72c595e7f4.Large.jpg?1" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <em><span style="font-size:11px;">University of Florida College of Medicine students worked with students from other health sciences at the school’s interdisciplinary health fair, providing care to 150 community members.</span></em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> The school’s AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) and the other health science students hosted stations for 150 community members, including blood pressure screenings, diabetes and heart disease resources, healthy diets, medication information and dental examinations. AMA provided funding for health care goodie bags for the community members.</p> <p> “Gainesville, Florida, has a significant homeless population,” said Christina Turn, vice president of community service for the University of Florida’s AMA-MSS. “We wished to apply our interprofessional skills to assist our community.”</p> <p> Visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/event-of-the-month.page">Event of the Month Web page</a> for a detailed description. The AMA SIG Event of the Month showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual AMA medical student sections.</p> <p> Is your AMA medical student section holding similar events? Submit a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/sig-follow-up.page">SIG Recap Form</a> and photos within 30 days of your event to be eligible for the Event of the Month nomination, which the AMA selects each month. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased in June at the AMA-MSS Annual Assembly Meeting and be voted on by students for one Event of the Year winner.</p> <p> Through the SIG program, the AMA-MSS provides an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Educate students about the AMA and provide an opportunity for students to get more involved</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Help put AMA policy into action by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Engage in activities that focus on the AMA's top priorities</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:689c9f7e-95cb-40ce-85cf-a71c7a9b77c6 Motives behind resident transfers mostly unknown http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_motives-behind-resident-transfers-mostly-unknown Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:00:00 GMT <p> For residents who enter a program only to find they need to transfer to a different program or specialty, the process of switching to a new program can be arduous. And once a resident transfers, how do their old and new programs adjust? Despite a fair amount of residents making these moves each year, not much is known about why residents are transferring, or the implications.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/2/98df8aa1-4698-4e9c-92c6-9ea6a86a1db0.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/2/98df8aa1-4698-4e9c-92c6-9ea6a86a1db0.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>Sarah Nelson, MD, who is in her final year of residency in the neurology program at Tufts Medical Center, saw this situation first-hand. A resident left her residency program just one month after beginning.</p> <p> “Because of the coverage needed for the hospitals in our program, each remaining resident’s schedule was altered. One major change was that all of this person’s overnight calls for the year needed to be covered by the remaining residents, which seemed to create additional responsibilities that we had not expected.”</p> <p> This sparked Dr. Nelson’s interest, and she began to search for rules or processes that would better protect residents in this sort of situation. Once she expanded her search and discussions, she found that residency transfer was somewhat of a mystery.</p> <p> “There are not great or consistent resources residents can use to transfer from one program to another,” she said.</p> <p> The AMA’s Resident and Fellow Section <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section/rfs-resources/residency-vacancies-work-environment/find-residency-fellowship.page">lists vacant residency positions</a>, one resource that can help transferring residents find new programs. Other resources are informal, such as discussions on message boards.</p> <p> There are a fair amount of residents who are transferring, according to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education—about 1,500 residents transferred during the 2012-13 program year, and that amount has remained fairly consistent for the past six years. However, these transfer numbers include residents from neurology, pediatrics and psychiatry* who move to child psychiatry or child neurology, which was part of their original career plan. The data might not present an accurate picture of how many residents are transferring, and it doesn’t explain why they’re transferring.  </p> <p> For residents who match to a program through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), <a href="http://www.nrmp.org/policies/the-match-commitment/" rel="nofollow">those matches are binding</a>. A resident seeking to transfer can request a waiver from the NRMP “for serious and extreme hardship or for change of specialty,” but it’s not guaranteed that the NRMP will grant the waiver, and waiver applicants can’t apply for—or even discuss—positions in other programs until they have the official OK from NRMP.</p> <p> Between the lack of information and the somewhat confusing transfer process, Dr. Nelson introduced a resolution to the AMA Resident and Fellow Section, designed to facilitate resident transfers.</p> <p> “Beyond word-of-mouth and some websites that can be used on a voluntary basis, there currently does not appear to be a consistent process or centralized resource for residents seeking programs or vice versa,” the resolution says. “Such inconsistency, along with strict timeframes and the variety of reasons for which residents may transfer programs, can lead to temporary or permanent unfilled residency positions in programs affected by a transfer.”</p> <p> As a result of the resolution, adopted during the section’s 2014 Annual Meeting, the AMA-RFS will study:</p> <ul> <li> How often residents are transferring programs, and how they go about making these transfers</li> <li> The reasons behind their decisions to transfer</li> <li> The difficulty—or ease—of finding alternate residency positions</li> <li> How residency transfers affect training programs and current residents in programs</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>Have you, or did you, ever consider transferring residencies? What reasons motivated your decision to leave, or to stay? Tell us in a comment below or on the AMA-RFS <a href="https://www.facebook.com/amaresidentsandfellows" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> page.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:11px;"><em>*Note: An earlier version of this story used the word "psychology" instead of "psychiatry." </em></span></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9a847458-aa39-4147-9507-033edf9751e9 How med schools are going beyond clinical training http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_med-schools-going-beyond-clinical-training Thu, 15 Jan 2015 23:29:00 GMT <p> How has medical school changed since you were a physician in training? Hear first-person perspectives from academic physicians on cutting-edge programs at their medical schools.</p> <p> Faculty at the 11 schools participating in the AMA’s <a href="http://changemeded.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative are sharing their thoughts on the changes their schools are making, the challenges they’re overcoming and the results they hope to achieve.</p> <p> Mayo Medical School is partnering with the Mayo Clinic Health System to develop educational opportunities for medical students to learn and work in diverse, value-driven collaborative practices. They developed a new longitudinal clinical experience called  PIVoT (<strong>P</strong>atient/population-centered, <strong>i</strong>nter-professional, high-<strong>v</strong>alue, <strong>t</strong>eam-based), designed to help students care for patients and populations while learning about how health care systems impact patient care, outcomes and costs. Faculty members from the school <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/pivoting-new-way-of-training-future-physicians-mayo-clinic">outlines the benefits</a> of the new experience.</p> <p> At the University of Michigan Medical School, medical students are getting intensive leadership training to prepare them to excel in the team-based care models required in today’s changing health care system. With this training, future physicians will be positioned to identify problems and opportunities, communicate and collaborate with all stakeholders (including other health professionals, administrators, patients and society as a whole), create a vision of the future of health care and manage the changes that will come. Erin McKean, MD, director of both the Cranial Base Surgery Clinical Innovation Program and the Medical Student Leadership Initiative at the school, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/one-schools-new-approach-producing-physician-leaders">shares a special leadership experience</a> first-year students recently had.</p> <p> Finally, Bonnie Miller, MD, associate vice-chancellor for health affairs and senior associate dean for health sciences education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, urges other educators to recognize and challenge “educational myopia.”</p> <p> “While we are tempted to proclaim success, feasibility alone does not prove that the system is meaningful for learners and valuable for the learning process,” she wrote.</p> <p> The school recently <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/recognizing-educational-myopia-accepting-feedback">launched its robust VSTAR platform</a>, which provides an electronic “home” for each medical student’s portfolio. Dr. Miller discussed the ongoing improvements the school is making to its new system.</p> <p> Additional insights from faculty involved in the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative will be posted to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/MedEd_Innovation/1"><em>AMA Wire</em></a> over the coming months. You also can sign up for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/newsletters-journals/med-ed-archive.page"><em>AMA</em> <em>MedEd Update</em></a>, the AMA’s monthly e-newsletter with updates on the latest innovations in medical education.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c5e45dbb-ca65-4e8f-8331-54eb985bd44b Top tips for providing point-of-care pricing http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-tips-providing-point-of-care-pricing Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:57:00 GMT <p> The adoption of electronic health care eligibility standards and operating rules makes it possible for physicians to let patients know what their financial obligations for their medical care will be while they are in the office, making payment more convenient and transparent for patients. Get your practice off to a healthy start in the new year by using a free <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives/electronic-transactions-toolkit/point-of-care-toolkit.page" target="_blank">point-of-care pricing toolkit</a>.</p> <p> Make the most of the information that is available through electronic eligibility verification, including determining what your patients owe and receiving payment from patients at the time of service. This can reduce billing and backend costs for you while eliminating uncertainty for your patients and increasing patient satisfaction with their experience.</p> <p> Take these actions to move toward providing point-of-care pricing in your practice.</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives/electronic-transactions-toolkit/eligibility-checking.page" target="_blank">Check insurance eligibility</a> and coverage details for every patient before they set foot in the door, ideally the day or night before the patient’s scheduled appointment. Call the patient to remind him or her of the upcoming appointment and explain and confirm payment details.</li> <li> Make a good-faith effort to estimate the patient’s financial responsibility using the price estimation tools that may be found on payers’ websites or online portals.</li> <li> Provide patients with a detailed cost determination. You can do this using your practice management software system, a real-time price estimation tool, real-time claim adjudication transactions by the payer or manual calculation. Learn <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/psa/x-pub/how-to-poc.pdf" target="_blank">how to calculate the price of treatment at the point of care</a> (log in).</li> <li> Educate your patients on their health insurance policies, including how their policies work and what their payment options are. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-tips-patients-securing-health-insurance-2015" target="_blank">Ensuring patients are well-versed in their health plans</a> up front will save them time later and allow them to get the care that’s best for them.</li> <li> Consider offering payment plans or financial arrangements, such as allowing patients to make payments at each visit for those with frequent follow-up appointments. Remember to check with your legal counsel before implementing payment options.</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives.page?" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about how you can spend less time with paperwork and more time with your patients by using AMA resources to streamline claims processing.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:854dff3c-c25a-45e0-9c59-74ff8f20dfbb Starting your job hunt? Use these employment resources http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_starting-job-hunt-use-employment-resources Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:55:00 GMT <p> For many residents and fellows, fewer than six months remain before the end of their programs, which means job hunting will begin soon. If you’re considering entering into an employment arrangement, rather than running your own private practice, here are some resources you’ll need.</p> <p> Nearly 42 percent of physicians are employed, according to a <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/health-policy/x-pub/prp-physician-practice-arrangements.pdf?cb=1420576546&retrieve=yes" target="_blank">2013 AMA study</a> (log in), and experts predict that interest in employed positions is expected to continue as more physicians enter into contractual relationships with group practices, hospitals and health systems. While private practice has its advantages for many physicians, the benefits of employment, according to physicians who responded to a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/employed-self-employed-out-whos-satisfied" target="_blank">2014 Medscape survey</a>, include not having to manage the business side of the practice, deal with insurers and or handle billing.</p> <p> If you’re a young physician considering entering into an employment arrangement, be sure to:</p> <ol> <li> Review the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/7-things-must-before-signing-employment-contract" target="_blank">seven things you must know</a> before signing an employment contract, as detailed by an expert health care attorney. Doing so will help ensure you’re getting a good contract before agreeing to work for a hospital or group practice.</li> <li> Get insight into negotiation tips, common contract terms, explanations of business and legal consequences, and sample contract provisions using the “<a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2530052" target="_blank">Annotated model physician-group practice employment agreement</a>” e-Book.</li> <li> Use the “<a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1240028&navAction=push" target="_blank">Annotated model physician-hospital employment agreement</a>” e-Book to understand the ins and outs of negotiating an employment contract with a hospital.</li> <li> Follow the framework in the AMA “<a href="https://ssl3.ama-assn.org/apps/ecomm/PolicyFinderForm.pl?site=www.ama-assn.org&uri=%2fresources%2fhtml%2fPolicyFinder%2fpolicyfiles%2fHnE%2fH-225.950.HTM">Principles for Physician Employment</a>” to guide you in collaborating with your employer on providing safe, high-quality and cost-effective patient care.</li> <li> Check out information on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/organized-medical-staff-section/physician-employment.page" target="_blank">physician employment resources Web page</a>, designed to help meet the unique needs of a growing population of employed physicians.</li> </ol> <p> As part of its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page?" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, the AMA is developing tools physicians can use to enhance the practice of medicine and help them make informed decisions about their practice environments. These resources can help physicians successfully navigate difficult decisions, leading to sustainable medical practices that result in optimal health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:2a7c2715-0ca6-4014-9229-ebeefc40cd2a Book offers advanced CPT® coding help http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_book-offers-advanced-cpt-coding Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:24:00 GMT <p> Get help with proper application of CPT codes from a textbook designed to supplement the CPT codebook. <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510016&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>Principles of CPT® Coding</em></a>, eighth edition, is designed for the intermediate to advanced coding and health care professional.</p> <p> The book follows the format of the CPT codebook and features:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Expanded and revised chapter sections </strong>help you better understand reporting practices. The book also includes useful descriptions of new and existing codes and enhanced coding guidelines (such as E/M, surgery, pathology/laboratory, radiology and medicine).</li> <li> <strong>Updated chapter information </strong>guides you in properly applying new and existing codes and modifiers.</li> <li> <strong>Common procedures, services and tests </strong>are included with descriptions of inclusions and exclusions of frequently performed services.</li> <li> <strong>New and revised tables and illustrations </strong>visually support enhanced understanding and coding accuracy.</li> <li> <strong>New coding tips</strong> aid in accurate code selection.</li> <li> <strong>New and revised chapter exercises</strong> test your knowledge and understanding of CPT concepts and guidelines.</li> </ul> <p> AMA members receive a discount on this product and others from the <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/" target="_blank">AMA Store</a>. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:84370120-8351-40f8-a5d0-48ac78e137bb Healthy population equals healthy economy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_healthy-population-equals-healthy-economy Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:23:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/15/972854c5-5657-49f3-bf41-6cfe2d2d80b8.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/15/972854c5-5657-49f3-bf41-6cfe2d2d80b8.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>You’ve no doubt heard of the G20, or the “Group of 20,” the set of countries that meets to discuss international finance and economics. Before the holiday season, I went down under to Melbourne, Australia for the H20—H for health—an international health summit hosted by the World Medical Association.  This event put the spotlight on health issues prior to the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which immediately followed the H20 and was held in Australia as well.</p> <p> Our message was a simple one: Health is the greatest social capital a nation can have. Without a healthy, productive citizenship, a country can’t be economically stable. Addressing the social determinants of health is crucial to building a strong economic foundation, and eliminating health disparities is something we physicians should continue to work toward.</p> <p> Here in the United States, the AMA is tackling health care disparities in a number of ways, including <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/culturally-competent-physicians-can-reduce-disparities" target="_blank">incorporating diversity and cultural competency</a> into physician training through our <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page?" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative. Making tomorrow’s physicians aware of the problems we face now will help us build a healthier nation.</p> <p> Good health systems are a marker of a fair and just society, and many countries’ health sectors are top employers as well. In our country, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/economic-impact-study.page" target="_blank">physicians help boost the economy</a> by contributing nearly 1 million jobs, $1.6 trillion in sales revenue, more than $775 billion in wages and benefits, and about $65 billion in state and local tax revenues. In every state, physicians do more than just support the health of their communities—they also play a vital role in the economy by supporting jobs, purchasing goods and generating tax revenue.</p> <p> Every country in the world has concerns about the rising costs of health care. We know through partnerships and discussions like the ones we had at the H20 that the United States is not alone in its work to improve both the health of our patients and the health of our care systems.</p> <p> Curbing some of these costs starts with preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two of the nation’s most troubling chronic diseases. We want to prevent these conditions before they develop in patients, and we’re working on developing resources for physicians through our <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative.</p> <p> As we move into 2015, it is my hope that we can continue to bridge the gap between our population and our economy by strengthening the health of our nation.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e84a5624-ef7a-4daa-9577-93cf6754884e Studying for the USMLE Step 1 when the clock is ticking http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_studying-usmle-step-1-clock-ticking Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:53:00 GMT <p> Now that the holiday season is over, some medical students may be kicking into high gear to prepare for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1. An expert gives advice for how to use study time wisely.</p> <p> Joshua D. Brooks, PhD, associate director of medical academics at Kaplan Medical, recommends an intensive study strategy if you have fewer than six months before you take the exam.</p> <p> Brooks recommends creating a “Why I missed it” sheet to track all the questions you get wrong on practice tests. This will help you focus your studying to the areas and types of questions you miss the most.</p> <p> He also offered five tips for those who are getting even closer to the day in which they’ll take the one-day exam:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Set goals in each subject area. </strong>For example, set a goal of getting at least 70 percent of questions in the anatomy subject area correct, Brooks said. This can be a good predictor of how you’ll perform on the actual test.</li> <li> <strong>Consider how much time you have before the test, and plan accordingly. </strong>It’s a good idea to evaluate how much time you actually want to spend each week on intensive, focused study. If you feel like you’re running out of time, consider a comprehensive review course.</li> <li> <strong>Don’t get bogged down in details. </strong>As the test date approaches, just continue to augment your regular test prep and studying with continuous practice on USMLE-like questions.</li> <li> <strong>Focus on your strengths. </strong>Two weeks before the exam, try to turn your attention to the areas where you know your stuff. “You’ve come a long way,” Brooks said. “Don’t let your confidence wane.”</li> <li> <strong>The day before the test, get out of your house and relax. </strong>This is probably easier said than done, but try to focus your mind elsewhere the day before you take the exam. And be sure to take a study break.</li> </ol> <p> Get more <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/USMLE_Prep/1">USMLE study tips and insights</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> AMA members can view an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/priv/membership/membership-benefits/for-med-students/ama-study-break.page" target="_blank">archived recording</a> (log in) of a recent presentation by Brooks that’s packed with even more advice. If you’re not an AMA member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6bdaf156-8da4-45d2-9efe-fbdc9b3e31b4 Applying medical science and technology to the human brain http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_applying-medical-science-technology-human-brain Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:49:00 GMT <p> The wonder evoked by the term “brain surgery” is well-deserved, but technological advances are expanding the scope and reach of neurosurgery, challenging the line between treatment and enhancement. The <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/current.html">January issue</a> of the AMA’s online ethics journal considers this issue from a variety of angles.</p> <p> Neurosurgery is among the newest of surgical disciplines, and among the most fraught with ethical dilemma. Neurosurgical ethics involves the challenges of manipulating the anatomical center of human identity and the concerns of surgeons and patients who find themselves bound together in that venture.</p> <p> Contributors to this month’s issue of <em>Virtual Mentor </em>explore current and possible neurosurgical interventions and offer guidance for decision-making under conditions of clinical and ethical uncertainty.</p> <p> Articles in this issue include:</p> <ul> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2015/01/ecas1-1501.html">Risk perception, bias and the role of the patient-doctor relationship in decision-making about cerebral aneurysm surgery</a>.” In this commentary, author Michael L. Kelly, MD, writes that treatment decisions in high-risk situations require a dynamic relationship between doctor and patient in which patient preferences and clinician recommendations contribute equally in shaping a final treatment decision.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2015/01/msoc1-1501.html">A preparatory neuroethical approach to assessing developments in neurotechnology</a>.” Author James Giordano, PhD, writes that the pace at which neurotechnological developments are being translated into clinical applications calls for a preparatory neuroethical model that can plot the benefits, burdens and risks of neurosurgery as a step toward minimizing risks and maximizing benefits.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2015/01/ecas2-1501.html">Applying guidelines to individual patients: Deep brain stimulation for early-stage Parkinson’s disease</a>.” A commentary by Bryn Esplin, JD, Andre G. Machado, MD, PhD, Paul J. Ford, PhD, and a separate commentary by Kara Beasley, DO, argue that deep brain stimulation surgery is appropriate when the needs and expected benefits outweigh the risks for a well-informed patient.</li> </ul> <p> Don’t forget to participate in this month’s <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/poll.html" target="_blank">ethics poll</a> and listen to the latest <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/podcast/ethics-talk-jan-2015.mp3">podcast</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c2596936-cfd6-4559-8a35-2f1dc91a91a5 Apply for available AMA-YPS leadership positions http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_apply-available-ama-yps-leadership-positions Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> If you’d like to get more involved in organized medicine, consider running for an open seat on the AMA Young Physicians Section (YPS) Governing Council. Nominations are being accepted for chair-elect, speaker and alternate delegate.</p> <p> Terms will begin at the close of the next AMA Annual Meeting, which will take place June 6-10. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/yps/governing-council-nomination-form.doc" target="_blank">Nomination forms</a> (log in) are due May 22. After this, nominations will be accepted only on June 5 during the next AMA-YPS Annual Assembly Meeting.</p> <p> In addition, applications are being accepted for the AMA-YPS representative to the governing council for the AMA Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/yps/x-pub/yps-representative-nomination-form.doc" target="_blank">Nomination forms</a> (log in) are due January 30.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/young-physicians-section/leadership-opportunities.page" target="_blank">Learn more</a>, and check out the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/yps/yps-iop.pdf" target="_blank">AMA-YPS Internal Operating Procedures</a> (log in) for more information on governing council positions and duties.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0442fb61-acf1-4ded-bda1-287553b376b5 Council nominations for AMA-WPS due March 15 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_council-nominations-ama-wps-due-march-15 Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section.page" target="_blank">Women Physicians Section</a> (WPS) is looking to fill positions on its governing council. The AMA-WPS membership will elect its member at-large, American Medical Women’s Association representative and AMA Medical Student Section representative in the spring.</p> <p> The nominee, nominating person or nominating organization must submit a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/wps/wps-nomination-form.doc" target="_blank">nomination form</a> (log in) by March 15.</p> <p> In addition to being responsible for directing the programs and activities of the section, AMA-WPS Governing Council members’ involvement includes attending the council meetings, which serve as the platform for setting the AMA-WPS direction. Participation also is required on regular conference calls.</p> <p> Online elections will take place in April. Only current AMA members with a valid email address on file in the AMA's system will be sent an email to participate in the election. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section/about-wps/governing-council-elections.page?" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about the governing council election.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:237950cb-a4a5-4d04-bf94-6bb2c5ec9739 Resolutions due March 30 for AMA-SPS meeting http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_resolutions-due-march-30-ama-sps-meeting Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) resolutions must be submitted by March 30 for the 2015 virtual AMA-SPS Assembly Meeting. Any AMA-SPS member may submit a resolution for governing council review and approval.</p> <p> By authoring a resolution, you can raise awareness of relevant senior issues. Resolutions must be <a href="mailto:sps@ama-assn.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">emailed to the section</a>. Guidelines are available on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/senior-physicians-section/meetings/meeting-timeline.page" target="_blank">section Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4df737ad-f95d-4b6e-8d40-da370f5ab71d Nominations due Feb. 27 for AMA-SPS Governing Council seats http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_nominations-due-feb-27-ama-sps-governing-council-seats Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> The AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) is seeking nominations for two seats on its governing council. Nominations are due by Feb. 27.</p> <p> The AMA-SPS Governing Council, comprised of seven physicians over the age of 65 who are either retired or still practicing medicine, directs the programs and activities of the section. Nominees must be active members of the AMA and the AMA-SPS and interested in a leadership role representing senior physicians. </p> <p> Involvement on the governing council includes attending the AMA Annual and Interim Meetings and one additional council meeting in August. The AMA reimburses travel and meeting expenses for its members.</p> <p> Nominations will be accepted for two officer-at-large positions, which are two-year terms commencing in June 2015 and expiring in 2017.  </p> <p> All nomination materials, including the current committee roster, are posted on the nomination <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/senior-physicians-section.page" target="_blank">Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:fff96ab8-b09b-49a7-b3d4-e289e1652539 New community health resources spark dialogue http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-community-health-resources-spark-dialogue Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Community Connections initiative recently released “<a href="file:///Z:/Communications%20Documents/Morning%20Rounds%20Weekend/01_17_2015%20copy/Final/app6.vocusgr.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d9351%40%26JDG%3c98%3c!OHL%3d8%2b62&RE=IN&RI=18695063&Preview=False&DistributionActionID=33285&Action=Follow+Link" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ideas & Innovations for Hospital Leaders</a>,” an annual publication highlighting innovative hospital programs to promote community health, access to health care, and other social and basic needs.</p> <p> Printed copies were mailed to all hospital CEOs to inspire and spark dialogue. For more information on this AHA initiative and additional case examples, visit the AHA’s <a href="http://www.ahacommunityconnections.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Community Connections website</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:66221c3a-e9bc-45f5-8408-cd88a5df5ab3 IMG representative appointed to ECFMG http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_img-representative-appointed-ecfmg Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT <p> One of the newest members to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Board of Trustees is Nyapati Rao, MD, a representative from the AMA International Medical Graduates IMG) Section.</p> <p> Dr. Rao is a former chair of the AMA-IMG Section Governing Council and is currently the chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Nassau University Medical Center. the largest teaching hospital in Nassau County, New York. Dr. Rao’s responsibilities include clinical leadership, administration, teaching, educational research and scholarship. He also manages his clinical practice in general and geriatric psychiatry.</p> <p> Dr. Rao also directs the Von Tauber Institute for Study of Global Psychiatry, a think tank devoted to studying various professional issues that concern IMGs, developing curricula, promoting educational exchanges with international institutions and scholarship. The IMG Section looks forward to Dr. Rao’s contributions to the ECFMG Board.</p> <p> He succeeds Rajam Ramamurthy, MD, who previously served as the AMA-IMG Section representative to the ECFMG Board of Trustees for the past seven years.</p> <p> Since 2007, Dr. Ramamurthy has represented IMGs by ensuring the highest standards are maintained. She is the Rita and William Head Distinguished Chair in Development and Environmental Neonatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and continues to serve on various IMG Section committees.</p> <p> Dr. Ramamurthy served as a former chair of the AMA-IMG Section Governing Council and has helped many physicians by being a featured speaker at the AMA-IMG Section’s 15th Anniversary Summit to educate attendees about the diverse experiences of IMG physicians in the United States.  Dr. Ramamurthy’s honorable service to the AMA and its IMG Section has been unparalleled.</p> <p> Learn more about the AMA-IMG on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates.page?">section’s Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c82ae67b-8c2d-40cc-a61f-4bf7a0c6d5bc Comply with meaningful use, HIPAA--Conduct risk analysis now http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_comply-meaningful-use-hipaa-conduct-risk-analysis-now Fri, 09 Jan 2015 19:49:00 GMT <p> The deadline to submit 2014 data for the meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) incentive program is Feb. 28. Meet a core measure of the program and stay in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by conducting or reviewing a security risk analysis before you attest. Learn how to conduct a risk assessment that’s appropriate for your practice.</p> <p> To meet meaningful use requirements, you can complete the security risk analysis during the EHR reporting period, but the analysis must take place no earlier than the start of the EHR reporting year and no later than the date you submit your attestation for that EHR reporting period.</p> <p> For example, if you are reporting for a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2014, you could complete the security risk analysis outside of this 90-day period as long as you completed it between Jan. 1 of the EHR reporting year and no later than the date you submit your attestation for that EHR reporting period. </p> <p> Your risk analysis should be tailored to your practice’s size, complexity and capabilities. Take cost and risk into consideration when determining the method to use to meet this requirement.</p> <p> The AMA offers a number of free resources to help your practice comply with the HIPAA requirements, including a <a href="http://ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/hipaa-toolkit.pdf" target="_blank">HIPAA privacy and security toolkit</a> (log in) and an <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2217925/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">online activity</a> offering continuing medical education in the form of <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>.</p> <p> These resources and additional information are available on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act.page" target="_blank">HIPAA Web page</a>. In addition, small- to medium-sized practices can use resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to become HIPAA-compliant. Find a list of resources on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/security-standards.page?">security standards and risk analysis Web page</a>.</p> <p> Follow the latest <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Meaningful_Use/1">meaningful use news</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:aafb439c-e4df-4919-b896-7c0ce109c744 Supreme Court considers Medicaid payment rate adequacy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_supreme-court-considers-medicaid-payment-rate-adequacy Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:42:00 GMT <p> Just weeks after Medicaid payment rates dropped for many primary care physicians, the Supreme Court of the United States is looking at this important aspect of ensuring vulnerable patients have access to care before their health deteriorates.</p> <p> The nation’s high court will hear oral arguments Jan. 20 in <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/armstrong-v-exceptional-child-center-inc/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center</em></a>, weighing in on whether states must comply with the federal Medicaid Act’s “equal access” provision that is intended to make sure physicians and other health care providers receive sufficient payment to provide care to low-income and disabled patients.</p> <p> The Medicaid Act specifically requires states accepting federal funding for Medicaid to set payment rates that are “sufficient to enlist enough providers so that care and services are available under the plan at least to the extent that such care and services are available to the general population in the geographic area.”</p> <p> But as the AMA and six other medical and dental associations pointed out in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/legal-issues/x-pub/armstrong-v-exceptional-child-center.pdf" target="_blank">friend-of-the-court brief</a> (log in) filed Dec. 23., “because States often cut rates for purely budgetary reasons, they often do so without even considering the impact they will have on access to care.”</p> <p> In many states, Medicaid rates don’t cover the average practice costs, so physicians are left to “pay out of pocket to treat Medicaid patients,” the brief notes. Without the two-year bump in payment rates mandated by the Affordable Care Act, the average Medicaid payment was just 66 percent of the Medicare rates, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation <a href="http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/medicaid-to-medicare-fee-index/#map" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Medicaid-to-Medicare fee index</a>. Inadequate payments prevent physicians from taking on greater numbers of Medicaid patients.</p> <p> The Government Accountability Office <a href="http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-13-00670.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">found in 2011</a> that about 80 percent of physicians accepted privately insured children as new patients, while less than 50 percent accepted children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. These numbers were only slightly better when looking at primary care in 2012 and 2013—84.7 percent for privately insured patients and 57.9 percent for Medicaid patients—as reported in a <em>JAMA Internal Medicine</em> <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1857092" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">study</a> published in June.</p> <p> “The nation’s most vulnerable patients deserve the same access to high-quality medical care as patients with private insurance,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a news release. “The sad fact is that Medicaid’s guarantee of equal access has become an illusion in many states that have cut Medicaid funding and driven physicians and other health professionals from the program.”</p> <p> In a 2005 case that the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies supported, <em>Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics v. Fogarty</em>, the court found that Medicaid rates in Oklahoma so restricted access to care that many children could not get the medical care they needed and were placed at risk of harm and death. In the early 2000s, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program served the smallest percentage of low income children in the country.</p> <p> From 1995 to 2003, Medicaid rates in that state never exceeded 72 percent of Medicare, while private insurance paid at 130-180 percent of Medicare. As a result of the court ruling, the state increased Medicaid rates to 100 percent of Medicare, which resulted in more children receiving needed medical and dental care.</p> <p> In addition to its role in the current Supreme Court case, the AMA continues to urge the federal government to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-report-calls-medicaid-pay-parity-beyond-2014" target="_blank">extend the Medicaid payment increase</a> that had been in effect during 2013 and 2014.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center/case-summaries-topic/medicaid.page">Read more</a> about this case and related cases in which the AMA Litigation Center has been involved.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9dff51cb-c6ed-42cf-93f9-4ef20334a11c Apply by Jan. 21 to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_apply-jan-9-participate-icd-10-end-end-testing Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:48:00 GMT <p> Find out whether your claims will be processed by Medicare following the Oct. 1 implementation of the ICD-10 code set by participating in special testing April 26-May 1. Approximately 850 volunteers from across the country will be selected to participate.</p> <p> This week of end-to-end ICD-10 testing will be conducted with the Medicare administrative contractors (MAC) and Medicare’s common electronic data interchange (CEDI) contractor. Volunteers will represent a broad cross-section of physicians and other providers as well as other entities that submit claims, such as clearinghouses that perform claims submissions for a large number of physicians.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;">The testing is designed to determine three things:</span></p> <ul> <li> Whether those who submit claims are able to do so successfully using ICD-10 codes in the Medicare fee-for-service claims systems</li> <li> Whether the software changes made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to support ICD-10 result in appropriately processed claims</li> <li> Whether accurate remittance advice is produced</li> </ul> <p> <strong>What volunteers need to do</strong></p> <p> Physicians who are interested in volunteering should visit their <a href="http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Monitoring-Programs/provider-compliance-interactive-map/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAC website</a> to download an application form, which must be completed and submitted by Jan. 9. <span style="font-size:12px;">UPDATE: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it would extend the deadline to volunteer as a testing submitter for end-to-end ICD-10 testing. The new deadline is Jan. 21.</span></p> <p> CMS will review applications and select the group that will participate in this testing week. MACs and the CEDI will notify volunteers if they have been selected and will provide the information needed for the testing.</p> <p> Volunteers who participate in the testing must be able to submit claims with a future date and provide valid National Provider Identifiers, Provider Transaction Access Numbers and beneficiary Health Insurance Claim Numbers that will be used for test claims. MACs need this information by Feb. 20 to prepare for the testing.</p> <p> Physicians will have another opportunity to participate in end-to-end testing July 20-24. Watch <em>AMA Wire</em>® for details.</p> <p> CMS has said that any issues identified during testing will be addressed prior to ICD-10 implementation. Educational materials will be developed based on the testing results.</p> <p> Additional information about CMS’ ICD-10 testing is available in a recent <a href="http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE1409.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MLN Matters® article</a>.</p> <p> <strong>ICD-10 implementation</strong></p> <p> The AMA continues to urge regulators to ease the burden of ICD-10 implementation on physicians, citing <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/icd-10-implementation-costs-much-disruptive-new-study" target="_blank">dramatic implementation costs</a> in an already onerous regulatory environment. However, practice management experts caution that physicians now should begin preparing their practices for the transition to ICD-10.</p> <p> To help with the testing process, the AMA has developed an ICD-10 data file available on <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2500012&navAction=push" target="_blank">CD-ROM</a> or via immediate <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2540010&navAction=push" target="_blank">download</a>. Additional <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/transaction-code-set-standards/icd10-code-set.page" target="_blank">information and resources</a> to help physicians get ready for ICD-10 are available on the AMA ICD-10 Web page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:2975b5be-520b-49a3-9494-59504424a709 How to teach medical students to “feel” like physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_teach-medical-students-feel-like-physicians Thu, 08 Jan 2015 21:00:00 GMT <p> Do you remember the first time you felt like a real physician? Forming a professional identity—thinking, acting and feeling like a physician—is a crucial part of the medical education process, but not an easy one to define, teach or measure.</p> <p> As part of a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-school-transformation-begins-spread" target="_blank">special meeting</a> last month at the University of Texas at Austin, faculty from the 11 schools in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative met with AMA leaders and University of Texas educators to discuss forward-thinking curricula that will prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex health care system. Professional identity formation was one of the primary topics of discussion.</p> <p> Professionalism and professional identity are not synonymous. Professional identity formation is a process, according to a <a href="http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2014/11000/Reframing_Medical_Education_to_Support.18.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">recent article</a> in <em>Academic Medicine</em>. Physicians’ behavior is guided by the socially negotiated ideal of the “good physician.” Medical students must learn to play the role of physician, acquire the language of medicine, understand the hierarchy of the profession and its power structures, and learn how to live with ambiguity, which happens through socialization and experiences.</p> <p> Incorporating this journey of self-discovery into medical education proves challenging. Some experts suggest programs should be explicit about the nature of professional identity formation, making students aware of the concept to engage them as active participants in the process. Another suggestion is to redesign the medical school admissions process, seeking out individuals who already possess the attributes of the “good physician”—caring, compassionate individuals who are good listeners and have refined communications skills.</p> <p> The University of Texas is seeking to <a href="http://ar.utmb.edu/TIMEPIF/home" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">integrate professional identity formation into its curriculum</a>, beginning with early learners who are interested in medicine but aren’t yet fully engaged as professionals. In this level, learners are mostly passive observers and not yet in medical school. Coursework includes team-based learning dilemmas, presented as clinical problems in ethical situations. In this stage, solving problems is a main objective.</p> <p> In the next phase, learners are developing their identities. At this point, the learner wants to provide care but does not take primary responsibility for the care. This level would be the medical student early in his or her clerkship rotations. Learners in this phase write reflective essays and take humanities and ethics courses to bridge the premedical, preclinical experiences with clinical experiences.</p> <p> Finally, phase three would be a trainee who understands the professional role and gravity of being a responsible health care professional. In this phase, the learner has a sense of duty—this daily practice of humanism is the goal for the graduating medical student. At this point, the learner seeks volunteer opportunities and likely engages in career mentorship.</p> <p> It’s a fluid, complicated process, with major changes in a learner’s identity often taking place following seminal events, such as the first contact with a cadaver or the death of a patient. This process will change, just as medical education is changing.</p> <p> The “current emphasis on team health care [for instance,] will require an alteration in the professional identity of physicians,” the physician authors of the <em>Academic Medicine</em> article wrote. “The professional identity of the future must be more open to the expertise of others in order to be appropriate to the more inclusive and globalized world.”</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>At what point in your medical education did you first start to think, feel and act as a physician? Share your thoughts in a comment below or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:824ad422-142a-4241-b7e0-2e70e17c1aef Why patient-focused technology could be the future of medicine http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_patient-focused-technology-could-future-of-medicine Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:06:00 GMT <p> For many, the phrase “digital health tools” might conjure images of mobile apps, simulations and futuristic gadgets. But in order to be patient-centered, a digital health tool doesn’t necessarily have to be high-tech.</p> <p> Depending on the patient population, a digital tool could be as simple as an automated phone call.</p> <p> “The danger is the focus on technology,” said Lawrence An, MD, director for the Center for Health Communications Research at the University of Michigan, during a recent education session. “You build the coolest thing you can build, but in this world, it’s not a case of ‘if you build it, [patients] will go.’ You must emphasize the patient’s experience and the use of technology, rather than the technology itself.”</p> <p> For example, statistics show about 90 percent of people use the Internet, but that number drops if someone is a caregiver, has had a recent medical crisis or has a chronic disease. Meanwhile, a digital divide exists—only about one-half of older adults aged 65 or older access the Internet, according to the Pew Research Center.</p> <p> “You must be creative in determining channels to engage these populations,” Dr. An said. Tailoring health messages to specific populations is crucial to ensuring messages reach their intended targets, he said. For example, in a population that rarely uses smartphones, a health care app won’t be very useful.</p> <p> Dr. An shared three examples of digital tools that effectively reached the intended patient population:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Reaching prostate cancer survivors.</strong> In this project, Dr. An’s team needed to develop a system that could assess survivors of prostate cancer and give them self-management strategies. Initially the idea was to develop an online resource, but patients and spouses said they would rather have printed information. The team developed an automated phone program to call patients, assess their symptoms and determine priority health areas and strategies. With this information, the team used technology to create tailored, personalized newsletters that were printed and mailed to participants.</li> <li> <strong>Incorporating caregivers into care plan.</strong> In this program, patients with complex, chronic conditions receive automated phone calls during which they report on their health status. The system automatically informs not only the patient’s physician of any worrisome systems but also sends a text or email to a designated family member, friend or caregiver. The program has increased medication adherence in patients with congestive heart failure.</li> <li> <strong>Encouraging young people to quit smoking. </strong>After building a website with smoking cessation information, Dr. An’s team discovered the intended audience didn’t want to visit the website. After some retooling, the team redesigned the site as an online college life magazine, with articles about a variety of issues important to young people. Messages about smoking cessation were woven into the articles, and an online peer coaching component allowed participants to receive personalized videos from peers to encourage and offer support.</li> </ul> <p> In a recent <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/teaching-future-physicians-use-technology" target="_blank">AMA Viewpoints</a> blog post, AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, shared a view of health IT that is similar to Dr. An’s.</p> <p> “I often caution my fellow physicians that it’s easy to get overexcited about technology,” Dr. Wah wrote. “However, innovations are not just about the tech—they are about how we use the tech to take better care of our patients and be better physicians.”</p> <p> The AMA is taking steps to ensure the healthiest use of digital tools in a several different areas. With its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative, the AMA is working with innovative medical schools and talking with tech entrepreneurs about the best ways to incorporate technology into future physicians’ training.</p> <p> The AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, meanwhile, has investigated the things that make it difficult to provide high-quality care. Part of this involves revamping electronic health records systems to be more usable for physicians and patients.</p> <p> With the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, pilot sites in practices across the country are investigating how to better engage patients in improving outcomes for diabetes and hypertension, the two most devastating chronic diseases in the country. This initiative is exploring innovative ways to incorporate patient-physician feedback loops.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Health_IT/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about health IT at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0ada7389-3d7a-4f85-9d27-1330749f7dac 5 financial goals for residents http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_5-financial-goals-residents Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:02:00 GMT <p> For most residents, managing finances is a top priority. Medical student debt combined with a limited income, housing costs and other bills can be stressful to manage when you’re so busy working. Fortunately, the major financial goals recommended for residents are fairly simple to understand. Read these five goals.</p> <p> A recent article in the <a href="http://www.amaalliance.org/site/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AMA Alliance</a> magazine <em>Physician Family</em> discusses the top five financial goals for residents and fellows that are not only simple to follow, but can be incorporated into your busy lifestyle:  </p> <p> <strong>1. Understand your loan repayment plan. </strong>Make sure you know the type of loans you have, the length of your grace periods if you have them, the date you must begin to repay your loans and other time-sensitive details. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/opportunities/other-financial-aid-resources.page" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about loan repayment and forgiveness programs.</p> <p> <strong>2. Get the insurance you need.</strong> In addition to health, auto and home or renter’s insurance, physicians should consider additional insurance policies. For example, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/need-physician-disability-insurance" target="_blank">disability insurance</a> will protect your income if you ever are unable to practice.</p> <p> <strong>3. Start saving now.</strong> Use your bank’s automatic transfer feature to routinely move money from your checking account to your savings account. Residents and fellows typically aren’t offered 401k plans through work, but you still can <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/residents-should-begin-saving-retirement" target="_blank">start a retirement savings plan</a>. You may be eligible to start a Roth IRA, an individual retirement account to which you contribute after-tax dollars. If you have a non-physician partner or spouse, see whether you can put money into his or her employer’s 401k.</p> <p> <strong>4. Prepare for the expenses of practice. </strong>The transition from residency to practice generates many costs, including office set-up expenses, legal fees, board and certification exams, medical license fees and the possibility of relocating or buying a home.<br /> <br /> If you are joining a hospital or practice, find out which costs your new employer will cover. If you are planning to open your own practice, carefully calculate your potential expenses. With moving and credentialing, be aware that you may have a period of time with no income. Plan accordingly by saving enough money to cover your expenses for at least a month or two.</p> <p> <strong>5. Stick to a budget. </strong>Practically every financial planner will tell you that a budget is the first and easiest tool to plan your finances. Use online resources to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-ways-finish-residency-falling-further-debt" target="_blank">make your budget</a>, or consult an expert.</p> <p> See more information about <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/pdfs/Fall2014~PhysFamilyMag.pdf#page=12" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">financial goals for residents and fellows</a> in the fall 2014 issue of <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Physician Family</em></a>, published online four times a year with especially helpful advice for physicians’, residents’ and medical students’ loved ones. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:154f391b-f326-41fb-81cd-a71079b84ee0 4 tips for patients securing health insurance for 2015 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_4-tips-patients-securing-health-insurance-2015 Tue, 06 Jan 2015 21:23:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/board-trustees/our-members/barbara-mcaneny.page?" target="_blank"><em>Barbara L. McAneny, MD</em></a><em>, chair of the AMA Board of Trustees.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/6/4ae44b30-59ee-4d39-86ef-f00e013ce699.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/6/4ae44b30-59ee-4d39-86ef-f00e013ce699.Large.jpg?1" style="height:140px;width:100px;margin:10px;float:left;" /></a>As an oncologist, I understand that health insurance can be really confusing. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), patients now have options for more affordable coverage and should receive more detailed, easy-to-understand information about that coverage. This is good news, especially for very ill patients, who often have difficulty navigating many of the complexities tied to health insurance.</p> <p> Under the ACA, health plans may no longer cap the dollar amount for care or coverage, and they can’t charge sick people more for coverage than healthy people. The law also limits the amount patients must pay in out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.</p> <p> Still, understanding health insurance is never as simple as we’d like. Ensuring our patients are well-versed in their health plans up front will save them time later and allow them to get the care that’s best for them. And our patients are turning to us, their doctors, for answers. The difference between copays and deductibles and the different “metal” premium levels (platinum, gold, silver and bronze) can be confusing. </p> <p> In an AMA Viewpoints post this summer, my colleague AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, covered <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-common-misconceptions-patients-their-insurance" target="_blank">four common misconceptions</a> about health insurance. In addition to being familiar with the right answers to those misconceptions, patients should follow these tips as they are preparing their health insurance coverage for the year ahead:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>1. Timing matters. </strong>Patients need to get coverage during open enrollment. If not, the only reason that will allow them to secure health insurance this year is if they have had a qualifying life event, such as a marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage, or qualify for an additional special enrollment period. Open enrollment through the health insurance exchanges lasts until Feb. 15.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>2. Check the plan’s details. </strong>Health insurers are required to give patients specific information about their plans. For instance, patients should be able to determine their copay and deductible obligations before they come to the office for care so they are prepared for their financial responsibilities. Our practices should routinely check eligibility and help patients understand how their insurance works. In my practice, we try to estimate the costs of delivering care so that we can compare their copays to their deductibles, and help advise them on choice of the plan “metal" level.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>3. Know where to go. </strong>It’s important that patients understand where to get care. Using primary care physicians and specialists within their health plan networks will prevent costly bills for services rendered by out-of-network physicians and other providers. But in an emergency, patients can get care from the closest hospital that can help. Insurers can’t require patients to get prior approval before receiving emergency room services and can’t charge patients more for getting emergency services at an out-of-network hospital.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>4. Review the plan annually. </strong>Patients already enrolled in coverage should review their plans every year because insurance companies can make changes to the premiums, cost-sharing, benefits and services they cover. Whether patients are seeking new plans or renewing existing plans, they should thoroughly review all aspects to prevent interruptions in care and higher out-of-pocket costs. There are websites that can help doctor’s offices help patients to compare plans. We cannot direct patients to one plan, but our office staff can certainly help explain how insurance works.<br /> <br /> Specific questions patients should ask when reviewing a health plan include whether their family’s doctors are in the plan, what the plan covers and whether their primary care physician has to get permission from the insurance company to refer them to a specialist. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/3-questions-patients-should-ask-before-choosing-health-plan" target="_blank">Read more</a> about these questions and their implications.</p> <p> For basic information about how patients can secure insurance coverage through the health insurance exchanges, visit the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/affordable-care-act.page" target="_blank">Web page about ACA insurance coverage</a>. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also offers a <a href="https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/downloads/c2c-understand-your-health-coverage.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">resource</a> that walks patients through the essential information they need to know about using their health insurance and understanding what it covers.</p> <p> This information can help patients make sure they and their families get the care they need to become and stay healthy.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:af8dbbff-36fa-4840-bd6d-2510e7c8f8dc How many hours are in the average physician workweek? http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_many-hours-average-physician-workweek Tue, 06 Jan 2015 21:21:00 GMT <p> Everyone knows that physicians generally work long hours. But just how many hours are in the typical physician workweek? Find out how your workweek compares to your peers.</p> <p> Most physicians work between 40 and 60 hours per week, but nearly one-quarter of physicians work between 61 and 80 hours per week, according to the <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/resourcecenter/work-life-profiles-of-todays-us-physician.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s Physician</a>  released last year by AMA Insurance.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/2/1feb1c44-9f6c-4332-92e4-c19ff22f7040.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/2/1feb1c44-9f6c-4332-92e4-c19ff22f7040.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:10px;float:right;" /></a>Age group plays a role in how many hours physicians work:</p> <ul> <li> About 20 percent of responding physicians aged 60 to 69 work fewer than 40 hours per week. Another 20 percent of this age group works more than 60 hours per week.</li> <li> About two-thirds of physicians aged 40 to 69 work between 40 and 60 hours per week. Another 20 percent work between 61 and 80 hours per week.</li> <li> For physicians under age 40, about two-thirds work between 40 and 60 hours per week. Of this age group, only 13 percent work fewer than 40 hours per week and 5 percent work more than 80 hours per week.</li> </ul> <p> Across all age groups, roughly one-half of physicians said they would prefer to work fewer hours per week.</p> <p> Some studies show that specialties with more work hours tend to have relatively low physician job satisfaction, and vice versa, according to a 2011 <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1105820" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">research letter</a> in <em>JAMA</em>. “For example, pediatricians, dermatologists, and child and adolescent psychiatrists reported relatively low hours and have relatively high career satisfaction,” the letter said. “Similarly obstetrician and gynecologists reported relatively high hours and have relatively low career satisfaction.”</p> <p> The letter also noted that specialists caring for more acutely ill patients or those requiring intensive monitoring, usually in hospital settings, work longer hours than physicians focused on more stable, chronically ill patients who are mostly in ambulatory settings. The exceptions were physicians practicing emergency medicine or hospital medicine because both of these specialties are characterized by fixed hourly shifts.</p> <p> An <a href="http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR439.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AMA-RAND study</a> released last fall revealed that physicians who feel overworked, overscrutinized or overburdened with unfulfilling tasks can suffer continually from a growing sense that they are neglecting the professional priorities that really matter—their patients. Through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page?" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, the AMA is developing pragmatic solutions to enhance the practice of medicine and empower informed decision-making about physician practice environments.</p> <p> <strong>Tell us: </strong>How do your work hours compare to your peers? Share what your typical workweek looks like in a comment below or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b1f8ca11-a9fa-4a2d-8444-31cdb0a4cbae Quick and accurate coding reference now available http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_quick-accurate-coding-reference-now-available Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:22:00 GMT <p> Maximize your coding accuracy with assistance from the latest Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) reference, which includes the most current HCPCS codes and regulations essential for accurate medical billing and maximum payment. A total of 710 codes were impacted for 2015, including 306 revised codes, 235 new codes and 169 deleted codes.</p> <p> The AMA’s <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2490002&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>HCPCS 2015 Level II Professional Edition</em></a> includes: </p> <ul> <li> Dental codes from the American Dental Association, so your practice has access to all codes in one codebook</li> <li> A companion website with access to the latest HCPCS updates, special reports and authoritative information</li> <li> Table of drugs with drug code annotations</li> <li> Photos and illustrations</li> </ul> <p> AMA members receive a discount on this product and others from the AMA Store. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:3983f285-7ac7-41ec-b90f-efa28525688b Glycemic index may not improve cardiovascular risk: Study http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_glycemic-index-may-not-improve-cardiovascular-risk-study Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:20:00 GMT <p> Low glycemic index carbohydrate diets did not improve cardiovascular risk factors for insulin resistance in overweight and obese patients with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension, according to a <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2040224" rel="nofollow">new study</a> in <em>JAMA</em>.</p> <p> The glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. A food with a high glycemic index raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low glycemic index. Even though some nutrition policies advocate consumption of low-glycemic index foods and even promote food labeling with glycemic index values, the independent benefits of glycemic index and its effect on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes are not well understood.</p> <p> Participants in the study were adults older than 30 who were overweight with elevated blood pressure (but not treated with medication). Participants had no diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chronic kidney disease. They were given two of four different diets to complete during the study period, all of which had a large contrast in glycemic index, while controlling total carbohydrates and other key nutrients, such as fatty acids, potassium and sodium. Calories were adjusted for each participant to prevent weight change.</p> <p> The diets were based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, and low in saturated and total fat. The investigators compared four modified versions of the DASH diet: a high-glycemic index, high-carbohydrate diet; a low-glycemic index, high-carbohydrate diet; a high-glycemic index, low-carbohydrate diet; and a low-glycemic index, low-carbohydrate diet.</p> <p> The study found that in participants consuming the diets with high-carbohydrate content, the low-glycemic index diet compared to the high-glycemic index diet decreased insulin sensitivity, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and did not affect levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides or blood pressure.</p> <p> For participants consuming low carbohydrate content, the low-glycemic index diet compared to the high-glycemic index diet did not affect outcomes at the end of the five week dietary intervention, except for decreasing triglycerides. A diet low in glycemic index and carbohydrates, compared to a diet high in glycemic index and carbohydrates, did not affect insulin sensitivity, systolic blood pressure, LDL or HDL cholesterol.</p> <p>  “In the context of an overall DASH-type diet, using glycemic index to select specific foods may not improve cardiovascular risk factors or insulin resistance,” the study said. However, “it is also meaningful to note that every DASH-type diet studied in previous trials and this trial lowered blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels of the participants from baseline when they were eating their usual diets.”</p> <p> While it remains unclear how physicians should council their non-diabetic patients regarding glycemic index food choices, the study reaffirms the benefits of a DASH-style diet in lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. In this study, an average decrease of 7-9 mm Hg systolic blood pressure and 4-6 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure occurred for participants. This can reinforce to physicians the benefits of making nutritional recommendations to their patients. Partnering with patients on healthy living guidelines can help improve chronic disease. For example, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/one-physician-helped-patient-transform-her-life">one Texas doctor</a> helped a patient shed more than 200 pounds, which in turn helped the patient better manage her type 2 diabetes.</p> <p> Partnering with patients is a key facet of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, which is taking new approaches in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Focusing on health as well as medical care, and strengthening links between the clinic and community through novel strategies and collaborations.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:01764164-6797-4b9c-b69a-c75084df2b1d What’s in store for health care? Shape medicine’s future http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_whats-store-health-care-shape-medicines-future Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:00:00 GMT <p> If you’re interested in making a difference in the future of health care, plan to attend the 2015 <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/news-events/advocacy-day.page" target="_blank">Medical Student Advocacy Day</a>, March 5-6 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington, D.C.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:348px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/11/249aa570-3ac6-44ab-9b18-d8f63aef583f.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/11/249aa570-3ac6-44ab-9b18-d8f63aef583f.Large.jpg?1" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Medical students participated in last year's Medical Student Advocacy Day, braving a winter storm that shut down Washington, D.C. during #AMAsnowday.</em></span></p> <p>  </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> Now in its 13th year, Advocacy Day helps medical students better understand key legislative issues that will shape health care in the United States and gives them experience in fostering relationships with their lawmakers through political involvement. Activities include:</p> <ul> <li> Interactive educational sessions on effective advocacy and lobbying techniques</li> <li> Briefings on legislative issues currently before Congress</li> <li> Scheduled meetings with lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill</li> </ul> <p> “Advocacy Day teaches medical students how to advocate effectively,” said Shannon Brockman, who attended a recent conference as a third-year medical student at the University of Florida College of Medicine. “Students receive instruction on how to talk to congressional aides and other parts of the lobbying process.”</p> <p> Last year, more than 150 students braved a winter storm that shut down Washington, D.C., to take their messages to Capitol Hill. Despite nearly a foot of snow, students still made their voices heard by sending their members of Congress photos, messages and video clips from the Capitol tagged <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/snow-day-patient-advocacy-med-students-head-capitol-hill" target="_blank">#AMAsnowday</a>.</p> <p> Registration is $20 and will close Jan. 18. Late registration is $25, if there still are openings. Advocacy Day activities tentatively will begin at 3 p.m. March 5.</p> <p> Advocacy Day is for AMA medical student members only. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4c61a9bb-3bee-44a0-b1d3-cc653ba07a4c Be a leader in key medical education organizations http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_leader-key-medical-education-organizations Mon, 05 Jan 2015 16:17:00 GMT <p> Are you interested in being a leader in medicine? Seek nomination from the AMA for a leadership position in an external organization.</p> <p> The AMA is accepting nomination applications for positions with the following organizations:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education Review Committees</strong>: Review committees include allergy and immunology, anesthesiology, dermatology, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, otolaryngology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry, general surgery, thoracic surgery. The deadline for nominations is <strong>February 6</strong>.</li> <li> <strong>American Board of Allergy and Immunology</strong>: The deadline for nominations is <strong>February 6</strong>.</li> <li> <strong>American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc</strong>.: The deadline for nominations is <strong>February 6</strong>.</li> <li> <strong>American Board of Surgery</strong>: The deadline for nominations is <strong>July 20</strong>.</li> </ul> <p> To learn more about these opportunities or to apply, visit the Council on Medical Education’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education/leadership.page?">Leadership Opportunities</a> page. Should you have questions, please contact <a href="mailto:mary.oleary@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">Mary O’Leary</a> of the AMA at 312-464-4515. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:411da2cc-63af-4619-ae06-77ebe4b09653 Medical staff autonomy upheld in state supreme court ruling http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-staff-autonomy-upheld-state-supreme-court-ruling Fri, 02 Jan 2015 22:00:00 GMT <p> A decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court issued last week upheld important tenets of medical staff self-governance and authority in patient care that physicians have been fighting for in that state since 2012.</p> <p> The state’s high court <a href="http://www.mncourts.gov/opinions/sc/current/OPA122117-123114.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">overturned earlier rulings</a> in <em>Avera Marshall Medical Staff v. Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center</em>, in which the lower courts had said the medical staff lacked the capacity to sue the hospital for inappropriate action and the medical staff bylaws did not constitute an enforceable contract between the hospital and medical staff.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/12/8a58c97d-b94b-48a5-ac18-603fd2a3dd31.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/12/8a58c97d-b94b-48a5-ac18-603fd2a3dd31.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>The medical staff of Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center has been seeking to re-establish its autonomy after the hospital’s governing board unilaterally amended the medical staff’s bylaws. The move effectively stripped physicians of nearly all rights and responsibilities as the experts in medical direction.</p> <p> “Patients were the big winners today as the Minnesota Supreme Court reestablished an appropriate balance of responsibilities between physicians and administrators,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2014/2014-12-31-minnesota-supreme-court-ruling-medical-staff-autonomy.page" target="_blank">statement</a>. “The ruling will help promote hospital policies that align with the best interests of patients.”</p> <p> The Litigation Center of the AMA and the State Medical Societies, joined by the Minnesota Medical Association and other medical associations, supported the Avera Marshall medical staff by filing friend-of-the-court briefs before the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/legal-issues/x-pub/avera-marshall-med-staff-v-avera-reg-med-ctr-s-ct.pdf" target="_blank">Minnesota Supreme Court</a> (log in) and the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/legal-issues/x-pub/avera-marshall-ct-app.pdf" target="_blank">state appellate court</a> (log in).</p> <p> “This case shows yet again that when doctors enlist the help of organized medicine, the best outcome for patients and doctors can be achieved," Dr. Wah said.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center/case-summaries-topic/hospitals.page?" target="_blank">Read more</a> about this case and others in which the AMA Litigation Center is involved that deal with physician-hospital relationships.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ce2008d4-e061-404d-9093-46de430757a8 Top 10 issues for physicians to watch in 2015 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-10-issues-physicians-watch-2015 Fri, 02 Jan 2015 21:49:00 GMT <p> The year ahead promises many changes and challenges for the medical profession. From taking on regulatory burdens to improving health outcomes for patients, 10 of the top issues physicians should monitor in the year ahead encompass the broad spectrum of today’s medical practice.</p> <p> <strong>1. The administrative load and competing regulatory programs. </strong>Studies show that one of the greatest frustrations to physicians is the time and expense they must devote to administrative and regulatory requirements, pulling time away from patient care without a direct benefit to care delivery or health outcomes.<br /> <br /> In 2015, the AMA will intensify efforts to reduce barriers to providing high-quality care, including:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>• Electronic health records (EHR) and meaningful use. </strong>At the top of many physicians’ lists of things that need to change are unhelpful EHR systems and unachievable meaningful use requirements. According to data the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released in mid-December, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals will face payment penalties next year because they could not fulfill meaningful use requirements.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> The AMA will continue to push for the adoption of solutions to the one-size-fits all meaningful use program, as outlined in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program">blueprint submitted to CMS</a> in October.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> In addition, the AMA is building on a new <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable">framework for EHR usability</a> that it developed with an external advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives. The AMA is working with physicians, EHR vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care. </p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>• </strong><strong>ICD-10 implementation. </strong><span style="font-size:12px;">The AMA has advocated for end-to-end testing, which will take place between January and March and should provide insight on potential disruptions from ICD-10 implementation, currently scheduled for Oct. 1.</span><br /> <br /> <span style="font-size:12px;">Given the potential that policymakers may not approve further delays, </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/one-year-countdown-icd-10-begins-start-transition-now" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank">ICD-10 resources</a><span style="font-size:12px;"> can help physician practices ensure they are prepared for implementation of the new code set.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong style="font-size:12px;">• </strong><strong style="font-size:12px;">Federal fraud and abuse programs. </strong><span style="font-size:12px;">While preventing unscrupulous activities in the Medicare system is an appropriate goal, many physicians are being unduly taxed by the “bounty-hunter” efforts of the Medicare recovery audit contractors (RAC). In fact, more than 60 percent of RAC determinations are overturned when appealed. Meanwhile, CMS has a two-year backlog of appeals to sort through. The AMA will continue to push the agency to </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/payment-recovery-audit-program-needs-overhaul-doctors-cms" style="font-size:12px;">overhaul this program</a><span style="font-size:12px;"> in the year ahead.</span></p> <p> <strong>2. The Medicare physician payment system.</strong> Congress will need to act early this year to avoid a 21 percent pay cut scheduled to take effect April 1 under the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Because Congress missed its opportunity last year to repeal the SGR formula using a bipartisan legislative framework, the AMA and physicians will continue communicating with lawmakers—including those newly elected—to make reforming the Medicare payment system a priority for the new Congress.<br /> <br /> In addition to addressing the SGR formula, the AMA will be tackling other timely issues related to the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/10-medicare-payment-policy-revisions-need">Medicare fee schedule</a>, including the value-based payment modifier, elimination of the global surgical period and potentially misvalued codes.</p> <p> <strong>3. Adequate provider networks. </strong>The current trend toward very limited provider networks has necessitated physician action to ensure patients have access to the care they need. The AMA is <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-policy-calls-adequate-networks-patient-access-choice">bolstering its national- and state-level efforts</a> to make sure health insurers are required to maintain adequate networks, provide timely information about the physicians and other providers to whom patients will have in-network access, and comply with all laws and regulations.</p> <p> <strong>4. Prescription drug abuse and overdose.</strong> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/nation-reaches-turning-point-addressing-rx-abuse-crisis" target="_blank">Most stakeholders now agree</a> that the nation’s prescription drug overdose epidemic should be addressed primarily through treatment, prevention and education rather than law enforcement. But much work remains to execute solutions in local communities. The AMA will continue to lead policy development on this issue in the states and nationally, and engage physicians in practical activities to prevent prescription drug abuse and allow pain management for patients who need it.</p> <p> <strong>5. Preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. </strong>As two of the nation’s most troubling diseases, these chronic conditions have been targeted for elimination before they develop in patients. Physicians can expect to see practical resources to help prevent diabetes among their at-risk patients and tools to help improve blood pressure control among hypertensive patients throughout the year ahead. Such resources have been under development with physician pilot sites and national partners in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative.</p> <p> <strong>6. Advances in clinical knowledge and information sharing. </strong>New medical information, treatments and technologies continue to evolve at an astounding rate. Staying on top of the latest knowledge and developments will be more important than ever this year. The JAMA Network continues to find ways of helping physicians keep up with clinical knowledge, including a new journal that will debut early this year: <a href="http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/" rel="nofollow"><em>JAMA Oncology</em></a>.</p> <p> <strong>7. Transformation of medical education. </strong>Medical schools that are part of a special consortium of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page?">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative have been driving undergraduate medical education into the future by developing and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-school-of-future-year-of-groundbreaking-work">implementing innovative ideas</a> for medical student training. This work will continue to advance over the next year, and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-school-transformation-begins-spread">new schools will be adopting</a> the best practices they are putting forward. Additionally, the initiative will be working toward <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/residents-would-transform-gme">changes in graduate medical education</a> to improve physician education across the learning continuum.</p> <p> <strong>8. Modernization of the AMA </strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics.page"><strong><em>Code of Medical Ethics</em></strong></a><strong>. </strong>This 167-year-old standard for the medical profession has been undergoing a comprehensive update for the past six years, and 2014 was spent soliciting and reviewing physician feedback on the proposed changes. A draft to be considered for adoption will be released this year. AMA members can continue to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/code-of-medical-ethics-undergoing-update-comment-through-jan-15">provide feedback</a> through Jan. 15.</p> <p> <strong>9. Improved professional satisfaction and sustainability of practices. </strong>Physicians will have access to tools currently in beta testing that will help them address common clinical challenges so they can boost their professional satisfaction and the quality of their patient care. Part of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, the tools will offer proven practice solutions, such as pre-visit planning, synchronized prescription renewals and collaborative documentation.</p> <p> <strong>10. Court rulings on critical health care issues. </strong>Given the number of court cases that have made it to the Supreme Court of the United States and state supreme courts over the last few years, physicians can expect that the nation’s courts will continue to play a crucial role in the practice of medicine. Topics of greatest importance continue to be the patient-physician relationship, medical liability and patient privacy.<br /> <br /> An <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/patient-safety-stake-case-before-supreme-court">especially important case</a> heard by the U.S. Supreme Court several months ago should be decided early this year. The decision will determine whether state health care licensure boards will retain their authority to regulate their health care professions to shield patients from potentially unlawful practice. The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center.page">Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies</a> will continue to ensure the physician’s voice is heard in these cases.</p> <p> <em>AMA Wire</em>® will provide timely coverage of these issues and many other important topics for physicians, residents and medical students throughout the year ahead.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:73bd7218-d788-4925-aabe-c1818f910c58 Shape medicine’s future at National Advocacy Conference http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_shape-medicines-future-national-advocacy-conference Fri, 02 Jan 2015 21:44:00 GMT <p> Mark your calendar to participate in an event that will empower you to be an advocate for patients, the medical profession and the future of health care. <a href="https://extapps.ama-assn.org/mtgreg/register/search?EID=2015780E&TID=3yifVNSWHX1OuGnYDgkKuw%3d%3d&OID=130" target="_blank">Register now</a> for the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/events/national-advocacy-conference.page" target="_blank">National Advocacy Conference</a>, to be held Feb. 23-25 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:365px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/JENjZoUXaPE" height="350" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JENjZoUXaPE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="365"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JENjZoUXaPE" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="350" quality="best" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JENjZoUXaPE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="365" wmode="transparent"></embed></object></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <span style="font-size:12px;"><em>View highlights from the 2014 National Advocacy Conference.</em></span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> At the conference, you’ll hear from political insiders, industry experts and members of Congress about current efforts in health system reform refinement and implementation. Share your thoughts and participate in discussions to help guide the AMA’s advocacy efforts and its efforts to improve the health of the nation.</p> <p> Among the activities in which attendees can participate are:</p> <ul> <li> A Capitol Hill briefing</li> <li> Visits with your members of Congress</li> <li> The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/awards/nathan-davis-awards-outstanding-government-service.page?" target="_blank">Nathan Davis Awards</a> reception and dinner, during which physicians will honor elected officials and career government employees who have made significant accomplishments in advancing the well-being of the nation</li> </ul> <p> “If I had to sum up the goal of the National Advocacy Conference in a word, it would be ‘action,’” AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said as she welcomed attendees from around the country at last year’s conference.</p> <p> “[We’ll be] pounding the pavement and marching up to Capitol Hill, speaking to legislators face to face, reminding them that at the end of the day—when the conversations have ceased and the board rooms have closed—we’re the ones sitting in the exam room with the patient,” Dr. Hoven said. “We’re the ones who feel the full weight of health care decisions.”</p> <p> <a href="https://extapps.ama-assn.org/mtgreg/register/search?EID=2015780E&TID=3yifVNSWHX1OuGnYDgkKuw%3d%3d&OID=130" target="_blank">Register now</a> to be a part of this important event. Conference speakers will be announced soon. Watch <em>AMA Wire</em>® for details.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:545e4505-ecf4-47ed-9fba-7131e6abb625 Emerging med ed technology offers look at the future http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_emerging-med-ed-technology-offers-look-future Thu, 01 Jan 2015 19:00:00 GMT <p> As recently as half a decade ago, the technology available to consumers today would be nearly unbelievable. Similarly, the current medical education technology climate is tremendous, offering medical students new ways to converse with online patients and zoom in on microscopic parts of the human body from their computer or tablet screens.</p> <p> Representatives from innovative medical education technology companies demonstrated new tools that could change the way future physicians are taught as part of a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-school-transformation-begins-spread" target="_blank">special meeting</a> last month at the University of Texas at Austin. Faculty from the 11 schools in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative met with AMA leaders and University of Texas educators to discuss forward-thinking curricula that will prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex health care system. New educational technology was one of the primary topics of discussion.</p> <p> Take a look at some of the technology that’s already being used at medical schools.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/7/9c8a0ad3-7e1d-4745-97e4-9f0673d228f2.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/7/9c8a0ad3-7e1d-4745-97e4-9f0673d228f2.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a><strong>Virtual standardized patient</strong></p> <p> Developed at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies, the virtual standardized patient is part of an online “<a href="http://ict.usc.edu/prototypes/usc-standard-patient-hospital/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">standard patient hospital</a>,” in which medical students can talk directly to the “patient” and get real responses. Educators can create their own standardized patients, including a patient’s medical history, allergies, social history and more.<br /> <br /> Each “character” can be set to answer truthfully or deceptively and even can ask questions of the student. The program tests students on their interviewing skills and forces students to learn how to ask patients the right questions to get a proper diagnosis.</p> <p> “What do you do when a patient is in your room, there’s nobody there to help you and the patient says, ‘Doc, I’m in pain’?” said Thomas “Brett” Talbot, MD (pictured right), a research scientist at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. “We’ve removed the scaffolding of the text up front that gives you all the hints. It’s up to you to generate your own scaffolding.”</p> <p> <strong>3D exploration of the human body</strong></p> <p> The BioDigital Human gives students a chance to virtually dissect and manipulate the human anatomy. Educators can isolate a structure of anatomy and add text, export the structure and embed it into presentations. They also can save it online, let other BioDigital users see it and add their own annotations. With a cloud-based application like this one, it is possible to create a digital anatomy course online and share it between schools.</p> <p> “This was not built to replicate the cadaver but to bring a learner up to a certain point on a learning curve,” said John Qualter, co-founder of BioDigital Systems and a faculty member at the New York University School of Medicine. “What if we all collaborated on this digital anatomy and you were able to access them? It’s all open for discussion.”</p> <p> <strong>Simulated patient encounter</strong></p> <p> With iHuman, medical students can complete a total patient encounter, including performing a physical exam and ordering tests. Educators can create and share cases. To add a dimension of reality to the encounter, they also can use a repository of medical media assets, including radiographs, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms and dermatologic images, and cardiac sounds from the W. Proctor Harvey library. The software tracks each step a student makes during the patient encounter.</p> <p> “We can assemble the most detailed data about the thinking of the student,” said Craig Knoche, founder of iHuman. “If someone comes in and complains of shortness of breath, we can tell immediately whether the student ascultated the heart in the right location, if they appropriately identified the third heart sound, if they immediately go to the differentials list and put ‘heart failure’ on it. The findings and judgments are available as data.”</p> <p> The new technology incorporated into medical schools today and into the future isn’t meant to replace real patient encounters, anatomy labs and other experiences. Rather, educators are looking for technology that will enhance medical students’ education and offer more opportunities for learning.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page?plckTag=MedEd_IT" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the latest technology in medical education at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:7996c53f-6757-4a9a-a04e-bb6a96aa550d The top issues residents will face in 2015 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-issues-residents-will-face-2015 Tue, 30 Dec 2014 16:55:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/13/877622ce-0224-4976-ad58-2e229148db6a.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/13/877622ce-0224-4976-ad58-2e229148db6a.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a>It’s been many years since I was a medical resident, but as an educator, I have the opportunity to see residents from the other side. In the new year, three issues will rise to the top of residents’ minds.</p> <p> <strong>Medical school debt</strong> continues to be a pressing issue. The most recent data from the Association of American Medical Colleges shows that medical school graduates this year face an average education debt of more than $176,000, and 40 percent are planning to enter a loan forgiveness or repayment program. Most residents spend at least a decade of their post-residency years—if not more—repaying their educational debt.</p> <p> This debt load is oppressive. The AMA continues to press legislatively to lower this burden. In addition, <em>AMA Wire® </em>offers <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-ways-finish-residency-falling-further-debt" target="_blank">informative articles</a> with practical pointers for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/five-ways-manage-student-debt" target="_blank">managing debt</a>. I also advise my residents to keep their debt in perspective. There aren’t many people who go into any profession without any debt. We aren’t the only ones with these burdens.</p> <p> <strong>Future practice environment</strong> is another issue at the top of residents’ minds. There was a time when a resident’s decision about where to practice was all about geography—but that’s changed dramatically. Today, there are so many ways that health care is delivered, and doors are open that didn’t even exist before. I always recommend seeing change as opportunity.</p> <p> Residents can use resources from the AMA to explore the broader world of health care. I encourage my residents to take advantage of any opportunities to learn about different health delivery systems. Decisions about future practice also can consider underserved areas and the existing health care workforce in specific areas. Our new <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/should-practice-new-tool-reveals-lay-of-land" target="_blank">Health Workforce Mapper</a> makes doing so simple.</p> <p> Finally, an important issue for residents—and really, for all physicians—heading into the new year is that of <strong>physician wellness</strong>. This topic is especially close to me, as I serve as chair of the World Medical Association (WMA) committee that is focusing on the well-being of doctors. In fact, a group of “junior doctors” (the WMA’s equivalent to residents) were the catalysts for creating this physician wellness committee at the WMA.</p> <p> Those junior doctors cited many good examples of how important wellness is to residents. This is a time in which you’ll be working and learning more than ever, honing your clinical skills. When you finish, you’ll be focused on how to give the best possible care to your patients. Be sure to make it a priority to take the best possible care of yourself, too. It’s a good habit to start in residency. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Physician_Health/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about physician health at <em>AMA Wire</em>.</p> <p> <strong>Residents: </strong>Are these issues you’ll be watching in 2015? What topics are most important to you? Tell me on <a href="https://twitter.com/robertwahmd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, at the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/amaresidentsandfellows" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> or in a comment below.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:1cc13aab-0361-4a27-97eb-b51801131382 Residency location affects physicians' spending patterns: Study http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_residency-location-affects-physicians-spending-patterns-study Tue, 30 Dec 2014 16:52:00 GMT <p> How do the characteristics of residency training influence the nature of a physician’s future practice? A recent <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020373" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">study</a> in <em>JAMA </em>investigated whether exposure to different practice and spending patterns during residency left an “imprint” detectable in practice after training.</p> <p> The study evaluated data from 2,851 primary care physicians who provided care to 491,948 Medicare beneficiaries, and used <a href="http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/data/region/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Dartmouth Atlas Hospital Referral Region</a> files to determine high- and low-spending regions.</p> <p> Investigating how residents’ spending patterns could influence tomorrow’s health care environment is important because Medicare- and Medicaid-funded graduate medical education (GME) represents the largest public investment in health workforce development in the United States, the study said.</p> <p> The results showed a strong association between residency training sites and future practice locations. More than one-half of physicians who trained in a low-cost region then practiced in a low-cost region, and nearly 70 percent of physicians who trained in a high-cost region ultimately practiced in one. For doctors who trained and practiced in high-spending regions, mean physician spending per beneficiary was $9,482—nearly $2,000 more per beneficiary annually compared with mean spending among physicians who trained in low-spending regions but practiced in high-spending ones.</p> <p> The analysis also showed:</p> <ul> <li> Physicians who trained in higher-spending regions were more likely to be general internists, to be international medical graduates (IMG) or to have been practicing for longer periods of time.</li> <li> IMGs, male physicians and physicians spending more time working in a hospital setting had higher expenditures per patient.</li> <li> Physicians with more years of practice had overall lower mean patient expenditures.</li> </ul> <p> The results showed an average difference of about 7 percent in spending between physicians trained in the highest- and lowest-spending training groups. However, this difference was as high as 29 percent for those within seven years of completing their residencies, and this difference appeared to decrease over time, to no statistically significant difference at 16 or more years after completing residency.</p> <p> “These observations suggest an imprinting of care-related spending behaviors that might take place during residency,” the study said.</p> <p> Currently, higher numbers of total GME residents are trained in higher-spending regions than in lower-spending ones: Nearly one-half of graduating residents in 2010 were trained in the top three deciles for average Medicare spending per beneficiary.</p> <p> If physicians trained in lower-spending regions continued to practice in a less costly manner even when they moved to higher-spending regions, and vice versa, then national cost management strategies should take that into account, the study said. “For example, considerations might be given to prioritizing public investments in GME to institutions with learning environments in which trainees are exposed to less costly care,” it said.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:fc20240e-a2e3-45a2-9a07-34e0d85b9350 What you need to know about physician disability insurance http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_need-physician-disability-insurance Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:24:00 GMT <p> If asked to list your family’s most important financial assets, you probably would mention your 401K, retirement accounts and real estate—but what about earning an income? Losing your ability to practice is a risk you can’t afford to take, so disability income protection is important. Learn about three of the most popular disability insurance options for physicians.</p> <p> A recent article by a physician insurance expert published in the <a href="http://www.amaalliance.org/site/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMA Alliance</a> magazine <em>Physician Family</em> addresses the questions physicians might have about disability insurance. For example, how much coverage should you have? Insurers typically provide coverage for either two-thirds of your income or the insurer’s maximum benefit amount, whichever is the lesser of the two. This means it’s crucial to evaluate your disability income protection often. As your income increases, your disability coverage should account for changes.</p> <p> Disability income coverage can be purchased from a variety of sources, but physicians most often purchase coverage through one of the three methods:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Group coverage offered through an employer. </strong>This option usually is the least expensive option and is easy to purchase, but there are some downsides. The coverage is not portable if you leave the employer and benefit amounts are limited. In addition, this type of coverage often is not specific to physicians and may be taxed if the premiums are paid by the employer. Finally, few options can be added to coverage.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Coverage offered through an association or affinity group.</strong> This option can be more difficult to purchase, and sometimes there are limited options to add to the coverage. However, the buying power of the group means good rates, and this type of coverage will be specific to physicians. This option also allows coverage to move with you from employer to employer, and often offers higher benefit amounts that are not taxed.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Individual coverage offered through agents.</strong> This option usually is the most expensive but offers the highest benefit amounts and the most flexibility in additional coverage options. Specialty-specific definitions of disability are available. This option also is portable and can move with you from employer to employer, but it is the hardest to purchase, because underwriting is required.</li> </ul> <p> “There is no ‘one size fits all’ that is appropriate for everyone,” the article said. “It may make sense to combine coverage from two or all three of the above sources. They key to making sure the proper protection is in place is knowing your options and working with a professional to help sort through all of the choices.”</p> <p> See more information on <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/pdfs/Fall2014~PhysFamilyMag.pdf#page=18" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">physician disability coverage</a> in the fall 2014 issue of <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Physician Family</em></a>, published online four times a year especially for the loved ones of physicians, residents and medical students. </p> <p> If you’re ready to look into your disability insurance options, AMA Insurance <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/products/disability-protection.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">offers plans</a> and insights—including a brief <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/ResourceCenter/RecWeb.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">video guide</a> for young physicians and a <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/resourcecenter/introduction-to-employed-physicians-financial-preparedness-report.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">report on financial preparedness</a>—to get you started. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:aeda1e1f-f198-4ee0-942a-c9f63a7da923 Studying for the USMLE Step 1: An early start strategy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_studying-usmle-step-1-early-start-strategy Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:23:00 GMT <p> Prepping to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 can seem like a daunting task. An expert gives tips for how you can to build your best study plan.</p> <p> Joshua D. Brooks, PhD, associate director of medical academics at Kaplan Medical, recommends creating a study plan at least six to 12 months before your exam. There’s a good reason to get an early start.</p> <p> “At this point, it’s more important to get into the rhythm [of studying] rather than feeling like you’re gaining knowledge,” he said.</p> <p> If you’re planning to create a study schedule in advance of taking the exam, follow these tips:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Create a week-by-week plan. </strong>Organize weeks by subject, and only focus on that subject during the designated week. Watch videos, take notes and try sample questions on the topic.</li> <li> <strong>Meet with a study partner.</strong> Having a study partner with whom you meet once a week can help keep you both on track, and it gives you a way to discuss what you’ve learned and help each other.</li> <li> <strong>Manage your time wisely.</strong> Don’t let the stress of your regular classes get in the way of your test prep. By starting early, you can incorporate test prep into the studying you do for your classes. At this point, “five to six hours of productive review each week is sufficient” for optimal test prep, Brooks said.</li> <li> <strong>Don’t be discouraged by difficult topics.</strong> It’s okay to study some topics longer or more in depth, especially if you get an early start. Be mindful of getting hung up on one specific question, though—answer it and move on, and review why you got it wrong later.</li> </ul> <p> Read about the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/studying-usmle-step-1-watch-out-4-mistakes">four common USMLE Step 1 studying mistakes</a> you should avoid, and look for more USMLE Step 1 study tips and insights in future posts at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> AMA members can view an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/priv/membership/membership-benefits/for-med-students/ama-study-break.page" target="_blank">archived recording</a> packed with even more advice from a recent presentation by Brooks. If you’re not an AMA member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0f8ab654-c22c-4ba2-a89f-b096c89a94ec African Americans less likely to benefit from ACA http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_african-americans-less-likely-benefit-aca Sat, 27 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> While such minorities as white Hispanics, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are expected to see dramatic increases in health care coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), African Americans have been less likely to see these benefits, according to a <a href="http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/2000046-Racial-Ethnic-Differences-in-Uninsurance-Rates-under-the-ACA.pdf" rel="nofollow">recent study</a> from the Urban Institute.</p> <p> The primary reason for this disparity is that African Americans disproportionately live in states that have not expanded Medicaid, according to the study. 1.4 million uninsured blacks live in the eligibility gap—and they constitute 23.1 percent of the black adult uninsured adult population nationwide.</p> <p> Without the ACA, Latinos are projected to have the highest uninsurance rate in 2016 (31.2 percent), followed by American Indian/Alaska Natives (25.7 percent), blacks (19.6 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (17.3 percent). Whites have the lowest uninsurance rate without the ACA at 13.1 percent.</p> <p> The ACA with current Medicaid expansion decisions is projected to lead to large reductions in uninsurance rates for all racial/ethnic groups. The rank order of uninsurance rates across racial/ethnic groups is projected to be unchanged: Latinos still with the highest (19.0 percent), followed by American Indian/Alaska Natives (13.0 percent) and blacks (11.3 percent). The lowest uninsurance rates are still projected to be among Asian/Pacific Islanders (8.9 percent) and whites (6.3 percent).</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b57ff225-8eba-48fa-bf22-1c33bed1f403 Lessons physician-led ACOs are teaching hospitals http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_lessons-physician-led-acos-teaching-hospitals Sat, 27 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> A recent <a href="http://www.hhnmag.com/display/HHN-news-article.dhtml?dcrPath=/templatedata/HF_Common/NewsArticle/data/HHN/Magazine/2014/Nov/cov_docACO" rel="nofollow">article</a> in <em>Hospitals and Health Networks</em> magazine discusses how hospitals and their leaders can learn valuable lessons from physician-led accountable care organizations (ACO).</p> <p> The article states that physicians are more open to change and experimentation with new care models if the change is being led by other physicians. Keeping the focus on patient care—rather than financial or other considerations—also will engage the clinical community.</p> <p> Three physician-led ACOs are profiled in the article, which examines what they are doing to improve care coordination, shares lessons learned, and offers advice for others looking to start or boost their own ACO strategies.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:8c9a715d-6cdb-42f6-9efd-f96c5d5be633 How physicians spend their time outside the exam room http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-spend-their-time-outside-exam-room Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:23:00 GMT <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Free time isn’t something most doctors have in abundance. But when they’re not working, physicians of all ages engage in a variety of extra-curricular activities. A recent survey captures how most physicians spend their free time. How do you compare?</span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/1/84e58078-34f7-4db6-a168-578f1df01581.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/1/84e58078-34f7-4db6-a168-578f1df01581.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>Physicians report being physically active at all ages, according to the <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/resourcecenter/work-life-profiles-of-todays-us-physician.html" rel="nofollow" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank">2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s Physician</a> recently released by AMA Insurance. Top activities include:</span></p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">About one-half of physicians under age 40 indicate they run or jog, the most-enjoyed activity for that age group.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Physicians aged 40 to 59 report enjoying running or jogging (36 percent), bicycling (35 percent) and camping or hiking (24 percent) most.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">For physicians older than 60, about 50 percent said they walk to stay healthy.</span></li> </ul> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Other top interests among physicians include golf, aerobics and cardio, skiing, tennis and fishing.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">As for hobbies, a large percentage of physicians describe themselves as avid book readers:</span></p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">More than one-half of physicians under age 40 say they read regularly.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Among physicians aged 40 to 59, 58 percent report avid reading as a hobby.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Regular reading is enjoyed by more than 64 percent of physicians in the 60 and above age group.</span></li> </ul> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Other top hobbies reported include gardening, “DIY” home improvement and decorating, and playing musical instruments. Nearly 50 percent of physicians across all ages are interested in gourmet cooking.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Physicians are no strangers to the latest technology. More than one-quarter of physicians are interested in new technology, and a similar percentage own a Kindle e-book reader. Physicians younger than 40 are the most likely to use iTunes, but one-quarter of physicians over 60 use the application to download digital audio and video files as well.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Tell us: </strong>How do you spend your free time? Share your hobbies in a comment below or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page.</span></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:be5d08be-3000-48fa-81a4-cb759bb438cd Duty-hour limits have no effect on patient outcomes: New studies http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_duty-hour-limits-effect-patient-outcomes-new-studies Tue, 23 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> The 2011 limits placed on resident duty hours appear to have had no effect on patient deaths, patient outcomes or residents’ examination performance, according to two studies published this month in <em>JAMA</em>.</p> <p> After setting an 80-hour work week limit for residents in 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) further restricted residents’ work hours in 2011, including:</p> <ul> <li> Limiting first-year residents to 16 hours of continuous in-hospital duty</li> <li> Requiring that residents have at least 8 hours free between shifts</li> <li> Providing residents in-house for 24 hours with up to 4 hours for transfer of care activities and requiring at least 14 hours off between shifts</li> </ul> <p> In <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020372" rel="nofollow">one study</a>—one of the first national empirical evaluations of the ACGME’s 2011 duty hour reform—researchers found no association with a change in surgical patient outcomes or resident examination performance after comparing data from teaching and nonteaching hospitals in the two years before and after reforms were implemented.</p> <p> “This could indicate that current policies should continue forward as they are,” the study said. “Conversely, the potential harm from poor continuity of care, increased handoffs, trainees feeling unprepared to practice and concern regarding residents developing a shift-work mentality engendered by these policies could suggest that duty-hour reform may require significant revision or reconsideration.”</p> <p> The <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020371" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">other study</a> found no significant differences in 30-day mortality or readmission rates after analyzing nearly 6.4 million admissions, including almost 2.8 million Medicare patients at 3,104 hospitals in the two years before and the first year after reform. The study is one of the first national evaluations of association between the 2011 duty-hour reform and patient outcomes.</p> <p> AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/duty-hours-innovation-needed-report" target="_blank">policy supports duty-hour research</a> to explore a variety of issues, including patient safety, preparedness for practice, workload and patient volume, handoffs, and professionalism. A <a href="http://ama-assn.org/resources/doc/council-on-med-ed/x-pub/cme-rpt5-a-14.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> (log in) from the AMA Council on Medical Education encourages the study of innovative models of duty-hour requirements, including potentially creating specialty- or rotation-specific duty-hour requirements that would optimize competency-based learning opportunities.</p> <p> In March, the ACGME announced it would waive certain duty-hour standards for two large, national, multi-institutional resident trials. The core standards of 80-hour work weeks (averaged over four weeks), one day off for every seven worked (averaged over four weeks) and call no more frequently than every third night will remain in place for both trials.</p> <p> The AMA supports the ACGME in its duty-hours investigation and is urging the ACGME to continue offering residency program incentives to ensure compliance with the standards, meeting with peer-selected or randomly selected residents during site visits, and collecting and sharing data on at-home call.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Duty_Hours/1" target="_blank">Read more news about duty-hours</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:359e2b2b-b022-433d-868e-d135b6942ae9 Patients’ new role in better health outcomes http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_patients-new-role-better-health-outcomes Tue, 23 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> Including patients as key players on their health care team could produce better health management, especially among patients with chronic diseases or at risk of developing them, according to a new discussion paper from the Institute of Medicine.</p> <p> The <a href="http://iom.edu/Global/Perspectives/2014/PatientsasPartners.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">discussion paper</a>, released last week, examines the enhancements in care that can come from including patients and families as active participants in their health care teams. Studies show that results are better, readmission rates are lower, patients’ satisfaction ratings are higher, and costs can drop when patients and family caregivers are fully involved in making care decisions and executing health care practices.</p> <p> “Patient and family caregivers share insights and context about their needs, goals, preferences and experiences in collaboration with health providers who, in turn, contribute their clinical knowledge and expertise,” the paper said. “Each member of the team is encouraged to bring a unique perspective into a continuously learning health care partnership.”</p> <p> Patient engagement is a crucial part of the hypertension work underway as part of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, a collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine. Physicians and care teams participating in this pilot in Maryland and Illinois are working to bring patients’ high blood pressure under control by using the <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/x-pub/ihobp-map-for-optimal-hypertension-control.pdf" target="_blank">“M.A.P. framework”</a> (log in).</p> <p> The M.A.P. is based on three concepts:</p> <ul> <li> Measure accurately</li> <li> Act rapidly</li> <li> Partner with patients to promote patient self-management</li> </ul> <p> Along with making clinical changes to address the M.A.P., the pilot practices are establishing clinical-community linkages, in which physicians refer patients to community resources that can help them improve their blood pressure. The practices also are testing different ways to maintain contact with patients outside of office visits and empowering patients to take control of their blood pressure. </p> <p> For example, a Chicago-area physician has implemented a strong home-monitoring program for patients whose blood pressure management requires more clinical data. Practice staff give these patients a special checklist that explains how to properly position themselves for measurement as well as when and how often they should be measuring their blood pressure.</p> <p> The staff then validates and checks the accuracy of patients’ personal blood pressure machines or lends patients machines that record a week’s worth of blood pressure readings. Through this approach, coupled with team-based care, the practice has <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/better-blood-pressure-added-burden-one-practices-story" target="_blank">achieved a 90 percent control rate</a> for hypertension patients.</p> <p> The AMA/Johns Hopkins initiative also is engaging patients at a higher level with the launch of a Patient and Family Advisors Council. Five patients with personal connections to high blood pressure and its effects on health are working with the AMA and its partners to ensure the patient perspective is represented in new tools and ideas.</p> <p> “Patients want to feel they are listened to by their providers, cared for and about, and invited to participate to the extent they desire,” the IOM paper said. “[They] value effective team-based care that treats them as whole persons, not cases, conditions or diseases.”</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9df3a1a1-3e6d-428b-8230-ec1d17e32308 New publication combines anatomy and CPT® surgical codes http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-publication-combines-anatomy-cpt-surgical-codes Tue, 23 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> Get help navigating complex operative reports with a new resource that combines annotated CPT® surgical codes and descriptions with clinically significant renderings by renowned medical illustrator Frank H. Netter, MD.</p> <p> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2570002&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>Netter's Atlas of Surgical Anatomy for CPT® Coding</em></a> includes more than 700 individual Netter illustrations and all of the official CPT surgical codes and descriptions for the CPT surgery section, along with their corresponding headings, subheadings and subsections. Code ranges are paired with anatomical or procedural Netter illustrations and captions that further direct the coder toward the appropriate CPT codes.</p> <p> The resource also features:</p> <ul> <li> Figure captions providing full descriptions about anatomies and procedures</li> <li> A coding atlas to get more information and details of anatomy related to procedures within specific CPT code ranges</li> <li> A comprehensive glossary of procedural and anatomical terms</li> <li> Chapter openers that provide an overview of anatomical systems</li> </ul> <p> Preorder the book before its April 2015 release. AMA members receive a discount on this title and a wide range of products from the <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/" target="_blank">AMA Store</a>. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:430090d7-ab40-4a70-b603-2de20bf98efc What the not-so-distant future of digital health looks like http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_not-distant-future-of-digital-health-looks-like Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:07:00 GMT <p> Every day people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, according to IBM—so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Physicians and health organizations now have the task of managing this flood of data and reasonably connecting information to patients’ journeys through the health care system.</p> <p> In a special <em>USA Today</em> <a href="http://healthcaretechnologyupdates.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">publication on digital health</a> just released, AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, outlined the many ways physicians are taking the lead in improving the nation’s digital health. These efforts are helping patients better manage conditions and prevent the progression of chronic disease.</p> <p> “Legislators, technology developers and others are being looped into the effort to improve digital health tools to make them more usable, secure and accessible for patients and physicians,” Dr. Stack said. “It is also important to make sure that the policies physicians must follow to utilize these tools are sensible, minimize red tape and allow physicians to focus on what matters most—their patients.”</p> <p> Increasing health and wellness through management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension is a core effort of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative. Health IT can make screening and tracking patients easier, empowering physicians to deliver better care and enabling patients to take proactive roles in managing their own health.</p> <p> And digital health is only going to continue expanding. That’s why it’s crucial to train today’s medical students to be prepared for the rapidly evolving health IT landscape. Through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page?" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative, the AMA is incorporating cutting-edge technology—including virtual patient panels, teaching electronic health records (EHR) and electronic student portfolios—into curriculum redesign and creating the optimal future medical school.</p> <p> Physicians today and tomorrow always must be able to put their patients first, and the AMA is helping accomplish this objective through its work to improve EHR usability. As part of its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page?" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, the AMA is joining with health IT experts, developers and the federal government to improve the functionality of EHRs and better leverage the power of this technology.</p> <p> <a href="http://healthcaretechnologyupdates.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">View Dr. Stack’s column online</a> to read more about the future of health care and health IT.</p> <p> Physicians also can access resources for navigating today’s digital health environment at the AMA’s newly updated <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/health-information-technology.page" target="_blank">digital health Web page</a>. Information is available on EHR meaningful use, ePrescribing and health information exchanges.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:66b903b4-19e7-4377-b4d3-3fd45d673108 Budgeting 101: Money management tips for medical students http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_budgeting-101-money-management-tips-medical-students Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:01:00 GMT <p> Money is tight for medical students, and living on a budget during medical school is essential to minimizing the debt you’ll face upon graduation. Here are some tips for medical students to create and stick to a budget.</p> <p> A recent article in the <a href="http://www.amaalliance.org/site/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AMA Alliance</a> magazine <em>Physician Family</em> suggests these four ways to manage money smartly and take control of spending while you’re still in school:</p> <ul> <li> Try keeping every receipt for a few months to help you get a detailed picture of where your money is actually going. This can help you determine where you might need to cut back. For example, you might not think much about your daily coffee run, but totaling up the receipts from your caffeine habit can be a wake-up call.</li> <li> Categorize your expenses as either fixed (staying the same each month, such as rent) or variable (changing each month, such as entertainment). Be sure to factor in costs you’ll incur as a physician in training, such as board exams and test prep materials.</li> <li> Don’t buy new books or medical equipment. You almost always can find upper classmen willing to sell stuff at the end of their time in medical school, and you’ll save a lot of money.</li> <li> Plan and limit grocery trips, and try to stick to a weekly meal plan or grocery list. Even better, use your grocery store’s weekly sales as the basis of your meal planning.</li> </ul> <p> See more information about <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/pdfs/Fall2014~PhysFamilyMag.pdf#page=6" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">budgeting during medical school</a> in the fall 2014 issue of <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Physician Family</em></a>, published online four times a year especially for the loved ones of physicians, residents and medical students. </p> <p> In addition, read more financial tips, including how to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/five-ways-manage-student-debt" target="_blank">manage medical school debt</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ways-students-can-control-residency-application-costs" target="_blank">control residency application costs</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6af25d90-f6b4-4cb0-9ea8-2b025d6eef44 What does wellness mean to you? http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_wellness-mean Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:05:00 GMT <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/0/73ffb119-c73b-44f2-a0b6-b89274cc7cec.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/0/73ffb119-c73b-44f2-a0b6-b89274cc7cec.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a><em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> Every day, physicians are fortunate to give our patients a wonderful gift—that of good health. We’re celebrating this gift during the holiday season by asking people across the country to tell us what health and wellness means to them in six-word messages using #6WordWellness.</p> <p> My #6WordWellness for the new year: Healthy patients. Professional pride. Harnessing technology.</p> <p> Here are some others I found on the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation/photos/a.10152110163780109.904296.246323280108/10154848357045109/?type=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%236wordwellness&src=typd" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Twitter</a> pages that capture some of the many reasons that being able to live a healthy life is so important to each of us:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/8/cf893e43-c6c8-4041-b8fb-872f9a40de73.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/8/cf893e43-c6c8-4041-b8fb-872f9a40de73.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>Going one step further than yesterday.</li> <li> Dad still kickin’ it at 88.</li> <li> High fiving my daughter’s little hand.</li> <li> 2015: running my fastest full marathon.</li> <li> Finally getting some much needed sleep!</li> </ul> <p> I want to know what wellness means to you and your patients. Tell us via Facebook or Twitter using #6WordWellness, or post a comment below.</p> <p> A final six-word message from the AMA to you: Proud to support our nation’s physicians. Thank you for the very important work you do day in and day out. We are grateful to be part of it.</p> <p> Happy holidays! Let’s make 2015 a healthy, happy year.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ebce68f1-9dce-4627-82c3-54ce17eb6338 How doctors changed the legislative, regulatory landscape in 2014 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_doctors-changed-legislative-regulatory-landscape-2014 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:20:00 GMT <p> The collective physician voice carried a lot of weight in 2014—both in the nation’s capital and in the state legislatures. Changes that took place covered a broad range of issues, including better access to care for veterans, increased graduate medical education (GME) funding and important updates to the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program.<a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/6/3/964d4ce0-a328-4495-b39b-8a82e976d844.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/6/3/964d4ce0-a328-4495-b39b-8a82e976d844.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;height:188px;width:250px;margin:10px;" /></a></p> <p> <strong>Improving legislation</strong></p> <p> On Capitol Hill, physicians made a difference on two particularly important issues.</p> <p> The unified voice of medicine calling for swift action to address veterans’ urgent health care needs <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physician-voice-helps-shape-veterans-health-care-reform-law" target="_blank">helped produce a bipartisan, AMA-backed law</a> that paved the way for veterans to seek medical care outside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system if they aren’t receiving timely treatment. The law was passed in August, just weeks after the AMA House of Delegates <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/AMA-ask-president-quicker-care-veterans" target="_blank">adopted policy</a> demanding a quick resolution to this access-to-care crisis.</p> <p> Responding to physicians’ grassroots efforts regarding the broken Medicare physician payment system, there was a remarkable occurrence in Congress: Both chambers and parties collaborated to create legislative policy to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. While the law wasn’t adopted this year, it laid the foundation for potential repeal in 2015.</p> <p> In the state capitals, physician organizations—led by the AMA, state and specialty medical associations—pushed through more than 65 legislative and regulatory changes that will improve the health care system for physicians and patients. Among those victories are stronger medical liability reforms, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/california-allots-7-million-primary-care-residency-slots" target="_blank">$7 million in new funding for GME programs</a> and advances in team-based care.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/11/ca8ccdaf-db95-48a8-abb1-2afdd192d69d.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/11/ca8ccdaf-db95-48a8-abb1-2afdd192d69d.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;height:161px;width:250px;" /></a><strong>Relieving regulatory burdens</strong></p> <p> On the regulatory side, physicians have borne an increasingly heavy load over the last several years. Key changes the AMA secured on physicians’ behalf this year include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use.</strong> Stage 2 was <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/making-ehr-meaningful-use-less-burdensome" target="_blank">extended for a full year</a>, a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/meaningful-use-exemption-added-ehr-program-moves-forward" target="_blank">significant new exemption</a> was added to help physicians avoid financial penalties and physicians were allowed to use new, old or a combination of both versions of certified software to meet requirements in 2014. In addition, physicians got <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cms-reopens-period-apply-meaningful-use-hardship-exemption" target="_blank">an extra two months to apply for a hardship exemption</a>. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/improving-ehrs-reports-comments-changes-2014" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the AMA’s work to improve EHR usability and simplify meaningful use at <em>AMA Wire®</em>.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Physician Payments Sunshine Act.</strong> The AMA helped physicians <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-advocated-sunshine-act-implementation-overhaul" target="_blank">prepare for this data release</a>, educated the public and convinced the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cme-cleared-reporting-under-sunshine-act" target="_blank">exclude independent continuing medical education</a> from being reported as financial interactions between physicians and manufacturers of medical devices and drugs.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Medicare’s Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC).</strong> These “bounty hunters” often cause tremendous costs for physicians, even though many physicians are audited without due cause. RACs no longer can receive their contingency fees during the appeals process, and CMS has increased the due process protections for physicians. The AMA continues to call for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/payment-recovery-audit-program-needs-overhaul-doctors-cms" target="_blank">additional reforms</a>.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Medicare’s new value-based modifier. </strong>CMS intended to increase payment penalties under the modifier from 2 percent to 4 percent, beginning in 2017. The AMA strongly objected to this proposal in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-call-changes-medicare-payment-policy-proposals" target="_blank">a formal comment letter</a>, and CMS scaled back the recommendation so that practices with fewer than 10 physicians will not be subject to more than a 2 percent VBM penalty.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).</strong> CMS originally said physicians would be obligated to report on at least two cross-cutting measures, but it chopped that requirement in half after the AMA urged the agency not to create additional mandates that physicians would struggle to meet. The agency also had planned to shorten the period physicians have to review their feedback reports to just 30 days. Following AMA lobbying, CMS decided to leave the review period at 60 days.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>ICD-10 implementation.</strong> The AMA published <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/icd-10-implementation-costs-much-disruptive-new-study" target="_blank">updated data revealing a significant increase in estimated costs</a> of adopting ICD-10 for physician practices. Soon thereafter, ICD-10 implementation was delayed another year. In addition, the AMA convinced CMS to conduct end-to-end testing to identify problems before proceeding with implementation. Testing will take place in April. Watch <em>AMA Wire</em> for details about how to participate.</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/5/0b2eaa47-8bfd-4086-b5cd-5ffe38168442.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/5/0b2eaa47-8bfd-4086-b5cd-5ffe38168442.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;height:280px;width:250px;margin:10px;" /></a><strong>Magnifying the physician voice</strong></p> <p> Physicians, residents and fellows, medical students, and patients successfully amplified their voices on key issues:</p> <ul> <li> Hundreds of meetings took place with key members of Congress.</li> <li> 1.02 million emails were sent to Congress calling for Medicare reform.</li> <li> The Patients’ Action Network surpassed 1 million members.</li> <li> During “Save GME” Week, more than 3,300 emails and phone calls to Congress were made by medical students and residents.</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/grassroots-advocacy.page" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about how you can become involved in the coming year.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:da9afbe0-2747-4329-971d-e7f0d7774376 Court case places patient-physician relationship in the balance http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_court-case-places-patient-physician-relationship-balance Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:18:00 GMT <p> Two essential elements of medical practice—patient privacy and the patient-physician relationship—are at stake in a case before a federal appeals court that involves a state prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) and surveillance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).</p> <p> The issue in question is whether the DEA as a law enforcement agency has the right to access sensitive patient data without probable cause. PDMPs collect patient prescription data to be used by doctors and pharmacists for responsible treatment and prescription practices. Allowing unfettered access to such information could dramatically affect physicians’ ability to prescribe the medications their patients need and limit the role of the PDMP to allow physicians to identify other prescriptions the patient has had which can enable more informed decisions about the patient’s medical needs.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/13/02aa422a-8fea-4fb5-bd26-119be649b672.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/13/02aa422a-8fea-4fb5-bd26-119be649b672.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>In this case, a federal magistrate judge ruled the DEA could enforce a subpoena against the Oregon PDMP that allowed disclosure of protected health information without patients’ informed consent. The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center.page" target="_blank">Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies</a> and the Oregon Medical Association earlier this month filed an <em>amicus brief</em> in support of the Oregon PDMP and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which intervened in the case.</p> <p> “PDMPs were enacted by states nationwide principally to focus on the efficacious provision of health care and public health, not enhancement of federal law enforcement,” the brief said.</p> <p> By asserting a right to PDMP data without probable cause or judicial oversight, the DEA is taking improper advantage of the health care data system and undermining the purpose of the PDMP, the brief said.</p> <p> Allowing the DEA access to the PDMP undermines the integrity and confidentiality of the patient-physician relationship, the brief said. In addition, physicians’ privacy is placed in the balance.</p> <p> “Physicians who treat individuals or populations with pronounced need for pain medications, for example, may feel compromised in their ability to prescribe for fear of unsupervised law enforcement access to those patient prescription records,” the brief said.</p> <p> Visit the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center/case-summaries-topic/patient-privacy.page" target="_blank">Litigation Center’s Web page</a> to learn more about this case and others related to patient privacy.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:59f3cc7b-33f5-448f-9b06-ffd02e636c63 The medical school of the future: A year of groundbreaking work http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-school-of-future-year-of-groundbreaking-work Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:36:00 GMT <p> The path to preparing the ideal future physician is becoming clearer after a year of developing and implementing innovative ideas for training medical students. Take a look back at how the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative made strides toward creating the medical school of the future during 2014.</p> <p> <strong>Competency-based education</strong></p> <p> In April, the 11 schools that make up the consortium <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-schools-push-forward-competency-based-programs" target="_blank">met at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor</a>, marking the initiative’s move from planning to execution. The group spent its time talking about the challenges that come with implementing <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-education-explores-competency-based-assessment" target="_blank">competency-based education</a> and got its first glimpse of how crucial other stages of medical education will be to implementing changes at the undergraduate medical education level.</p> <p> Competency-based education allows more learner flexibility, but assessment and timing are difficult. For example, how would the Match have to change? The consortium is currently tackling these important issues.</p> <p> <strong>Interprofessional education</strong></p> <p> There’s no question that future physicians will need to be good leaders in delivering team-based care. To ensure relevant skills, schools are working through how to train students to effectively work in teams with other health care professionals. At the April meeting, consortium schools shared how they are <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-schools-preparing-students-team-based-care" target="_blank">developing workshops and programs</a> that give medical students learning time alongside  nursing, social work, pharmacy and public health students. </p> <p> <strong>Master adaptive learning</strong></p> <p> The consortium knows the future health care system will continue to evolve, but how far the changes will extend is still unknown. Beyond teaching students clinical skills, academic physicians have to teach how to be skilled learners. With access to so much information and data, physicians of tomorrow will need to know how to find and sort through the correct information to deliver the best patient care.</p> <p> At the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-schools-preparing-students-rapid-changes" target="_blank">September meeting at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville</a>, the consortium schools discussed different ways to train these “<a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/training-adaptive-learners-will-essential-med-ed" target="_blank">master adaptive learners</a>,” including having students continually assess their own skill levels and teaching them how to self-regulate and self-reflect on their knowledge.</p> <p> <strong>Health disparities</strong></p> <p> One way to reduce health care disparities is to ensure the health care workforce is as diverse as the patient population it serves, and medical schools are starting to take this into consideration as they compose their student bodies. At a Google Hangout in October, academic physicians and students from some of the consortium schools, plus participants from other medical schools, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-schools-tackling-challenges-health-disparities" target="_blank">shared their real-world solutions</a> to tackle health disparities and improve diversity.</p> <p> <strong>Technology</strong></p> <p> Simulations, learning portfolios, mobile apps and other technology available to medical students and physicians are evolving at an extraordinarily rapid pace. The consortium schools are working through how to effectively use the best technology to train tomorrow’s physicians and help students learn to choose the right technology. During a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-school-transformation-begins-spread" target="_blank">December meeting at the University of Texas at Austin</a>, a selection of consortium schools shared their <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/real-clinical-data-gives-medical-students-new-perspectives" target="_blank">technology projects</a>, opening the door for more medical schools to undertake similar innovations.</p> <p> These aren’t the only areas in which new ideas in medical education took shape over the past year. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-schools-can-expect-future" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the work the schools are doing at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> <strong>Looking forward</strong></p> <p> In 2015, the Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative is focusing on one major thing: Spread. The consortium wants to involve more medical schools, graduate medical education, continuing medical education and even colleges with pre-med curriculum. Focusing on this “continuum” of medical education will help train physicians who are even better prepared for the future health care system.</p> <p> The group also will continue to leverage new education models and technology to advance the vision of the medical school of the future.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:60d69b8d-d2cb-42d9-9e58-ced245b03e75 Improving EHRs: Reports, comments and changes to know from 2014 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_improving-ehrs-reports-comments-changes-2014 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:14:00 GMT <p> Electronic health records (EHR) were a topic of continual discussion and examination this year—no doubt because they hold so much promise yet cause so much frustration. From vendor shortcomings to impossible meaningful use impositions, many problems need to be addressed. Learn more about the pain points identified in 2014 and the work under way to transform EHRs from a burden to a useful tool for physicians and their patients and improve the meaningful use program.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/1/81aac80a-108c-432f-b16e-ae063e3f1573.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/1/81aac80a-108c-432f-b16e-ae063e3f1573.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>Building on an <a href="http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR439.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMA-RAND study</a> last fall that identified one of the primary drivers of professional dissatisfaction among physicians as cumbersome EHR systems that get in the way of providing high-quality care, the AMA convened an expert panel to identify the top challenges and solutions for useful EHR systems.</p> <p> Part of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, this advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives in September <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">released a framework for EHR usability</a> that focuses on leveraging the potential of EHRs to enhance patient care, improve productivity and reduce administrative costs.</p> <p> The eight challenges and solutions outlined in this framework prompted <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/tell-ehr-improvements-would" target="_blank">physicians around the country to weigh in</a> on which EHR improvements would help them the most in their practices. Among the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-saying-ehr-improvements" target="_blank">comments from physicians</a> were common themes, such as ensuring that data collected can help physicians improve health outcomes, creating consistency across systems so information can be shared and increasing efficiency rather than inhibiting productivity.</p> <p> The AMA is using this EHR usability framework to work with physicians, vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care.</p> <p> In 2014, the AMA achieved important improvements to help physicians manage the regulatory side of EHRs, including:</p> <ul> <li> Stage 2 of the meaningful use program was <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/making-ehr-meaningful-use-less-burdensome" target="_blank">extended for a full year</a>.</li> <li> A <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/meaningful-use-exemption-added-ehr-program-moves-forward" target="_blank">significant new exemption</a> was added to help physicians avoid financial penalties.</li> <li> Physicians were allowed to use new, old or a combination of both versions of certified software to meet meaningful use in 2014.</li> <li> Physicians got <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cms-reopens-period-apply-meaningful-use-hardship-exemption" target="_blank">an extra two months to apply for a hardship exemption</a> from meaningful use.</li> <li> Physicians are allowed to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-clearing-path-small-practices-adopt-ehrs" target="_blank">accept donated EHR systems</a> from hospitals, health systems and other entities without violating federal anti-kickback regulations through 2021. That means entities covered under the rules can donate software, training and other services that small practices need to adopt EHRs.</li> <li> Federal officials are <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/officials-making-physicians-health-concerns-priority" target="_blank">making physicians’ health IT concerns a priority</a>. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released its 10-year vision for health IT, setting its sights on achieving nationwide interoperability of EHRs, a primary concern of physicians. The agency also restructured its workgroups to seek more input from practicing physicians.</li> </ul> <p> Watch <em>AMA Wire®</em> throughout the year ahead for continued updates about the AMA’s work to improve the meaningful use program and EHR systems.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:78789402-af71-4d5a-a518-b695364404d7 Top 9 stories residents shouldn’t miss from 2014 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-9-stories-residents-shouldnt-miss-2014 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:13:00 GMT <p> If you’re a busy medical resident, you might not always have time to follow the latest news for the profession. Check out the top news among medical residents this year.<a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/2/58bd28f4-920a-4822-82a7-78dd44a489a5.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/2/58bd28f4-920a-4822-82a7-78dd44a489a5.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/acgme-releases-new-expectations-residency-training" target="_blank"><strong>ACGME releases new expectations for residency training</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Early in 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced a new roadmap for improving residents’ professional skills. The guidance lays out six core areas, including health care quality, duty hours and fatigue management.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/duty-hour-review-spotlights-negative-effects-of-restrictions" target="_blank"><strong>Duty-hours review spotlights negative effects of restrictions</strong></a><strong>.</strong> A systematic review of resident duty-hour studies found there was no overall improvement in patient outcomes as a result of resident duty hours, and some studies suggested increased complication rates in high-acuity patients.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/residents-may-feel-less-confident-but-arent-less-competent" target="_blank"><strong>Study: Residents may feel less confident but aren’t less competent</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Is confidence an appropriate measure of competence? In this study, only 72 percent of residents believed their ability was “level appropriate,” with many factors contributing to this lack of confidence.<a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/11/3e93880e-b77f-452f-abb0-cce1d9cb7cc6.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/11/3e93880e-b77f-452f-abb0-cce1d9cb7cc6.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:15px;" /></a></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-reasons-residents-leave-their-programs-stay" target="_blank"><strong>Top reasons residents leave their programs—and why they stay</strong></a><strong>.</strong> A study in <em>JAMA Surgery</em> found more than one-half of general surgery residents have seriously considered leaving their training programs. Residents said their top three reasons for considering leaving training included sleep deprivation on a specific rotation, an undesired future lifestyle and excessive work hours on a specific rotation.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ways-residents-found-conquer-burnout" target="_blank"><strong>Ways residents have found to conquer burnout</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Residents are more likely to be burned out, depressed or fatigued compared to similarly aged college graduates in other careers. Residents shared what they are doing to increase their health and wellness and avoid burnout.<a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/13/3589390b-cbc9-4851-8dd0-9096b3a2f8c8.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/13/3589390b-cbc9-4851-8dd0-9096b3a2f8c8.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/five-ways-manage-student-debt" target="_blank"><strong>5 tips for managing student debt</strong></a><strong>.</strong> More than 80 percent of physicians under the age of 40 still are paying off their student loans. A financial advisor explained how residents can manage medical school debt.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-tips-survive-residency-advice-partners-of-residents" target="_blank"><strong>How to survive residency: Advice for partners of residents</strong></a><strong>.</strong> The AMA Alliance magazine <em>Physician Family</em> gave advice for partners of residents to navigate the difficult and stressful residency years.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-ways-finish-residency-falling-further-debt" target="_blank"><strong>4 ways to finish residency without falling further into debt</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Residents already have significant student debt after medical school, so it’s important to avoid adding to that load. A financial planner offered tips specifically for residents to manage money on a busy schedule.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/9-top-tips-getting-published-medical-journal" target="_blank"><strong>Expert advice for getting published in a medical journal</strong></a><strong>.</strong> By getting research published, new physicians can do more than just improve their CVs. Publication can help establish residents and young physicians as experts and offers a way to share experiences. The deputy editor of clinical content at <em>JAMA</em> offered his best advice for getting published.</li> </ul> <p> Read more <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Resident_News/1" target="_blank">news for medical residents</a> at <em>AMA Wire®</em>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b7ae7263-32ed-4ce6-a545-26cd6d424909 10 top issues that impacted physicians in 2014 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_10-top-issues-impacted-physicians-2014 Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:00:00 GMT <p> <span style="font-size:14px;">A number of regulatory, public health and practice issues took center stage for the medical profession this year. See the 10 topics that made some of the biggest waves among the physician community in 2014—and learn how they played out.</span></p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Progress toward reforming the Medicare physician payment system.</strong> Physicians achieved many important milestones in bringing about reform during the first part of the year. Thanks in large part to the united grassroots efforts of physicians, Congress did something it never has before: Both chambers and parties worked together to create legislative policy to repeal the sustainable growth rate formula and considerably improve current law.<br /> <br /> More work remains for the first few months of 2015 since Congress stopped short of passing the law and adopted a temporary payment patch instead. Read what AMA Immediate-Past President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, had to say in an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/permanent-sgr-repeal-lost-another-temporary-payment-patch" target="_blank">AMA Viewpoints post</a>, and watch <em style="font-size:12px;">AMA Wire </em>for ways you can make a difference on this issue in the year ahead.</span><br />  </li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Public release of physicians’ Medicare claims data. </strong>In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) without warning released physicians’ claims data to the public. Because the data was raw, provided little context and had considerable limitations, it could have been easy for patients and reporters to draw inaccurate conclusions about individual physicians. The AMA provided <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Medicare_Data/1" target="_blank">timely insights and updates</a> for physicians, helped <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/9-ways-cms-claim-data-release-could-mislead-patients-reporters" target="_blank">temper media reporting</a>, and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/need-medicare-claims-data-release-assistance" target="_blank">equipped doctors to respond</a> to inquiries.</span><br />  </li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>New Medicare conditions of participation for hospitals. </strong>CMS issued a final rule in May that addresses allowing multi-hospital systems to have a unified, system-wide medical staff rather than a medical staff at each hospital. The rule required significant changes for physicians, prompting the AMA and more than 80 other medical associations to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctors-tell-cms-put-brakes-new-medical-staff-rules">call on the agency</a> to delay implementation. Learn <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/hospital-medical-staff-need-new-medicare-rule" target="_blank">what hospital medical staff need to know</a> in a post at <em>AMA Wire</em>.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/5/bd167da6-fdd2-4c7f-85f5-7e766e2b1ed0.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/5/bd167da6-fdd2-4c7f-85f5-7e766e2b1ed0.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>Patient safety in the balance with U.S. Supreme Court case. </strong>A <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/patient-safety-stake-case-before-supreme-court" target="_blank">case before the nation’s highest court</a> this year will determine whether state health care licensure boards will retain their authority to regulate their health care professions and shield patients from potentially unlawful practice. The AMA filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the licensure boards, and a decision is expected early next year.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Addressing the nation’s prescription drug overdose crisis. </strong>The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/white-house-convenes-experts-tackle-prescription-drug-abuse" target="_blank">White House hosted a national summit</a> in June to discuss federal, state and community responses to widespread prescription drug overdoses and abuse. The event underscored the enormity and importance of the problem; it was one of many high-profile discussions across the country this year. Importantly, as the AMA has continued to drive home the message to national and state leaders, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/nation-reaches-turning-point-addressing-rx-abuse-crisis" target="_blank">most stakeholders now agree</a> that the problem should be addressed primarily through treatment, prevention and education instead of focusing on law enforcement. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Pain_Management/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about this issue at <em>AMA Wire</em>.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Data release under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. </strong>Implementation of the Sunshine Act (also known as “Open Payments” program) clumsily rolled out this summer as CMS attempted to make data about physicians’ financial interactions with medical device and drug manufacturers available for review and dispute ahead of the Sept. 30 data release. But the registration process was complicated and time consuming, and 62 percent of physicians found serious inaccuracies with the data in their reports, according to an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/time-running-out-review-sunshine-data-isnt-very-accurate" target="_blank">informal AMA survey</a>.<br /> <br /> Even though CMS overrode the AMA and other medical associations’ <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-advocated-sunshine-act-implementation-overhaul" target="_blank">calls to delay the release</a> in light of all the problems, the AMA was able to head off much of the anticipated interpretation problems by educating reporters about issues with the data, guiding physicians through the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/dispute-incorrect-financial-data-before-goes-public" target="_blank">review and dispute process</a>, and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/3-questions-should-answer-sept-30" target="_blank">providing talking points</a> to explain the data to inquiring patients. Physicians still have until Dec. 31 to dispute data before the next release.<br /> <br /> While CMS proposed adding independent continuing medical education (CME) to Sunshine Act reporting, the AMA led dozens of other medical associations in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cme-cleared-reporting-under-sunshine-act" target="_blank">calling for its continued exclusion</a> from reporting requirements. CMS made the exclusion official in October.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Report on the most and least competitive states among health insurers. </strong>An annual analysis of commercial health insurance markets revealed the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/10-top-states-health-insurers-dominate-new-study" target="_blank">10 most competitive and 10 least competitive states</a>. This AMA study reports competition data for all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 388 metropolitan areas. It helps researchers, lawmakers, policymakers and regulators identify markets where mergers and acquisitions among health insurers may cause competitive harm to patients, physicians and employers.</span><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/6/f94648f5-74fc-4e23-8641-f679f2b3bd77.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/6/f94648f5-74fc-4e23-8641-f679f2b3bd77.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a><br />  </li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Electronic health record (EHR) improvements. </strong>In September, a panel of practicing physicians and health IT experts convened by the AMA called for EHR design overhaul. The panel issued a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">framework that outlines eight top challenges and solutions for improving EHR usability</a>, focusing on leveraging the potential of this technology to enhance patient care, improve productivity and reduce administrative costs. This framework supports the AMA’s advocacy efforts work with physicians, vendors, policymakers, health care systems and researchers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of high-quality, affordable care.<br /> <br /> The AMA has <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">submitted a blueprint</a> to CMS for the future of the EHR meaningful use program and secured an extension of Stage 2 of the program for an extra year. In addition, physicians got <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cms-reopens-period-apply-meaningful-use-hardship-exemption" target="_blank">an extra two months to apply for a hardship exemption</a> from meaningful use this year, and a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/meaningful-use-exemption-added-ehr-program-moves-forward" target="_blank">significant new exemption</a> was added to help physicians avoid financial penalties.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>A “tsunami” of regulatory penalties. </strong>The AMA warned CMS in October that the agency must act quickly to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent" target="_blank">streamline the competing laws and regulations</a> that could overwhelm physicians in the coming years. Potential payment cuts from all the programs could reach more than 13 percent by the end of the decade for some physicians, threatening access to care and taking resources away from high-quality patient care. The AMA continues to urge the federal government to address this issue now.</span><br />  </li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/0/c77937e4-48fc-4f9f-805c-b930f43a9da1.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/0/c77937e4-48fc-4f9f-805c-b930f43a9da1.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>Ebola. </strong>Few issues captured the attention of the nation and the health care community as the Ebola virus outbreak did this year. While most of the cases have been confined to West Africa, the outbreak is recognized as a global problem. U.S. physicians have responded accordingly by helping to prepare their hospitals, practices and communities for potential Ebola cases.<br /> <br /> An expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discussed how physicians can prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings during a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/video-cdc-expert-tells-physicians-prepare-ebola" target="_blank">special session</a> at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/watch-demand-fight-ebola" target="_blank">Archived footage</a> is available for viewing on demand. The AMA also offers an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a> for convenient access to materials created by the CDC and other public health experts and has reported <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Ebola/1" target="_blank">essential news</a> about the virus at <em>AMA Wire</em>.</span></li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <span style="font-size:14px;">Whether it’s changes to Medicare payment policies, public health issues that may affect your patients or ways to improve your practice, count on <em>AMA Wire</em> to deliver the timely news and insights you need in today’s practice of medicine.</span></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:39bb229b-12d8-4b14-bdc2-620825c03f3e Teaching future physicians how to best use technology http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_teaching-future-physicians-use-technology Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:58:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/6/55d90b3f-9b0b-4554-8651-fce6ea3ade22.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/6/55d90b3f-9b0b-4554-8651-fce6ea3ade22.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:15px;" /></a>I spent a few days last week at the University of Texas at Austin, where in 2016 a brand new medical school will open. The school invited me, other physician leaders and representatives from the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative to discuss innovations in medical education to build into their curricula.</p> <p> The University of Texas has a unique opportunity with its new Dell Medical School in Austin: There are no preconceived notions about what should be taught or how it ought to be taught. Educators there are able to start from scratch, and they’re thinking about how to incorporate the latest and greatest technology into their curricula. The University of Texas system is opening another new medical school in the Rio Grande Valley, and ideas for innovations will be implemented there as well.</p> <p> As an educator, I’m excited by this opportunity. As a proponent of effective health IT, I see this as a promising view of the future of health care.</p> <p> But I often caution my fellow physicians that it’s easy to get overexcited about technology. Attendees in Austin saw some pretty cool things—new standardized patient simulators that are voice-activated and can respond to thousands of questions, new tracking tools to follow students throughout their development, and new ways to mine and examine data, for instance. However, innovations are not just about the tech—they are about how we use the tech to take better care of our patients and be better physicians.</p> <p> That’s what was so exciting about this meeting in Austin. We talked in depth about how to harness technology appropriately and use it to improve the way future physicians are trained. And we talked about how to help medical students understand the ways they should not be using technology, like for posting pictures of patients on social media.</p> <p> The next generation of medical students has grown up with the Internet, cellphones and email. They are digital natives. They’re moving forward and nimble, and expect to access information quickly. They have the potential to transform the way health care is delivered and fix the broken health care system we’re dealing with today.</p> <p> As medical education leaders, we need to shepherd through innovations—in technology and in other areas, such as faculty development, competency-based education and professionalism—to equip future physicians for improving the health of our nation.</p> <p> We’re making progress already. The work the 11 schools in the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative are doing has sparked a robust discussion that’s garnered national attention. Now the initiative has expanded beyond those 11 schools, and other medical schools are seeking out the AMA for input on how to build the best curricula possible in a rapidly changing world. I’m proud that we’re seen as experts and innovators, and I’m looking forward to what the future brings for this initiative.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6a0c7d38-aa2b-42fc-a430-799d0bc4b40f Be a leader on the AMA-IMG Section Governing Council http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_leader-ama-img-section-governing-council Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:00:00 GMT <p> Are you interested in becoming an AMA leader? Nominations for physicians to serve on the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates/about-us/img-governing-council.page?" target="_blank">International Medical Graduates (IMG) Section</a> Governing Council are being accepted through Feb. 20.</p> <p> Members of the section can nominate themselves or a colleague with leadership experience for one of three council vacancies that will open in June. Two are regular positions, and one position is for a resident or fellow.</p> <p> Election appointments to the AMA-IMG Section Governing Council carry a three-year term. Nominees must be AMA members and able to attend the AMA Annual Meeting in June, the AMA Interim Meeting in November and a third meeting in the spring. Council members also must serve as chair of one of the section’s committees. To nominate someone for the resident/fellow position, use the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/rfs/x-pub/img-gc-app.doc">application</a> (log in) on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section/become-leader.page?">AMA Resident and Fellow Section Web page</a>.</p> <p> Nomination forms should be submitted with a biosketch form and photo (JPEG files only) to the section <a href="mailto:img@ama-assn.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">via email</a> by Feb. 20.</p> <p> Visit the section’s governing council <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates/about-us/img-governing-council/img-section-governing.page" target="_blank">election Web page</a> to download the nomination and biosketch forms.</p> <p> If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0488b4f1-2192-4d9b-ac56-209b9b19c5e0 Serve on AMA’s LGBT Advisory Committee: Nominations due Feb. 13 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_serve-amas-lgbt-advisory-committee-nominations-due-feb-13 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:00:00 GMT <p> The AMA Board of Trustees is soliciting nominees to serve on its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/go/lgbt">Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues</a>. Terms will begin in June 2015.</p> <p> There is one vacant at-large position (two-year term), and the following section representative positions are available:</p> <ul> <li> AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/opportunities/national-leadership-positions.page?">Medical Student Section</a> (one-year term)</li> <li> AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section/become-leader.page">Resident and Fellow Section</a> (two-year term)</li> <li> AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/young-physicians-section/leadership-opportunities.page?">Young Physicians Section</a> (two-year term)</li> </ul> <p> All three incumbent section representatives are eligible to be nominated for a second term. Please note: If you are interested in being nominated for a section representative position, you must apply through that specific section and adhere to the section’s nominations process and deadlines.</p> <p> If you are interested in the at-large position, <a href="mailto:lgbt@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">email the committee</a> a signed and completed <a href="http://ama-assn.org/resources/doc/glbt/x-pub/lgbt-nomination-form.doc" target="_blank">nomination form</a> (log in), letters of support (optional) and your curricula vitae (no more than three pages) by Feb. 13. Self-nominations are acceptable. If you have any questions, contact J. Mori Johnson of the AMA at (312) 464-5678, or <a href="mailto:jmori.johnson@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">send her an email</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:8e9f21cd-add8-4bb7-a3bb-378c98c9c0b7 What physicians are saying and doing to control hypertension http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-saying-doing-control-hypertension Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:59:00 GMT <p> Many physicians’ office workflows include a standard way of measuring blood pressure, making it part of the daily routine. But over the past year, physicians across the country have been discussing how minor, easy changes in the way they measure blood pressure have had a positive impact on their patients’ hypertension control.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/9/13e32cd4-6917-4bb6-89f6-74b9716ffa29.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/9/13e32cd4-6917-4bb6-89f6-74b9716ffa29.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>Seemingly <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/accurate-blood-pressure-measurement" target="_blank">minor issues can impact blood pressure measurement</a>. For example, if a patient talks during the measurement, has a full bladder or if the patient’s feet aren’t flat on the floor, there’s a chance that blood pressure measurement will give a falsely high reading. This could lead to a prescription for an unnecessary—and potentially harmful—medication. At the same time, other factors can contribute to unidentified and untreated hypertension, which can be deadly.</p> <p> Helping physicians and their practice staff incorporate these standardized principles into their practice workflow is a key element of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative. A pilot program involving multiple clinical sites in Maryland and Illinois is implementing principles of safe design into the ambulatory setting to improve outcomes around hypertension.</p> <p> Physicians who made these minor changes in measurement have seen positive results. For example, one family medicine physician, a Wisconsin doctor named Kim Hardy, MD, heard about the pilot work and standardized measurement principles. She implemented some changes, and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctor-quickly-improved-patients-blood-pressure-readings" target="_blank">shared</a> what enabled her to immediately improve a patient’s blood pressure measurement so the patient’s medication didn’t need to be adjusted. That prompted a conversation in which <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctors-saying-measuring-blood-pressure-accurately" target="_blank">physicians from across the country weighed in</a> on how they manage blood pressure in their practices.</p> <p> After making improvements to measure accurately, practices involved in the AMA’s pilot sites are <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/3-steps-acting-rapidly-control-high-blood-pressure" target="_blank">acting rapidly to help bring blood pressure under control</a>. This involves making explicit changes to a patient’s care plan, ensuring follow-up interactions and using evidence-based protocols to guide the selection of antihypertensive medications.</p> <p> It also involves using community resources to help patients get home blood pressure devices or directing patients to local programs that could measure their blood pressure and provide feedback to physicians. Practices in the AMA pilot are establishing these clinical community linkages now.</p> <p> Physicians in the pilot program are having success controlling blood pressure without adding to their practice’s workflow burden. For example, Chicago-area physician Michael K. Rakotz, MD, in the past year <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/better-blood-pressure-added-burden-one-practices-story" target="_blank">has achieved a 90 percent control rate</a> for his patients with hypertension by working with his medical assistant, nurse and other staff members to execute standardized blood pressure protocols in the practice.</p> <p> Using a team-based care approach, Dr. Rakotz also implemented a strong home-monitoring program for patients whose blood pressure management requires more clinical data, and his practice relies on its electronic health record system to immediately give them actionable information.</p> <p> Implementing checklists and protocols into practices, such as the ones the AMA’s pilot program has developed, can help physicians dedicate more time to caring for patients.</p> <p> Working alongside the pilot practices, the AMA also has partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to develop a full suite of hypertension control tools, which will soon be available to physicians across the country..</p> <p> <strong>Join the discussion:</strong> Share what methods you’ve found successful in improving outcomes around hypertension in your practice in a comment below at <em>AMA Wire®</em> or on the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ab8c3b04-607a-4815-bd76-b7e23e21d2f0 Top 10 stories from 2014 for med students not to miss http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_top-10-stories-2014-med-students-not-miss Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:51:00 GMT <p> The past year has been especially busy for medical students. From the announcement of a new single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system to burnout studies and from student debt to the Match, 2014 brought a lot of news specifically for medical students.</p> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <strong><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/10/0e89d858-628b-4fe7-9a9a-8a32bdd7729c.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/10/0e89d858-628b-4fe7-9a9a-8a32bdd7729c.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>Match Day 2014. </strong>A special <em>AMA Wire®</em> series followed a group of fourth-year medical students as they navigated the Match process <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/match-day-approaches-med-students-feel-anxiety-relief" target="_blank">before</a>, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/graduating-medical-students-meet-their-match" target="_blank">during</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/graduating-students-reflect-2014-matchdo-whats" target="_blank">after</a> Match Day. Students also <a href="https://storify.com/AmerMedicalAssn/match-week-2014" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">took to Twitter</a> to express their stress and joy during the Match.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ms4-students-wish-known-medical-school" target="_blank"><strong>What MS4 students wish they had known about medical school</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Medical school is a challenging undertaking, and seasoned fourth-year students shared tips for first-year students just starting out.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/top-5-apps-modern-medical-student" target="_blank"><strong>Top 5 apps for the modern medical student</strong></a><strong>. </strong>Medical students today know how to make the most of smartphones and tablets. The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section.page" target="_blank">Medical Student Section</a> Committee on Scientific Issues shared some of their favorite online apps and tools to help with memorizing, studying and note-taking.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/burnout-higher-among-med-students-residents-their-peers" target="_blank"><strong>Study: Burnout higher among med students, residents than their peers</strong></a><strong>.</strong> A study in <em>Academic Medicine</em> found medical students are more likely to be burned out, depressed or fatigued compared to similarly aged college graduates in other careers. The study builds on an ongoing conversation in the medical community about how to improve physician well-being at all career stages.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/10-top-tips-living-medical-student" target="_blank"><strong>10 top tips for living with a medical student</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Medical students’ significant others might not fully understand how challenging the undergraduate medical education years can be. The AMA Alliance magazine <em>Physician Family</em> offered some practical tips for living with medical students.<br /> <img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/1/d7e9d72f-1b86-4613-811b-3a8e7a9737c9.Large.jpg?1" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 238);font-size:12.222222328186px;float:left;margin:15px;" /></li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/five-ways-manage-student-debt" target="_blank"><strong>How to manage student debt</strong></a><strong>.</strong> More than 80 percent of physicians under the age of 40 still are paying off their student loans. A financial advisor shared tips for how to manage medical school debt after graduation.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/students-residents-deliver-message-congress-save-gme" target="_blank"><strong>Students, residents delivered message to Congress: Save GME</strong></a><strong>.</strong> For a week in September, students from across the country came together to call on Congress to preserve residency funding during Save GME Week. Using #SaveGME in social media posts, students took to Facebook and Twitter to show their support for GME funding.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/unified-gme-system-bring-mds-dos-under-one-roof" target="_blank"><strong>Announcement of unified GME system to bring MDs and DOs under one roof</strong></a><strong>.</strong> In a milestone agreement, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine agreed in February to unite GME programs for physicians in training who hold allopathic or osteopathic degrees. The single accreditation system will ensure consistency in evaluation and accountability across all residency programs.<br />  </li> <li> <strong><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/9/5cac9e94-e5e4-4c01-8962-d06966e21a93.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/9/5cac9e94-e5e4-4c01-8962-d06966e21a93.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ways-students-can-control-residency-application-costs" target="_blank">Ways students can control residency application costs</a></strong><strong>.</strong> Medical students in the process of applying for residency positions often discover that the costs associated with applications, interviews and fees quickly add up. Read about approaches to managing those costs.<br />  </li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-resident-should" target="_blank"><strong>What every new resident should know</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Transitioning from medical school to residency isn’t easy, but it is exciting. Seasoned residents shared what they wished they had known about residency to help new residents and medical students know how to prepare.</li> </ul> <p> Read more <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Student_News/1" target="_blank">news just for medical students</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:82441b18-56b7-4734-80f6-923f79b27c79 New research outlines women academic physicians’ challenges http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-research-outlines-women-academic-physicians-challenges Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:22:00 GMT <p> Women in medicine have come a long way since the days of Elizabeth Blackwell—at least one-half of all medical school classes today are women. But significant disparities remain in academic medicine. New research uncovers the experiences of former women chief residents and why they stay in—or leave—this field of medicine.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/15/fee3d2ec-028c-4707-8f0e-596a4836ae50.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/15/fee3d2ec-028c-4707-8f0e-596a4836ae50.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>As a 2013 recipient of the AMA Foundation’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/joan-f-giambalvo.page?" target="_blank">Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women</a>, Juliet Lee, MD (pictured right), and her team surveyed women chief residents in surgery, emergency medicine and internal medicine for the last 10 years.</p> <p> Dr. Lee, director of undergraduate surgical education, division director of surgical education in the department of surgery and the associate program director of the general surgery residency program at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said she wanted to investigate the culture of academic medicine for women.</p> <p> “Even in 2014, sexism exists in medicine,” she said. “It’s not as overt as in the past, but this undercurrent of gender inequity affects salary, benefits, career advancement and satisfaction.”</p> <p> Women still hold lower academic positions than men, Dr. Lee said. Studies also show that even though more women are entering academic medicine than men, they aren’t advancing at the same rate.</p> <p> Dr. Lee’s research found that, for women who previously served as chief residents:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Education and teaching were the primary—but not the only—reasons for choosing their current positions.</strong> Respondents who stayed in academic medicine, either as faculty or voluntary faculty, said they enjoyed the collegial environment, the chance to stay at the forefront of medicine and the intellectual challenges of teaching.</li> <li> <strong>Reasons for leaving academic medicine have more to do with professional factors than personal considerations.</strong> Respondents who left said they felt unsupported by their institutions, or needed more direction from mentors.</li> <li> <strong>Personal considerations start to impact those considering leaving academic medicine.</strong> Some respondents pointed to work-life imbalance, and others said having a family and working in academic medicine is like having two full-time jobs.</li> <li> <strong>Women have inadequate mentorship, are uncomfortable talking to superiors and uncertain of how to meet promotion criteria.</strong> Respondents said they need more direction and did not feel confident in tackling advancement opportunities.</li> <li> <strong>Challenges continue to exist, including backlash, unclear policies and a lack of role models.</strong> Respondents said they needed more mentorship, from both men and women, and felt the institutions’ cultures mattered greatly in how women are viewed.</li> </ul> <p> Dr. Lee said there are some things that need to be changed, including providing salary equity, protected time for administrative or scholarly activities, and alternative pathways to promotion. But to take immediate action, individuals can participate in formal mentoring programs.</p> <p> “I hope formal mentoring programs can be developed for both men and women to give faculty in their early years an understanding of what it takes to advance,” Dr. Lee said. “This may mean more intensive mentoring …. How these mentoring programs would develop would be dependent on the institution and the resources an institution can invest.”</p> <p> Learn more about how the AMA aims to increase the number and influence of women physicians in leadership roles through the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section.page?" target="_blank">Women Physicians Section</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6c573f6a-722a-43f2-9579-7653cdb25f64 Medical students teach healthy habits to local community members http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-students-teach-healthy-habits-local-community-members Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:13:00 GMT <p> Students from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School promoted healthy habits and health literacy to more than 200 families and children at a recent community health fair, earning the school an AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) award.</p> <p> The school’s local AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) collaborated with student interest groups from their school—including the Healthy Living Task Force and the Rutgers Physician Assistant Program—to host five interactive booths on immunization, hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases, healthy living and exercise. Various workshops and games were used to engage with the community members.</p> <p> The AMA provided funding for booth materials. Visit the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/event-of-the-month.page" target="_blank">Event of the Month Web page</a> for a detailed description. The AMA SIG Event of the Month showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual medical student sections.</p> <p> Is your AMA medical student section holding similar events? Submit a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/sig-follow-up.page" target="_blank">SIG recap form</a> and photos within 30 days of your event to be eligible for the Event of the Month nomination, which the AMA selects each month. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased in June at the AMA-MSS Annual Meeting and will be voted on by students for one Event of the Year winner.</p> <p> Through the SIG program, the AMA-MSS provides an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:</p> <ul> <li> Educate students about the AMA and provide an opportunity for students to get more involved</li> <li> Help put AMA policy into action by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities</li> <li> Engage in activities that focus on the AMA’s top priorities</li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:1dfcde40-fdeb-4f63-abf9-f1a7c85f3c08 Pivoting to a new way of training future physicians at Mayo Clinic http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_pivoting-new-way-of-training-future-physicians-mayo-clinic Mon, 15 Dec 2014 20:00:00 GMT <p> <em>A </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/MedEd_Innovation/1" target="_blank"><em>Spotlight on Innovation</em></a><em> post by Lotte Dyrbye, MD, Sherine Gabriel, MD, and Robert Nesse, MD, co-primary investigators of Mayo Medical School’s “Transforming medical education through the science of health care delivery” grant, funded by the AMA. This appeared in the December 2014 edition of AMA MedEd Update, a monthly medical education newsletter.</em></p> <p> Mayo Clinic, the oldest and largest integrated, team-based health care provider in the United States, is at the forefront of designing and implementing new systems. These health care delivery systems better coordinate care, enhance communication and interprofessional teamwork, engage patients and families in shared decision-making, incorporate public health professionals, improve patient outcomes, and reduce costs.</p> <p> Despite ongoing change in health care delivery, we recognize that very little of this innovation has made its way into undergraduate medical education.</p> <p> As part of our work, Mayo Medical School and the Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) now are partnering to develop unparalleled educational opportunities for medical students to learn and work in diverse, value-driven collaborative practices. We are launching a new longitudinal clinical experience called PIVoT: <strong>P</strong>atient/population-centered, <strong>i</strong>nter-professional, high-<strong>v</strong>alue, <strong>t</strong>eam-based.</p> <p> PIVoT is designed to help students care for patients and populations while learning about how health care systems impact patient care, outcomes and costs. Students will gain experience with interprofessional health care teams, patients, families, communities, public health resources and professionals, and micro- and macro-health care systems. Within PIVoT each medical student is assigned to a MCHS care team and will have care-team related experiences at regular intervals throughout medical school.</p> <p> Students will:</p> <ul> <li> Participate in the delivery of team-based care to patients and populations</li> <li> Apply population surveillance to improve patient outcomes</li> <li> Participate in meaningful efforts to improve patient care and outcomes while reducing costs</li> <li> Identify, assess and engage appropriate community resources to meet individual patient needs</li> <li> Apply continuity of care to align resource allocation with optimal health outcomes</li> </ul> <p> Beyond delivering care in the office, students will work alongside interprofessional team members to deliver coordinated care at the individual and population levels and across care sites. As members of a team held accountable for the total care of patients, students will take on an active role as panel managers for the team. Students will work with care coordinators, care transition nurses, pharmacists and public health professionals. They also will conduct post-hospital follow-up calls and participate in a home-bound palliative care program.</p> <p> We are designing PIVoT experiences in collaboration with CEOs and senior physician executives at MCHS to help ensure our educational initiatives are congruent with the real-world needs of modern, large-scale health systems. This exciting new approach of embedding students within interprofessional teams to regularly provide and improve patient care will help close the gap between undergraduate medical education and the practice realities of today and tomorrow. It also will optimally prepare students to work in and lead change in an evolving health care system.</p> <div class="pluck-publicBlogs-blogPost-description" style="color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-size:0.9em;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;"> <em>Get AMA MedEd Update</em> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/subscribe-newsletters.page" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank"><em>sent to your inbox</em></a><em> monthly to see this column and more medical education news.</em></p> </div> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:47c96ce7-4f60-4d8f-8b9a-bb92f5e9ebe9 Why I serve: A profile of AMA leaders in med ed--Cynda Ann Johnson, MD http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_serve-profile-of-ama-leaders-med-ed-cynda-ann-johnson-md Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:57:00 GMT <p> <em>Note: This regular feature profiles a leader in medical education and the AMA. If you know of an AMA-member physician that we should profile, please </em><a href="mailto:fred.lenhoff@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow"><em>email us</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/0/74b509a5-c677-4d3e-b01b-1ec3027eb43c.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/0/74b509a5-c677-4d3e-b01b-1ec3027eb43c.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a><strong>Name:</strong> Cynda Ann Johnson, MD</p> <p> <strong>Specialty:</strong> Family medicine</p> <p> <strong>Current positions and titles:</strong> Chair of the A<a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools/leadership/governing-council.page" target="_blank">MA Section on Medical Schools</a> (SMS) governing council and president and founding dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research in Roanoke, Virginia</p> <p> <strong>AMA member since:</strong> 1980</p> <p> <strong>What motivated you to pursue a leadership role in the AMA?</strong></p> <p> Two colleagues were really influential in my decision to become a leader in the AMA: Betty Drees, MD, former dean at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and Susan Skochelak, MD, group vice president of medical education at the AMA.</p> <p> I really didn’t know a lot about the AMA-SMS until Betty explained to me how it worked and how the section has influence within the AMA. This, paired with my respect for Susan and her leadership expertise, made me a very strong supporter of what the AMA is doing, particularly in medical education.</p> <p> Then I found out that many people I respected were involved in the AMA-SMS and its governing council, including two colleagues from Florida State University College of Medicine: Alma B. Littles, MD, senior associate dean for medical education and academic affairs, and John P. Fogarty, MD, dean. In fact, Alma will be my successor as AMA-SMS chair in June 2015, when my term ends, and John is my predecessor in that role. </p> <p> In short, my peers were the biggest influence in this regard.</p> <p> <strong>How has your AMA leadership role helped you in your professional development?</strong></p> <p> Over my career, I have learned that every leadership position is different. I learn something different from each one. From my first year on the governing council as an at-large member, I really liked the work of the AMA-SMS and became committed to pursuing a leadership role within the organization. I learned a lot, and I realized that I had a lot to offer. I could see where I thought I could make a difference.</p> <p> <strong>How has your AMA leadership role helped you play a role in addressing some of the pressing issues for public health and the profession?</strong></p> <p> Well, one thing I am very proud of is my participation in the ongoing strategic planning work of the AMA-SMS. This work is intended to better reflect the scope of our organization and the focus on the needs of academic physicians nationwide. These changes should be finalized in 2015 and will help the AMA-SMS set a new path for success.</p> <p> As part of this process, I worked closely with staff on a lengthy memo to the AMA Council on Long Range Planning and Development that detailed the work of the section governing council in addressing both the challenges for the AMA-SMS and the many opportunities for growth. Being part of this process has been very gratifying as my way of contributing to the AMA and all academic physician members of the AMA-SMS.</p> <p> <strong>How has your AMA leadership role helped you succeed in other aspects of your career as an academic physician?</strong></p> <p> I assess everything I do, and I work hard to run a successful meeting. I am always looking to find out where I can improve and how I can work more effectively with different audiences. Serving on the AMA-SMS has helped and continues to help me further improve my leadership skill set.</p> <p> As medical school deans and educators, we have to be very aware of the issues in medicine and what those issues will be tomorrow as our students and trainees enter into practice. I am always scanning the lay of the land in this regard and considering how the AMA can support all physicians from day one of practice through retirement—especially academic physicians.</p> <p> In addition, serving as the AMA-SMS representative at meetings of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative has helped me learn so much. I am always taking these lessons back to my school; I am always listening and thinking to myself, “How might this apply at my home institution?”</p> <p> <strong>What advice would you give to a medical student or physician in training to take advantage of the opportunities the AMA offers for professional development and potential leadership roles? </strong></p> <p> I am really proud of my student group at Virginia Tech and their involvement in the AMA. I encourage their leadership activity within the AMA, but my students don’t actually need encouragement!</p> <p> <strong>What would you say to your colleagues in academic medicine about why you devote your time to your profession through your service in the AMA?</strong></p> <p> The AMA is interested in medical education, and it’s putting its money where its mouth is to support innovations in medical education through its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. I am extremely happy that this work is one of the AMA’s three strategic focus areas—it makes you feel you’re doing something that matters. You’re not swimming against the tide when you’re working with the AMA in medical education.</p> <p> Finally, I am a strong advocate for the AMA and openly vocal about the importance of the AMA’s work in multiple settings. I always tell my colleagues, “If you haven’t experienced the modern AMA, you should give it a try.”</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:995b9edd-88c8-4dae-bdcb-1971bcd4dbbf 2014’s top moments in medical education http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_2014s-top-moments-medical-education Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> The past year was jam-packed with major events in medical education. Take a look back at six news-making medical education topics:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>The AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative.</strong> The project to transform medical education made huge steps forward, bringing 11 medical schools together to change the way tomorrow’s physicians are educated. The schools are working on things like competency-based assessment, incorporating systems-based practice and team-based care teachings into curriculum, and focusing on diversity and health care disparities. Using new techniques and technologies, the schools hope to create adaptive, lifelong learners.<br /> <br /> After introducing new curricula, teaching methods and assessments, the schools are looking to expand their reach into 2015. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Changing_MedEd/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the many facets of work these schools are doing at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</li> <li> <strong>Single accreditation system for GME.</strong> The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) House of Delegates in July voted to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/move-align-gme-accreditation-paves-way-ideal-continuum">align</a> with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), shifting to a single GME accreditation system that in the past largely followed separate paths.<br /> <br /> With the recently confirmed agreement between the AOA, ACGME and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to move osteopathic GME accreditation in line with ACGME accreditation, all U.S. medical school graduates will be eligible for all residency positions, whether they hold an MD or DO degree.</li> <li> <strong>The 2014 Match.</strong> Nearly 6 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors weren’t <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/match-numbers-up-but-slots-needed-meet-doctor-shortage" target="_blank">matched</a> into first-year residency programs during this year’s Match. Meanwhile, Match rates rose modestly for all major applicant groups.<br /> <br /> Fourth-year medical students shared their emotions during the Match process—<a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/match-day-approaches-med-students-feel-anxiety-relief" target="_blank">before</a>, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/graduating-medical-students-meet-their-match" target="_blank">during</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/graduating-students-reflect-2014-matchdo-whats" target="_blank">after</a> Match week—to give future medical school grads hope for their own Match seasons.</li> <li> <strong>Report on GME financing.</strong> The Institute of Medicine <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/gme-financing-system-needs-overhaul-iom-report" target="_blank">released a report</a> in July, which called for the current GME financing system to be transitioned to a transparent, performance-based system. Although the report did not address increasing the number of residency slots, it did make recommendations for a decade-long overhaul, including rebuilding the GME policy and financing infrastructure and modernizing GME payment methodology.</li> <li> <strong>Maintenance of certification (MOC).</strong> In June, the AMA and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) convened a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-abms-convene-stakeholders-discuss-moc-exam" target="_blank">special meeting</a> with stakeholders to facilitate conversation on Part III of the MOC process. The meeting signaled to physicians that the ABMS is open to hearing new ideas and innovations surrounding the MOC process.<br /> <br /> At its 2014 Interim Meeting in November, physicians voted to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-adopts-principles-maintenance-of-certification" target="_blank">update the AMA’s policy on MOC</a>, outlining principles that include a need for an evidence-based process that’s relevant to clinical practice.</li> <li> <strong>The Physician Payment Sunshine Act</strong>. With the release of the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule Oct. 31, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cme-cleared-reporting-under-sunshine-act" target="_blank">made it official</a>: funding for independent continuing medical education (CME) will not be subject to reporting under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as initially proposed by the agency earlier this summer.</li> </ol> <p> Look for what 2015 will bring for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/MedEd_News/1" target="_blank">medical education</a> in future posts at <em>AMA Wire</em>®<em>.</em></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:65567c85-4d8f-4afd-98fa-6bc6a4b80e89 Torture, coercive interrogations and physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_torture-coercive-interrogations-physicians Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:38:00 GMT <p> As healers, physicians’ everyday actions are guided by the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics.page" target="_blank"><em>Code of Medical Ethics</em></a>, which has articulated the enduring values of the medical profession for more than 160 years. In light of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, now is a good time for physicians to make sure they understand their ethical obligations regarding torture and interrogation.</p> <p> The <em>Code</em> offers specific policy regarding what physicians should and should not do in situations involving torture or coercive interrogation. With regard to torture, several key principles from <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion2067.page?" target="_blank">Opinion E-2.067</a> must be observed:</p> <ul> <li> Physicians must oppose and must not participate in torture for any reason. Participation in torture includes, but is not limited to, providing or withholding any services, substances or knowledge to facilitate the practice of torture. Physicians must not be present when torture is used or threatened.</li> <li> Physicians should only treat individuals when it is in the patient’s interest, not to verify health so that torture can begin or continue.</li> <li> Physicians should help provide support for victims of torture and whenever possible strive to change situations in which torture is practiced or the potential for torture is great.</li> </ul> <p> The opinion also notes that physicians who follow their calling as healers in treating torture victims should not be persecuted.</p> <p> For interrogation, physicians must avoid being involved in anything that uses coercion (defined as “threatening or causing harm through physical injury or mental suffering”). Physicians have five ethical obligations under <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion2068.page?" target="_blank">Opinion E-2.068</a>:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Physicians should only perform physical and mental assessments of detainees</strong> to determine the need for and to provide medical care. When doing so, physicians must disclose the extent to which others have access to information included in medical records. Treatment must never be conditional on a patient’s participation in an interrogation.</li> <li> <strong>Physicians must neither conduct nor directly participate in an interrogation.</strong> Being involved in interrogation undermines the physician’s role as healer and thereby erodes trust in the individual physician and in the medical profession.</li> <li> <strong>Physicians must not monitor interrogations </strong>with the intention of intervening in the process. This constitutes direct participation in interrogation.</li> <li> <strong>Physicians should not participate in developing effective interrogation strategies </strong>except for general training purposes. These strategies must not threaten or cause physical injury or mental suffering and must be humane and respect the rights of individuals.</li> <li> <strong>Physicians must report their observations to the appropriate authorities</strong> if they have reason to believe that interrogations are coercive. If those authorities are aware of coercive interrogations but have not intervened, physicians are ethically obligated to report the offenses to independent authorities that have the power to investigate or adjudicate such allegations.</li> </ul> <p> “We firmly believe that U.S. policies on detainee treatment must comport with the AMA’s <em>Code of Medical Ethics </em>and the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Tokyo, which forcefully state medicine’s opposition to torture or coercive interrogation and prohibit physician participation in such activities,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2014/2014-12-12-us-policy-core-values-medical-ethics.page" target="_blank">statement</a> Friday.</p> <p> “The AMA will continue to advocate that no doctor is asked to go against the ethics of the profession,” Dr. Wah said.</p> <p> <strong>Get additional ethical insights</strong></p> <p> Archived articles in the AMA’s <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/" target="_blank">online ethics journal <em>Virtual Mentor</em></a> further explore the issue of physician obligations concerning torture and interrogations. Insights from physicians and other experts in the field include:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2007/10/pfor2-0710.html" target="_blank">The role of physicians in interrogations</a>. Physicians have recognized responsibilities to patients and society. This article explores the question of whether honoring the societal responsibility allows a physician to participate in interrogation and if so, to what extent.</li> <li> <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2004/09/oped1-0409.html" target="_blank">Torture and human rights</a>. Involvement in torture—before, during and even afterward—puts physicians in morally compromised positions, no matter whether civil, military or judicial systems have approved it. This article discusses how physicians in the military, especially those called on to care for prisoners, should heed the counsel of their professional organizations and avoid all complicity with torture.</li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:401960dd-9fdc-40f6-827e-c19128673744 Study authors, experts to discuss effects of MOC Wednesday http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_study-authors-experts-discuss-effects-of-moc-wednesday Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:34:00 GMT <p> Two landmark studies published last week in <em>JAMA</em> shed light on the relationship between maintenance of certification (MOC) and measures that are relevant to patients and physicians. <em>JAMA</em> editors, authors and expert panelists will discuss what these new data might mean for the profession during a free webcast Wednesday at noon Eastern time. <a href="https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&eventid=907945&sessionid=1&key=0D21F16F87286E38C9EF7791A22558C3&sourcepage=register" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Register today</a> to join the conversation.</p> <p> Although physicians generally recognize the need for MOC, recent changes in the MOC requirements of the American Board of Internal Medicine have led some to question whether the process is relevant to contemporary clinical practice or meaningful as a measure of physician and health care quality.</p> <p> Disagreements about MOC primarily have been based more on principle than evidence before these two new <em>JAMA</em> research articles were released:</p> <ul> <li style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;background-image:initial;background-attachment:initial;background-size:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;background-position:initial;background-repeat:initial;"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">“</span><a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020369" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">Association between imposition of a maintenance of certification requirement and ambulatory care–sensitive hospitalizations and health care costs</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">”<p></p></span></li> <li style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;background-image:initial;background-attachment:initial;background-size:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;background-position:initial;background-repeat:initial;"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">“</span><a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020370" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">Association between physician time-unlimited vs. time-limited internal medicine board certification and ambulatory patient care quality</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">”<p></p></span></li> </ul> <p> This 90-minute webcast Dec. 17 will examine what the new data might mean for patients and physicians, the professionalism and health care quality movements, and the debate over whether it’s possible to identify the “good” physician.</p> <p> Questions and comments for panelists can be submitted in advance. Visit the <a href="https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&eventid=907945&sessionid=1&key=0D21F16F87286E38C9EF7791A22558C3&sourcepage=register" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">webcast registration page</a> to learn more.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:88372c13-e05a-413a-8805-26ebfe1ac825 3 tips for maintaining happiness in your marriage http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_3-tips-maintaining-happiness-marriage Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:30:00 GMT <p> Physicians are not strangers to stress, but familial well-being often may be sidelined by professional pressures, particularly around the holiday season. Here are a few tips from physician family experts to help you maintain happiness in your medical marriage.</p> <p> Personal satisfaction can contribute to professional satisfaction, so maintaining a happy and healthy home life is essential for physicians. A recent article by three experts from the Center for Physician Resilience in the <a href="http://www.amaalliance.org/site/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AMA Alliance</a> magazine <em>Physician Family</em> suggests these ways for how medical families can boost their happiness and own self-care:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Honor each other’s roles and contributions.</strong> A physician’s spouse should not feel like “just a physician’s spouse.” Everyone in the family plays an important role, and voicing appreciation to one another can foster healthy relationships.</li> <li> <strong>Don’t eliminate family rituals because someone is working.</strong> Protect family time, such as family meals. Rituals are essential to surviving stressful times, and even simple routines or traditions can have a positive impact on your family’s morale.</li> <li> <strong>Remember that marriage is not a “suffering contest.”</strong> Respect that you and your spouse have stress, and remember that it is hard to be a physician, just as it is difficult to be the partner of a physician.</li> </ul> <p> See more information on <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/pdfs/Fall2014~PhysFamilyMag.pdf#page=14" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">maintaining healthy medical marriages</a> in the fall 2014 issue of <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Physician Family</em></a>, published online four times a year especially for the loved ones of physicians, residents and medical students. Check out <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physician-families-can-prepare-holidays" target="_blank">special tips for medical families</a> in preparing for the holidays at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:498ed69f-1a0a-4f71-9f0e-fa038af2c000 Get guidance on ethics decisions http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_guidance-ethics-decisions Thu, 11 Dec 2014 23:25:00 GMT <p> Use the physician standard for medical professionalism, the AMA <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em>, to help you make informed decisions on important ethics topics.</p> <p> The 2014-2015 hard copy edition of the AMA <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510003&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>Code of Medical Ethics</em></a> offers valuable guidance through more than 200 ethical opinions, including:</p> <ul> <li> Physician obligation in disaster preparedness and response</li> <li> Research with stem cells</li> <li> Transplantation of organs from living donors</li> <li> Professionalism in the use of social media</li> <li> Routine universal immunization for physicians for vaccine-preventable disease</li> </ul> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;">AMA members receive a discount on a wide range of products from the </span><a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank">AMA Store</a><span style="font-size:12px;">. If you’re not a member, </span><a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank">join today</a><span style="font-size:12px;">.</span></p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/code-of-medical-ethics-undergoing-update-comment-through-jan-15" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about the <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:7c8d0de5-e53b-40ae-ab94-4db3f384a72a Medical school transformation begins to spread http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-school-transformation-begins-spread Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:46:00 GMT <p> Two new medical schools are opening within the University of Texas system, and they’ve tapped the consortium of medical schools in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative to help develop forward-thinking curricula that will prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex health care system.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/3/aafb7007-32ff-4426-83a9-243726eba593.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/3/aafb7007-32ff-4426-83a9-243726eba593.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a>“We are a brand new school developing an entirely new curriculum,” said Clay Johnston, MD, PhD (pictured left), dean of <a href="http://www.utexas.edu/dell-medical-school" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dell Medical School</a> at the University of Texas at Austin, which is scheduled to open in 2016. “Rather than take an existing curriculum, we decided to examine every aspect of curriculum—and that’s a risky proposition.”</p> <p> Faculty from some of the 11 schools in the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative met in Austin with AMA leaders, University of Texas educators and cutting-edge health care technology companies. The University of Texas system soon will have six medical schools with the addition of Dell Medical School and the <a href="http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/utrgv-medical-school" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine</a>, also scheduled to open in 2016 with a focus on prioritizing health improvements at the individual and community level in underserved areas.</p> <p> The leaders from the consortium schools shared their progress in changing medical education, from competency-based education to systems-based practice. Tech companies presented new inventions that will make it easier for medical students to acquire robust training using computers and tablets. Look for more details about the newest medical education technology in upcoming articles at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> Part of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative’s goal for the coming year is to help more schools across the country adopt the innovations the consortium has been testing. The new UT medical schools are a perfect place to start as they develop their new curricula.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/10/fb08c122-89d5-4caa-ba6e-08b1d347760d.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/10/fb08c122-89d5-4caa-ba6e-08b1d347760d.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>“We want to design the curriculum around adult learning models,” said Sue Cox, MD (pictured right), executive vice dean of academics and chair of medical education at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. “How many of us sat in medical school for eight hours a day listening to a talking head? If we can get students actively learning and doing adaptive learning, we will improve their medical knowledge.”</p> <p> The University of Texas system developed a robust online platform that supports competency-based education, allowing students to set their own pace through their education. The online system, called <a href="http://www.utx.edu/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UTx</a>, can track whether students meet their goals and make recommendations on how they can adjust their weekly work plans. The platform will offer personalized programs students can access on the go.</p> <p> “We are convinced that we need to start creating learning experiences for students that mirror the kind of media they experience in their everyday lives and the kind of functionality they’re used to,” said Marni Baker Stein, chief innovation officer of the Institute for Transformational Learning at the University of Texas system.</p> <p> The 11 schools that are part of the AMA’s consortium to transform medical education have spent the past year using AMA grants to develop and implement cutting-edge ways to train future physicians. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Changing_MedEd/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the schools’ work at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:fe7141e5-a9df-4682-8d6a-8ca028666ed0 One way residents can prepare to be tomorrow’s leaders http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_one-way-residents-can-prepare-tomorrows-leaders Wed, 10 Dec 2014 23:49:00 GMT <p> Today’s residents and medical students are training to be not only skilled physicians but also leaders of the health care system. Get training to make a difference in the profession, and be recognized as a positive influence on health care, through a special leadership award program.</p> <table align="right" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:280px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>  </td> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/8/53b63e08-b1cc-4129-88d7-5ac5e089387b.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/3/8/53b63e08-b1cc-4129-88d7-5ac5e089387b.Large.jpg?1" style="height:249px;width:270px;float:left;" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Jordan Amadio, MD, at the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago.</em></span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> Students, residents, fellows and early career physicians can apply for the AMA Foundation Leadership Awards to be recognized for their strong, nonclinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service or education. Recipients receive leadership development training to bolster their skills and receive awards at a reception June 6 during the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Leadership Awards are <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/ama-foundation/x-pub/leadership-award-application.doc" target="_blank">self-nominated</a> (log in), and applications are due Jan. 20.</p> <p> Jordan Amadio, MD, a senior neurosurgery resident at Emory University School of Medicine, received an award last year. Beyond the benefits of being recognized as an inspiration to others, the leadership training helped him forge connections.</p> <p> “Like most important life experiences, the award’s most salient value was that of camaraderie and mentorship from my own peers,” Dr. Amadio said. “I have kept in touch with several of my fellow awardees, and those people have already inspired me to be a better surgeon, prioritize the needs of my community and be open to creative opportunities for improving the world.”</p> <p> The opportunities the award provides—including attending the AMA Annual Meeting, connecting with peers and mentors, and gaining expert training—were valuable for another award recipient, Kevin Contrera, a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Contrera is completing his master’s degree in public health between his third and fourth years of medical school.</p> <table align="left" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:370px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/15/d970b3fa-9587-4a2a-8fa5-96b7f0733ba4.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/15/d970b3fa-9587-4a2a-8fa5-96b7f0733ba4.Large.jpg?1" style="height:270px;width:360px;float:left;" /></a></td> <td> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Medical student Kevin Contrera (third from left) with fellow students at the Capitol.</em></span></td> <td>   </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> “As a medical student, the books surround you, and if you’re lucky, the hospital surrounds you. But the award opened my eyes and others’ eyes to so much good work going on,” Contrera said. “You have to be the change agent. There’s a lot of criticism that gets thrown around about our health care system, and you can blame whomever. But there’s no one that is better equipped than physicians in training to lead the transformation of our health care system.”</p> <p> “I encourage other physicians to look around in their community for the unsung heroes, those doctors or medical students who are fueled day and night by their rare passion to build something from nothing, and encourage them to apply,” Dr. Amadio said. “The medical community needs to uphold optimistic innovators as an antidote to pessimism, and this award is a premier opportunity to do that. It is essential for the well-being of our generation and those of the future.”</p> <p> Award recipients will receive airfare, hotel and a nominal reimbursement to attend leadership training in February, in addition to hotel and travel reimbursement to attend the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting in June. Further details about award criteria are available on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/excellence-medicine-awards.page" target="_blank">AMA Foundation Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:51b565f6-2b65-4a2d-95a3-6eb0e43047d6 Med ed gets evaluated in special JAMA issue http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_med-ed-gets-evaluated-special-jama-issue Wed, 10 Dec 2014 23:25:00 GMT <p> A special <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/issue.aspx?journalid=67&issueid=931797" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">theme issue</a> of <em>JAMA</em> released this week focuses on important topics in the continuum of medical education, including health care spending, resident duty hours and maintenance of certification (MOC).</p> <p> <em>JAMA</em> studies examine such timely topics as:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left:0.5in;"> How the region of medical residency training may affect physicians’ future spending patterns. One <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.15973" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">study</a> suggests that residency may imprint care-related spending behaviors. For example, physicians practicing in high-spending regions who also had been trained in high-spending regions had an average spending per Medicare beneficiary per year $1,926 higher than those trained in low-spending regions.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:0.5in;"> The effect of duty-hours on patient outcomes or resident board examination scores. One <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.15273" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">study</a> found that the 2011 resident duty-hour reforms haven’t had a significant effect on mortality or readmission rates for hospitalized patients. Another <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.15277" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">study</a> determined residents’ exam scores and outcomes for surgery patients weren’t significantly affected, either.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:0.5in;"> The effect of MOC, as implemented by the American Board of Internal Medicine, on patient care quality and cost. One <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.12716" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">study</a> found that implementation of MOC was associated with a decreased growth in costs related to lab tests, imaging and specialty visits. Another <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.13992" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">study</a> found no significant differences in outcomes for patients cared for by internists with time-limited or time-unlimited certification.</li> </ul> <p> In an <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2014.13566" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">editorial</a> accompanying the MOC studies, Thomas H. Lee, MD, chief medical officer for Press Ganey and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wrote that physicians should work constructively to help MOC improve, much as physicians should work continuously to improve how they collaborate with colleagues and patients.</p> <p> “Physicians must make the commitment to lifelong, meaningful learning to ensure that their knowledge and skills remain current and relevant,” Dr. Lee wrote in the editorial. “Patients would be disappointed by anything less. The medical profession may never fully understand the effect of MOC, but that does not mean that physicians should give up or stop trying to make it better. The MOC program is a work in progress, as are all good physicians.”</p> <p> The editorial echoes <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-adopts-principles-maintenance-of-certification" target="_blank">new AMA policy</a> adopted in November, which outlines principles emphasizing the need for an evidence-based MOC process that is evaluated regularly to ensure physician needs are being met and activities are relevant to clinical practice.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> <strong>Join the MOC discussion: </strong><em>JAMA</em> is hosting a free webcast on the new MOC data and related questions at noon Eastern time Dec. 17. It will last 90 minutes. <a href="https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&eventid=907945&sessionid=1&key=0D21F16F87286E38C9EF7791A22558C3&sourcepage=register" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Register today</a>.</p> <p> Other new <em>JAMA</em> Viewpoints and editorials in this issue examine how to interpret duty-hours study results, incorporating electronic health records into clinical education and meaningful roles for medical students in the provision of longitudinal patient care.</p> <p> The <em>JAMA</em> special issue reflects topics that are being discussed as part of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative. A consortium of 11 grant-receiving schools is making transformative improvements to undergraduate medical education.</p> <p> The consortium has spent the last year developing and implementing new ideas to change the way future physicians are trained, including competency-based assessment, incorporating systems-based practice and team-based care teachings into curriculum, and focusing on diversity and health care disparities. Now, the group is investigating how changes in medical schools will affect <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/residents-would-transform-gme" target="_blank">residency programs</a>.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Changing_MedEd/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the innovations taking place and challenges being addressed as part of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:fb4456a4-f1ed-4de1-b85b-874c7a4eae7d Medicare participation selections due Dec. 31 ahead of pay cuts http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medicare-participation-selections-due-dec-31-ahead-of-pay-cuts Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:44:00 GMT <p> Do you know whether you’ll be a participating or nonparticipating physician in the Medicare program next year? With the Dec. 31 deadline just around the corner, you’ll need to make that decision soon. New Medicare payment penalties taking effect next year are an important factor to consider.</p> <p> Many physicians face what the AMA has called a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent" target="_blank">“tsunami” of regulatory penalties</a> next year, including a new potential penalty introduced under the value-based modifier (VBM) program.</p> <p> According to CMS, 1,010 groups of 100 or more eligible professionals will see payment adjustments from the VBM in 2015. More than 300 of these groups will face Medicare payment cuts of 1 percent, while a few others will see cuts of 0.5 percent. Only 16 groups will receive bonuses of an amount yet unknown. Physicians in smaller practices will be affected in subsequent years.</p> <p> Importantly, the VBM penalty can be avoided by choosing the Medicare status option of nonparticipating physician. VBM penalties and bonuses will not apply to unassigned claims.</p> <p> Other <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/images/washington/medicare-sgr-penalties-850x1100.jpg" target="_blank">pay cut penalties</a> that will hit many physicians next year, based on their performance in 2013, include those for not meeting requirements for the electronic health record meaningful use program and the Physician Quality Reporting System. These cuts will apply to payments to both nonparticipating and participating physicians.</p> <p> The federal deficit reduction sequester of 2 percent also will continue this year, and the perennial sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula cut threatens a 21 percent reduction beginning April 1.</p> <p> The Medicare payment schedule for nonparticipating physicians is set 5 percent below the participating physician payment schedule. At the same time, nonparticipating physicians can bill patients for 15 percent above that lower payment schedule amount.</p> <p> While participating physicians agree to accept assignment for all Medicare claims, nonparticipating physicians can decide whether to accept assignment on a claim-by-claim basis. In 2014, 96.6 percent of physicians are participating. Physicians who want to become nonparticipating must send a letter to their Medicare contractor postmarked no later than Dec. 31 to terminate their participation agreement for the coming year.</p> <p> <strong>Toolkit helps break down the decision</strong></p> <p> Access the AMA’s newly updated <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/medicare/medicare-participation-guide.page" target="_blank">Medicare participation kit</a> to learn more about your three options:</p> <ul> <li> Participating (often referred to as “PAR”)</li> <li> Non-participating (commonly referred to as “non-PAR”)</li> <li> Private contracting</li> </ul> <p> The toolkit includes a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/medicare-par/know-options-medicare-participation-guide.pdf" target="_blank">participation guide</a> (log in), <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/medicare-par/medicare-revenue-worksheet.pdf" target="_blank">revenue worksheet</a> (log in), answers to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/medicare-par/medicare-options-faq.pdf" target="_blank">frequently asked questions</a> (log in) and a variety of sample materials to help communicate with your patients about any changes to your Medicare participation status.</p> <p> Use this toolkit today to make an informed decision that’s right for your practice.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e939309a-c1ca-463a-bee3-dc343c85ed23 Update your picture of the AMA http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_update-picture-of-ama Tue, 09 Dec 2014 23:13:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/13/1e4a6385-2164-4e7e-ad66-6347964fa0e1.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/13/1e4a6385-2164-4e7e-ad66-6347964fa0e1.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a>When you close your eyes and picture the AMA, what do you see? Everyone carries a mental image of the AMA, but I’d venture that the picture you have is outdated. We’re keeping pace with—and in many ways, leading—major changes in health care. Here are some things you need to know to update your picture of the AMA.</p> <p> First, check out a photo of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/board-trustees/board-photo.page" target="_blank">AMA Board of Trustees</a>. As the AMA’s first Asian-American president, I’m proud to say the 2014-2015 board is the association’s most diverse.</p> <p> Out of 21 members, eight are women, including AMA Board Chair Barbara L. McAneny, MD, from whom you hear each month via the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank">AMA Viewpoints</a>. The board also is probably a bit younger than you may have thought. President-elect Steven J. Stack, MD, will be the youngest AMA president in 150 years.  And our young physician member, Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, is the first openly gay member on the board.</p> <p> Members of the AMA Board of Trustees live all across the country, practice in a wide variety of settings and specialties, and represent every stage of the profession—from medical student to late-career physician. We are privileged to lead our AMA. We reflect you, and we make sure your experiences, challenges, frustrations and successes are heard.</p> <p> As you are updating your mental image of the AMA, consider the many exciting things we’re accomplishing through our <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus.page?" target="_blank">three strategic focus areas</a>.</p> <p> We’ve taken the three most pressing issues for physicians of today and tomorrow—training future doctors, improving health outcomes for our patients with chronic diseases, and ensuring professional satisfaction and practice sustainability—and built the future of the association around the progress we’re making in these areas.</p> <p> These focus areas resonate with people. Every physician is touched by at least one of these initiatives. People who still think of the AMA as it was years ago frequently say to me after hearing about the AMA’s latest work, “You’re right. It’s time to rethink what I know about the AMA.”</p> <p> So take a “selfie” with your AMA. Throw out what you think you know, and take a closer look at what we’re working on today.</p> <p> Learn the latest about each of our three strategic focus areas at <em>AMA Wire<sup>®</sup></em>:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Changing_MedEd/1" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Health_Outcomes/1" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Practice_Models/1" target="_blank">Enhancing Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a></li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:355273ea-267c-41da-a1cd-aa343130c0cf Medical liability climate stable for now, but future uncertain http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-liability-climate-stable-now-but-future-uncertain Tue, 09 Dec 2014 23:05:00 GMT <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/3/38684b8b-e561-4e52-a387-1d272b226377.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/3/38684b8b-e561-4e52-a387-1d272b226377.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>Although the medical liability environment for physicians is stabilizing, premiums vary greatly by geographic location and expenses to resolve liability claims are at some of the highest levels ever, according to two new AMA reports that examine medical professional liability insurance trends.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/health-policy/x-ama/prp2014-05mlm.pdf" target="_blank">One report</a> (log in) looks at medical liability insurance premiums, which largely have been stable for the past eight years. “Premium increases are much less common than they were a decade ago,” the report noted. Another <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/health-policy/x-ama/prp-piaa-2014-final.pdf">report</a> (log in) analyzed trends in expenses and indemnity payments (the amount paid to a claimant or plaintiff), the latter of which also have been mostly stable in recent years. </p> <p> Some highlights from the reports:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Premiums were largely stable. </strong>About two-thirds of premiums reported in 2014 did not change from the previous year. However, not every area has experienced such stability. Despite a drop in 2014, some reported premiums in certain areas of New York increased most years since 2005.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Premiums vary widely by location. </strong>For example, in 2014, OB-GYNs faced manual premiums that ranged from a low of $49,804 in some areas of California to a high of $214,999 in Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Recently, expenses have leveled off. </strong>After a period of pronounced growth during 2005-2009, when average expenses in resolving claims grew by nearly 63 percent, average expenses were nearly $49,000.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Historically, total expenses incurred on claims have been rising much faster</strong> <strong>than total indemnity payments.</strong> In 2013, total indemnity payments were three times higher than in 1985. In contrast, the increase in total expenses was seven-fold.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Expenses vary by claim disposition. </strong>By far, the highest average expense in 2013 was for tried claims that resulted in plaintiff verdicts, with an average cost of $251,541. The next highest was for trials that resulted in defendant verdicts, at an average of $140,239.<br />  </li> <li style="margin-left:40px;"> <strong>Most claims continue to be dropped, dismissed or withdrawn. </strong>In addition to 65 percent of claims that were dropped, dismissed or withdrawn in 2013, another one-quarter of claims were settled, and 2 percent were decided by an alternative dispute resolution. A small amount—less than 8 percent—were decided by trial verdict, and the vast majority of these were won by the defendant.</li> </ul> <p> Taking non-monetary factors into account, such as time spent defending claims, compromised reputation and other psychological costs physicians face, the total costs associated with liability insurance claims may be even higher than indicated.</p> <p> While the overall liability climate has stabilized, the prospects for the short term remain unclear, the reports said. One reason for this ambiguity lies in the uncertainty among actuaries about how the medical liability market will be affected by the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p> Find these analyses and others on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/health-policy/policy-research.page" target="_blank">AMA policy research Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:75d81f95-8b12-42cd-bd90-cafff523ebbf New toolkit targets preventable admissions for sensitive conditions http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-toolkit-targets-preventable-admissions-sensitive-conditions Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:07:00 GMT <p> The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently released a <a href="http://www.ahaphysicianforum.org/resources/appropriate-use/ACSC/index.shtml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">toolkit</a> to help hospitals and health systems reduce preventable inpatient admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions.</p> <p> These conditions could be avoided with adequate primary care, such as asthma, low back pain and uncomplicated pneumonia. The toolkit includes resources from five national organizations that can help address the barriers to preventing such conditions, including a shortage of primary care physicians, ineffective communication between primary care physicians and those in subspecialties, and a lack of patient engagement.</p> <p> An <a href="http://www.annfammed.org/content/11/4/363.full.pdf+html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">article</a> published in the journal <em>Annals of Family Medicine </em>has been added to the clinician resources section of the toolkit. The article looks at hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions from the perspective of primary care physicians and suggests strategies to avoid the necessity of such admissions.</p> <p> According to a 2013 AHA Physician Leadership Forum <a href="http://www.ahaphysicianforum.org/resources/appropriate-use/index.shtml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">white paper</a>, reducing preventable inpatient admissions for these conditions is one of five areas at which hospitals—in partnership with their clinical staff and patients—should look to reduce non-beneficial care through appropriate use of medical resources.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:cf9c3167-eb42-41da-bbb5-63b87d719e39 Save the date: Next AMA-SMS meeting June 5-6 in Chicago http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_save-date-next-ama-sms-meeting-june-5-6-chicago Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">The next meeting of the AMA Section on Medical Schools (SMS) will take place June 5-6 in conjunction with the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Learn more about the section on its </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools.page" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">Web page</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">. </span></p> <p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;">  </p> <p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;"> <span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;">All AMA-member academic physicians can participate in the AMA-SMS. If you’re not already member, please </span><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools/memb" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"">join now</span></a><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;">. </span></p> <p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;">  </p> <p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;"> <span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:10pt;">The AMA-SMS is the AMA member section that represents all academic physicians, educators and faculty/leadership of U.S. medical schools. The section currently comprises nearly 650 members.  </span><span style="font-size:10pt;"> </span></p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:353f0cd6-d75a-4e31-a2e1-6b834dba4040 How telemedicine challenges the medical profession http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_telemedicine-challenges-medical-profession Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:23:00 GMT <p> Telemedicine offers significant promise—including increased access to care and better health outcomes—but challenges remain to sort through. The <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/current.html" target="_blank">December issue</a> of <em>Virtual Mentor</em>, the AMA’s online ethics journal, considers this issue from a variety of angles.</p> <p> Skeptics worry that the benefits of telemedicine may be outweighed by diminished privacy and security of medical information and loss of the therapeutic value tied to hands-on encounters between patients and their physicians.</p> <p> Many contributors to this month’s issue believe that the innovative uses of telemedicine draw attention to the ever-present need for improving access to care, patient privacy, security of medical information and quality of the patient-physician relationship.</p> <p> Articles in this issue include:</p> <ul> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/12/ecas2-1412.html" target="_blank">Telepsychiatry as part of a comprehensive care plan</a>.” In this commentary, authors Nicholas Freudenberg, MD, and Peter M. Yellowlees, MD, write that telepsychiatry treatment ideally should include collaboration with patients’ primary care physicians. One way to facilitate the collaboration is for patients to have videoconference appointments with their psychiatrists at their primary care clinic.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/12/pfor1-1412.html" target="_blank">Telemedicine: Innovation has outpaced policy</a>.” Authors Karen Rheuban, MD, Christine Shanahan and Katherine Willson write that health care policy needs to advance beyond the 20th century if telemedicine is to be integrated properly into health care of the 21st century.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/12/jdsc1-1412.html" target="_blank">Privacy and security concerns in telehealth</a>.” Contributors Timothy M. Hale, PhD, and Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, review a key article focused on the ethical-legal issues that telemedicine can generate. Transmitting patient data through institutional networks can add privacy risks unless security safeguards are put in place.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/12/stas2-1412.html" target="_blank">Telemedicine use in international relief efforts</a>.” In this piece, authors Eseosa Asemota, MD, and Carrie L. Kovarik, MD, write that the future of global medicine will see telemedicine enhance the capabilities of physicians in the field during epidemics or disasters and extend expertise in such specialties as dermatology into underserved regions of the world.</li> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/12/stas1-1412.html" target="_blank">The success of telehealth care in the Indian Health Service</a>.” Contributors Howard Hays, MD, Mark Carroll, MD, Stewart Ferguson, PhD, Christopher Fore, PhD, and Mark Horton, MD, explain that telehealth is increasingly important for closing gaps in health care that have existed for decades in the American Indian and Alaskan Native communities and other ethnic groups.</li> </ul> <p> Don’t forget to participate in this month’s <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/poll.html" target="_blank">ethics poll</a> and listen to the <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/podcast/ethics-talk-dec-2014.mp3" target="_blank">latest podcast</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:72205f7e-dd43-4e58-9e34-cf1d2e9efb15 Studying for USMLE Step 1? Watch out for these 4 mistakes http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_studying-usmle-step-1-watch-out-4-mistakes Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> Make sure you’re not making one of the four common mistakes while preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1. An expert gives advice for studying smartly.</p> <p> Joshua D. Brooks, PhD, associate director of medical academics at Kaplan Medical, has a strategy you should use to prepare for the USMLE Step 1: Make a “Why I missed it” sheet, and keep track of all the questions you get wrong on practice tests.</p> <p> “It sounds depressing, but there’s a reason for it,” he said. “Everyone misses something different. If I don’t know what I’m missing, how do I get better?”</p> <p> When reviewing your practice test results, track the question topic and include a description of your error so you can review it later.</p> <p> Brooks offers insight into four common USMLE Step 1 studying mistakes you should avoid:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Passive studying.</strong> Just because you’re reading a book doesn’t mean you’re retaining the information. Before you review a topic, go over some practice questions to get yourself in the right mindset, Brooks said. Switching between activities to stay mentally alert also can help.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Memorizing instead of understanding.</strong> If you take a practice test and don’t know how to solve a question, Brooks said to “grab a book and look it up.” Learning the reasoning behind why you got a question wrong will help you remember later on.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Studying in the wrong location.</strong> Brooks recommends mirroring your studying to the experience of taking the USMLE Step 1 test. Keep the TV and music off and work in a quiet room with no distractions. Try to study in different locations to prepare.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Misreading or misinterpreting questions.</strong> Use your “Why I missed it” sheet to monitor questions you may have misunderstood, and review how your reasoning veered off-track.</li> </ol> <p> Look for more USMLE Step 1 study tips and insights in future posts at <em>AMA Wire</em>®. AMA members can view an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/priv/membership/membership-benefits/for-med-students/ama-study-break.page" target="_blank">archived recording</a> packed with even more advice from a recent presentation by Brooks. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:7e2d5642-0f5a-42c0-b045-8c990a6d155d Science moves toward anticipating hypertension before it presents http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_science-moves-toward-anticipating-hypertension-before-presents Mon, 08 Dec 2014 15:58:00 GMT <p> In the not-too-distant future, it may be possible to know if a patient is going to have high blood pressure before the condition ever manifests. Genomic-based diagnosis and treatment of hypertension is still in its infancy, but there are cues physicians can use today to improve outcomes around the disease.</p> <p> Although the biological pathways that lay the groundwork for blood pressure control are complex and not completely understood, evidence suggests that genetics plays a large roll. Potentially up to 60 percent of hypertension risk can be explained by additive genetic factors, according to a new report by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health. For this reason, family history is a valuable indicator of a patient’s likelihood of developing hypertension.</p> <p> Soon, genetic testing may help predict hypertension early and assist in determining individual response to anti-hypertensive medications. “Although no clinical practice guidelines recommend genotyping before initiating antihypertensive therapy, an awareness of the pharmacogenomic factors affecting response to antihypertensive agents is important for anticipating various responses to prescribed medications and altering treatment when blood pressure levels are not satisfactorily lowered,” the report said.</p> <p> But furthering genomic research in hypertension is difficult because of the many factors that can influence blood pressure levels, including where and when a patient’s blood pressure is measured. Because even small changes in blood pressure levels can impact cardiovascular outcomes, heterogeneity in clinical trial populations in genomic studies can lead to results that are difficult to interpret and apply to clinical care.</p> <p> Physicians passed policy at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting to support clinical trials that attempt to reduce this heterogeneity. The new policy also supports continued research into the genetic control of blood pressure and the development of genomic-based tools to assist physicians in better predicting risk and targeting therapy for hypertension.</p> <p> Through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, the AMA is making strides in developing and testing evidence-based recommendations to improve high blood pressure, including creating standardized checklists and other tools to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctor-quickly-improved-patients-blood-pressure-readings" target="_blank">measure blood pressure accurately</a>.</p> <p> Physicians and care teams in Maryland and Illinois are working with the AMA and researchers at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to make clinical changes around blood pressure management. They’re also exploring clinical-community linkages, in which physicians refer patients to community resources that can help them improve their blood pressure.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:59f135a0-22e9-44df-afdb-00d1dd2c371d How physician families can prepare for the holidays http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physician-families-can-prepare-holidays Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:15:00 GMT <p> Physicians are busy as it is—adding in the hectic holiday season can make it even more difficult to ensure family time. Here are a few tips to help you merge clinical and call schedules with the extra seasonal tasks that need attention.</p> <p> A recent article in the <a href="http://www.amaalliance.org/site/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AMA Alliance</a> magazine <em>Physician Family</em> suggests these ways to prepare your family for the holiday season:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Set aside protected family time.</strong> During the holidays, it is important to build into your schedule specific time for family. Share your commitment with your family, and let them know this time together is important to you.</li> <li> <strong>Participate in rituals and holiday traditions.</strong> This season provides great opportunities for emotional connections, engagement and shared expressions of what it means to be a part of a family. Whatever your family’s traditions may be, take part in them.</li> <li> <strong>Include everyone in planning.</strong> Don’t shoulder the stress of holiday planning alone, and don’t let it all fall on your partner, either. Instead, let every member of the family take on some responsibility. Sharing in the planning can help make the load light and build stronger family connections.</li> <li> <strong>Manage disappointment when necessary. </strong>Sometimes—no matter what you do—medicine will take precedence over holiday activities. Help your kids deal with feeling let down by talking through their feelings and letting them know you hear their disappointment.</li> </ul> <p> See more information on <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/pdfs/Fall2014~PhysFamilyMag.pdf#page=20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">preparing for the holidays</a> in the fall 2014 issue of <a href="http://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Physician Family</em></a>, published online four times a year especially for the loved ones of physicians, residents and medical students. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:b30fa4c4-f6ac-4482-91a3-c999f66c2a11 Payment recovery audit program needs overhaul: Doctors to CMS http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_payment-recovery-audit-program-needs-overhaul-doctors-cms Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:09:00 GMT <p> A “bounty-hunter” Medicare program that takes back payments from physicians must be overhauled, physicians told the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/rac-letter-03dec2014.pdf" target="_blank">letter</a> (log in) Wednesday, pointing to a two-year backlog of appeals and prohibitive expenses that result from excessive audits.</p> <p> The AMA letter points out that CMS’ own reports have shown that appeals have skyrocketed as a result of the recovery audit contractor (RAC) program. When appeals from the RAC program entered the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals’ (OMHA) workload in 2012, the department saw a 42 percent increase in the total number of claims appealed. That number then increased 506 percent between 2012 and 2013.</p> <p> And while OMHA can’t keep up with appeals, more than 60 percent of RAC determinations that physicians and other Medicare Part B providers appeal are overturned once reviewed.</p> <p> “The AMA does not support improper billing, but the RAC auditors are often wrong, and their bounty-hunter-like tactics have caused physician practices undue hardship and expense,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2014/2014-12-03-overhaul-recovery-audit-process.page" target="_blank">news release</a>.</p> <p> “As CMS awards new contracts in the RAC program, it must consider putting an end to policies that cause burdens for physicians and encourage RAC auditors to incorrectly deny claims,” Dr. Wah said.</p> <p> Physician costs from the RAC program are tremendous. A recent survey conducted by the Frank Cohen Group found that the average cost to appeal a RAC audit was about $110 per claim, and the average cost of simply being audited was $86.</p> <p> At the same time, auditors are paid a sizeable commission of approximately 9.0-12.5 percent for denied claims, the letter points out. “Only if a claim is later overturned on appeal must the RAC pay back their contingency fee, providing little incentive for RACs to ensure that they limit their audits,” the letter said.</p> <p> The AMA is calling on CMS to make five strategic changes to fix the RAC program:</p> <ul> <li> Contractors should be subject to financial penalties for inaccurate audit findings.</li> <li> RAC audits of physicians should be performed by a physician of the same specialty or subspecialty and should be licensed in the same jurisdiction.</li> <li> Physicians should be able to rebill for recouped claims for a full year following recoupment.</li> <li> CMS should provide an optional appeals settlement to physicians, similar to that provided to hospitals for short-term care.</li> <li> CMS should retain the current medical record request limits and allow medical record reimbursement for physicians.</li> </ul> <p> This call for an overhaul of the RAC program is part of the AMA’s commitment to enhance <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">professional satisfaction and practice sustainability</a>. The association is supporting policies at every level of government to improve patient health, enhance access to affordable, quality care, and protect the privacy and trusted interactions patients have with physicians.</p> <p> Visit the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/medicare/recovery-audit-contractors.page" target="_blank">recovery audit Web page</a> to learn more about recent advocacy efforts on this issue.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:2bf8be94-921d-4968-a59f-12a262fbe68c CME cleared from reporting under Sunshine Act http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_cme-cleared-reporting-under-sunshine-act Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> With the release of the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/13/2014-26183/medicare-program-revisions-to-payment-policies-under-the-physician-fee-schedule-clinical-laboratory" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">final rule</a> Oct. 31, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made it official: funding for independent continuing medical education (CME) will not be subject to reporting under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as initially proposed by the agency earlier this summer.</p> <p> CMS proposed modifying the existing rule that excluded from reporting certain independent CME funding  by medical device and drug manufacturers in the new “Open Payments” public database. The AMA led dozens of other medical associations in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-medical-groups-urge-hhs-overturn-cms-policy-sunshine-act" target="_blank">calling on the agency</a> to  reject the proposed change because it would “chill physician participation in independent [continuing education] programs.”</p> <p> The agency finalized a new rule that excludes from reporting all independent CME. The exception is if the industry selects or pays the CME speaker directly, or suggests speakers to the CME provider.</p> <p> However, the rule does not exempt manufacturers from reporting the financial value of reprints and medical textbooks provided to physicians. The agency does not consider these items to be continuing education.</p> <p> “Eliminating the exemption for payments to speakers at certain accredited or [certified]  CME events will create a more consistent reporting requirement and will also be more consistent for consumers who will ultimately have access to the reported data,” CMS said in a <a href="http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets-items/2014-10-31-7.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fact sheet</a> about the 2015 fee schedule.</p> <p> The AMA’s intense advocacy surrounding the Sunshine Act also has included providing guidance for physicians to review and dispute the data reported about them in the Open Payments database, and educating reporters about the context of the data release.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-advocated-sunshine-act-implementation-overhaul" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the AMA’s Sunshine Act advocacy at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:5f3d79fa-2988-47b8-9a3d-048f947ba2ac 9 top tips for getting published in a medical journal http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_9-top-tips-getting-published-medical-journal Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:16:00 GMT <p> As a new physician, getting your research published in a journal does more than just improve your CV. It also gives you the chance to share your ideas and experiences, educate others and establish yourself as an expert.</p> <p> But getting research published isn’t easy, so follow these tips from published residents and fellows and Edward H. Livingston, MD, deputy editor of clinical content at <em>JAMA</em>, which they shared at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting in November.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Start by asking a simple question. </strong>“Re-examine what’s in front of you,” Dr. Livingston said. “It’s not necessary to find something new [to research]. … You can do more to help patient care if you start thinking in smaller terms.” For example, consider a question on how to provide optimal care, or how to fix something that’s gone wrong.</li> <li> <strong>Choose a timely project with a defined end point.</strong> Benjamin Galper, MD, an interventional cardiology fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, recommends choosing a project that won’t take years to complete. “As residents and fellows, we only have a finite amount of time to devote to research,” Dr. Galper said. “It’s important that you choose a project that you can have a high impact on in a short period of time so you will be a prominent author when the project is published.”</li> <li> <strong>Don’t be deterred by lack of funds. </strong>Dr. Livingston recommends looking for support at your institution but also said money shouldn’t be a major barrier to your work. “There’s too much emphasis on needing lots of [money] to solve problems,” he said. “Some major science advances were accomplished with minimal funding.” Some grant programs also can assist with offsetting costs, such as the AMA Foundation’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/interested-research-apply-grant-money-dec-5" target="_blank">seed grant program</a>, which offers grants of up to $5,000 to conduct small research projects.</li> <li> <strong>Get a good mentor. </strong>For Alik Widge, MD, PhD, a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finding a mentor was crucial. “A mentor who has a good track record of publishing in reputable journals can identify opportunities, such as being a co-author on a review article, or doing some analyses on a dataset that a resident could not ordinarily collect,” Dr. Widge said. “A good mentor’s name often opens doors to higher-impact journals.”</li> <li> <strong>Practice writing. </strong>“This is the hard part, the Achilles’ heel of investigators,” Dr. Livingston said. He recommends writing often and having people who can critique your work. Practice makes perfect, he said. “Just keep writing, no matter how awful it is.”</li> <li> <strong>Keep a sharp eye on your abstract, tables and figures.</strong> “For many papers we assess at <em>JAMA</em>, we don’t even read them [initially],” Dr. Livingston said. “We just look at the abstract, tables and figures. Those things have to be absolutely perfect.”</li> <li> <strong>Follow the journal’s instructions. </strong>Journals have specific author instructions for a reason—if you don’t follow them, you’ll likely lose your opportunity to be published, Dr. Livingston said.</li> <li> <strong>Build a great reference list. </strong>“There’s no excuse in the modern era for not having a complete reference list,” Dr. Livingston said. Your list should include landmark papers and the most recent publications on your topic. Dr. Livingston recommends anticipating your paper’s peer reviewers, and citing their papers as well.</li> <li> <strong>Have a thick skin.</strong> The research publication process isn’t easy, and rejection is common. You may need to submit your paper to multiple journals and take your paper through many revisions before it’s finally published, Dr. Galper said. “Each peer-reviewed rejection or revision of your paper can make it stronger,” he said. “I have one paper that was rejected by five journals before finally being published, and I believe the final paper is much stronger due to the feedback I received.”</li> </ol> <p> For more insights into how to get your research published, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/research-published" target="_blank">check out tips</a> from Howard Bauchner, MD, <em>JAMA</em> editor-in-chief.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e851b825-dc87-4d23-9386-26d3e00d1677 3 things you must know about overpayment recovery http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_3-things-must-overpayment-recovery Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:14:00 GMT <p> When a payer sends an overpayment recovery request—a retroactive denial or reduced payment of a previously paid claim—you may lose significant time from patient care while handling the issue. Learn what you need to know about the overpayment recovery process with these three tips and additional assistance from a free online <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives/appeal-your-claim/overpayment-recovery-toolkit.page?" target="_blank">overpayment recovery toolkit</a> from the AMA.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Address the request as soon as possible. </strong>You have the right to challenge a request, but there may be defined time constraints for doing so in your contract with the health insurer. In some cases, the insurer will automatically recoup the payment if it doesn’t receive a check or appeal within a specified period of time. Learn how to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/psa/x-pub/address-and-resolve-overpayment.pdf">address and resolve overpayment recovery requests</a> (log in).</li> <li> <strong>Improve your practice’s administrative workflow by automating the overpayment recovery process.</strong> Keeping track of overpayment recovery requests and using a payer follow-up log will help improve your practice’s process. Using electronic transactions to automate and standardize workflows in your practice can reduce the likelihood of these requests. Get more information on how to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/psa/x-pub/automate-overpayment.pdf">automate the tracking and monitoring process</a> (log in).</li> <li> <strong>Know your overpayment recovery rights.</strong> Many contracts between physician practices and insurers place few, if any, restrictions on the payer’s ability to recover alleged overpayments. However, you may have rights that, when exercised, can greatly reduce the administrative burdens these processes place on your practice. For example, 24 states have passed statutes or regulations that give physicians significant protections with respect to overpayment recovery practices. Find out more about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/psa/x-pub/overpayment-know-your-rights.pdf">your rights in this process</a> (log in).</li> </ol> <p> If you’re not very familiar with this topic, view an archived <a href="http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=90rsij" rel="nofollow">webinar</a> to learn how to effectively address overpayment recovery requests with minimal burden to your practice. This webinar and other newly updated resources available on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/topics/administrative-simplification-initiatives/appeal-your-claim.page" target="_blank">overpayment recovery Web page</a> can help you automate and improve the process for overpayment recovery.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9375b471-64f6-4004-a2d7-d3bc4af728ff How to manage your online reputation: Top 4 tips http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_manage-online-reputation-top-4-tips Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:08:00 GMT <p> Do you know what patients see when they search your name online? Learn how to curate your online persona to make sure patients get the right impression of you.</p> <p> “I used to never Google myself because I was afraid to see what patients thought about me,” said Ravi D. Goel, MD, an ophthalmologist from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “Then I decided to take charge of my online reputation. I wanted to make sure that no matter how a patient searched for me, they were going to get basic, factual information about me.”</p> <p> Through years of experience, Dr. Goel, former chair of the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/young-physicians-section.page?" target="_blank">Young Physicians Section</a> (YPS), created some tips for other physicians who want to manage their online reputations. He discussed his best advice at the 2014 AMA-YPS Interim Meeting in November.</p> <p> Dr. Goel’s tips include:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Search for yourself.</strong> Type such queries as your first and last name (both with your medical degree and without) and your full name plus the word “rating” into a search engine, and see what comes up. Also search for your specialty and local area to see whether any results pertain to you or your practice.</li> <li> <strong>Update your information. </strong>Ensure that the information on your practice website, health rating websites, social media accounts and professional organization pages is accurate.</li> <li> <strong>Get a professional headshot.</strong> You can use this photo on your practice website, social media and other websites where your name is featured. “Your image is your brand and should be consistent on all websites,” Dr. Goel said.</li> <li> <strong>Address critics, but stay positive.</strong> If you come across a negative review of you or your practice, don’t respond immediately—you might come across angry. Instead, wait a bit and then respond in a positive way by calling the patient, sending a note of apology and offering to reschedule. If you enhance the patient’s experience, they may remove or amend the negative review.</li> </ol> <p> By optimizing the first few search engine results in which your name is returned, you can better control the way you appear to patients.</p> <p> <strong>Learn more during a free webinar Dec. 10. </strong>Experts from reputation.com will lead an interactive webinar for physicians Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. <a href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8768664967545778946" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Register today</a>.</p> <p> Participants will learn why online reputation management is important, what comprises a practice’s online presence, how to monitor what patients are saying on review sites and best practices for improving their practice’s online reputation.</p> <p> Reputation.com is the preferred provider of online reputation management products and services through the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/membership/membership-benefits/member-value-program.page" target="_blank">AMA MVP Program</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:7c26c38d-e97f-406d-b992-280a7699e49f As payment reform advances, we need physicians at forefront http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_payment-reform-advances-need-physicians-forefront Tue, 02 Dec 2014 21:19:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/board-trustees/our-members/barbara-mcaneny.page?" target="_blank"><em>Barbara L. McAneny, MD</em></a><em>, chair of the AMA Board of Trustees.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/3/a9ad1394-7079-4024-b3d4-1364b043e309.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/3/a9ad1394-7079-4024-b3d4-1364b043e309.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;height:140px;width:100px;margin:10px;" /></a>Physicians are accustomed to reviewing and embracing new scientific and medical breakthroughs, but innovations on the payment side can come much more slowly.</p> <p> In my own oncology practice, the fee-for-service model has resulted in an inability to give my patients needed services that would improve their quality of life. Because the current system has too many services for which there aren’t payments, I am actively looking for new methods to supplement this system so I can give my patients the care they need. Fortunately, many promising new payment methods have been under development in recent years.</p> <p> Take bundled payments, for example. If I were to receive an overall payment for the care of my patients, I could allocate that to services that augment the cancer care, such as improved patient education, decision-support tools to help patients choose therapies, and calls or visits from nurses to check on how patients are doing at home.</p> <p> Thanks to an award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which I’ve <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/practice-improving-patient-care-reducing-costs" target="_blank">written about before</a>, I’m able to deliver those services in my practice and the other practices participating in the grant. The work we’re doing is helping us reduce costs and improve care by keeping patients healthier and out of the hospital.</p> <p> But when the grant payments end, so would those services, without an alternative payment system that allows us to continue in this way. New payment models such as this can offer the opportunity to turn the traditional fee-for-service model and the fragmented care it produces into a more rational and patient-centered payment and delivery structure. Bundled payments can enable us to focus on care coordination across multiple physicians and other providers and simultaneously increase efficiency.</p> <p> At the AMA, we’ve been urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help physicians adopt new payment and delivery models. And it seems the agency is listening—in October, CMS announced a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/840-million-will-fund-improved-care-via-new-clinical-networks" target="_blank">new initiative</a> to give medical practices the technical assistance and peer-level support they need to deliver efficient patient-centered care. The <a href="http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Transforming-Clinical-Practices/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative</a> will award $840 million for the creation of evidence-based, peer-led collaboratives and practice transformation networks to support physicians in providing high-quality care.</p> <p> This is an important step in the transformation of medicine, from enhancing the quality of care for patients to allowing more control over health care costs. It also aligns well with our <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, which promotes sustainable practices that can result in improved health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians.</p> <p> The AMA is at the forefront of new payment and delivery models—just look at our Innovators Committee. Real physicians are sharing what they’re doing in their practices to improve satisfaction, care coordination and outcomes. The committee created a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/shaping-delivery-and-payment-models/payment-model-resources.page" target="_blank">variety of resources</a> for physicians across the country to adopt practical payment improvements, including:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/innovators-committee-physician-payment-reform-white-paper.pdf" target="_blank">Guidance on how to “divide the pie” in new payment models</a> (log in)</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/physician-payment-reform-white-paper.pdf" target="_blank">Teachings from early payment and delivery innovators</a> (log in)</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/delivery-reform-white-paper.pdf" target="_blank">How to implement innovative strategies in your practice</a> (log in)</li> <li> Webinars on many different aspects of payment reform</li> </ul> <p> It’s exciting to be a part of changes that hold so much potential for improving the health of the nation. If you’re not already looking into new payment models that could help your patients and practice, I encourage you to consider doing so. Keeping the voice of physicians at the leading edge of payment reform debates will ensure future changes accomplish our main goals: improving the care experience and the health of our patients while reducing health care costs. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c270a8e2-ae0d-4d4a-af04-d7ea33777ffc How to honor physicians who are making a difference http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_honor-physicians-making-difference Tue, 02 Dec 2014 21:16:00 GMT <p> Do you know a fellow physician who has led an exemplary career of service, working tirelessly to improve public health, provide the highest quality care and serve the community? <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/ama-foundation/x-pub/excellence-named-award-application.doc" target="_blank">Nominate</a> (log in) him or her for an AMA Foundation <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/excellence-medicine-awards.page" target="_blank">Excellence in Medicine Award</a> by Jan. 20.</p> <p> The AMA Foundation presents the annual awards to honor physicians who embody the highest values of the medical profession: altruism, public service and dedication to patient care. </p> <ul> <li> Pride in the Profession Award: Physicians aiding underserved patients in the United States</li> <li> Dr. Nathan Davis International Award: Physicians aiding an international population</li> <li> Jack B. McConnell, MD, Award: Senior physicians improving access to care in the United States</li> <li> Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award: Physicians serving impoverished domestic communities</li> <li> Leadership Awards: Medical students, residents, fellows and early-career physicians who demonstrate outstanding nonclinical leadership skills</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/7/00d9d345-cbb8-48ae-a7e6-90c438865681.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/7/00d9d345-cbb8-48ae-a7e6-90c438865681.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a></p> <p> Last year’s Pride in the Profession Award winner Darryl C. Hunter, MD (pictured right), said he was “honored and humbled” to receive the award. “There are few ways to thank our colleagues who dedicate timeless hours beyond their practice to improve the lives of those in our communities,” Dr. Hunter said. “I can’t think of a higher honor than to be nominated for an Excellence in Medicine Award.”</p> <p> A colonel in the Air Force Reserves and a physician working with the Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Hunter is the founder and managing partner of the Sacramento Community Cancer Coalition. This organization provides cancer screenings, vision exams and dental care to thousands of patients from underserved communities.</p> <p> He’s also a co-founder of two important groups for local veterans: the Sacramento Community Veterans Alliance, which is committed to connecting veterans to health care benefits, and the first California chapter of the Kaiser Permanente Veterans Association, a resource group that advocates for the health rights and respectful treatment of veterans.</p> <p> Dr. Hunter also has memorialized the spirit and teachings of his parents with the Dr. Ernest and Arthella Hunter Foundation, which provides scholarships to outstanding pre-medical students who provide community service to the underserved.</p> <p> Receiving the award “reinforced my belief that community service and mentorship should be fostered as part of our profession’s culture,” Dr. Hunter said. “It has provided me with the opportunity to raise even greater awareness of the needs of the communities served by the Dr. Ernest and Arthella Hunter Foundation.”</p> <p> This year’s awards will be presented at a reception June 6 during the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Award recipients will receive a $2,500 grant for their organization plus hotel and travel reimbursement to attend these events. Further details about award criteria are available on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/excellence-medicine-awards.page" target="_blank">AMA Foundation Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ddc6f3c1-a5f3-4af3-95b2-c4ee97d927f1 Doctors discuss how to lead health care changes http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_doctors-discuss-lead-health-care-changes Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:58:00 GMT <p> How can physicians can lead change instead of being the recipients of change? Erin DuPree, MD, chief medical officer and vice president of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, discusses ways physicians can be leaders of change in a recent <a href="http://www.jointcommission.org/jc_physician_blog/inspiring_change/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Joint Commission physician blog post</a>.</p> <p> Dr. DuPree recently discussed one hospital’s success through physician-led quality improvement initiatives during a session at the 2014 AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/organized-medical-staff-section.page?" target="_blank">Organized Medical Staff Section</a> (OMSS) Interim Meeting last month.</p> <p> Joined by Michael Shabot, MD, vice president and chief medical officer of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Dr. DuPree looked at the Joint Commission’s attempts to bring high reliability to health care. She and Dr. Shabot also provided a case study of one health system’s success. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/omss/x-pub/i14-omss-presentations-2.pdf" target="_blank">Download slides</a> (log in) from the session. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9673f0d3-4675-440c-b1e6-3c83f1ed9053 AAMC releasing core competencies in LGBT medical education http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_aamc-releasing-core-competencies-lgbt-medical-education Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:54:00 GMT <p> A <a href="https://members.aamc.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Action=Add&ObjectKeyFrom=1A83491A-9853-4C87-86A4-F7D95601C2E2&WebCode=PubDetailAdd&DoNotSave=yes&ParentObject=CentralizedOrderEntry&ParentDataObject=Invoice%20Detail&ivd_formkey=69202792-63d7-4ba2-bf4e-a0da41270555&ivd_prc_prd_key=43C1F805-2737-4656-BF94-3C17768667E3" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">groundbreaking publication</a> defining core competencies in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) medical education recently was released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The publication is designed to assist institutions in implementing curricular and climate change in medical education.</p> <p> <a href="http://youtu.be/RlkZjcqRNJQ" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Watch a video</a> discussing this publication and describing the efforts of the AAMC Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Development to learn more.</p> <p> Read a <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/what-doctors-dont-know-about-lgbt-health/382792/?single_page=true" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">recent interview</a> by <em>Th</em><em>e </em><em>Atlantic</em> with Kristen Eckstrand, PhD, a member of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/glbt-advisory-committee.page" target="_blank">AMA Advisory Committee on LGBT Issues</a>. A fourth-year medical student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and chair of the AAMC’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Development, Eckstrand discusses medical school LGBT training</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:28193745-00b4-450b-a772-4c21fe635605 How one physician helped a patient transform her life http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_one-physician-helped-patient-transform-her-life Mon, 01 Dec 2014 20:59:00 GMT <p> While helping patients lead healthy lives is a primary goal of physicians, dramatic transformations aren’t always the result. But one patient with diabetes recently saw her health turn around as she lost more than 200 pounds with the help of her physician and lifestyle changes. She and her physician shared her story during a special session at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas.</p> <table align="left" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/13/cda6de82-884c-43d6-adb3-896b3d643723.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/13/cda6de82-884c-43d6-adb3-896b3d643723.Large.jpg?1" /></a></td> <td>   </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p> <em><span style="font-size:10px;">Patient Brenda Jones (left) and her physician Christopher Berry, MD (right),<br /> explained how she turned her health around after being diagnosed with<br /> type 2 diabetes.</span></em></p> </td> <td>    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> Hosted by the AMA sections and special groups, the session provided an update on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, particularly its work in raising awareness of prediabetes and reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the United States.</p> <p> Local Dallas family physician Christopher Berry, MD, explained how his work helped patient Brenda Jones, who weighed 350 pounds in 2009 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.</p> <p> At the time, Jones didn’t have consistent care—most of her care was through emergency rooms or 24-hour clinics—and she eventually needed a motorized scooter to get around. Coming from a family of farmers who ate high-fat, high-sugar diets, she relied on insulin to keep her diabetes in check.</p> <p> Jones found Dr. Berry through a local clinic. She felt that he was the first medical professional who really listened to and collaborated with her.</p> <p> “Dr. Berry is good at treating my whole person,” she said. “I started telling him what I was thinking and feeling, and he simplified it for me. He gave me two things: Eat 2,000 calories a day, and keep a log. ‘Really?’ I thought. ‘That’s it?’”</p> <p> With Dr. Berry’s help, Jones lost weight and was able to be taken off insulin injections. She learned about portion control and nutrition through community programs.</p> <p> “Doctors need to realize how our culture that we come from affects us,” she said. She also pointed to how simple Dr. Berry made weight loss seem.</p> <p> “It would be beneficial to not overwhelm the patient with a whole bunch of information—if you give too much, too fast, [we] just shut down,” she said. “If you could have five minutes of every visit and give a patient a recipe, some kind of nutritional advice, then maybe somebody is going to make a difference in their lives.”</p> <p> To help physicians connect patients to community resources that can improve health, the AMA is working with the YMCA of the USA to explore a process for physicians to screen and test patients for prediabetes, refer eligible patients to participate in the local YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, and receive feedback from the program to use in patients’ care plans.</p> <p> The AMA is scaling its work to effect national change. Meanwhile, physicians like Dr. Berry are starting small to make important changes with patients in their communities.</p> <p> “The truth is, we’re only going to see a slight percentage change in what the outcomes are in terms of the numbers,” Dr. Berry said. “It’s not going to be an enormous sea change, and that can be frustrating to physicians who want to see change. But what Brenda represents is how it does matter.”</p> <p> Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/recognition/registry.htm#program" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">National Diabetes Prevention Program Web page</a> to learn whether a program is available in your community. Read <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/National_Diabetes_Month/1" target="_blank">coverage about November’s National Diabetes Month</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>® for additional information about how physicians can help patients minimize their risk for developing diabetes and improve their health outcomes.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:babbea14-b40f-498a-a690-b86115cb93c1 What the newest medical class looks like http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_newest-medical-class-looks-like Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> More students are going to medical school than ever before, and the newest matriculants are the most diverse class yet, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).</p> <p> The number of students who enrolled in U.S. allopathic medical schools for the first time in 2014 reached a new high of 20,343, and the total number of medical school applicants also rose to a record 49,480.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/13/cd532655-59a0-4021-9dc0-b0e747d87c33.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/13/cd532655-59a0-4021-9dc0-b0e747d87c33.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a></p> <p> New race and ethnicity reporting options updated in 2013 offered applicants and enrollees a different way to self-report their background. Since the reporting change, data show progress in the diversity of the nation’s medical students, including:</p> <ul> <li> A 1.1 percent increase in the number of African American enrollees, from 1,396 to 1,412</li> <li> A 1.8 percent increase in the number of Hispanic or Latino enrollees, from 1,826 to 1,859</li> <li> A 17 percent increase in American Indian and Alaska Native enrollees, from 173 to 202</li> </ul> <p> The AAMC changed the methodology “to more accurately reflect just how diverse our society is and to give students the flexibility they wanted in self-identifying,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and CEO of AAMC, said on a recent call. “We feel that the methodology we’re using has significantly improved and is responsive to the realities of diversity in America now.”</p> <p> For example, applicants and matriculants now can choose more than one race or ethnicity. They may also identify as “unknown” or “non-U.S.”</p> <p> Gender makeup of those entering medical school this year remained mostly unchanged. About 52 percent of enrollees are males, and nearly 48 percent are females.</p> <p> <strong>A broader picture of applicants</strong></p> <p> Three-quarters of this year’s crop of applicants have research experience, and more than three-quarters reported volunteer community service in some kind of health care setting.</p> <p> “Our medical schools have been making strong efforts to look at applicants in a manner we call ‘holistically,’” Dr. Kirch said. “What are their personal attributes, and what do they bring to us on the diversity front—not just racial and ethnic diversity but experiential diversity.”</p> <p> The overall grade point average of 3.5 and average MCAT score of 29 is mostly unchanged from prior years’ applicants, the data shows.</p> <p> <strong>Osteopathic enrollees increase</strong></p> <p> Meanwhile, medical student enrollment in U.S. osteopathic medical schools increased by 5.2 percent over 2013 enrollment, with 6,786 students enrolling this year, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.</p> <p> Most of this growth is attributed to one new osteopathic medical school and two additional teaching locations enrolling their first classes this fall: Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Virgina; Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Dublin Campus in Dublin, Ohio; and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine–New York, Middletown Campus in Middletown, New York.</p> <p> <strong>A changing environment</strong></p> <p> “Medicine as a career is, and continues to be, a very strong and attractive career choice for the best and brightest of our students,” Dr. Kirch said.</p> <p> This year’s enrollees also likely will see different medical school environments, Dr. Kirch said. “We’re not educating doctors simply to work in the current health care system. But more and more, we’re trying to focus that education on the skills and competencies that they’ll need in the future.”</p> <p> The AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative is playing a role in shaping the future medical school curriculum. Through a consortium of 11 medical schools, the initiative spent the last year developing and implementing innovative ideas such as competency-based education, adaptive learning, and teachings in systems-based practice and team-based care. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-schools-can-expect-future" target="_blank">Read more</a> about the changing face of undergraduate medical education at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:a740ea8d-68dc-421c-8428-52bab586405e Momentum grows for Medicare reform, but time almost out http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_momentum-grows-medicare-reform-but-time-almost-out Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:58:00 GMT <p> Only days remain until Congress concludes its “lame duck” session. That’s not much time for lawmakers to address a long agenda—but support is building in the nation’s capital to eliminate Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula this year. Now is the time to turn up the heat on Congress: Contact your elected officials today, and tell them to adopt SGR repeal legislation now.</p> <p> “Momentum is building with a growing number of bipartisan members of Congress in both the House and the Senate—including the congressional ‘doc’ caucus—declaring their support for immediate action on SGR reform,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, wrote in a recent <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/seizing-moment-fix-medicare-during-lame-duck-session" target="_blank">AMA Viewpoints</a> piece. “The bipartisan, bicameral bill developed last spring is the remedy to fix the defective policy.”</p> <p> Earlier this year, Congress came close to passing the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, H.R. 4015/S. 2000, but stopped short of adopting this landmark bill. Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing new optimism that the legislation could pass in the lame duck session currently underway.</p> <p> “If Congress does not seize the moment to act now during the lame duck session, all of the hard bipartisan, bicameral work that went into building that framework will be for naught, and the process of negotiating a solution will start all over again,” Dr. Wah said. “The current legislation is a remedy to improve care for patients through new health care delivery and payment systems that promise to create the stable environment that is needed for physicians to innovate.”</p> <p> “Most of the hard work has been done,” Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, R-Texas, said earlier this month during a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/lawmakers-say-sgr-repeal-closer-ever" target="_blank">special session</a> at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting. “I’m optimistic that … there could be a new SGR ending in site.”</p> <p> <strong>Act now:</strong> Send your members of Congress an <a href="http://fixmedicarenow.org/physician-action/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>urgent email</strong></a>, and call their offices via the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network at <strong>(800) 833-6354</strong>. Download simple <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/sgr-lame-duck-talking-points.pdf" target="_blank">talking points</a> (log in) today.</p> <p> As Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told physicians at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting, “The clock is ticking.”</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:08348f34-1d36-49e8-97cb-6002afdaf1ba Get up to speed on quality measures: Webinar Dec. 3 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_up-speed-quality-measures-webinar-dec-3 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:55:00 GMT <p> If you’re interested in learning more about electronic clinical quality measures—a required reporting mechanism for national quality reporting programs—<a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Activity/2840927/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">register now</a> for a live webinar from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 3.</p> <p> Understanding the underlying science and challenges of electronic clinical quality measures testing can help you better follow the process by which measures become a part of national quality reporting programs, including the meaningful use electronic health record program and Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System.</p> <p> The webinar, hosted by the AMA-convened <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/physician-consortium-performance-improvement.page?" target="_blank">Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement®</a>, will explain:</p> <ul> <li> The role of testing in the measure development cycle</li> <li> The trends and new directions of testing in electronic clinical quality measures</li> <li> The challenges involved in testing contemporary electronic clinical quality measures</li> <li> How test decks can be used in testing clinical quality measures</li> </ul> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Quality/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about quality programs at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:92287440-4269-47ed-a4b8-f5eff7e01473 Get the coding resources you need with big discounts http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_coding-resources-need-big-discounts Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:56:00 GMT <p> You can get Black Friday deals without waiting in lines at retail stores by taking advantage of a special sale from the AMA Store.</p> <p> Save on select coding packages* through Dec. 4:</p> <ul> <li> 46 percent savings when you <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2500028&navAction=push" target="_blank">purchase</a> the <em>CPT® 2015 Professional Edition</em> and <em>CPT® Changes 2015: An Insider’s View </em>package</li> <li> 44 percent savings when you <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2500029&navAction=push" target="_blank">purchase</a> the CPT, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS package, including <em>CPT® Professional Edition</em>, <em>ICD-10-CM 2015: The Complete Official Draft Codebook</em> and <em>HCPCS 2015 Level II Professional Edition</em></li> <li> 40 percent savings when you <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2560011&navAction=push" target="_blank">purchase</a> the  <em>ICD-10-PCS 2015: The Complete Official Draft Codebook</em> and <em>ICD-10-CM 2015: The Complete Official Draft Codebook </em>package</li> </ul> <p> Plus, you get a $50 bonus when you spend more than $250 before Dec. 31.**</p> <p> <span style="font-size:10px;"><em>*Package savings reflect the package price to the non-package list price. This offer is available for customers that purchase from the AMA directly (excludes wholesale/resellers and bookstores), is valid only on the packages listed in this ad, and expires Dec. 4. Cannot be combined with other offers except for the spend $250, get a $50 bonus offer.</em></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:10px;"><em>**The $250 minimum purchase offer expires Dec. 31 and excludes AMA membership, AMA Coding Online, 3M™ ICD-10 Education, workshops, seminars, shipping charges and taxes. Customers that qualify for the special bonus offer will receive the $50 coupon code via email on the next business day following the $250 purchase. Customer must provide a valid email address at time of purchase. Additional coupon details will be provided upon email delivery of the coupon code.</em></span></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:83b55fa8-a80d-4c3e-8e84-9916c6f018f9 6 reasons you should not delay getting your flu shot http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_6-reasons-should-not-delay-getting-flu-shot Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:03:00 GMT <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/15/7e3a319e-4023-43ca-bf95-f9e04d7b2de7.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/15/7e3a319e-4023-43ca-bf95-f9e04d7b2de7.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:15px;" /></a></p> <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> It’s that time of year—holiday lights and celebrations seem to go hand-in-hand with sniffles, coughing and fatigue. But there’s a way to protect yourself, your family and your holiday season: Get a flu shot. With <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">National Influenza Vaccination Week</a> coming up, Dec. 7-13, there’s no better time to get protected.</p> <p> The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. If you or your children haven’t gotten the flu vaccine yet, here are six reasons why you should get it as soon as possible:</p> <ol> <li> <strong><a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/7/515c82b3-f8b4-4dc1-872e-04125f22d5b7.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/7/515c82b3-f8b4-4dc1-872e-04125f22d5b7.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>Avoid getting sick. </strong>Getting a simple shot could spare you days of lost time at work and feeling ill, and protects those around you. If you do get the flu, the vaccine will generally make your illness milder. The <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm#benefits" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">benefits</a> of the vaccine are numerous.</li> <li> <strong>Prevent hospitalization and death. </strong>During the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6307a3.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">last flu season</a>, tens of thousands were hospitalized for the flu, and thousands, on average, die from the flu each year. Meanwhile, data from the CDC show that vaccination reduced the risk for medical visits related to the flu by more than 50 percent.</li> <li> <strong>Protect your loved ones. </strong>The upcoming holiday season will mean lots of time with family and friends—what could be worse than passing along the flu to them? Don’t have any regrets about spreading the flu going into the new year. Young children and aging or sick loved ones are the most vulnerable, so make sure they also receive the vaccine<strong>.</strong></li> <li> <strong>Enjoy your holiday festivities. </strong>Think of it this way—getting vaccinated against the flu could mean the difference between attending your child’s holiday play or being stuck in bed. Don’t miss the gatherings with friends and family that come with the season.</li> <li> <strong>Put your mind at ease. </strong>The flu vaccine is perfectly safe with very <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/no-excuses-flu-vaccine.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">minimal side effects</a>. The most common side effects are mild, such as a sore arm at the site of the shot, and the effects last only a day or two. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection, so the sooner you get it, the better.</li> <li> <strong>It’s easy. </strong>Visit your family physician or pediatrician or find an alternate place near you by using the CDC’s <a href="http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Flu Vaccine Finder</a>. Getting the shot itself takes only minutes.</li> </ol> <p> There are no excuses. The flu is easily preventable if we’re protected. Get the vaccine, and urge those you know to get vaccinated, too.</p> <p> Find all the resources you need on the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">CDC’s influenza Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:f186ac4c-843d-43f8-b964-326433af99cb 5 ways to manage student debt http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_five-ways-manage-student-debt Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:00:00 GMT <p> Medical student debt can feel like a huge burden. Learn how financial planning can help you effectively manage debt after graduation.</p> <p> More than 80 percent of physicians under the age of 40 still are paying off their medical school loans, according to AMA Insurance’s <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/resourcecenter/introduction-to-work-life-profiles-of-todays-us-physician.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">National Work/Life Profiles 2013 survey</a>. Nearly one-half of these young physicians carry a debt of $150,000-$200,000.</p> <p> Robert Yermish, a financial advisor in Philadelphia who works with AMA Insurance as a member of their Physicians Financial Partners program, frequently works with residents and young physicians. He offers his best tips for how to manage medical school debt.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Remember that everyone’s situation is different.</strong> It’s hard to give an exact formula for the best way to handle student loan debt, Yermish said. “Science has specific rules that go along with it,” he said. “This is more malleable—everybody’s situation is different, and there’s no right answer.”</li> <li> <strong>Find a financial planner or accountant you trust. </strong>The right person will be able to help you through your unique situation and guide you in the financial moves that make the most sense for you, Yermish said.</li> <li> <strong>Don’t look at debt in a negative way.</strong> Look at your debt as an investment in your business. “It’s costing you this amount of money to set up your business,” Yermish said. “You’re not trying to pay all the debt off in a couple of years.”</li> <li> <strong>Try not to rely on credit cards. </strong>If you’re going to pay down debt, you should at least be paying down the debt that’s beneficial to your future—like your medical school loans—and not credit card debt. “I find a lot of people used credit cards over their residency or medical school, and they have $30,000-50,000 in credit card debt, which is far more untenable than $100,000 in medical school debt,” Yermish said. “At least with medical school debt, you’re going to pay less interest.”</li> <li> <strong>Brush up on your business skills. </strong>You may own your own practice one day, so gaining some business experience is worthwhile. “Go to an evening school, or community programs, to get new ideas,” Yermish said. This could help prevent additional debt and improve your financial management skills.</li> </ol> <p> Get more insight into financial planning and managing debt by viewing practical <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/ResourceCenter/RecWeb.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">videos</a> from AMA Insurance.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9af04d36-2124-426c-a747-8de0e641a69d How to prepare your hospital to handle Ebola: Free resources http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_prepare-hospital-handle-ebola-resources Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:04:00 GMT <p> Expert resources and guidance on preparing for Ebola are easy to find. Visit the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a> to view an archived video on preparing for Ebola and download vital resources.</p> <p> In the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnP_HIJy9PU&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">video</a>, Arjun Srinivasan, MD, an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, discusses how physicians can prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings. His <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/public-health/x-pub/medical-personnel-preparedness-for-ebola.pdf" target="_blank">slides</a> (log in) also are available as a reference tool.</p> <p> Other resources especially for physicians who work in hospitals include:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/hospital-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf" rel="nofollow">Hospital checklist</a></li> <li> <a href="http://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/ppt/2014/10_14_14_preparing_for_ebola.pdf" rel="nofollow">What U.S. hospitals can learn from Emory Healthcare and Nebraska Medical Center</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ed-algorithm-management-patients-possible-ebola.pdf" rel="nofollow">Evaluation and management of Ebola for emergency departments</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/considerations-discharging-pui.html" rel="nofollow">What to consider before discharging persons under investigation for Ebola</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/833907" rel="nofollow">How to don and doff personal protective equipment</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y19h1hecgY&feature=youtu.be" rel="nofollow">Providing respiratory protection when caring for Ebola patients</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/practice-management/news/online/%7B443af8d6-a116-4071-9c72-a743bc1ff078%7D/lessons-learned-treating-ebola-patients-in-us" rel="nofollow">Lessons learned from treating U.S. Ebola patients</a></li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:a55d0365-f3bc-452b-a6f4-66f3e936db4b Become a leader of the AMA Senior Physicians Section http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_become-leader-of-ama-senior-physicians-section-1 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:02:00 GMT <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> In January the AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) Governing Council will issue a call for nominations for two officer-at-large positions. If you are interested in putting your experience to work, submit a nomination form.</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> <strong>Eligibility </strong></p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> All AMA physicians 65 years of age and older are members of the AMA-SPS and eligible for a leadership position, regardless of whether their working status is full time, part time or retired.</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> <strong>Election</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> An online election will take place in spring 2015. Only current AMA members with a valid email address on file in the AMA’s system will be sent an email with the electronic ballot.</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> <strong>Positions available </strong></p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> Nominations will be accepted for two officers at large. These two-year terms will commence in June.</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> <strong>Requirements</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> As members of the AMA-SPS Governing Council, these two offers will be responsible for directing the programs and activities of the section, meeting at the AMA House of Delegates Annual Meeting and Interim Meeting (three days). These officers also will be required to participate in one additional AMA-SPS Governing Council meeting (two days), various conference calls and regular email communication.</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> A description of these positions is located in the section’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/sps/x-pub/sps-iop.pdf" target="_blank">internal operating procedures</a> (log in).</p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> <strong>AMA-SPS nominations form</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:7.5pt;"> The nominee, nominating person or nominating organization must complete an AMA-SPS nomination form by Feb. 27. Self-nominations will be accepted. Forms will be <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/senior-physicians-section/about-us/sps-governance/governing-council-nominations.page?" target="_blank" title="http://www.elabs10.com/c.html?ufl=4&rtr=on&s=x8pbgr,1osa4,3vnl,f3h4,dbg4,6h9c,bqwp">posted online</a> by Dec. 10.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0fc8170f-67f3-41af-bc0d-0ef4012de65f Revisions to pain management standard effective Jan. 1 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_revisions-pain-management-standard-effective-jan-1 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:01:00 GMT <p> Is your hospital ready for changes to the pain management standard to take effect Jan. 1?</p> <p> Following an extensive literature review, the Joint Commission revised the rationale for Provision of Care, Treatment and Services standard PC.01.02.07 and added a note to element of performance 4.</p> <p> Clinical experts in pain management provided feedback on these revisions and guidance on the future direction of pain management. The experts affirmed that treatment strategies may consider both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches. In addition, when considering the use of medications to treat pain, organizations should consider the benefits to the patient as well as the risks of dependency, addiction and abuse of opioids.</p> <p> The revisions will appear in the 2014 Update 2 to the accreditation manuals.</p> <p> Similar revisions are scheduled for the behavioral health care program (in the chapter on care, treatment and services). Those revisions will have a July 1 effective date and will be published closer to that date.</p> <p> More information can be found on <a href="http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/23/jconline_November_12_14.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the Joint Commission website</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:cc4a9b52-60b9-4f01-89cd-25d55987ec56 AMA-IMG Section leader receives Rappeport award http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-img-section-leader-receives-rappeport-award Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:58:00 GMT <p> Congratulations to Dr. Subhash Chandra, the first international medical graduate (IMG) recipient of the 2014 <a href="http://www.aapl.org/rappeport.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Rappeport Fellowship</a>. This prestigious award is presented by the American Association of Psychiatry and Law in recognition of leadership, research and involvement in medical education.</p> <p> Nominations are made for PGY-IIIs from psychiatry residency programs across the country. After being scrutinized by a team of 14 forensic psychiatrists, a total of six Rappeport fellows are chosen each year. The fellowships offer an opportunity for outstanding residents with interests in psychiatry and the law to further develop their knowledge and skills.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4e306254-460a-43ee-b881-bd7441a2f009 4 ways patients can stay healthy during the holidays http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_4-ways-patients-can-stay-healthy-during-holidays Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:52:00 GMT <p> For patients with prediabetes, making dietary and lifestyle changes—and sticking to them—is crucial. Use National Diabetes Month this November to encourage your patients to stay healthy during the holiday season.</p> <p> Studies suggest diabetes prevalence has as much as <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/diabetes-prevalence-tripled-just-two-decades-study" target="_blank">tripled in recent decades</a>, and data show about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/40-percent-of-americans-will-develop-diabetes-new-study" target="_blank">two in five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes</a> at some point in their lives.</p> <p> Here are four tips for your patients, compiled from the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesmanagement/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> (CDC), that can help them stay healthy through the winter holiday season.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Make smart food choices.</strong> Tell your patients to have a healthy snack before a party to avoid over-eating later. They also can ask what food will be served to see how it fits into their meal plan, or even volunteer to bring their own nutritious dish. Choosing smaller portions and low-calorie drinks are easy ways to keep calories in check.</li> <li> <strong>Be prepared when traveling.</strong> Air travel or long car rides might tempt patients to grab convenient, unhealthy food. Encourage them to pack their own snacks, such as a small cooler of fresh fruits and vegetables or small portions of dried fruits and nuts.</li> <li> <strong>Use time with family to talk about diabetes risk.</strong> Family history of disease is important in understanding chances for developing type 2 diabetes. Patients can find out whether their family has a history of the disease or whether other family members have been told they have prediabetes.</li> <li> <strong>Stick to a schedule.</strong> Just because patients are out of town or entertaining guests doesn’t mean they should stop exercising. Tell patients to continue their exercise regime, or help them determine different programs for different environments.</li> </ol> <p> As part of its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, the AMA is working with the YMCA of the USA to explore a process for physicians to screen patients for prediabetes, refer eligible patients to participate in the local YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and receive feedback from the program to use in patients’ care plans.</p> <p> The YMCA’s program is part of on the CDC’s evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program, which includes an evidence-based lifestyle intervention that <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-builds-proven-practical-approaches-improve-health-nationwide" target="_blank">has been proven to help patients</a> prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.</p> <p> Get more information at <em>AMA Wire</em>® about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/National_Diabetes_Month/1" target="_blank">National Diabetes Month</a> and ways you can help your patients take action to prevent diabetes, including learning <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/determine-whether-patients-prediabetes" target="_blank">how to determine</a> whether they have prediabetes.</p> <p> <strong>What are your best tips for patients during the holidays? </strong>Tell us in the comments below at <em>AMA Wire</em> or on the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:698b2b2c-ec67-4731-8c45-0f34e9ecf6f3 Apply for National Residency Matching Program board of directors positions http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_apply-national-residency-matching-program-board-of-director-positions Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> AMA International Medical Graduate (IMG) Section members are invited to apply for two resident/fellow physicians and two other board of directors positions at the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).  Qualifications include the following:</p> <p> Director positions:</p> <ul> <li> Significant career in graduate medical education (GME)</li> <li> Breadth and depth of experience dealing with GME issues</li> <li> Demonstrated leadership role in national medical education organization(s)</li> <li> Prior involvement with NRMP matching services</li> </ul> <p> Resident physician or fellow directors:</p> <ul> <li> Active as a resident or fellow for the duration of the two-year term service</li> <li> Understanding of GME application and matching process, including but not limited to applying to, interviewing with and ranking programs in the NRMP Matching Program</li> <li> Experience as a participant in the Main Residency Match and/or Specialties Matching Service</li> <li> Familiarity with issues of applicants and residency programs from transition from undergraduate to GME and from core residency to fellowship</li> <li> Unique perspectives on the Match experience for students and graduates of international medical schools</li> </ul> <p> To apply, submit your nominations by email to <a href="mailto:support@nrmp.org" rel="nofollow">support@nrmp.org</a> or by fax to (202) 354-4586. </p> <p> All nominations must include a curriculum vitae (15 page minimum) and a letter of support. The deadline to submit nominations is Feb. 1.  Nominees that meet the eligibility criteria will receive a supplemental application requesting information about their knowledge and experience with the NRMP. </p> <p> Due to the deadline and timeframe, the AMA-IMG Section will not be able to endorse any candidates.  Nominees will be presented by the NRMP Nominating Committee for election by its Board of Directors at their May 2015 meeting.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e2a56e08-2799-4bef-98e1-c40dc2093e12 Physicians and spouses perform well at the polls http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-spouses-perform-well-polls Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:47:00 GMT <p> Two dozen physicians and spouses of physicians were elected to public office during the 2014 General Election in November, all graduates of educational programs provided by AMPAC, the AMA’s bipartisan political action committee.</p> <p> From local positions to state legislatures, U.S. Congress to governorships, these medicine-friendly political candidates were strong performers in the 2014 election season. The 17 physicians, six physician spouses and one state society executive who won elections join another seven physicians and three spouses who are former AMPAC program participants continuing their service in public offices.</p> <p> One other physician AMPAC grad is waiting for a run-off election: U.S Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, who is currently leading in polling for the Dec. 6 runoff for the U.S. Senate seat in the Pelican State. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, MD, D-California, was just declared the winner of his race after all ballots were counted.</p> <p> These successful campaigns all had one thing in common: The candidates participated in AMPAC training programs to prepare them for their run for office.</p> <p> Cardiothoracic surgeon Richard M. Briggs, MD, of Knoxville, Tennessee, participated in the AMPAC Candidate Workshop in 2013. Dr. Briggs just won a seat in the Tennessee State Senate.</p> <p> “I used the course as a model for my successful state senate campaign,” he said, citing the program’s detailed materials and professional consultants as the most beneficial components for him.</p> <p> If you’re an AMA member and you or your spouse are considering making the leap from the exam room to the campaign trail, the <a href="http://www.ampaconline.org/political-education/ampac-candidate-workshop/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMPAC Candidate Workshop</a> taking place Feb. 20-22 in Arlington, Virginia, is for you.</p> <p> The workshop provides training in campaign strategizing, media advertising, public speaking and fundraising. At the workshop, political veterans will share their advice about politics and explain the sacrifices required to run a competitive campaign. Attendees also will learn the secrets of effective fundraising, how to become a better public speaker and how to handle campaign crises, among other skills.</p> <p> For those who want to become more involved in campaigning for their candidates, the <a href="http://www.ampaconline.org/political-education/ampac-campaign-school/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMPAC Campaign School</a> offers hands-on training.</p> <p> This five-day “boot camp” for politics centers around a simulated congressional campaign, during which attendees are trained in advertising, public speaking and fundraising and participate in such practical exercises as recording radio ads and writing fundraising letters. The campaign school takes place April 15-19 in Arlington, Virginia.</p> <p> All expenses, minus travel to and from the Arlington area, are covered for accepted applicants. Participants must be AMA members, spouses of AMA members or state or county medical association staff members.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:dee42ca3-fa5b-4ca8-910b-83b563caa5e2 Health care spending growth at record low, but why? http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_health-care-spending-growth-record-low-but Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:41:00 GMT <p> U.S. health care spending growth is at its slowest in the past 50 years, but the reasons behind this slowed growth are unclear. A new AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/health-policy/x-ama/prp-2014-03-spending-slowdown.pdf" target="_blank">review</a> (log in) examines trends behind U.S. health spending and looks at possibilities for future spending growth.</p> <p> Health care spending growth from 2009 to 2012 was below 4 percent each year, and data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show the deceleration began in 2003, five years before the “great recession.” Researchers attribute between 37 percent and 77 percent of the slowdown to the recession. While it’s clear that other factors have contributed, there’s a lack of consensus on what the most important ones were.</p> <p> Factors thought to have contributed to the historically slow growth rates, as outlined in the AMA review, include:</p> <ul> <li> Increased patient cost-sharing and decreased real income</li> <li> Changes in insurance mix from higher to lower paying payers</li> <li> Changes in Medicare payment policy</li> <li> A shift in the Medicare and Medicaid populations to younger and healthier beneficiaries</li> <li> Cost containment efforts as a reaction to lower revenue growth during the recession</li> </ul> <p> Recent data from the Altarum Institute suggest that an acceleration in spending growth began at the end of the first quarter of 2013, leading some researchers to wonder whether the slowed growth period may be over.</p> <p> CMS projects that health spending will grow at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent from 2016 to 2023—higher than recent growth rates, but still low from a historical perspective.</p> <p> Find this analysis and others on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/health-policy/policy-research.page" target="_blank">AMA policy research Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:db2ee709-14f3-41bc-9f98-9bd74c980f92 Open enrollment has started--know your plan options http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_open-enrollment-started-plan-options Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:00:00 GMT <p> As a physician, you may be well aware of your patients’ options for health insurance—but what about your own coverage? With open enrollment now underway, get assistance choosing health insurance plans for you, your family and your practice staff through the <a href="https://www.ahix.com/home" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">American Health Insurance Exchange</a> (AHIX). Open enrollment runs through Dec. 15.</p> <p> AHIX, offered through <a href="http://www.amainsure.com/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMA Insurance</a>, provides important information about qualified health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Get tools and rate information, plus:</p> <ul> <li> Shop government health plans that are on the exchange and private health plans off the exchange</li> <li> Calculate premium subsidies in seconds</li> <li> Review high- and low-deductible and out-of-pocket plans</li> </ul> <p> Enrollment takes less than 15 minutes, and you can shop hundreds of ACA-compliant plans available for purchase on the exchange</p> <p> Get started <a href="https://www.ahix.com/health-insurance-exchange-marketscan" rel="nofollow">online</a>, or call (800) 647-4505. Learn more about health insurance with <a href="https://www.ahix.com/learn-about-health-insurance" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AHIX resources</a>.</p> <p> <strong>Residents and students:</strong> Make sure you’re covered next year. This service can help you find a health plan that fits the needs of physicians in training.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:3a1030e2-fce8-4ef1-91d2-9464f145173a What future doctors need to know about health determinants http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_future-doctors-need-health-determinants Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT <p> Part of preparing future physicians to deliver the best care is teaching them about the nation’s vast variety of people, but understanding cultural differences requires more than just background in race, ethnicity and religion. Tomorrow’s doctors are learning more about socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation and other social determinants of health.</p> <p> Physicians nationwide support integrating more training on the social determinants of health into undergraduate medical education—they voted to make it AMA policy at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>. The new policy includes supporting faculty development to ensure medical educators have the appropriate knowledge as well.</p> <p> Under the new policy, the AMA will support medical schools in evaluating the effectiveness of their teachings on the social determinants of health and will work to gather data on medical students’ perspectives on the topic.</p> <p> Educators shared what their schools are doing to tackle challenges in teaching the social determinants of health at a recent <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/med-schools-tackling-challenges-health-disparities" target="_blank">Google Hangout</a> hosted by the AMA. Participants discussed how they’re training physicians, including addressing health disparities and focusing on diversity.</p> <p> For example, some of the schools that are part of the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative are tackling health care disparities. The University of California Davis School of Medicine is one such school, with a new three-year primary care program that includes an innovative admissions and recruitment strategy to select students from diverse backgrounds.</p> <p> The goal is to help these students go on to practice in underserved communities as primary care physicians. One-half of the students admitted into the first class of the program are from groups historically underrepresented in medicine.</p> <p> Other programs are working on addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations. At a recent education session hosted by the AMA Medical Student Section, students discussed health problems specific to these populations. For example, lesbian women have a higher risk of substance abuse.</p> <p> “If you’re in the LGBT community, you are likely to be at a lower economic status, with less of a support system,” said Jilyan Decker, a second-year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “Maybe you have had experiences in the past that have given you fears about going to see the doctor.”</p> <p> Understanding ethnogeriatrics—the way aging individuals are influenced by their culture, ethnicity, history, values and beliefs—is also crucial, said Phil Zegelbone, a third-year medical student at the University of South Florida College of Medicine.</p> <p> “Consider an 85-year-old African American female,” he said. “Think about what this person’s view of health care might be.” This particular patient would have lived through multiple wars, the advent of the television, numerous medical advances and more—and all of these experiences factor into how the patient will interact with the health care system.</p> <p> After the AMA works to help medical schools integrate teachings of social determinants of health into their curricula, study will begin on how such teachings can be folded into graduate medical education and continuing medical education.</p> <p> <strong>How can future physicians learn about the social determinants of health? </strong>Share your ideas in a comment below at <em>AMA Wire</em>® or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:1a3abdb0-a35b-44d0-af2c-6d180c2a97e7 Cardiovascular health under the microscope in special JAMA issue http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_cardiovascular-health-under-microscope-special-jama-issue Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:50:00 GMT <p> A <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/issue.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">special theme issue</a> of <em>JAMA</em> released this week during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014 takes a close look at cardiovascular health, with studies related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.</p> <p> The latest data show that nearly one in three American adults—approximately 70 million—have high blood pressure, and more than one-half of these adults don't have it under control. At the same time, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cdc-1-3-heart-disease-deaths-preventable" target="_blank">one in three</a> heart disease deaths are preventable.</p> <p> <em>JAMA</em> studies look at such timely topics as:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Prevalence and risk of death based on type of coronary artery disease in heart attack patients</strong>. This <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1935121" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">study</a> found that the presence of non-infarct-related artery (IRA) disease was significantly associated with increased 30-day mortality compared to patients without non-IRA disease.</li> <li> <strong>The decline of overall death rate from heart disease</strong>. While this <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1935111" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">study</a> demonstrated a continued decrease in overall heart disease mortality, it also found an increase in the risk of death from the subtypes of hypertensive heart disease and arrhythmia.</li> <li> <strong>Association between use of beta-blockers by patients with certain type of heart failure and improved rate of survival. </strong>Using data from the Swedish Heart Failure Registry, this <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1935124" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">study</a> found that among patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction, use of beta-blockers was associated with lower all-cause mortality. It was not associated with lower combined all-cause mortality or heart failure hospitalization.</li> </ul> <p> New <em>JAMA </em>Viewpoints and editorials in this issue examine such topics as population and personalized medicine in the modern era, patients with undiagnosed hypertension and administrative databases’ ability to provide complete information about potentially important confounders.</p> <p> The AMA is aiming to make a profound impact on cardiovascular disease in the United States through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, which focuses on hypertension and type 2 diabetes.</p> <p> As part of the initiative, physicians and care teams in Maryland and Illinois are developing and testing evidence-based recommendations to improve high blood pressure, working with the AMA and researchers at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities.</p> <p> The pilot practices are making clinical changes, using checklists and other tools to help them <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctor-quickly-improved-patients-blood-pressure-readings" target="_blank">measure blood pressure accurately</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/3-steps-acting-rapidly-control-high-blood-pressure" target="_blank">act rapidly</a> when elevated blood pressure is discovered. They’re also exploring clinical-community linkages, in which physicians refer patients to community resources that can help them improve their blood pressure.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:43825d84-a129-4e90-b93e-edecb85a2b29 Code of Medical Ethics undergoing update: Comment through Jan. 15 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_code-of-medical-ethics-undergoing-update-comment-through-jan-15 Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:00:00 GMT <p> The 167-year-old AMA <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em> is in the final stages of a comprehensive update. If you’re an AMA member, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/community/forums/interim-2014/ceja-discussion-forum.page" target="_blank">provide your feedback</a> (log in) on the draft language through Jan. 15 to have a hand in shaping this ethical guide for current and future generations of physicians.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/6/4d7bec34-f8b7-4e5b-96bd-6d8bfb756329.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/6/4d7bec34-f8b7-4e5b-96bd-6d8bfb756329.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:10px;" /></a>The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-ethical-judicial-affairs.page" target="_blank">Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs</a> (CEJA) has been working for six years to modernize the <em>Code</em>, last comprehensively updated more than 50 years ago. CEJA hosted an open forum at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting in June to receive feedback on the draft <em>Code</em> and considered feedback from AMA members submitted to its online forum during the first six months of the year.</p> <p> CEJA will continue to collect member feedback through Jan. 15. You can contribute via the online <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/community/forums/interim-2014/ceja-discussion-forum.page" target="_blank">CEJA Forum</a> (log in) or by sending an <a href="mailto:bette.crigger@ama-assn.org?subject=Modernizing%20the%20Code%20of%20Medical%20Ethics" rel="nofollow">email to the AMA</a> with comments.</p> <p> CEJA will post a revised draft of the modernized <em>Code</em> before the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting, when the document will come before the AMA House of Delegates again. Comments posted online will be available to the Reference Committee on Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws.</p> <p> In this historic project to modernize the <em>Code, </em>CEJA reviewed ethical opinions for relevance, timeliness, clarity and consistency across topics and incorporated feedback from the medical community to produce an updated <em>Code</em> with a more intuitive chapter structure. The council then revised the <em>Code</em>, working conservatively to preserve the accumulated wisdom of the House of Delegates that the <em>Code</em> presents and to make only those changes those essential to ensuring that guidance remains relevant in the face of changes in biomedical science and conditions of medical practice.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:86eb0233-3a59-4be0-8ca5-ce5956a010aa The history of residency--and what lies ahead http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_history-of-residency-lies-ahead Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> The medical residency system as we know it today was first introduced 125 years ago—and a lot has changed in that time. Examining the origins of residency programs, and the historical roots of its challenges, can help determine what residents of today—and tomorrow—can expect.</p> <p> At its beginning, residency was not the only option for all medical school graduates, Kenneth M. Ludmerer, MD, an internist, medical educator and historian of medicine, said during a recent presentation at the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Medical school graduates could take different pathways to become physicians, including apprenticeships or studying outside of the country.</p> <p> At this time, those who did participate in residency programs had certain attitudes about the work they did, which informed how well the programs worked. One principle was that “residents should have sufficient time to pursue problems in depth,” Dr. Ludmerer said. “They’d reflect on the total patient.” Thoroughness, attention to detail and high professional authority gave programs a scholarly feel. Residents lived in the hospital – hence residency training – and therefore easily followed the patient from admittance to discharge.</p> <p> “The values, education principles and moral principles were reinforced by the learning environment,” Dr. Ludmerer said. “There was sufficient time [to pursue problems]…. They weren’t any less busy, but they were busy because they were so careful and thorough.”</p> <p> By the early 1940s, specialty boards began to crop up, cutting off the alternative pathways to becoming a physician. By the 1950s and 1960s, things began to change—sicker patients and more technology increased the consequences of error. Faculty had shifting priorities, meaning fewer faculty on the wards.</p> <p> By the 1970s, when <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ways-residents-found-conquer-burnout">burnout</a> was officially recognized, residency had changed.</p> <p> “There was enormous unrest among residents,” Dr. Ludmerer said. “We need to know more about what causes burnout, but at the core was excessive workloads and a sense of being marginalized by the faculty institution.”</p> <p> New payment models, such as diagnosis-related groups, and duty-hour limits through the 1980s and into present day continued to change residency. What is really needed today, and for the future is a more holistic conception of residency, which may help lessen burnout and ensure professional satisfaction among trainees, said Dr. Ludmerer.</p> <p> “We need to concentrate on the quality of the entire learning environment, including relationships with faculty, intellectual stimulation and reasonable patient loads,” he said. “For the past generation, residents have been crying out, ‘Let me heal,’ but their sense of fulfillment in work has diminished greatly. … If we truly want to make the residency better, it’s the conditions of work that matter, and not work hours alone.”</p> <p> Dr. Ludmerer pointed to current efforts to improve residency, including the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/gme-financing-system-needs-overhaul-iom-report" target="_blank">Institute of Medicine report</a> on graduate medical education (GME) financing and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-community-calls-closer-look-gme-solutions" target="_blank">other GME solutions</a>. The AMA is working on these issues as well, as outlined by the AMA Council on Medical Education, by collaborating with the ACGME and other stakeholders in creating an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/move-align-gme-accreditation-paves-way-ideal-continuum" target="_blank">ideal medical education continuum</a>. In addition, the AMA’s updated policy on <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/duty-hours-innovation-needed-report" target="_blank">resident duty-hours</a> supports research to explore a variety of issues in duty-hours, including innovative models for requirements.</p> <p> Through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative, the AMA is working to transform undergraduate medical education and now is focusing on <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/residents-would-transform-gme" target="_blank">collaborating with GME stakeholders</a> to make innovative changes in these relationships as well.</p> <p> <strong>How would you improve residency? </strong>Share your thoughts in a comment below at <em>AMA Wire</em>® or on the AMA <a href="https://www.facebook.com/amaresidentsandfellows" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Resident and Fellow Section Facebook page</a>. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c262df21-801d-415e-80c3-a8992dc0cd4c AMA Store offers titles of interest to seniors online http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-store-offers-titles-of-interest-seniors-online Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:00:00 GMT <p> Are you planning to ease into retirement or thinking about starting a new career? The AMA Store offers a number of best-selling titles, including:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1230033&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>Valuing, Selling and Closing the Medical Practice</em></a>. This comprehensive resource helps physicians formulate medical practice disengagement strategies and procedures for selling or closing a medical practice, including appraising the practice’s value.</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1230022&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>AMA Physician’s Guide to Financial Planning</em></a>. This fundamental reference provides all the information physicians need to create a successful financial plan for themselves and their families. It also offers such common-sense tools as worksheets, sample agreements and a complete glossary of terms.</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1240087&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>A Practical Guide to Global Health Service</em></a>. This book explains how to safely and effectively engage in medical volunteering and profiles about 300 organizations that place health service volunteers.</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1170006&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>A Piece of My Mind</em></a>. This collection brings together revealing personal essays that first appeared in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em> (<em>JAMA</em>).</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod1170028&navAction=push" target="_blank"><em>The</em> <em>Art of JAMA</em></a><em>. </em>This longtime favorite is a compilation of the artistic works featured on more than 100 <em>JAMA</em> covers.</li> </ul> <p> AMA members receive a discount on these titles and others from the AMA Store. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6038b7a3-bf4e-42a8-ab83-414ac3669a7c One school’s new approach to producing physician leaders http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_one-schools-new-approach-producing-physician-leaders Tue, 18 Nov 2014 23:00:00 GMT <p> <em>A </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/MedEd_Innovation/1" target="_blank"><em>Spotlight on Innovation</em></a><em> post by Erin McKean, MD, director of both the Cranial Base Surgery Clinical Innovation Program and the Medical Student Leadership Initiative at the University of Michigan Medical School. This appeared in the November 2014 edition of </em>AMA MedEd Update<em>, a monthly medical education newsletter.</em></p> <p> On a beautiful sunny day in the first week of August, before the start of classes, first-year students at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) could be found in an unusual place: on a small farm.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:365px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/x_--au59s6o" height="350" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x_--au59s6o" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="365"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/x_--au59s6o" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="350" quality="best" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x_--au59s6o" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="365" wmode="transparent"></embed></object></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <em><span style="font-size:10px;">M1 medical students from the University of Michigan Medical School got training in leadership and team building at the school’s annual Leadership Day.</span></em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> The event was Leadership Day, and the students were spending time with <a href="http://www.zingtrain.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ZingTrain</a>, the training arm of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Zingerman’s Deli, known for its successful sustainable business model that starts with the concepts of visioning and servant leadership.</p> <p> The annual Leadership Day event began in 2012 with the induction of UMMS’s Leadership Initiative, which is the centerpiece of Michigan’s new curriculum, made possible through the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant. This year’s Leadership Day placed emphasis on working in teams to build class camaraderie and develop skills to lead change in health care. Watch a <a href="http://youtu.be/x_--au59s6o" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">video</a> from this year’s Leadership Day.</p> <p> Leadership is a part of our professional identity and is embedded in our social contract. As health care changes, physicians are positioned to identify problems and opportunities, communicate and collaborate with all stakeholders (including other health professionals, administrators, patients and society as a whole), create a vision of the future of health care and manage the changes that will come. In this era of rapid change, UMMS aims to develop physicians with the capacity to work effectively in teams and lead positive change. </p> <p> Leadership training at UMMS will encompass four key competencies: leading teams, systems-based practice, influence and communication, and problem solving. The new curriculum will enhance existing leadership activities and expand the program to include:</p> <ul> <li> Intentional leadership coaching with a student-directed leadership portfolio and annual one-on-one formative assessments with faculty advisors</li> <li> Multifaceted and interprofessional evaluations</li> <li> Experiences with external experts (such as ZingTrain and the Alda Center for Communicating Sciences) and internal professionals (including faculty from schools across the University of Michigan and teams from the Michigan Quality System, which aims to continually improve quality, safety, efficiency and appropriateness of care within the UM Health System)</li> <li> Application of leadership skills in the activities and capstone experiences of our longitudinal Paths of Excellence (required scholarly concentrations)</li> </ul> <p> The curriculum emphasizes that leadership is not about holding a certain position of authority but rather having a vision for success and being able to plan, motivate others and work with a team to achieve that vision. </p> <p> As our curriculum leadership team joined the students on the farm on that August day, we also drafted a vision. We envisioned our graduates building systems of care that are innovative, patient-centered and value-driven, using their leadership training to create positive change.</p> <p> <em>Get AMA MedEd Update</em> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/subscribe-newsletters.page" target="_blank"><em>sent to your inbox</em></a><em> monthly to see this column and more medical education news.</em></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:374f1ce2-23ae-49a0-9b6c-d1cca4d02475 See the latest grant opportunities for medical students, residents http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_see-latest-grant-opportunities-medical-students-residents Tue, 18 Nov 2014 23:00:00 GMT <p> Residents and medical students are making inroads into improving public health and promoting excellence in medical education through the AMA Foundation. Here’s how this group can help physicians in training create a healthier country.</p> <p> <strong>2015 AMA Foundation Seed Grant Research Award</strong></p> <p> Residents, fellows and medical students interested in entering the research field can <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/medical-education/seed-grant-research.page" target="_blank">apply for grants</a> of up to $5,000 to conduct yearlong research projects. <strong>Apply by 6 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 5.</strong></p> <p> This year, grants will be awarded to support research in the areas of cardiopulmonary diseases, neoplastic diseases and pancreatic cancer. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/interested-research-apply-grant-money-dec-5" target="_blank">Read more</a> about past winners’ experiences with the program.</p> <p> <strong>2015 AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award</strong></p> <p> Medical students, residents, fellows and early career physicians with strong, nonclinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service or education can be recognized with a leadership award. Recipients will attend the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/excellence-medicine-awards.page" target="_blank">Excellence in Medicine Awards</a> ceremony at the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting and will be invited to attend leadership training, with airfare and lodging accommodations provided. <strong>Apply by 6 p.m. Eastern time Jan. 20.</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/public-health/excellence-medicine-awards/2014-excellence-in-medicine-winners.page">Read more</a> about last year’s winners.</p> <p> <strong>2015 AMA Foundation Minority Scholars Award </strong></p> <p> Current first- and second-year medical students from historically underrepresented groups in the medical profession can receive a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/ama-foundation/our-programs/medical-education/scholarship-forms.page?" target="_blank">Minority Scholars Award</a>. These $10,000 rewards recognize commitment to the elimination of health care disparities, outstanding academic achievements, leadership activities and community involvement. Recipients will attend the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting and will be invited to attend leadership training, with airfare and lodging accommodations provided. Each medical school may nominate two students for each of the general Minority Scholars Award categories. <strong>Apply by 6 p.m. Eastern time March 6.</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/scholarships-awarded-increase-physician-workforce-diversity" target="_blank">Read more</a> about last year’s winners.</p> <p> <strong>Dr. Richard Allen Williams and Genita Evangelista Johnson/Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship</strong></p> <p> This $5,000 scholarship is awarded as a part of the Minority Scholars Awards program. This annual scholarship provides tuition support to a first- or second-year African American medical student with an expressed interest in cardiology. Each school may nominate one student for this scholarship category using the same application as the Minority Scholars Award. </p> <p> Read more about the work of the AMA Foundation at <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Foundation/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Wire</em></a>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:5173923c-21d7-44dd-a259-bbbe5b99eb0a Medical school’s Freshman Orientation Lunch event earns recognition http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-schools-freshman-orientation-lunch-event-earns-recognition Tue, 18 Nov 2014 23:00:00 GMT <p> Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport’s Freshman Orientation Lunch, in which the local AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) hosted a meal for the incoming class of medical students to learn about the AMA, earned the school an AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) Event of the Month award. </p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="15" style="width:320px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/6/d57cc9ee-3069-4d1b-96eb-31a08032d796.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/6/d57cc9ee-3069-4d1b-96eb-31a08032d796.Large.jpg?1" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;height:35px;"> <em><span style="font-size:10px;">Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport coordinated a lunch event during the incoming class orientation week, earning the school an Event of the Month award.</span></em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> The local section coordinated a lunch event during the incoming class orientation week. Upperclassmen AMA members joined the freshman class, sharing personal experiences and discussing AMA benefits and opportunities for students. With the event being held during orientation week, the majority of the incoming class attended, and 90 new students became AMA members. The student leaders also shared upcoming section activities, such as community service projects, conferences and policymaking initiatives.</p> <p> The AMA provided funding for lunch. Visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/event-of-the-month.page" target="_blank">Event of the Month Web page</a> for a detailed description. The AMA SIG Event of the Month showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual AMA medical student sections.</p> <p> Is your AMA medical student section holding similar events? Submit a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/community-service/frequently-asked-questions-about-chapter-involvement/sig-follow-up.page" target="_blank">SIG Recap Form</a> and photos within 30 days of your event to be eligible for the Event of the Month nomination, which the AMA selects each month. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased in June at the AMA-MSS Annual Assembly Meeting and will be voted on by students for one Event of the Year winner.</p> <p> Through the SIG program, the AMA-MSS provides an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Educate students about the AMA and provide an opportunity for students to get more involved</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Help put AMA policy into action by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> •  Engage in activities that focus on AMA's top priorities</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c34a6b55-3adf-4820-bc54-7a71b19f4fad 3 questions patients should ask before choosing a health plan http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_3-questions-patients-should-ask-before-choosing-health-plan Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:39:00 GMT <p> Now that open enrollment for health insurance exchanges is underway, patients may be overwhelmed with messages from health insurance companies vying for their attention. Whether patients are seeking new plans or renewing existing plans, they should thoroughly review all aspects of plans to prevent interruptions in care and higher out-of-pocket costs. These three questions are crucial for patients to ask before choosing a health plan.</p> <p> There are many factors patients should take into account when reviewing health plans, including deductibles, co-pays and formulary costs. Having answers to the following questions up-front can help patients ensure they’re making the most informed health care decisions for themselves and their families.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 1. <strong>Are your family’s doctors in the plan?</strong> If they’re not, check how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for office visits or other services your family’s doctors prescribe. Ask the plan if their provider directory of participating physicians is up-to-date and accurate, and whether physicians on the list are accepting new patients.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 2. <strong>What does the plan cover?</strong> It’s important to know what percentage of your health care costs you’ll have to cover—how much can you afford? What will out-of-pocket costs be for the medicines your family needs?  Check to see whether you’ll be able to use hospitals, labs and other facilities that are convenient to where you live or work, and make sure the plan gives access to a sufficient number of specialists.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;"> 3. <strong>Does your primary care physician have to receive permission from the insurance company to refer you to a specialist?</strong> If yes, check to see if the rule includes specialists you see regularly for chronic conditions. See if the insurer uses penalties or incentives to induce physicians in the plan to limit referrals in any way.</p> <p> “We want to make sure Americans choose a plan that is right for them and their families in terms of cost and coverage,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD. “It is very important that patients look beyond the big print of color and price of insurance plans and check the small print details before making their selections. Patients deserve to know what coverage they’re buying when they choose a health insurance plan, including the physicians they will have access to.”</p> <p> The AMA is also working to make sure patients have access to the care and physicians they need. New <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-policy-calls-adequate-networks-patient-access-choice" target="_blank">policy</a> passed by physicians at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> calls for health insurers to implement any provider network reductions before the open enrollment period begins each year, to help prevent patients from being stuck with plans that drop their physicians after they already have enrolled.  This new policy builds on advocacy efforts to ensure provider directories are accurate, complete and up-to-date.</p> <p> In addition, the AMA, the Children’s Hospital Association and more than 100 other stakeholder groups are urging the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to adopt <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-outline-6-key-provisions-network-adequacy-1" target="_blank">model legislation</a> that would give patients access to the care and physicians they need. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ed355bc1-76a5-4aa3-a5b5-b3cbf43fefb7 New practice training program comes right to your office http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-practice-training-program-comes-right-office Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:13:00 GMT <p> If you’re interested in getting your practice up to speed on the latest coding guidelines and information, turn to a new on-site consultation program: “<a href="http://info.commerce.ama-assn.org/train-with-ama" target="_blank">Train With AMA</a>.” By following five easy steps, you can bring expert AMA training directly to your practice:</p> <p> 1.     Choose one of the following three training programs. Sample agendas and instructor profiles are available online.</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left:1.25in;"> AMA Guides® Sixth Training</li> <li style="margin-left:1.25in;"> CPT® Changes Workshop</li> <li style="margin-left:1.25in;"> ICD-10-CM Workshop</li> </ul> <p> 2.     Complete a request form about your practice and training needs. Customization of a training event can be requested by providing an explanation of the training you envision when completing the request form. (Note that a customized event requires at least two months of development time.)</p> <p> 3.     An AMA executive sales manager will follow up with a proposal and estimated cost within 10 business days after your request form has been submitted.</p> <p> 4.     Finalize training details and complete a final work contract with the executive sales manager.</p> <p> 5.     Enjoy your onsite AMA training with an expert educator!</p> <p> <a href="http://info.commerce.ama-assn.org/train-with-ama" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about this opportunity for your practice today.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:f543fda4-8736-4315-8f8e-caa45e746e4c Declaration of Helsinki a reminder that medicine has no boundaries http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_declaration-of-helsinki-reminder-medicine-boundaries Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:12:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/12/787d7bdd-b733-4aa9-9c2d-cc59dc412ba3.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/12/787d7bdd-b733-4aa9-9c2d-cc59dc412ba3.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>If there’s one thing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shown us, it’s that diseases and pandemics do not respect boundaries. In a globalized world, what affects one country’s physicians and patients can affect all of us, no matter where we are.</p> <p> I just returned last month from the World Medical Association’s (WMA) <a href="http://www.wma.net/en/40news/20archives/2014/2014_27/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">General Assembly meeting</a> in South Africa, where delegates passed an <a href="http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/30council/cr_19/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">emergency resolution</a> calling for comprehensive tactics to prevent and treat the Ebola virus, including adequate equipment, training and aid. By passing this emergency resolution, we declared that the world must recognize Ebola as a global crisis, not just a problem for West Africa.</p> <p> It’s fitting that we take time right now to reflect on the WMA’s <a href="http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Declaration of Helsinki</a>, a seminal document that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Delegates at the 1964 WMA meeting in Helsinki adopted the new declaration, setting out ethical regulations for biomedical research.</p> <p> Today, the Declaration of Helsinki is one of the world’s most important ethical documents and a foundation of contemporary research ethics. In light of the Ebola outbreak and use of unproven therapies to treat the disease, the declaration and our relationship with the WMA are perhaps more important than ever.</p> <p> The WMA held a special ceremony last week to mark the Declaration of Helsinki’s anniversary. Speakers from around the world discussed how millions of people have benefited from research carried out under its guidelines. WMA President Dr. Xavier Deau emphasized that the declaration is a living document and will continue to change as physicians address the latest challenges in medical research and practice.</p> <p> Similarly, the AMA’s own <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em> is a living document—one that’s in the process of being updated to keep pace with changing medical research and practice. The 167-year-old <em>Code</em>, like the Declaration of Helsinki, continues to guide us in our practice so many years after it first was drafted.</p> <p> Make your voice heard on changes to the <em>Code</em> by submitting your opinions through Jan. 15 via the online <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/community/forums.page?plckForumPage=ForumCategory&plckCategoryId=Cat:a0145272-f48b-4c03-ad56-ad76c28c04bc" target="_blank">Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Forum</a> (log in) or by sending an <a href="mailto:bette.crigger@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">email</a> to the AMA with comments.</p> <p> I’m proud of the AMA’s history as a leader in medical ethics, including being a founding member of the WMA, which was established just after the horrors of World War II. As part of the organization, we as physicians are represented in a global way—striving for the best possible health care for all, with no limits or boundaries.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9b0f73c3-bdf6-424a-87a4-53b167dd092f Improve care with new clinical networks: Submit by Nov. 20 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_improve-care-new-clinical-networks-submit-nov-20 Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:01:00 GMT <p> If your practice has an existing relationship with physician networks, it’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/840-million-will-fund-improved-care-via-new-clinical-networks" target="_blank">eligible to participate in a new $840 million initiative</a> to improve care via clinical networks. Optional letters of intent are due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by Nov. 20, and the application deadline is Jan. 6.</p> <p> As a new model of the CMS Innovation Center, the <a href="http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Transforming-Clinical-Practices/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative</a> will award $840 million for the creation of evidence-based, peer-led collaboratives and practice transformation networks to support physicians in providing high-quality care. Large group practices, medical associations, quality improvement organizations, regional health collaborative and other organizations that have existing relationships with multiple clinician practices can apply.</p> <p> The networks, which will be announced in the late spring, are expected to support 150,000 clinicians beginning May 1. Anticipated strategies include giving physicians better access to patient information, expanding how patients can communicate with their health care team and improving coordination of care.</p> <p> Submit a <a href="http://innovationgov.force.com/tcpiloi" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">letter of intent</a> on the CMS website. Submission of a letter of intent is highly encouraged, but not required. Learn more about the letter of intent with a CMS <a href="http://innovationgov.force.com/tcpiloi/resource/1414069798000/TCPI_Instructions" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">frequently asked questions document</a>. CMS will use the letter of intent to plan its review process for applications.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Practice_Models/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about innovative practice models at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:872ce19e-8fe0-4377-a0da-952ef14c17af Physicians outline 6 key provisions for network adequacy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-outline-6-key-provisions-network-adequacy-1 Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:02:00 GMT <p> Physicians, hospitals and other health care providers urged the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/arc/x-pub/2014-11-16-naic-sign-on-letter-network-adequacy.pdf" target="_blank">letter</a> (log in) sent Monday to adopt model legislation that would give patients access to the care and physicians they need.</p> <p> The letter includes six key provisions that would serve as a template for many state policymakers considering revision of their network adequacy standards. More than 115 groups signed onto the letter, sent to Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and Wisconsin Commissioner Ted Nickel, who chair key committees at NAIC.</p> <p> The six provisions of model network adequacy legislation are:</p> <ol> <li> Provider networks must include a full range of primary, specialty and subspecialty providers for all covered services for children and adults.</li> <li> Regulators must actively review and monitor all networks using appropriate quantitative and other measurable standards. Determinations of network adequacy must be the responsibility of regulators, utilizing strong quantitative and objective measures that take into consideration geographic challenges and the entire range of consumers’ health care needs. </li> <li> Appeals processes must be fair, timely, transparent and rarely needed. Model legislation must make clear that out-of-network arrangements and procedures are not an acceptable alternative to plans having an adequate network. </li> <li> The use of tiered and narrow provider networks and formularies must be regulated. Specific patient protections must be included in the Model Act for networks that are tiered or are limited in scope and number of providers in order to prevent unfair discrimination based on health status. </li> <li> Insurers must be transparent in the design of their provider networks. It is critical that consumers have clear information regarding the design of their plan’s provider network. </li> <li> Provider directories must be accurate and up-to-date. Consumers must have access to robust provider directories to enable them to determine which providers are in-network when they purchase their plans, and, in the event their medical needs change, when they need new providers. </li> </ol> <p> “By adopting provisions consistent with the principles outlined in this letter, we believe lawmakers and regulators can adapt the model act to establish reasonable, meaningful standards, while still allowing for market flexibility and choice,” the letter said.</p> <p> The letter aligns with <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-policy-calls-adequate-networks-patient-access-choice" target="_blank">policy adopted</a> at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting, which calls for health insurers to make any changes to their provider networks before the open enrollment period gets underway each year. Implementing changes to provider networks at this time will help prevent patients from being stuck with plans that drop their physicians after they already have enrolled.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:29638090-5cc3-4813-993b-99c220ad2f31 How to reconcile patient misconceptions, evidence-based medicine http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_reconcile-patient-misconceptions-evidence-based-medicine Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:21:00 GMT <p> Imagine: You’re a practicing physician, and your patient presents with the common cold. The patient demands antibiotics, but antibiotics aren’t the recommended treatment for a cold. What do you do?</p> <p> That was one of the scenarios that played out at a special session for medical students during <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>. The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section.page" target="_blank">Medical Student Section</a> (MSS) Committee on Scientific Issues presented common situations physicians in training may face in practicing evidence-based medicine while also helping patients feel satisfied with their experiences.</p> <p> In the case of the common cold, committee members suggested reinforcing the fact that you believe your patient is sick but offering alternative non-antibiotic treatments. Other suggestions include using the term “cold” instead of “infection” and educating patients on how over-prescribing antibiotics could be detrimental in the long-term.</p> <p> “Medicine is not just about keeping patients [physically] healthy,” said Christina Kratschmer, a fourth-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and chair of the committee. “You also want to keep patients happy because mental health plays into physical health. If your patient walks out the door happy and satisfied, it’s a lot better for you both.”</p> <p> A few other common misconceptions the session addressed—along with practical suggestions for dealing with them in a way that leads to good medical care and satisfied patients—included:</p> <p> <strong>Patient misconception: “I can stop antibiotics when I feel better.”</strong><br /> <br /> Tips:</p> <ul> <li> Ask your patient to explain why they believe their medication is necessary. Then, ensure the patient understands what the drug will do and how to take it by asking them to repeat back their instructions.</li> <li> Using electronic alerts to remind patients to take their medication also can be helpful.</li> <li> Make sure the patient understands that not finishing a course of antibiotics can lead to the evolution of drug-resistant microbes.</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Patient misconception: “Giving my daughter the vaccine for human papillomavirus will encourage promiscuity.”</strong></p> <p> Tips:</p> <ul> <li> Share the latest research with the patient and her parent or guardian. For instance, a recent study compared 500 vaccinated girls with 900 girls who had not been vaccinated, finding no statistically significant difference in the occurrence of teen pregnancy or sexual transmitted diseases.</li> <li> Inform the patient and the parent that the vaccine should be given before any sexual activity to be most effective.</li> <li> Emphasize your confidence in the vaccine to make patients feel secure, and remind parents that the series requires three shots.</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Patient misconception: “The measles, mumps, rubella vaccine will give my child autism.”</strong></p> <p> Tips:</p> <ul> <li> Ask about and acknowledge any concerns your patient’s parent or guardian may have.</li> <li> Make your conversation personal—some people will be swayed by facts, while others will need evidence of the horrors of vaccine-preventable disease. Tailor your conversation to each person.</li> </ul> <p> <strong>What’s worked for you? </strong>Share your tips and techniques for patient communication in a comment on <em>AMA Wire</em>® or on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AMAmedstudents" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AMA-MSS Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:abc92aa4-ae7b-49e3-9475-f4fbd9020be2 Learn which of your patients is at high risk for diabetes http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_learn-of-patients-high-risk-diabetes Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:21:00 GMT <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> One in three Americans has prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, and certain patient populations are more susceptible to developing this disease. Use National Diabetes Month this November to learn which of your patients may be at higher risk—and what you can do about it.</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> Recently released <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-diabetes-guidelines-screen-patients-aged-45-older" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">draft diabetes screening guidelines</a> suggest screening certain racial or ethnic minority groups for prediabetes, including patients who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander. Meanwhile, studies show low-income populations suffer disproportionately from poor health outcomes associated with prediabetes. Obesity and lack of physical activity also are risk factors.</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> In addition to these factors, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has compiled <a href="http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/8/2430" rel="nofollow" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">socioecological perspectives</a> physicians should consider when talking to patients about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.</p> <ul style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:1.1em;margin-top:0px;margin-left:1.25em;padding-left:1.25em;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <li style="list-style:disc outside;margin:0px 0px 0.5em 5px;"> <span style="font-weight:700;">The “built” environment.</span> Homes, schools, workplaces, highways and neighborhoods all have an effect on how your patients access amenities. Research shows that disadvantaged groups—including racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural areas and other underrepresented populations—tend to live in communities where there is residential segregation, inadequate housing transportation and limited access to education and health care.</li> </ul> <ul style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:1.1em;margin-top:0px;margin-left:1.25em;padding-left:1.25em;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <li style="list-style:disc outside;margin:0px 0px 0.5em 5px;"> <span style="font-weight:700;">Access to healthy food.</span> Food deserts disproportionately affect lower-income, minority and rural neighborhoods, while access to fast food restaurants is higher in lower-income and minority communities. At the same time, food insecurity—limited or uncertain access to food because of insufficient financial resources—is associated with a twofold risk of diabetes compared with those without food insecurity.</li> </ul> <ul style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:1.1em;margin-top:0px;margin-left:1.25em;padding-left:1.25em;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <li style="list-style:disc outside;margin:0px 0px 0.5em 5px;"> <span style="font-weight:700;">Walkability and safe “green” spaces.</span> Areas that aren’t easy to navigate on foot, and locations that don’t have safe parks or recreation areas, don’t encourage exercise. According to the ADA, an analysis reported a 6 percent increase in likelihood of obesity with each additional hour spent in a car per day. Meanwhile, there is a 4.8 percent decrease in likelihood of obesity with each additional kilometer walked per day.</li> </ul> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> While physicians may not be able to radically alter the socioecological problems in their patients’ communities, physicians can be knowledgeable of community resources that can help patients at high risk for prediabetes. The ADA’s <a href="http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/?loc=imc-slabnav" rel="nofollow" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">community resources</a> Web page can connect physicians and patients to local programs.</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> As part of its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative, the AMA is working with the YMCA of the USA to explore a process for physicians to screen patients for prediabetes, refer eligible patients to participate in the local YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and receive feedback from the program to use in patients’ care plans.</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> The YMCA’s program is part of the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers an evidence-based lifestyle change program that <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-builds-proven-practical-approaches-improve-health-nationwide" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">has been proven to help patients</a> prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/recognition/registry.htm#program" rel="nofollow" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;">Find a CDC program in your community</a>.</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> Learn <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/determine-whether-patients-prediabetes" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">how to determine</a> whether your patients have prediabetes</p> <p style="font-size:13px;margin-bottom:15px;margin-top:0px;overflow:hidden;word-wrap:break-word;color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Gotham, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> Get more information at <em>AMA Wire</em>® about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/National_Diabetes_Month/1" style="color:rgb(0, 102, 204);cursor:pointer;word-wrap:break-word;overflow:hidden;" target="_blank">National Diabetes Month</a> and ways you can help your patients take action to prevent diabetes.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:cda6e1da-6ed8-4b6a-899d-4cd1fb4d15d5 What hospital medical staff need to know about new Medicare rule http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_hospital-medical-staff-need-new-medicare-rule Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:10:00 GMT <p> A final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in May revised the conditions of participation for hospitals and made two major changes to the hospital governance structure. Find out what hospital medical staffs need to know so you’re ready when this rule is implemented at your hospital.</p> <p> The rule addresses allowing multi-hospital systems to have a unified, system-wide medical staff rather than a medical staff at each hospital. Under the May regulations, a medical staff may become part of a unified multi-hospital medical staff only if the medical staff affirmatively votes to do so. Meanwhile, medical staffs incorporated into a unified structure may “opt out” by vote at any time and re-establish a separate, hospital-specific staff.</p> <p> The final rule also includes a new requirement for the hospital governing body to consult with an “individual assigned responsibility for the medical staff” at least two times per year.</p> <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/organized-medical-staff-section.page?">Organized Medical Staff Section</a> (OMSS) hosted a special session about the final rule during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>.</p> <p> Some of the key issues to consider include:</p> <p> <strong>Update your medical staff bylaws. </strong>CMS regulations require that the hospital board meet with the “individual assigned responsibility for the medical staff.” Your medical staff’s bylaws should specify who this person is—ideally, the president of the medical staff or the person who has been elected by staff members to lead the medical staff.</p> <p> The rule also requires the hospital board and medical staff to consult twice a year, at a minimum. Staff bylaws should address this communication as well.</p> <p> <strong>Be familiar with the rule’s requirements. </strong>Know the potential benefits and disadvantages if you unify with other medical staffs within the system or remain an individual medical staff.</p> <p> A unified system-wide medical staff could mean a stronger organization, with clinical standards developed across a greater number of peers and patients. On the other hand, unification could reduce each medical staff’s connection with or representation on the governing body. It also may mean new ways of considering community standards or hospital-specific services. If the system spans multiple states, a unified medical staff may have to make a choice of laws to determine which peer review protections will apply.</p> <p> <strong>Get the resources and assistance you need. </strong>The AMA-OMSS offers <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/omss/x-pub/cops.pdf">resources</a> (log in), including issues to consider before your medical staff votes to become part of a unified system-wide medical staff as well as sample bylaw language. Medical staffs also can contact the AMA-OMSS via <a href="mailto:keith.voogd@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">email</a> to seek assistance with questions that arise as a result of these regulations.</p> <p> The AMA, along with more than 80 other medical associations, sent CMS a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctors-tell-cms-put-brakes-new-medical-staff-rules">letter</a> on the final rule in July, asking the agency to give the rule more thought and institute an immediate delay before implementation. The AMA continues to advocate for regulations to protect the autonomy of medical staffs.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:a0203485-9c63-4d05-b612-4d4401ef5145 Physician medical liability funds protected from state raids http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physician-medical-liability-funds-protected-state-raids Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:09:00 GMT <p> Five years after the state government took $100 million from a special medical liability fund in Pennsylvania, a settlement has been reached that provides key protections against future diversion and returns $200 million in overpayments to physicians and other health care providers.</p> <p> The origins of the settlement go back to 2009 when the Pennsylvania government took $100 million from the Mcare Fund, a state-run medical liability fund that helps cover liability pay-outs. The funds come from annual assessments physicians and other health care providers pay.</p> <p> Rather than using year-end balances to reduce the next year’s assessment, the state let money in the fund accrue for several years. Then, contrary to state law that established Mcare as a means of keeping medical liability costs in check, the government took $100 million from that special fund to use for general state purposes.</p> <p> The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), with assistance from the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center.page">Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies</a>, took the state to court for this unlawful action.</p> <p> The case was settled a few weeks ago with both retrospective and prospective relief for physicians, totaling $200 million:</p> <ul> <li> $139 million will be returned to physicians and other health care providers who paid into the fund for assessment overpayments.</li> <li> <span style="font-size:12px;">$61 million will go toward reducing assessments in 2015.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:12px;">The Mcare fund will be “pay-as-you-go” in future years, so physicians won’t be required to put money in the fund until it is needed.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:12px;">The state will not be permitted to build up substantial reserves in the fund or consider that money as general revenue that can be diverted to elsewhere.</span></li> </ul> <p> “PAMED is grateful for the considerable assistance that the AMA Litigation Center provided, including its substantial monetary contribution to offset our legal expenses and the amicus curie brief in support of our cause in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” PAMED President Karen A. Rizzo, MD, said. “Both these actions helped position PAMED to settle the litigation on favorable terms.”</p> <p> <strong>Setting a precedent for other states</strong></p> <p> A number of states across the country have similar medical liability funds to the one in Pennsylvania. This settlement confirms the constitutionality of making sure those funds are used solely for medical liability purposes and not as a kind of “physician tax.”</p> <p> As the AMA Litigation Center noted in its friend-of-the-court <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/legal-issues/x-pub/pms-v-pa.pdf">brief</a> (log in) filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, cases previously arose in New York, New Hampshire and Wisconsin under “remarkably similar circumstances.” Each of the states’ high courts found the governments’ raids of the funds unconstitutional.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center/case-summaries-topic/taxation-physicians.page?">Learn more</a> about the cases in New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and related cases in which the AMA Litigation Center has been involved.</p> <p> <strong>Claiming a refund</strong></p> <p> Any physician practicing in Pennsylvania who paid into the Mcare Fund for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2014 is eligible for a refund from the settlement. (Calculations determined that overpayments were not made in 2013.) Physicians who have since retired or relocated to another state remain eligible.</p> <p> Refund checks will be mailed to the most recent address on file with the Pennsylvania physician licensing boards, so physicians should make sure their mailing addresses on record are up to date. <a href="http://www.pamedsoc.org/updatingyouraddress" rel="nofollow">Learn how</a>.</p> <p> Refunds are not expected to be distributed until 2016 as a result of the complex nature of the calculations. Additional information about the settlement is available on the <a href="http://www.pamedsoc.org/MainMenuCategories/Laws-Politics/Analysis/Laws-Analysis/Mcare/Mcare-call.html" rel="nofollow">PAMED website</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:33b761a8-c002-4936-9644-5003ec09366d Residents: How would you transform GME? http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_residents-would-transform-gme Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:32:00 GMT <p> Now that the consortium of schools in the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative are making transformative improvements to undergraduate medical education (UME), it’s time to move onto graduate medical education (GME)—and input from residents is crucial to the process.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/10/29bbfe18-d1ac-4efb-ba7e-fb44fb532435.Full.jpg?1" style="font-size:12px;" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/10/29bbfe18-d1ac-4efb-ba7e-fb44fb532435.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:10px;" /></a>“What’s happening in UME is spreading to GME, and vice versa, so the line between the two is really blurring,” Susan Skochelak, MD, AMA group vice president of medical education (pictured left), said at a special session for residents and fellows during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>. “You’re leaders already, you’re leaders in the system you’re working in. And all the things you see, all the things that you wish for—you can contribute that to the national dialogue.”</p> <p> Dr. Skochelak gave residents an update on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-schools-can-expect-future" target="_blank">progress in medical education transformation</a>, discussing how the consortium has spent the last year developing and implementing new ideas to change the way future physicians are trained. The schools are working on things like competency-based assessment, incorporating systems-based practice and team-based care teachings into curriculum, and focusing on diversity and health care disparities. Using new techniques and technologies, the schools hope to create adaptive, lifelong learners.</p> <p> None of these changes will happen in a vacuum, Dr. Skochelak said. Any change at the undergraduate level will affect residency programs as well.</p> <p> For example, if UME can be competency-based, and students can progress at their own rate through school and potentially graduate early, what happens with timing of the Match? Would med school graduates need to wait until July to start residency, or could they start at different points in the year?</p> <p> “The answer’s not there right now, but we do have to start asking the questions,” Dr. Skochelak said.</p> <p> Residents at the session shared what they believe to be challenges, including:</p> <ul> <li> More education in business and economics at the UME level</li> <li> New ideas for decreasing the amount of paperwork residents must complete during their work or training for how to do this more efficiently</li> <li> How to standardize assessment, given that UME programs could change dramatically</li> </ul> <p> The AMA’s consortium will spend the next year developing ways to involve GME in its work.</p> <p> Further, AMA policy calls on the association to work with key external stakeholders, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and National Resident Matching Program, to investigate the continuum of medical education through development of pilot projects. Read more in the AMA Council on Medical Education’s <a href="http://ama-assn.org/resources/doc/council-on-med-ed/x-pub/cme-rpt4-a-14.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> (log in).</p> <p> <strong>Share your ideas to transform residency training: </strong>Post your comments below at <em>AMA Wire</em>® or on the AMA Resident and Fellow Section <a href="https://www.facebook.com/amaresidentsandfellows" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ec8b708c-1d00-4c52-a282-b7274182808b CMS to conduct ICD-10 claims acceptance testing next week http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_cms-conduct-icd-10-claims-acceptance-testing-next-week Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:20:00 GMT <p> During the first of three special testing weeks, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be conducting testing to determine whether physicians’ ICD-10 claims will be accepted into the Medicare claims processing system, Nov. 17-21. Physicians who participate will receive real-time help desk support.</p> <p> Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) will be facilitating the testing. While registration is not required to participate, physicians can contact their MACs for more information about how to submit test claims.</p> <p> Physicians who use a clearinghouse or billing service should contact them to learn more about their plans for testing with Medicare and determine how they will receive test results for their claims.</p> <p> Two additional ICD-10 claims acknowledgment testing weeks will take place next year:</p> <ul> <li> March 2-6</li> <li> June 1-5</li> </ul> <p> Participation in testing will help physician practices determine its readiness for this portion of ICD-10 implementation and provide data for CMS’ own preparation for industry-wide use of the code set.</p> <p> Although acknowledgement testing is important for identifying any issues with claims being accepted by Medicare, physicians will not be able to test the complete processing of the claim or determine final payment at this time. CMS will be conducting more robust end-to-end testing with a limited number of physicians and other health care providers next year. More information can be found on the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/transaction-code-set-standards/icd10-code-set.page" target="_blank">ICD-10 Web page</a>, which the AMA will be updating as additional details become available.</p> <p> The AMA continues to urge regulators to ease the burden of ICD-10 implementation on physicians, citing <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/icd-10-implementation-costs-much-disruptive-new-study" target="_blank">dramatic implementation costs</a> coupled with an already onerous regulatory environment. However, practice management experts caution that physicians now should begin preparing their practices for the transition to ICD-10.</p> <p> To help with the testing process, the AMA has developed an ICD-10 data file available on <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2500012&navAction=push" target="_blank">CD-ROM</a> or via immediate <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2540010&navAction=push" target="_blank">download</a>. Additional <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/transaction-code-set-standards/icd10-code-set.page" target="_blank">information and resources</a> to help physicians get ready for ICD-10 are available on the AMA ICD-10 Web page.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:796f93c0-77e5-42cf-ba68-0bd598f3a9de 10 Medicare payment policy revisions you need to know http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_10-medicare-payment-policy-revisions-need Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:00:00 GMT <p> Chances are you haven’t been able to read through the nearly 1,200 pages that constitute the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/13/2014-26183/medicare-program-revisions-to-payment-policies-under-the-physician-fee-schedule-clinical-laboratory" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">final rule</a> released Oct. 31 and published Thursday in the <em>Federal Register</em>. Here are the 10 top payment policy changes discussed in this mammoth document that you need to know about.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>1.   </strong><strong>The sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula calls for a 21.2 percent cut to physician payments, effective April 1. </strong>While this is a steep reduction, it is a considerable drop from the nearly 30 percent cut projected just a few years ago. The reduction is thanks to nearly flat growth in utilization of physician services over the past several years. The AMA continues to press Congress to repeal the SGR formula to eliminate the perennial payment cut threats and temporary legislative patches.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>2.   </strong><strong>Continuing medical education (CME) will not be reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. </strong>The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed including CME activities in reports of physicians’ financial interactions with medical device and drug manufacturers in the new “Open Payments” public database. The AMA led dozens of other medical associations in calling on the agency to eliminate this requirement because it would “chill physician participation in independent [continuing education] programs.”</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>3.   </strong><strong>Proposed penalties under the value-based payment modifier (VBM) will be scaled back. </strong>CMS intended to increase payment penalties under the modifier from 2 percent to 4 percent, beginning in 2017. The AMA strongly objected to this proposal, noting in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-call-changes-medicare-payment-policy-proposals" target="_blank">comment letter on the proposed rule</a> that some physicians would be vulnerable to payment cuts totaling more than 11 percent as a result of the VBM and other Medicare reporting programs—a move that could mean some of Medicare’s sickest patients would lose access to their doctors.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> While the final rule still maintains a potential pay cut of 4 percent for larger medical groups, practices with fewer than 10 physicians will not be subject to more than a 2 percent VBM penalty.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>4.   </strong><strong>The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) becomes a penalty-only program next year. </strong>Physicians must successfully report in 2015 to avoid PQRS and VBM penalties in 2017. Among other things, they’ll have to report on at least nine quality measures that cover three “domains.” In addition, the final rule requires physicians to report on at least one of the 18 new “cross-cutting measures.”</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> CMS originally said physicians would be obligated to report on at least two cross-cutting measures but cut that requirement in half after the AMA urged the agency not to create additional mandates that physicians would struggle to meet.<br /> <br /> The agency also had planned to shorten the period physicians have to review their feedback reports to just 30 days. Following AMA lobbying, CMS decided to leave the review period at 60 days.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>5.  </strong><strong>The Physician Compare website will continue to expand—but not as much as planned. </strong>Continued pressure from the AMA has led CMS to commit to better prevention and correction of errors on this website that has been riddled with problems. The agency also will notify physicians when they can preview their reports.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> While the agency’s plans to post benchmarks to the site have been put aside for now, the website will show physicians’ performance under PQRS, the electronic health record meaningful use program and Medicare accountable care organizations.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>6.  </strong><strong>Chronic care management services will be supported by a monthly payment. </strong>Beginning next year, CMS will pay $42.60 per month for these services when CPT code 99490 is reported. This policy change reflects several years of advocacy by the AMA, the CPT Editorial Panel and the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/medicare/the-resource-based-relative-value-scale/the-rvs-update-committee.page" target="_blank">AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee</a> (RUC). The groups will continue to urge the agency to also adopt higher values and pay for multiple complex chronic care coordination services so that patients have ongoing access to this important care.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>7.  </strong><strong>Four services now are eligible for telehealth payment. </strong>These services are Medicare’s annual wellness visit (coded with HCPCS G0438 and G0439), prolonged evaluation and management services (reported with CPT codes 99354 and 99355), family psychotherapy (CPT codes 90846 and 90847) and psychoanalysis (CPT code 90845).</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>8.  </strong><strong>Surgical global periods will change from 10- and 90-day periods to 0-day periods. </strong>Despite strong opposition from the AMA and many medical specialty societies, CMS will be transitioning all services with a 10-day global period to a 0-day global period by 2017. All 90-day global periods will be shifted to 0-day global periods by 2018.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>9.  </strong><strong>There are 350 CPT codes identified as new, revised or potentially misvalued—318 of these changes were based on physician input. </strong>These changes represent 86 percent of those recommended by the RUC, a group of more than 300 participants that includes physician advisers from every medical specialty and a dozen other health care professionals. The group provides input on values based on their highly technical expertise.</p> <p style="margin-left:.25in;"> <strong>10. </strong><strong>The timeline for submitting new codes and revaluations of services will shift. </strong>The deadline for receiving all code and value recommendations for the following year’s payment policies will be February to allow more time for public comment. This change will take place for the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. CPT and RUC timelines will be modified to accommodate the new process, thereby ensuring physicians continue to have strong input on appropriate values for services.</p> <p> You can read more about these and other components of next year’s Medicare payment policies by downloading an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/2015-medicare-fee-schedule-final-rule-highlights.pdf" target="_blank">AMA summary</a> (log in) or viewing <a href="http://cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fact sheets</a> from CMS.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:ad8176c4-5822-4250-95e8-70e2a57ffec0 Get one online tool for all your coding needs http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_one-online-tool-coding-needs Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:48:00 GMT <p> With the arrival of the new 2015 codebooks, now is the time to get a single tool that integrates all coding resources—the <a href="http://info.commerce.ama-assn.org/ama-coding-online" target="_blank">AMA Coding Online</a> suite of products.</p> <p> AMA CodeManager<sup>®</sup> Online gives access to thousands of codes, plus AMA-exclusive content. With this tool, you can integrate up to 30 coding resources, and content is automatically updated every month.</p> <p> Four online medical coding resources—each a stand-alone, subscription-based product—come together to create your personal digital coding library, regardless of your coding platform. All resources integrate seamlessly with AMA CodeManager<sup>®</sup> Online.</p> <p> The reference products include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong><em>CPT® Changes Online</em></strong><strong>:</strong> Search each edition of <em>CPT Changes: An Insider’s View</em> to see every code and guideline change since 2000.</li> <li> <strong><em>CPT Assistant Online</em></strong><strong>:</strong> Get the full content of every <em>CPT Assistant</em> newsletter and access every article since 1990.</li> <li> <strong><em>RBRVS DataManager Online</em></strong><strong>:</strong> Accurately calculate and report claims based on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.</li> <li> <strong><em>Clinical Examples in Radiology Online</em></strong>: Rely on this authoritative radiology coding reference, co-published with the American College of Radiology.</li> </ul> <p> To learn more, schedule a <a href="http://cta-service-cms2.hubspot.com/cs/c/?&cta_guid=b4415391-0598-4c25-a005-1cca38335e85&placement_guid=96b09f84-c4f6-457c-bb62-e53e95a045c2&portal_id=281020&redirect_url=xIyEcv1Jzm7O/da6ml48yLhdbJKugXbWbxvtgUmMPJl4vQA02mumehAhVT6RZKdaYjXtvq1oOkItDz7YMf7JBfXZI%2BC8vqERvpHDe0H3hNYDE9pKPgtzDQSt3GYoU74CLTLha4hyCymB2FzV4%2BjSyKkrEelWnQIAT%2BCR1Bo8qmBB3ZVl/Z%2Bw%2Bf9j2o0/MmBT2%2BXwRVPBF8aFzRqeWwsvaiVhcDOGMck5yViLAh34q1UYCr%2BuH5aHjXR9F0vdicXTGr3uGtQAqIo%3D&iv=kxVOA8Z3VdY%3D&hsutk=ec9a088ed801a28c0c39cf1d1c8d619d&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.commerce.ama-assn.org%2Fama-coding-online&canon=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.commerce.ama-assn.org%2Fama-coding-online" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">product demo</a>, or get a <a href="http://cta-service-cms2.hubspot.com/cs/c/?&cta_guid=9d3a6129-05bd-43e2-8f41-7bf312658a69&placement_guid=3493422b-7cf5-4c82-8aa1-12b70c5421a3&portal_id=281020&redirect_url=C2uHv80WDzbsPW86bmzb0kJ%2BF%2ByvBQWqNY4HjOsJX59GHZ7xEOd3x3rU/%2B1TpWn9fDjNbT1maJxi6ue/xruT5HxPgv6raIv/E11XUkavuWvSvFKguAZ2Kn2R23igvStSggC6fi%2B39B6sfajmCnpzHGzi5z1yYPlZxnDoo0ZKEHRs1P55PvlIiroECzIgsW6MK6hCZeAcT73Zp2XKZpwk8T5pXDfJgrKc0P8sm9PGu8BRqRgVn8sWspIU896A0QNQV9NjzozfX6PDhnRdgQda8dt1gWTcy8OFbltsG/xc3U5MtdG6uQekYw%3D%3D&iv=Ln3izVoiaZs%3D&hsutk=ec9a088ed801a28c0c39cf1d1c8d619d&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.commerce.ama-assn.org%2Fama-coding-online&canon=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.commerce.ama-assn.org%2Fama-coding-online" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">free trial</a>.</p> <p> AMA members receive lower prices on products from the AMA Store. If you’re not a member, <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/membership/" target="_blank">join today</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e7440462-7cf9-40b9-a4b4-a38b6d2229be From Ebola to MOC: Top 10 stories from AMA Interim Meeting http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ebola-moc-top-10-stories-ama-interim-meeting Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> Here are the top stories from the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting in Dallas. See <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1">full coverage</a> of the meeting at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnP_HIJy9PU" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/14/882c2568-7763-4d23-9e1e-c47d578606b0.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a><strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/video-cdc-expert-tells-physicians-prepare-ebola">CDC expert tells physicians how to prepare for Ebola</a></strong><br /> In a special address at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told physicians that the chance of encountering patients with Ebola in ambulatory settings is very low—but physicians need to be prepared nonetheless.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-adopts-principles-maintenance-of-certification"><strong>AMA adopts principles for maintenance of certification</strong></a><br /> Physicians voted Monday to update the AMA’s policy on maintenance of certification. The adopted policy outlines principles that emphasize the need for an evidence-based process that is evaluated regularly to ensure physician needs are being met and activities are relevant to clinical practice.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-urge-expanded-access-medicaid"><strong>Physicians urge expanded access to Medicaid</strong></a><br /> The nation’s physicians voted to support Medicaid expansion and encourage lawmakers to identify realistic coverage options for adults currently in the coverage gap, even if states choose not to adopt the Medicaid expansion outlined in the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E8BBUW2QYA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/8/65c8e2fe-de09-4b8f-b84e-7b98e01d0092.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a><strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/va-secretary-need-physicians">VA secretary: We need physicians’ help</a></strong><br /> The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to right wrongs, reframe perceptions and enhance care for veterans—and it needs the help of physicians, VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald told the AMA House of Delegates Saturday at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting in Dallas.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ebola-e-cigarettes-delegates-pass-public-health-policy"><strong>From Ebola to e-cigarettes, delegates pass public health policy</strong></a><br /> Delegates this week weighed in on a number of timely public health issues. They reinforced support for regulatory oversight of electronic cigarettes, and called on the AMA to continue to be a trusted source of information and education on epidemics or pandemics.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N4d44u-WHk" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/6/13/76f8ddaf-0d66-4184-8d79-f3443febe8a3.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a><strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-president-discusses-anticipating-problems-finding-solutions-1">AMA president: We are anticipating problems, finding solutions</a></strong><br /> In an address during Saturday’s opening session of the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting, AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, told physicians how the AMA is anticipating problems and working on solutions to give doctors nationwide a new hope in practicing medicine.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-backs-interstate-compact-streamline-medical-licensure"><strong>AMA backs interstate compact to streamline medical licensure</strong></a><br /> A special compact designed to facilitate a speedier medical licensure process with fewer administrative burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states received the support of the AMA House of Delegates this week.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/new-policy-calls-adequate-networks-patient-access-choice"><strong>New policy calls for adequate networks for patient access, choice</strong></a><br /> As open enrollment for health insurance exchanges begins this weekend, physicians have adopted new policy aimed at addressing inadequate provider networks so patients have access to the care they need and the physicians they rely on.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/delegates-ask-suspension-of-meaningful-use-penalties"><strong>Delegates ask for suspension of meaningful use penalties</strong></a><br /> Delegates at the Interim Meeting this week renewed their request that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suspend penalties for failure to meet meaningful use criteria.</p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQr43yhfKmU" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/13/3a4ef779-a1b0-4f01-8ddb-54a10b1c6b6f.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a><strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/mission-provides-map-improve-medicine-ama-ceo">AMA CEO: Mission provides a map to improve medicine</a></strong><br /> Throughout history, the AMA has always followed its mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. The association will continue to follow its mission—its moral compass and road map—into the future, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, said in his address to the House of Delegates.</p> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:969f97f9-fdfc-40bc-856a-c457d0a5e7d4 Physicians take on prior authorization rules that hinder care http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-prior-authorization-rules-hinder-care Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:46:00 GMT <p> New policy adopted Monday at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> calls for limiting the use of prior authorization of health care services so that physicians are not prevented from giving patients the safe, high-quality care they deserve.</p> <p> Citing how prior authorization often unnecessarily interrupts the delivery of care and places undue administrative and financial burdens on physicians, the new policy directs the AMA to further address this obstacle to high-quality, affordable care:</p> <ul> <li> Mitigate the burden of preauthorization and other utilization review efforts</li> <li> Conduct a study that quantifies the administrative burden of prior authorization, authorizations and denials of authorization appeals. This will include the time taken away from patient care activities. The study is expected to take place next year, and results will be made available early in 2016.</li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:76750857-4024-4c02-88bf-6ebf529ccc7a Physicians urge expanded access to Medicaid http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-urge-expanded-access-medicaid Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:41:00 GMT <p> The nation’s physicians voted Monday to support Medicaid expansion and encourage lawmakers to identify realistic coverage options for adults currently in the coverage gap, even if states choose not to adopt the Medicaid expansion outlined in the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p> Physicians at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas approved a report that would encourage states not participating in the Medicaid expansion to develop waivers that support expansion plans that best meet the needs and priorities of their state’s low-income adults. The AMA calls on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to approve waivers that are consistent with the goals and spirit of expanding insurance coverage.</p> <p> “The AMA is sensitive to state concerns about expanding Medicaid in a traditional manner, but we believe they must find ways to expand health insurance coverage to their uninsured populations, especially as coverage disparities continue to grow between expansion and non-expansion states,” said AMA Immediate Past Board Chair David O. Barbe, MD. “We encourage states that would otherwise reject the opportunity to expand their Medicaid programs to develop expansion waivers that help increase coverage options for their low income residents.”</p> <p> Get more news on policy from the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting at <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1"><em>AMA Wire</em></a>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:8eda3a94-4771-4677-9455-d7cd0a3be785 New report calls for Medicaid pay parity beyond 2014 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-report-calls-medicaid-pay-parity-beyond-2014 Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:39:00 GMT <p> A policy adopted Monday outlined in a report by the AMA Council on Medical Service directs the AMA to continue its efforts to extend a Medicaid payment increase that has been in effect since 2013 so low-income patients continue to have access to essential primary care services to stay healthy.</p> <p> The report explains that without the federally mandated payment increase, which makes Medicaid rates for certain primary care services 100 percent of Medicare rates, current rates in the state-based program average 66 percent of Medicare rates. Such low rates are “insufficient to ensure access to care for Medicaid patients and adequate payment to physicians providing care to these patients,” the report states.</p> <p> A number of states are unlikely to continue the increased rates next year when federal funds that make up the payment increase no longer are available.</p> <p> In addition to calling for a continuation of the Medicaid primary care payment increases, the policy also states that obstetricians and gynecologists should be eligible to receive the payment increase for evaluation and management codes as well as vaccine administration codes.</p> <p> The AMA already has <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/bill-seeks-sustain-higher-medicaid-payments" target="_blank">supported a federal bill</a> introduced in July that would extend the Medicaid primary care payment increase and will continue to support measures to ensure patients have access to the care they need.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:fb93e4ca-ef9b-4ca9-bf69-422b853136b5 Initiative minimizes barriers to providing high-quality care http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_initiative-minimizes-barriers-providing-high-quality-care Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT <p> Now that studies have made the reasons behind physicians’ professional satisfaction clear, it’s time to implement solutions that let physicians get back to doing what they want to do most—give high-quality care to patients.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/14/5a75aeff-0196-411b-9ec9-3839b7299ef6.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/14/5a75aeff-0196-411b-9ec9-3839b7299ef6.Large.jpg?1" style="float:right;margin:15px;" /></a>That’s what Group Vice President of Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability Michael Tutty, PhD (pictured right), told physicians at a special session Saturday during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>.</p> <p> Through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, the AMA has investigated the things that make it difficult to provide high-quality care. An <a href="http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR439.html" rel="nofollow">AMA-RAND study</a> released last fall revealed that physicians who feel overworked, overscrutinized or overburdened with unfulfilling tasks can suffer continually from a growing sense that they are neglecting the professional priorities that really matter—their patients. </p> <p> Factors that lead to dissatisfaction include regulatory burdens, competing professional priorities and burdensome electronic health records (EHR).</p> <p> Now that the AMA knows what’s behind dissatisfaction, it’s raising the issue in the public sphere and implementing solutions.</p> <p> Tutty explained that through the next year, the AMA will:</p> <ul> <li> Engage vendors to incorporate needed changes into future EHR design, training and implementation, and work with other stakeholders to <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable">improve EHR usability</a></li> <li> Continue to advocate for greater flexibility in the EHR meaningful use program and other <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent">regulatory programs</a></li> <li> Re-craft the physician-hospital relationship of the future promoting an integrated leadership structure</li> <li> Investigate new <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/840-million-will-fund-improved-care-via-new-clinical-networks" target="_blank">practice and payment models</a>, starting with another study with the RAND Corporation, which will look at how payment models affect physicians’ practices</li> <li> Develop ways to provide leadership training for physicians in new practice models</li> </ul> <p> In the meantime, physicians have some ways to improve their professional satisfaction and quality of patient care right now. Beta testing has begun for the first four modules in the AMA’s new online platform <a href="https://www.steps-forward.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">STEPS Forward™</a>, which stands for Solutions Toward Effective Practice. These initial modules will help physicians address common clinical challenges. </p> <p> The solutions offered address pre-visit planning, prescription renewals, empowering staff to handle more during patient visits and collaborative documentation. The AMA is looking for physician feedback of the beta site. A robust collection of content building on these initial modules will be forthcoming in 2015.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4d43b94b-2376-4f15-8719-86ec4422b28a From Ebola to e-cigarettes, delegates pass public health policy http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ebola-e-cigarettes-delegates-pass-public-health-policy Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:55:00 GMT <p> Delegates at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas this week weighed in on a number of timely public health issues. At the meeting, physicians:</p> <ul> <li> Called for the AMA to continue to be a <strong>trusted source of information and education</strong> on urgent <strong>epidemics or pandemics</strong> affecting the U.S. population. The policy was enacted in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.</li> <li> Reinforced its <strong>support for regulatory oversight of electronic cigarettes</strong>. Delegates also supported regulations that would establish the minimum legal purchase age for electronic cigarettes to be 18 years old, place marketing restrictions on manufacturers, and prohibit claims that electronic cigarettes are effective tobacco cessation tools.Supported efforts to <strong>give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority and funding</strong> to effectively oversee the manufacturing, marketing and sale of <strong>dietary supplements</strong>.</li> <li> Urged the <strong>increased use of sobriety checkpoints</strong> and called for state medical societies to overturn bans on using them to deter driving under the influence.</li> <li> Passed policy <strong>recognizing the important role of pharmacists in vaccinating target populations</strong> that lack access to a medical home or that otherwise are unlikely to receive immunizations through physician practices. The policy affirms that health professionals who administer vaccines have shared responsibilities to ensure that vaccination administration is documented in the patient medical record. Further, it calls on physicians and pharmacists to work together in the community to <strong>encourage patients to follow up with a primary care physician</strong> to ensure continuity of care.</li> </ul> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:58d35d13-17bf-46a8-bc48-4e2fb91b3306 New policy calls for adequate networks for patient access, choice http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_new-policy-calls-adequate-networks-patient-access-choice Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:39:00 GMT <p> As open enrollment for health insurance exchanges begins this weekend, physicians have adopted new policy aimed at addressing inadequate provider networks so patients have access to the care they need and the physicians they rely on.</p> <p> The new AMA policy, which is part of a <a>new report</a> by the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-service.page" target="_blank">Council on Medical Service</a>, calls for health insurers to make changes to their provider networks before the open enrollment period gets underway each year. Implementing changes to provider networks at this time will help prevent patients from being stuck with plans that drop their physicians after they already have enrolled.</p> <p> The policy also reiterates the need for health insurers to provide patients with an accurate, complete directory of participating physicians through multiple media outlets. These lists also should identify physicians who are not accepting new patients.</p> <p> “Patients deserve to have an honest look at their coverage options—including the physicians, hospitals and medications they will have access to as well as cost-sharing—so that they can make an informed choice,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said in a <a>news release.</a></p> <p> Inadequate networks could lead to interruptions in patient care, delayed care and undue harm, Dr. Wah said. “They can also prevent patients who are newly insured from being able to access the physicians that suit their needs in a timely manner.”</p> <p> Other provisions of the new policy include:</p> <ul> <li> Promoting state regulators as the primary enforcers of network adequacy requirements. These regulators can ensure compliance with state network adequacy laws and regulations that are intended to make sure patients have access to adequate provider networks throughout the plan year.</li> <li> Calling for insurers to submit quarterly reports to state regulators. These reports should provide data on several measures of network adequacy, including the number and type of physicians who have joined or left the network, the provision of essential health benefits, and consumer complaints received.</li> <li> Calling on insurers to treat patient visits to out-of-network physicians the same as in-network visits if the plan’s provider network is deemed inadequate.</li> <li> Supporting regulation and legislation that require out-of-network expenses to count toward a patient’s annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums when a patient is enrolled in a plan with out-of-network benefits or is forced to go out of network as a result of network inadequacies.</li> </ul> <p> “Patients who need to seek care out of network should not be punished financially,” Dr. Wah said. “If patients find themselves in networks that are deemed inadequate, there should be adequate financial protection in place to ensure they can access the care they need and deserve.”</p> <p> The new policy is part of the AMA’s ongoing efforts to secure patient access to adequate networks of care. Nationally, the AMA has urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to strengthen network adequacy requirements for health insurance plans being sold through the health insurance exchanges. The association also has advocated for transparency in Medicare Advantage plans to ensure patients are aware of any changes to physician networks before the open enrollment period.</p> <p> On the state level, the AMA has created an Affordable Care Act state implementation <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/state-advocacy-arc/state-advocacy-campaigns/state-health-reform.page?" target="_blank">toolkit</a> that contains four model bills addressing tiered and narrow networks and access to accurate provider directories. The AMA also has worked with state medical associations to support state legislation requiring out-of-network transparency and to implement more stringent network adequacy standards than those outlined in federal requirements.</p> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6c840f64-87bc-413e-848d-3719e7a49ea3 Doctors debate care continuity, competence at ethics forum http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_doctors-debate-care-continuity-competence-ethics-forum Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:38:00 GMT <p> Physicians had the chance to share their opinions on continuity of care in complex health care systems and the ethical obligation to provide competent care during an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-ethical-judicial-affairs/ceja-open-forum.page?">open forum</a> of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-ethical-judicial-affairs.page">AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs</a> (CEJA), held Monday at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting.</p> <p> Attendees also received an update on the project to critically review and update the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics.page?"><em>Code of Medical Ethics</em></a>. Physician can continue to review and comment on changes to the <em>Code</em> through Dec. 31 via the online <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/community/forums.page?plckForumPage=ForumCategory&plckCategoryId=Cat:a0145272-f48b-4c03-ad56-ad76c28c04bc">CEJA Forum</a> (log in) or by sending an <a href="mailto:bette.crigger@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">email</a> with comments.</p> <p> CEJA’s updates to the <em>Code</em> have been conservative, and attendees were reminded of this in discussion about continuity of care.</p> <p> “The comments [in the <em>Code</em>] about continuity of care are unchanged since 1992,” said CEJA member James E. Sabin, MD. “Since 1992, there have been major changes in the health system, and there’s no suggestion any of this is stopping soon …. There’s reason to think the changing system creates new challenges to continuity of care and new opportunities.”</p> <p> Physicians touched on a variety of obstacles to care continuity, including patients not having continuous health care coverage, difficulty in patients making appointments and problems with electronic health records that prevent communication between physicians.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/5/e92fbb07-1ac4-4a93-9550-fb4d46359eb4.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/5/e92fbb07-1ac4-4a93-9550-fb4d46359eb4.Large.jpg?1" style="float:left;margin:15px;" /></a>Joseph Selby, MD, a professor of family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine, said providing interpersonal continuity of care in today’s environment is “virtually impossible as medicine interfaces with business models.” He said it’s difficult for physicians in hospital systems to comply with hospital mandates and patient volumes.</p> <p> Discussion also covered the issue of competence, specifically how to self-assess competence in a variety of situations. CEJA Vice-Chair Stephen L. Brotherton, MD (pictured left), highlighted the many ways in which a physician’s competence may be deteriorating.</p> <p> “Your skills may fade, and you’re not really aware that’s happening,” he said, pointing to age, number of hours worked, lack of sleep and other factors that could have an effect on competence.</p> <p> Other physicians made comments on the necessity of defining competence exactly, which CEJA admitted was a challenge.</p> <p> CEJA will evaluate all comments from the open forum as it moves forward in its work.</p> <p> <strong>What do you think? </strong>Share your opinions on continuity of care and competence with a comment below at <em>AMA Wire</em>® or on the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow">Facebook page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:720f03d3-99d2-4955-adc8-f7dc16574f57 Physicians vote to exercise conscience in medical care http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-vote-exercise-conscience-medical-care Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:37:00 GMT <div> Physicians voted in favor of new policies during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas, focusing on physicians’ exercise of conscience and physician civil discourse.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Nearly 500 delegates voted to pass policy that supports high standards of civility and respect among physicians, stating that different beliefs, aspects of conscience and ethical views are essential to the improvement of medicine. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Also adopted was policy outlined in a report by the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs on physicians’ exercise of conscience. This policy supports giving physicians’ latitude to practice in accordance with their own well-considered, deeply held beliefs that are central to their self-identities. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Physicians are expected to provide care in emergencies, honor patients’ decisions to refuse treatment, respect basic civil liberties and not discriminate against individuals. At the same time, policy also recognizes that physicians have an interest in maintaining personal integrity.</div> <div>  </div> <div> According to the new policy, to responsibly follow the dictates of conscience, physicians should:</div> <div>  </div> <div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Consider whether and how significantly an action will undermine the physician’s personal integrity, create emotional or moral distress for the physician, or compromise the physician’s ability to provide care for the individual and other patients.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Make clear that there are interventions or services the physician cannot in good conscience provide because they are contrary to the physician’s deeply held personal beliefs before entering into a patient-physician relationship. In particular, the physician should focus on interventions or services a patient might otherwise reasonably expect the practice to offer.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Take care that their actions do not discriminate against or unduly burden individual patients or patient populations and do not adversely affect patient or public trust.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Be mindful of the burden their actions may place on fellow health care professionals.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Uphold standards of informed consent and let the patient know about all relevant options for treatment, including options to which the physician morally objects.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>In general, physicians should refer a patient to another physician to provide treatment the physician declines to offer. When a deeply held, well-considered personal belief leads a physician to also decline to refer, the physician should offer impartial guidance to patients about how to inform themselves regarding access to desired services.</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;">  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Continue to provide other ongoing care for the patient or formally terminate the patient-physician relationship in keeping with ethical guidelines.</div> </div> <div>  </div> <div> Get more news on policy from the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting at <em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1" target="_blank">AMA Wire</a></em>®.</div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4fc8bff1-50c8-4bb2-bf9a-2cf42c75de83 AMA adopts principles for maintenance of certification http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-adopts-principles-maintenance-of-certification Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:30:00 GMT <div> <p> Physicians voted Monday to update the AMA’s policy on maintenance of certification (MOC) during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas. The adopted policy outlines principles that emphasize the need for an evidence-based process that is evaluated regularly to ensure physician needs are being met and activities are relevant to clinical practice.</p> <p> The MOC principles will now include:</p> <ul> <li> MOC should be based on evidence and designed to identify performance gaps and unmet needs, providing direction and guidance for improvement in physician performance and delivery of care.</li> <li> The MOC process should be evaluated periodically to measure physician satisfaction, knowledge uptake, and intent to maintain or change practice.</li> <li> MOC should be used as a tool for continuous improvement.</li> <li> The MOC program should not be a mandated requirement for licensure, credentialing, payment, network participation or employment.</li> <li> Actively practicing physicians should be well-represented on specialty boards developing MOC.</li> <li> MOC activities and measurement should be relevant to clinical practice.</li> <li> The MOC process should not be cost-prohibitive or present barriers to patient care.</li> </ul> <p> The policy encourages specialty boards to investigate alternative approaches to MOC and directs the AMA to report annually on the MOC process.</p> <p> The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the organization responsible for developing the MOC process. ABMS works with its 24 member boards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians.</p> <p> AMA policy supports physician accountability, life-long learning and self-assessment. The AMA will continue to work with the appropriate organizations to ensure the MOC process does not disrupt physician practice or reduce the capacity of the overall physician workforce.</p> <p> In June, the AMA and ABMS <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-abms-convene-stakeholders-discuss-moc-exam">convened stakeholders in Chicago</a> to discuss Part III of the MOC exam, focusing on the value of MOC Part III and innovative concepts that could potentially enhance or replace the current thinking around the secure exam requirement of MOC.</p> <p> Get more news on policy adopted at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting at <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1"><em>AMA Wire</em></a>®.</p> </div> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:a2ebd97e-707a-420b-94b7-f12c8b607031 Delegates ask for suspension of meaningful use penalties http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_delegates-ask-suspension-of-meaningful-use-penalties Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:29:00 GMT <p> At the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> this week, delegates renewed their request that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suspend penalties for failure to meet meaningful use criteria.</p> <p> The new policy comes on the heels of the recent release of new attestation numbers showing only 2 percent of physicians have demonstrated Stage 2 meaningful use so far this year. In response to the new figure, the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/data-doesnt-lie-meaningful-use-needs-change-now" target="_blank">joined with other health care leaders</a> to urge policymakers to take immediate action to fix the meaningful use program by adding more flexibility and shortening the reporting period to help physicians avoid penalties.</p> <p>  “The whole point of the meaningful use incentive program was to allow for the secure exchange of information across settings and providers, and right now that type of sharing and coordination is not happening on a wide scale for reasons outside physicians’ control,” AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, said.  “Physicians want to improve the quality of care and usable, interoperable EHRs are a pathway to achieving that goal.”</p> <p> In addition to calling for EHRs to be more interoperable, physicians also are recommending that policymakers ease regulations to allow for EHRs to become more usable.</p> <p> An AMA-RAND <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2013/2013-10-09-rand-study-physician-satisfaction.page">study</a> released in 2013 cited EHRs as a major source of dissatisfaction for physicians. The report found that physicians want to embrace technology, but they’re frustrated that regulatory requirements are forcing them to do clerical work and distracting them from paying close attention to their patients. Physicians also raised concerns about interoperability in the study, saying that the inability of EHRs to "talk" to each other prevents the transmission of patient medical information when it’s needed.</p> <p> The AMA continues to work aggressively to improve medical practice, including the usability of EHRs, so physicians can focus on their patients. By working toward delivery systems that support physician success, the AMA strives to enhance patient care, make delivery more efficient, and reduce unnecessary costs or burdens through its <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative.</p> <p> As part of that effort, the AMA provided the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and CMS with a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">blueprint</a> for improving the meaningful use program as well as a framework outlining <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">eight priorities</a> for more usable EHRs. Physicians want to use high-performing, interoperable technology in a way they see best fit to help them care for their patients. Modifying the meaningful use program will help to meet these goals.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:369b45eb-bff6-43fb-b1b7-0d9181a96c0d Honoring veterans: Physician voice crucial to ensuring care http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_honoring-veterans-physician-voice-crucial-ensuring-care Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:30:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/9/d54fa3e2-c02e-4506-a9bc-6bc2b6512edd.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/9/d54fa3e2-c02e-4506-a9bc-6bc2b6512edd.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a>As a physician and having served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for more than two decades, I believe Veterans’ Day is one of the most important days of the year—perhaps even more than usual this year. Here’s why.</p> <p> This past year, thousands of our nation’s veterans faced an access-to-care crisis. The men and women who gave so much for our country were unable to obtain the timely access to medical care that they needed and deserved.</p> <p> I’m proud that the AMA stepped up, passing policy at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting. This policy asked President Obama to make sure eligible veterans received the timely care they are entitled to and urged Congress to pass long-term solutions so veterans wouldn’t have to face this crisis again.</p> <p> In August, Congress did just that by adopting a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physician-voice-helps-shape-veterans-health-care-reform-law" target="_blank">veterans’ health care reform law</a>, which the AMA helped shape.</p> <p> We also worked with state and local medical societies as they developed registries of physicians who were ready and willing to care for veterans in their private practices. These registries then were provided to local communities and facilities of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) across the country.</p> <p> Now, at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting, veterans’ issues are at the forefront again. In a special address Saturday, VA Secretary Robert McDonald <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/va-secretary-need-physicians" target="_blank">asked for our help</a>.</p> <p> He told us that the VA needs physicians—both to work for the system and accept the many veterans who may need to go outside of the VA health system for care. He also asked for our advice and opinions on how he can improve the VA structure.</p> <p> You can watch Secretary McDonald’s address on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/livestream.html" target="_blank">Interim Meeting website</a>.</p> <p> I’ve always thought the military and the AMA have a lot in common—both are keepers of rich traditions, and both are courageous in the face of trying new things. In both medicine and the military, training often focuses on preparing for the unexpected. And in both, we rely on teamwork and trust.</p> <p> This Veterans Day, a grateful nation and I I thank those who have served our country. I think of the many physicians in the U.S. Armed Forces who have dedicated their skills to caring for those in active service—including AMA Board of Trustee Member LCDR Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, U.S. Navy Reserve, who is currently deployed in the Middle East. And I think of the many men and women who have sacrificed their time and put their lives in danger for us both at home and overseas.</p> <p> Members of the military and their families are making great sacrifices every day. The physician community will do what we can to make sure access to health care is not another sacrifice they’ll have to make. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:88db4761-d7e4-4f24-98d5-98021a077dec Seizing the moment to fix Medicare during the lame duck session http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_seizing-moment-fix-medicare-during-lame-duck-session Mon, 10 Nov 2014 19:30:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/7/c9d7ba16-b07d-44b1-a7d3-8dbc621df73f.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/9/7/c9d7ba16-b07d-44b1-a7d3-8dbc621df73f.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a>Support is growing to finally move Medicare into the 21<sup>st</sup> century by employing practical solutions to problems that have plagued the system for years, including repealing the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) that has been a failure since it was first enacted. The lame duck session in Congress is a perfect opportunity to end the broken cycle of temporary patches by repairing our Medicare system and make significant improvements for future generations.</p> <p> Momentum is building with a growing number of bipartisan members of congress in both the House and the Senate, including the congressional “doc” caucus, declaring their support for immediate action on SGR reform. The bipartisan, bicameral bill developed last spring is the remedy to fix the defective policy.</p> <p> If Congress does not seize the moment to act now during the lame duck session all of the hard bipartisan, bicameral work that went into building that framework will be for naught, and the process of negotiating a solution will start all over again. The current legislation is a remedy to improve care for patients through new health care delivery and payment systems that promise to create the stable environment that is needed for physicians to innovate.</p> <p> Eliminating SGR would also free physicians to make the investments needed to implement new models of health care delivery and payment systems that are already proving successful in reducing costs and increasing access to high-quality care in pilot programs across the country.</p> <p> Patient-centered medical homes that enable physicians to better manage chronic diseases and coordinate patient care, and shared savings arrangements that incentivize physicians to redesign care delivery to reduce total spending are just two examples of new approaches that are quickly creating a blueprint for the future of a reformed Medicare system.</p> <p> Yet year after year the SGR has created an unpredictable environment that makes those innovative changes impossible by calling for unmanageable annual rate cuts for physician services and forcing increasingly expensive legislative patches to preserve access to care for millions of Medicare patients. Congress has agreed and continues to agree that the SGR is a defective policy. To date, Congress has spent a staggering $169 billion on 17 short term patches to shore up the ailing system it created, all while the gap between what Medicare pays and the actual cost of caring for patients has grown ever wider.</p> <p> As a country, we simply cannot afford to continue to perpetuate a system that is not meeting the needs of the American public. Fixing the system now will cost less than what has already been spent on the 17 previous patches that did not fix the real problem. Patients and their physicians should not continue to be collateral damage caused by a failure to correct a flawed policy initiated by Congress.</p> <p> America is relying on its elected leaders to secure high-quality, cost-effective health care for Medicare patients now and in the future. Medicare can have brighter future if Congress will finally focus on doing what’s right for patients.</p> <p> It’s a no-brainer. The American Medical Association urges policymakers to finish this by continuing to pursue good faith, bipartisan efforts to end the SGR once and for all. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6d093729-fadc-45fb-bdaf-107e5177e518 Watch on demand: How to fight Ebola in the U.S. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_watch-demand-fight-ebola Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:11:00 GMT <p> <object align="right" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" height="350" hspace="15" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="15" width="375"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="350" hspace="15" quality="best" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="15" width="375" wmode="transparent"></embed></object>If you missed this weekend’s live streaming of an official update on Ebola, you don’t have to be the only one without the latest information. An <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnP_HIJy9PU&feature=youtu.be" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">archived recording</a> of this address made at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting now is available for on-demand viewing.</p> <p> Watch Arjun Srinivasan, MD (right), an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, discuss how physicians can prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/public-health/x-pub/medical-personnel-preparedness-for-ebola.pdf" target="_blank">Slides of the presentation</a> (login) also are available for download.</p> <p> <strong>Looking for additional Ebola information?</strong> Visit the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a> for convenient access to materials created by the CDC and other public health experts for physicians and the public.</p> <p> In addition, an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E8BBUW2QYA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">archived recording</a> now is available of U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald’s report on how the nation is making sure that veterans have timely access to the health care they need. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:52afd591-633e-4a5b-9047-742e27e4f112 AMA backs interstate compact to streamline medical licensure http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-backs-interstate-compact-streamline-medical-licensure Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT <p> A <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medical-licensure-streamlined-under-new-interstate-compact" target="_blank">special compact</a> designed to facilitate a speedier medical licensure process with fewer administrative  burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states received the support of the nation’s physicians with a new policy adopted Monday at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>.</p> <p> The <a href=" https://www.fsmb.org/Media/Default/PDF/Publications/FSMB_statement_on_final_compact_09032014FINAL.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">model legislation</a> was developed by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) to make it easier for physicians to obtain licenses in multiple states while providing access to safe, quality care.</p> <p> Under the new policy, the AMA will work with interested medical associations, the FSMB and other  stakeholders to ensure expeditious adoption of the compact and the creation of an Interstate Medical Licensure Commission.</p> <p> “At least 10 state medical boards have adopted the compact, which streamlines the licensing process for physicians seeking licenses in multiple states and increases patient access to telemedicine services,” AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, said in a news release. “We encourage more states to sign on to the compact so that we can ensure standards of care are maintained, whether treatment is provided in-person or via telemedicine.”</p> <p> The compact, which was released in July, is based on several key principles, including:</p> <ul> <li> The practice of medicine is defined as taking place where the patient receives care, requiring the physician to be licensed in that state and under the jurisdiction of that state’s medical board. This tenant aligns with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-telemedicine-bolster-care-delivery" target="_blank">principles for telemedicine</a> that were developed by the AMA Council on Medical Service and adopted at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting.</li> <li> Regulatory authority will remain with the participating state medical boards, rather than being delegated to an entity that would administer the compact.</li> <li> Participation in the compact is voluntary for both physicians and state boards of medicine.</li> </ul> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6323cd44-6cf2-4b97-a5d8-4f7d2c3415a7 Video: CDC expert tells physicians how to prepare for Ebola http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_video-cdc-expert-tells-physicians-prepare-ebola Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:39:00 GMT <div> <object align="right" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" height="350" hspace="15" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="5" width="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="350" hspace="15" quality="best" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RnP_HIJy9PU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="5" width="450" wmode="transparent"></embed></object>In a special address at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told physicians that the chance of encountering patients with Ebola in ambulatory settings is very low—but physicians need to be prepared nonetheless.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director for health care-associated infection prevention programs at the CDC and captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, provided an update on the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and gave information about the cases treated in the United States.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “Without question, we’ve learned that the care of patients with Ebola virus disease in U.S. hospitals and health care settings is enormously complex and very challenging,” Dr. Srinivasan said. “We’ve also learned this can be done safely and effectively if we have strong quality and safety systems in place.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Srinivasan gave physicians information about:</div> <div>  </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Opportunities for human-to-human transmission of the virus</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>How the virus presents in various body fluids and transmission dynamics</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The onset of symptoms over time</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Laboratory findings </div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>How to detect and diagnose the virus</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Lessons learned about personal protective equipment</div> <div style="margin-left:40px;"> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Clinical management of Ebola patients</div> <div>  </div> <div> He stressed to physicians that it is unlikely a patient with Ebola would come to an ambulatory setting, particularly because of the monitoring plans currently in place for people with potential exposures.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Still, physicians should have plans in place, including aggressive screening at clinic points of entry. If a patient comes to a clinic with potential Ebola exposure and exhibiting symptoms, physicians should immediately place the patient in a private room and call their local health department to arrange for the patient’s transfer.</div> <div>  </div> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/0/979a9ad2-c1bc-41bb-a0e1-51f2e1a7704d.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/0/979a9ad2-c1bc-41bb-a0e1-51f2e1a7704d.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:left;" /></a></p> <div> Physicians can use the CDC’s <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ambulatory-care-evaluation-of-patients-with-possible-ebola.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ambulatory care evaluation guidance</a> to learn how to prepare their practices. The CDC also has resources specifically for <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/children/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pediatric physicians</a>.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Srinivasan also outlined how emergency departments and hospitals should prepare for Ebola patients. While the CDC is preparing specific hospitals for treatment of Ebola patients, all hospitals should know how to screen for Ebola patients.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “We’re eager to partner with you, to collaborate with you,” Dr. Srinivasan said. “This is a fast-evolving situation … things are changing as we learn.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> You can <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnP_HIJy9PU&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">watch</a> Dr. Srinivasan’s entire presentation online and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/public-health/x-pub/medical-personnel-preparedness-for-ebola.pdf" target="_blank">download the slides</a> (log in). The on-demand recording includes questions and comments from physicians. </div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a> offers up-to-date Ebola materials developed for physicians and the public by the CDC and other national experts. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Physicians who are interested in volunteering to treat Ebola patients in West Africa can <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-helping-stop-spread-of-ebola" target="_blank">learn more</a> in a recent post at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:57a76e43-6257-4bbd-a81e-0737af237dc5 Lawmakers say SGR repeal closer than ever http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_lawmakers-say-sgr-repeal-closer-ever Sun, 09 Nov 2014 23:52:00 GMT <div> <table align="left" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/4/a038e46d-cd73-420f-b488-6a600ed0b278.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/4/a038e46d-cd73-420f-b488-6a600ed0b278.Large.jpg?1" style="height:220px;width:300px;float:left;" /></a></td> <td>   </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <span style="font-size:12px;"><em>"The clock is ticking," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.</em></span></td> <td>  </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Congress is closer than ever to passing broadly supported legislative policy that would eliminate Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula—and a permanent solution would come not a moment too soon.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “You are in a state where less than half of family physicians can afford to see new Medicare patients,” Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told attendees at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas during a special forum Saturday about efforts to repeal the SGR formula. “The clock is ticking.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> In March, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the 17th Medicare payment patch, spending more taxpayer money on another temporary fix instead of solving the SGR problem for good. The patch extended the current 0.5 percent payment update through the end of the year and froze payment rates from January to March of 2015.</div> <div>  </div> <div> With Congress heading into a lame duck session before newly elected members take office, there could be a solution—if both chambers and parties can work together.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “Most of the hard work has been done,” Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, R-Texas, said during the same Saturday session at the AMA meeting. “I’m optimistic that … there could be a new SGR ending in site.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> <table align="right" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td>   </td> <td> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/9/1e04bd82-0236-4fdd-8903-08a30c5f83dc.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/9/1e04bd82-0236-4fdd-8903-08a30c5f83dc.Large.jpg?1" style="height:213px;width:300px;float:right;" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td>  </td> <td> <span style="font-size:12px;"><em>“Most of the hard work has been done,” said<br /> Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, R-Texas.</em></span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> “We’ve passed [a patch for] so many years, the assumption is we’re just going to do it again,” said Rep. Brady. “We have to break that stereotype.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> Physicians recently paid <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/doctors-advocate-sgr-repeal-during-lame-duck-session" target="_blank">house calls</a> to members of Congress, urging their U.S. senators and representatives to make SGR repeal a priority. The AMA will continue to work with Congress and other medical societies toward eliminating the formula that has caused serious uncertainty in the Medicare program for years. Read <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Medicare_Reform/1" target="_blank">full coverage</a> of these efforts at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Physicians should contact their U.S. senators and representatives to encourage them to repeal the SGR formula during the lame duck session. Visit the <a href="http://fixmedicarenow.org/physician-toolkit/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fix Medicare Now website</a> to access materials that can help these advocacy efforts.</div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:d97fdebc-3f4e-4a37-a327-baf90ab44e50 How one physician is helping stop diabetes among her patients http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_one-physician-helping-stop-diabetes-among-her-patients Sun, 09 Nov 2014 23:50:00 GMT <div> A family practice physician participating in a diabetes prevention screening pilot is seeing how standardization in treatment can help patients stop the progress of prediabetes. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Meghan Buhler, MD, is one of four physicians in a hospital-owned family practice in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/southwest-florida-takes-diabetes-prevention" target="_blank">Venice</a>, a town in southwest Florida. The average age of Venice residents is 73.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “It’s a huge retirement area,” Dr. Buhler said. “Most of [my patients] would be candidates for this program.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> That program is the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Venice is one of <a href="http://www.ymca.net/news-releases/y-launches-project-to-test-cost-effectiveness-of-ymcas-diabetes-prevention-program-among-qualifying-medicare-enrollees" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">17 communities</a> in the United States where Medicare beneficiaries can participate in this program at no cost until June of next year, thanks to an award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Buhler is participating in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative. A pilot in collaboration with the YMCA of the USA is helping physician practices in five of the CMMI communities explore a process for screening patients for prediabetes, referring eligible patients to participate in a local YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and receive feedback from the program to use in patients’ care plans.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The YMCA’s program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers an evidence-based lifestyle intervention that <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ama-builds-proven-practical-approaches-improve-health-nationwide" target="_blank">has been proven to help patients</a> prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. That’s important in an area like Venice, where an estimated 35 percent of local adults has prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Before the pilot program, Dr. Buhler said her practice had no standardized protocol in place to screen for prediabetes. Now, she’s using tools from the AMA collaboration to screen her patients and refer at-risk patients to the local YMCA. One patient who recently started the program already has lost five pounds.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “[The patient] told me last week, ‘Thank you; it’s really enjoyable, and I’m glad you sent me there,’” she said. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Buhler uses a BMI chart from the AMA to show patients what their ideal weight is, which opens the door to talking about how weight loss can reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.</div> <div>  </div> <div> She discusses the YMCA prevention program with patients when they are in her office reviewing their labs. Otherwise, she’ll have a nurse tell them about the program when the nurse calls to discuss lab results.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Her patients are unique, she said—most are retired, and have a lot of time to dedicate to a prevention program. But there still are challenges.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “My patients have the time, and they’re into taking care of themselves,” she said. “But I also think they’re scared of [admitting they have prediabetes].”</div> <div>  </div> <div> She said she understands patients’ fear. Recent studies suggest diabetes prevalence has as much as <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/diabetes-prevalence-tripled-just-two-decades-study" target="_blank">tripled in recent decades</a>, and data show about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/40-percent-of-americans-will-develop-diabetes-new-study" target="_blank">two in five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes</a> at some point in their lives. But Dr. Buhler explains that prediabetes can be reversed and that participating in the YMCA program can help.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <strong>Use these tools to help your patients understand their diabetes risk:</strong></div> <div>  </div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>American Diabetes Association <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/x-pub/ada-risk-test.pdf" target="_blank">type 2 diabetes risk test</a> (log in)</div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>CDC diabetes prevention <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/factsheet11.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fact sheet</a></div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>AMA prediabetes <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/x-pub/iho-dpp-poster.pdf">awareness poster</a> (log in)</div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>AMA <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/x-pub/guide-to-refer-patients-to-the-ymca-diabetes-prevention-program.pdf" target="_blank">guide to refer patients</a> to the YMCA program (log in)</div> <div>  </div> <div> Get more information at <em>AMA Wire</em>® about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/National_Diabetes_Month/1">National Diabetes Month</a> and ways you can help your patients take action to prevent diabetes.</div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4ae612e4-d29c-43c7-b2b2-3b2ba9201bf4 Med school deans, faculty debate policy: AMA-SMS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_med-school-deans-faculty-debate-policy-ama-sms-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 21:26:00 GMT <div> At the 2014 Interim Meeting of the AMA Section on Medical Schools (SMS), participants, comprising deans and faculty from a wide range of medical schools nationwide, voiced their opinions and reached decisions on several reports and resolutions to be acted upon by delegates at the AMA Interim Meeting in Dallas. The AMA-SMA meeting was held Nov. 6-7 in Chicago.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Their work will guide the section delegate and alternate delegate in the discussions and voting during the AMA meeting (log in to read a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/medical-schools/x-pub/i-14-sms-grid-final-hod-actions.pdf" target="_blank">summary</a> of proposed AMA-SMS actions). Issues covered included:</div> <div>  </div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Medical students’ use of electronic health records<br /> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/membership/membership-benefits/for-academic-physicians.page">Academic Leadership Program</a>, which offers membership discounts to medical schools at which the dean and at least five lead faculty are AMA members</div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Emphasis on the social determinants of health in medical school curricula </div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Funding of graduate medical education</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-SMS plays a key role in ensuring that AMA policy on medical education reflects the input and expertise of academic physicians. This role was highlighted in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/medical-schools/x-pub/i14-sms-simons.pdf" target="_blank">presentation</a> (log in) by AMA-SMS alternate delegate Kenneth B. Simons, MD, senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and Accreditation at the Medical College of Wisconsin. </div> <div>  </div> <div> In his talk, Dr. Simons also emphasized the many <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education.page" target="_blank">professional leadership opportunities</a> available for AMA members to serve on national organizations in medical education, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and American Board of Medical Specialties.</div> <div>  </div> <div> AMA-SMS chair Cynda Ann Johnson, MD, MBA, President and Founding Dean of Virginia Tech Carilion of School of Medicine and Research Institute, welcomed the many new and returning AMA-SMS members and other attendees. Along with Susan Skochelak, MD, MPH, Group Vice President of Medical Education at the AMA, Dr. Johnson covered such topics as:</div> <div>  </div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The AMA’s <a href="http://www.changemeded.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative</a></div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The AMA’s Academic Leadership Program, which offers membership discounts to medical schools at which the dean and at least five lead faculty are AMA members</div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The AMA-SMS endorsement of the candidacy of Donald Eckhoff, MD, AMA-SMS delegate, for election to the AMA Council on Medical Education in June 2015 </div> <div> •<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The ongoing strategic planning process of the AMA-SMS, including a proposed name change to the Academic Physicians Section (APS). </div> <div>  </div> <div> Meeting attendees also enjoyed a guided tour of the AMA's new headquarters, housed in a building designed by internationally renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as well as a networking reception for academic physicians, featuring views of the Chicago skyline from the AMA’s 47th floor.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-SMS is the AMA member section that represents all academic physicians, educators and faculty/leadership of U.S. medical schools. The section currently is comprised of nearly 650 members. If you’re not already a member, <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools/members.page?">join now</a>.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The next meeting of the AMA-SMS is in Chicago on June 5-6, 2015, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the AMA HOD.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Learn more about the SMS at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/section-medical-schools.page" target="_blank">section website</a>.</div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:91f29476-b3ad-45fe-b26e-e083bfc098e9 Community outreach, educational programs: AMA-MAS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_community-outreach-educational-programs-ama-mas-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 21:09:00 GMT <div> The AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) Governing Council held three programs in conjunction with its section business meeting and reception.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-MAS conducted a successful <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/minority-affairs-section/doctors-back-school.page?" target="_blank">Doctors Back to School</a>™ (DBTS) visit at Harry Stone Montesorri Academy. The program reached out to nearly 400 fourth through and eight graders, presenting healthy lifestyle choices (diet, physical activity, and reducing alcohol and tobacco use) and showing how medicine is an attainable profession. The DBTS program is a tangible way that physicians and medical students introduce and inspire minority children to consider careers in medicine. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Rodney Stapp, MD, chief executive officer of the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas, was the keynote speaker at this year’s AMA-MAS section business meeting. His highly engaging presentation addressed issues in urban Indian health and changing the narrative when we talk about racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The meeting also featured an open forum on AMA House of Delegates reports and resolutions that impact minority physicians and patients.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-MAS, in collaboration with other AMA sections and special groups and the AMA’s Improving Health Outcomes (IHO) department, hosted a CME educational program. Christopher Holliday, PhD, a representative from IHO, described how the AMA is seeking to improve health outcomes by strengthening links between health care clinics and communities. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Christopher Berry, MD, discussed how his health center is using population health approaches to improve patients’ health outcomes and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/minority-affairs-section.page" target="_blank">section website</a> to learn more about MAS news and initiatives.</div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:39b83207-3924-4793-a8a7-17a20c3d8434 Growing healthier while growing older: AMA-SPS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_growing-healthier-growing-older-ama-sps-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 20:53:00 GMT <div> The AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) Assembly sponsored a presentation by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, founder of The Cooper Institute, entitled, "Grow Healthier as You Grow Older.” </div> <div>  </div> <div> At this well-attended program, Dr. Cooper addressed the challenges and opportunities that senior physicians face in maintaining their health and well-being.  The assembly included discussion of business items for the AMA House of Delegates and future AMA-SPS activities.  SPS Chair Paul H. Wick, MD, from Tyler, Texas, presented information on elections for the SPS Governing Council that will open in early 2015.  </div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-SPS Governing Council met Nov. 7 to complete its strategic planning for the coming year.  Members of the SPS council bring a clear voice to physicians over the age of 65, for both the policymaking and programming of the organization.  </div> <div>  </div> <div> The SPS transmitted the revised internal operating procedures to the Council on Constitution and Bylaw for their approval at the Interim Meeting. </div> <div>  </div> <div> For more information, see the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/senior-physicians-section.page?" target="_blank">section website</a>.</div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:8e63d833-3ace-4690-a550-c48c46c5c907 Research Symposium winners: IMG Section highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_research-symposium-winners-img-section-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 20:28:00 GMT <div> The AMA International Medical Graduates Section (IMGS) celebrated its 17th Interim Meeting beginning with the 12th annual AMA Research Symposium, held Nov. 7 in collaboration with the Medical Student Section and Resident and Fellows Sections. </div> <div>  </div> <div> This Research Symposium offered live networking and educational opportunities for all research symposium  participants.  The AMA Research Symposium <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/future-physicians-present-research-largest-ama-symposium" target="_blank">winners</a> selected among physicians awaiting residency who are certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates  included:  Osama Siddique, MD, podium winner, and Vaibhav Goswami, MD, poster winner.  Research by both presenters was based on health policy/medical education.  </div> <div>  </div> <div> The IMGS Congress Reception and Business meeting featured Todd Askew, AMA director of congressional affairs, who provided a Washington update.  During the IMGS business meeting, delegates reviewed items to be considered for the AMA House of Delegates.</div> <div>  </div> <div> On Nov. 9, the section held its Busharat Ahmad, MD, Leadership Development Program - “Leading an accountable care organization toward a successful outcome.” Michael Deegan, MD, and Harbhajan Ajrawat, MD, spoke about the role of physicians in accountable care organizations.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The section meeting ended Nov. 10 with a joint IMGS and Minority Affairs Section Caucus.</div> <div>  </div> <div> For more information, visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates.page" target="_blank">section website</a>. </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:340549d2-14e1-4001-b3fc-14fe18846050 Networking, practical education sessions: AMA-RFS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_networking-practical-education-sessions-ama-rfs-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:22:00 GMT <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section.page?" target="_blank">Resident and Fellow Section</a> (RFS) Interim Meeting, held in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas, got off to a strong start Nov. 6 with a welcome reception in which more than 200 residents, fellows and medical students networked and shared advice.</p> <p> Attendees took advantage of the excellent opportunity to network with their peers, and residents and fellows offered guidance to medical students on their upcoming transition to residency and give insights into becoming members of the AMA-RFS.</p> <p> Education sessions took place Nov. 7 and 8, including:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> ·  <strong>Address by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.</strong> This dynamic presentation emphasized the importance of the section, highlighting the innovation and enthusiasm the AMA-RFS brings as the future of the AMA.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> ·  <strong>How to get involved.</strong> The AMA-RFS Membership Committee explained the benefits of membership in the section and highlighted opportunities for residents and fellows to be engaged with the AMA and take advantage of leadership opportunities.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> ·  <strong>Loan repayment and debt management.</strong> This hot topic was hosted by the AMA-RFS Committee on Business and Economics. Application points will be shared in a forthcoming post at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> <em>·  </em><strong>Conducting research and getting published. </strong>Edward H. Livingston, MD, deputy editor of clinical content for <em>JAMA </em>gave tips for physicians in training.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> ·  <strong>Update on AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. </strong>During this engaging presentation, residents were able to ask questions and offer ideas and anecdotes about what is and isn’t working in their training programs. Key points from this session will be shared in a forthcoming post to <em>AMA Wire</em>.</p> <p> The AMA-RFS Assembly also passed eight resolutions and one report at its business meeting Nov. 8, covering such topics as:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;">    ·  Applying principles of research on human subjects to online research projects</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;">    ·  Responding to epidemics and pandemics</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;">    ·  Encouraging protocols to assist with the management of obese patients</p> <p style="margin-left:40px;">    ·  Mitigating physician performance metrics on trainee autonomy and education</p> <p> Two resolutions were referred:</p> <p>                 ·  Reorganization of AMA-RFS regions to mimic HOD caucuses</p> <p>                 ·  Establishment of an AMA-RFS quality improvement forum</p> <p> The AMA-RFS immediately forwarded a resolution on the AMA’s response to epidemics and pandemics to the AMA House of Delegates. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6189c63c-9397-41e1-a6bf-d190636c289a Protecting your online reputation: AMA-YPS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_protecting-online-reputation-ama-yps-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:12:00 GMT <p> Young physicians from across the country discussed priority issues and worked on shaping AMA policy during this year’s AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/young-physicians-section.page?" target="_blank">Young Physicians Section</a> (YPS) meeting, held Nov. 6-8 in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas.</p> <p> After reviewing the AMA House of Delegates handbook, the AMA-YPS Assembly identified items of particular relevance to the section and developed testimony for reference committee hearings and on the House floor. Details of all AMA-YPS positions can be found on the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/young-physicians-section.page" target="_blank">AMA-YPS Web page</a>.</p> <p> The AMA-YPS C. Clayton Griffin, MD, Memorial Luncheon was based on the theme “Protect your online reputation.”  The luncheon featured Ravi Goel, MD, former AMA-YPS chair and instructor at the Wills Eye Hospital. This informative session provided attendees with an opportunity to learn techniques to improve their online presence in light of various physician rating sites and the growth in social media use.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:7a8568fb-b847-47dd-bf59-e882257a1c93 Effective communication in medicine: AMA-WPS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_effective-communication-medicine-ama-wps-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:04:00 GMT <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section.page" target="_blank">Women Physicians Section</a> (WPS) hosted its business meeting and reception Nov.8-9 in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas. Participants heard a featured presentation by Juliet Lee, MD, one of the 2013 recipients of the Joan F. Giambalvo, MD, Fund for the Advancement of Women.</p> <p> Dr. Lee shared results from her study, “The experience of chief residents who have remained in and who have left academic medicine.”</p> <p> The business meeting concluded with a review of the AMA House of Delegates handbook. The AMA-WPS Governing Council reviewed its positions on various items of business before the AMA House of Delegates that focus on issues of concern to women physicians, medical students and patients. Visit the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/women-physicians-section.page" target="_blank">AMA-WPS Web page</a> for details about all of the section’s positions on these topics.</p> <p> A luncheon and business meeting for section liaisons took place Nov. 9. Highly regarded by attendees, this event featured updates about what state and specialty medical societies are doing to address important issues related to women physicians around the country. Members of the AMA-WPS Liaisons Network participated in a roundtable discussion on advancing women in health care leadership positions.</p> <p> Finally, the section sponsored the education session “Communication as a conflict management tool,” led by Andrea Jones, executive director of the E-Women Network of Dallas/Fort Worth.</p> <p> This engaging presentation provided insights on how physicians can identify factors that hinder effective communication, examine ways poor communication and conflict can impact professional effectiveness, and implement effective communication techniques for conflict management.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4f1ce79d-3982-48fd-8982-be5b7e9acc60 Key developments for medical staff: AMA-OMSS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_key-developments-medical-staff-ama-omss-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:00:00 GMT <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/organized-medical-staff-section.page?" target="_blank">Organized Medical Staff Section</a> (OMSS) held its 31st interim assembly meeting Nov. 6-8, in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas. The section hosted five continuing medical education programs during the meeting.</p> <ul> <li> “How patient satisfaction scores and physician ratings are affecting physician compensation,” presented by Brad Pancratz and Eric Passon.</li> <li> “Medical staff engagement of community physicians,” presented by Jennifer Fragapane.</li> <li> “A hospital’s success through physician-led quality improvement initiatives,” presented by Erin DuPree, MD, and Michael Shabot, MD.</li> <li> “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Conditions of Participation: What medical staff members need to know about the final rule,” presented by Elizabeth Snelson.</li> <li> “Improving Health Outcomes: National trends and local perspectives,” presented by Christopher Berry, MD, and Christopher Holiday, PhD. This session was co-sponsored by the AMA sections and special groups and the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes</a> initiative.</li> </ul> <p> The section also hosted an update on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page?" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability</a> initiative, presented by Michael Tutty, PhD, and James Rohack, MD.</p> <p> AMA Senior Vice President for Advocacy Rich Deem addressed the section on the implications of the recent congressional elections, the status of Medicare payment reform efforts, recent revisions to the Medicare conditions of participation for hospitals and other AMA advocacy efforts in the nation’s capital.</p> <p> The OMSS Assembly considered 11 items of business on a range of issues, including the effects on the medical profession of trends in physician employment, drug costs and maintenance of licensure. The section transmitted six resolutions to the AMA House of Delegates for consideration.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:cfd09efc-cf04-4d47-81f6-6c37c17ad0f2 Innovative businesses, integrated care: AMA-IPPS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_innovative-businesses-integrated-care-ama-ipps-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 18:57:00 GMT <p> Experts discussed emerging relationships between large employers and integrated practices Nov.7 during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/integrated-physician-practice-section.page?" target="_blank">Integrated Physician Practice Section</a> (IPPS) Interim Meeting, held in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas.</p> <p> Still a new AMA section, the AMA-IPPS enjoyed a 40 percent increase in attendance at this meeting.</p> <p> Lukas Forney of Intel Corporation spoke about how his company’s culture of constant innovation and its goal to have the healthiest workforce on the planet drives innovation in its relationships with physicians and other health care providers. Consequently, Intel has direct contracts with integrated systems across its sites in western states.</p> <p> Intel’s model focuses on medical neighborhoods with high-performing specialists, in which payment is tied to decreased cost, evidence-based medicine, access to care and patient satisfaction. This program was chaired by David Bronson, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic.</p> <p> Members of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/integrated-physician-practice-section/about-us/governing-council.page" target="_blank">IPPS Governing Council</a> co-led the break-out sessions with Forney and two other speakers: Michael Glenn, MD, chief medical officer of Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Bill Kramer of the Pacific Business Group on Health. </p> <p> The afternoon program on engaging physicians in integrated care was presented in collaboration with the American Medical Group Association. </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:168499af-6b2b-4cd6-8d5f-e15c57d29f8e Contemporary context of family building: LGBT meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_contemporary-context-of-family-building-lgbt-meeting-highlights Sun, 09 Nov 2014 18:51:00 GMT <p> The AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/glbt-advisory-committee.page?" target="_blank">Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues</a> hosted a special LGBT and Allies Caucus and reception Nov. 7 in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas. The focus of the caucus was the contemporary context of family building.</p> <p> The committee changed the name of the caucus to include health care allies in order to be as inclusive as possible.</p> <p> Participants enjoyed a panel presentation about the contemporary context of family building options. Andy Miller, co-founder of the Handsome Father, presented an overview of the current context of family building, including such options as gestational and traditional surrogacy, adoption, assisted reproduction, guardianship and fostering.</p> <p> Miller also reviewed the various obstacles to successful family building and the important role of the physician during all phases of the family building process. Physicians were cautioned not to make assumptions about their patients or focus on the sexual orientation, presumed gender roles, age or marital status of the parents. Rather, physicians should focus on the health and well-being of the infant or child involved.</p> <p> The highlight of the panel presentation was the personal stories. Dorothy Sippo, MD, and Terrance Hines, MD, shared their personal journeys with in vitro fertilization and adoption.</p> <p> Medical students, residents and physicians who are interested in subscribing to the LGBT list serve can do so by <a href="mailto:lgbt@ama-assn.org" rel="nofollow">sending an email</a> to the advisory committee.</p> <p>  </p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:0a932cf2-fb7a-40dd-8630-6da99bd7e55d VA secretary: We need physicians’ help http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_va-secretary-need-physicians Sun, 09 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT <p> The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to right wrongs, reframe perceptions and enhance care for veterans—and it needs the help of physicians, VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald (pictured below) told the AMA House of Delegates Saturday at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas.</p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/10/e76875a9-f845-4cd2-aa7b-d1ac06368efe.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/7/10/e76875a9-f845-4cd2-aa7b-d1ac06368efe.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>Citing recent access-to-care issues for veterans, McDonald told physicians about the VA’s “Blueprint for Excellence,” which seeks to:</p> <ul> <li> Improve performance of the VA health care system</li> <li> Reset the VA’s culture to place value on job performance</li> <li> Transition from “sick care” to “health care”</li> <li> Develop efficient, transparent processes to support the VA’s span of care, services and programs</li> </ul> <p> McDonald pointed to the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank">Improving Health Outcomes initiative</a> as a good example of the work the VA needs to undertake to manage its massive patient base—there were more than 90 million scheduled appointments in 2013.</p> <p> “Right now, one of the biggest challenges we face is the shortage of clinicians,” McDonald said. “The demand for VA care will not decrease any time soon. The nation’s been at war for over a decade, and we’ll continue to be caring for many of our severely wounded and ill veterans for decades to come.”</p> <p> To mitigate this, he’s visiting U.S. medical schools to recruit students to work for the VA. He discussed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act—a law the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physician-voice-helps-shape-veterans-health-care-reform-law" target="_blank">AMA helped shape</a>—which will give authorities funding and other tools to better serve veterans in the short term.</p> <p> This week, more than 30,000 vets who live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility received their Choice Cards, which allows them to secure care in the private sector. By the end of the month, another 370,000 vets who face waits longer than 30 days for VA care also will receive the cards.</p> <p> “We need to configure the Choice program in a way that enables all doctors caring for veterans to work as teams, no matter who is paying the bill,” McDonald said. “We need you to participate in the program, and we know you won’t if it’s too much trouble.”</p> <p> McDonald asked the physicians at the meeting, and those watching the live stream of his address, to give their input and advice on the VA’s Choice Act and its future plans.</p> <p> “VA cannot accomplish its mission as a stand-alone system,” he said. “We’re part of a larger community facing the same challenges you face.”</p> <p> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/_E8BBUW2QYA" height="350" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_E8BBUW2QYA" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_E8BBUW2QYA" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /></object></p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:505dbf9e-13a1-4d00-99ab-e99a5eb2acaa Mission provides a map to improve medicine: AMA CEO http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_mission-provides-map-improve-medicine-ama-ceo Sun, 09 Nov 2014 01:54:00 GMT <div> Throughout history, the AMA has always followed its mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. The association will continue to follow its mission—its moral compass and road map—into the future, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/bio-madara.pdf" target="_blank">James L. Madara, MD</a>, (pictured below) said in his address Saturday at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/15/35ac373e-3fad-478c-afde-9ce224e0f3f4.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/15/35ac373e-3fad-478c-afde-9ce224e0f3f4.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>The AMA mission has charted the course for how the association expands its work in its three focus areas:</div> <div>  </div> <div> <strong><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/enhancing-professional-satisfaction-and-practice-sustainability.page" target="_blank">Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability initiative</a></strong></div> <div> Dr. Madara announced that beta testing has begun for the first four modules in the AMA’s new online platform to help physicians address common clinical challenges. The platform is called <a href="https://www.steps-forward.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">STEPS Forward™</a>, which stands for Solutions Toward Effective Practice. </div> <div>  </div> <div> He also discussed how the AMA is working to understand and improve new payment models, ensure physician leadership in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/840-million-will-fund-improved-care-via-new-clinical-networks" target="_blank">new practice models</a> and working to improve the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">usability of electronic health records</a> (EHR).</div> <div>  </div> <div> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank"><strong>Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative</strong></a></div> <div> The 11 schools that received grants from the AMA to innovate changes to medical school curriculum are making strides, Dr. Madara said. From embedding patient navigators into health systems to using authentic clinical data in curriculum, the consortium of schools is transforming how to teach physicians of tomorrow. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Changing_MedEd/1" target="_blank">Read more</a> about these medical education innovations at AMA Wire®.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/improving-health-outcomes.page" target="_blank"><strong>Improving Health Outcomes initiative</strong></a></div> <div> The AMA led pilots in both <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/ymca-physicians-join-prevent-diabetes-florida-community" target="_blank">diabetes prevention</a> and <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/better-blood-pressure-added-burden-one-practices-story" target="_blank">hypertension</a> initiatives over the past year, and is turning its attention to spreading effective strategies to help more physicians manage these conditions in their practices. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Madara said the AMA has let its mission guide its work for the past 167 years—from winning the fight against “widespread quackery” in the 19th century to the Flexner Report, from the war on tobacco in the mid-20th century to the compassionate treatment of AIDS patients.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “Call it leadership, call it altruism, call it doing the right thing,” Dr. Madara said. “When we are true to our mission, we earn the public’s respect, we gain influence with policymakers, and we gain stature with thought leaders and doers across the spectrum of health care and beyond.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> “Together, we are breathing new life into our mission statement for each other, for the next generation of physicians, for our patients and for a healthier nation.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/hQr43yhfKmU" height="350" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hQr43yhfKmU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/hQr43yhfKmU" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /></object></div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:c864dc64-4922-4dd0-8f09-59cd370bb6cd AMA president discusses anticipating problems, finding solutions http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_ama-president-discusses-anticipating-problems-finding-solutions-1 Sun, 09 Nov 2014 01:49:00 GMT <div> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/12/9e61fbcf-b2f8-4cba-ac5e-0dcd34224667.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/12/9e61fbcf-b2f8-4cba-ac5e-0dcd34224667.Large.jpg?1" style="height:315px;width:350px;margin:15px;float:right;" /></a>In an address during Saturday’s opening session of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, told physicians how the AMA is anticipating problems and working on solutions to give doctors nationwide a new hope in practicing medicine.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Wah gave examples of how the AMA and physicians across the country have led important changes to make it easier and more satisfying to practice medicine and serve the nation’s patients, including:</div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Striving to calm the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent" target="_blank">“tsunami” of regulatory penalties</a> physicians will face over the next decade by urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to make the meaningful use, Physician Quality Reporting System and Value-Based Modifier programs more simple and streamlined.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Advocating for widespread adoption of <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-telemedicine-bolster-care-delivery" target="_blank">telemedicine</a>, including expanding coverage and payment and lifting geographic restrictions.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Achieving a framework to repeal and replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula with bipartisan and bicameral support, and continuing to work with Congress and other medical societies toward repeal. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/Medicare_Reform/1" target="_blank">Read full coverage</a> of this effort at<em> AMA Wire</em>®.</span></li> </ul> <div> “Recognizing potential problems is the first step toward overcoming them,” Dr. Wah said. “We’ve taken that step … with positive action on behalf of our physicians and our patients.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> He also discussed problems with electronic health records (EHR) and how the AMA is working to solve those problems, outlined in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">new framework</a> developed by the AMA and an external advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives.</div> <div>  </div> <div> ”We cannot let the technology rule us,” he said. “We must rule the technology. … We can’t rely on it solely. We need to continue to use our own senses, training and clinical acumen.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA is working with EHR vendors and urging policymakers to create institutional health IT policies. The association also is partnering with researchers to better understand EHR usability.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/4N4d44u-WHk" height="350" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4N4d44u-WHk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4N4d44u-WHk" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /></object></div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:34061488-c95b-45a7-9eee-838d9724f039 Future physicians present research at largest AMA symposium http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_future-physicians-present-research-largest-ama-symposium Sat, 08 Nov 2014 21:27:00 GMT <div> Seven young medical researchers claim the distinction of being named Saturday as winners of the 2014 <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/news-events/research-symposium.page" target="_blank">AMA Research Symposium</a>, one of the most competitive and largest symposiums in the event’s 12-year history.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Competing among more than 400 of the country’s brightest medical students, residents, fellows and international medical graduates (IMG) awaiting residency, the seven overall winners were selected based on the outstanding quality of their work. </div> <div>  </div> <div> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/5/da7579b5-3a42-44e2-a5ab-249954429327.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/5/da7579b5-3a42-44e2-a5ab-249954429327.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:15px;float:right;height:267px;width:365px;" /></a>Overall winners for the AMA Medical Student Section are:</div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Vlad Codrea, poster presentation</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Megan Beck, podium presentation</span></li> </ul> <div>  </div> <div> Overall winners for the AMA Resident and Fellow Section are: </div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Oral Waldo, MD, poster presentation</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Justin Fiala, MD, Clinical vignette podium presentation</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Stephen Chun, MD, Clinical medicine podium presentation</span></li> </ul> <div>  </div> <div> Overall winners for the AMA IMG Section are:</div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Osama Siddique, MD, podium presentation</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Vaibhav Goswami, MD, poster presentation</span></li> </ul> <div>  </div> <div> <em>Correction, Dec. 1: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Dr. Siddique as the poster presentation winner and Dr. Goswami as the podium presentation winner for the AMA IMG Section. This error has been corrected above.</em></div> <div>  </div> <div> The symposium, which took place Friday night as part of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas, included hundreds of poster presentations and about 37 presentations as part of the oral competition. View the <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/mss/x-pub/abstract-book.pdf" target="_blank">abstracts</a> (log in) of the research by this year’s participants. </div> <div>  </div> <div> This year also was the first time judges were able to contribute remotely.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Lauren Lamb (pictured above), a second-year medical student at Meharry Medical College, said she was participating in the symposium not only to present her own research but also learn from others—and later pass her experiences onto others as well.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “I want to do research as a clinician,” Lamb said. “This gives me experience. It helped me a lot to prepare, and I can help other students prepare, like my mentor did for me.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> Participants presented research spanning a broad range of topics, including the effects of music on anesthesia, explorations of diagnostic dilemmas, marijuana’s effect on pregnancy and more.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Sumit Dahal, MD, a first-year internal medicine resident at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, presented his findings on how socioeconomic characteristics of nodal Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients may affect whether health care is managed in academic versus non-academic centers.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “The whole process [of research] is satisfying and fascinating,” Dr. Dahal said. “Life as a resident can be all about work—this gives a broader aspect that goes behind your everyday thing.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA Research Symposium is organized by the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section.page" target="_blank">Medical Student Section</a>, the AMA <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/resident-fellow-section.page?" target="_blank">Resident and Fellow Section</a> and the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates.page?" target="_blank">AMA-IMG Section</a>. This year’s event was the third time to include a category for IMGs who are certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and awaiting residency.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Darlyne Menscer, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a judge for the symposium for about five years.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “The quality [of projects] is amazing,” said Dr. Menscer, chair-elect to the AMA Council on Medical Education. “I like talking to the people who did the work. I think the thought behind these projects is really better than what you might estimate.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> In addition to the overall awards, winners were selected for each category in the medical student and resident and fellow competitions:</div> <div>  </div> <div> Resident and fellow winners: </div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Ayesha Bibi, MD, clinical vignette</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Harmony Tyner, MD, clinical medicine</span></li> </ul> <div> Medical student winners:</div> <div>  </div> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Xiaowen Wang, biochemistry/cell biology</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Kevin Qin, cancer biology</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Jenny Wang, clinical outcomes and health care improvement</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Luis Diaz-Aguilar, immunology/infectious disease/inflammation</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Patrick Davis, neuroscience/neurobiology</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Johanna Kreafle, public health and epidemiology</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Jeffrey Fujimoto, radiology/imaging</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;">Nikita Consul, surgery/biomedical engineering</span></li> </ul> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:9801a778-aad2-4fb5-a7cf-c4e485bc5a3d Boston doctor wins AMA award for efforts after marathon bombings http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_boston-doctor-wins-ama-award-efforts-after-marathon-bombings Sat, 08 Nov 2014 21:00:00 GMT <div> A Boston physician who managed triage efforts after the Boston marathon bombings was awarded the AMA Medal of Valor Saturday during the opening session of the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas. The award is made to an AMA member or members who demonstrate courage under extraordinary circumstances in non-wartime situations.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Andrew S. Ulrich, MD, executive vice chairman of the department of emergency medicine at the Boston Medical Center, directed and coordinated the immediate care and resuscitative efforts for 28 patients, who ranged in age from 5 to 78 years old. Dr. Ulrich swiftly assessed the needs of each victim and identified eight patients with life-threating injuries, arranging the operations they required within 40 minutes of their arrival.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Also at the Interim Meeting, the AMA presented Peter N. Bretan, Jr., MD, with the Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service. The award recognizes physicians who have gone above and beyond their professional call of duty to make an outstanding public service contribution.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Dr. Bretan, a California urologist and transplant surgeon, was chosen by the AMA for his exceptional work as an innovator in renal transplant surgery and urology, in addition to his unwavering disaster relief efforts around the globe to help save lives. He is the founder of Life Plant International, a charitable organization that promotes disaster preparedness, organ donation and early disease screening worldwide.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA also presented four Medical Executive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the meeting. Recipients are:</div> <ul> <li> Nancy J. Adams, executive director of the Monroe County Medical Society and New York Chapter 1 of the American Academy of Pediatrics</li> <li> Thomas M. Donoghue, former senior vice president of communications and marketing for the Medical Society of the State of New York</li> <li> Scott Hunt, former CEO of the Endocrine Society</li> <li> James H. Scully, Jr., M.D., former medical director and CEO of the American Psychiatric Association</li> </ul> <div> The Medical Executive Lifetime Achievement Award honors a medical executive of a county medical society, state medical association or national medical specialty society who has contributed substantially to the goals and ideals of the medical profession.</div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:49cf2964-0d5d-46a3-bf65-51439fc271f4 700 students discuss policy, attend ed sessions: MSS meeting highlights http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_800-students-discuss-policy-attend-ed-sessions-mss-meeting-highlights Sat, 08 Nov 2014 19:00:00 GMT <div> More than 700 medical students discussed 44 items of business and participated in 13 education programs Nov. 6–8 during this year's <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section.page" target="_blank">AMA Medical Student Section</a> (MSS) Interim Assembly Meeting.  </div> <div>  </div> <div> The AMA-MSS debated a wide range of topics, and supported policies addressing medical student involvement in handoffs and mobile medical applications. </div> <div>  </div> <div> Education programs covered a range of issues and included a new track schedule which focused on Leadership Development, Health Care Legislation and Advocacy, Innovation in Medical Education and Public Health and Improving Health Outcomes. </div> <div>  </div> <div> The assembly elected William Pearce of the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine as AMA-MSS chair-elect, and Dina Marie Pitta of the University of Wisconsin of Medicine and Public Health as AMA trustee. Their terms will begin in June after the 2015 Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.</div> <div>  </div> <div> The section also held its 12th annual Research Symposium in conjunction with the AMA Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) and the International Medical Graduates Section (IMG). More than 200 students participated in the event. Here are the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/future-physicians-present-research-largest-ama-symposium" target="_blank">winners</a> in the following eight categories:</div> <div>  </div> <div> • Biochemistry/cell biology – Xiaowen Wang, Duke University School of Medicine</div> <div> • Cancer biology – Kevin Qin, University of Toledo College of Medicine</div> <div> • Clinical Outcomes and Healthcare Improvement – Jenny Wang, New York University School of Medicine</div> <div> • Immunology/infectious disease/inflammation – Luis Diaz-Aguilar, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine Los Angeles</div> <div> • Neurobiology/neuroscience – Patrick Davis, Indiana University School of Medicine South Bend</div> <div> • Public Health and Epidemiology Johanna Kreafle, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine</div> <div> • Radiology/Imaging – Jeffrey Fujimoto, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine Los Angeles</div> <div> • Surgery/biomedical engineering – Nikita Consul, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons</div> <div>  </div> <div> Vlad Codrea, University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, was the overall winner of the poster competition and Megan Beck, Medical College of Wisconsin, was the overall podium winner.  Congratulations to these winners and all who participated for their impressive research.  </div> <div>  </div> <div>  </div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:3f1cff62-ac96-4445-8931-b429fd21cebd Emmy-winning director gives sneak peek at physician documentary http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_emmy-winning-director-gives-sneak-peek-physician-documentary Sat, 08 Nov 2014 01:45:00 GMT <p> Physicians got an exclusive advance preview of the AMA-sponsored PBS documentary <em>Rx: Hope for Health Care in the U.S.</em> Friday night at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a> in Dallas.</p> <p> The documentary’s award-winning director, writer, producer and cinematographer <a href="http://www.grubin.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Grubin</a> answered questions during a session moderated by Edward H. Livingston, MD, deputy editor of clinical content for <em>JAMA</em>.</p> <p> <object align="right" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOfpzj4-d04?list=PL7ZHBCvG4qsf4HalVXnQ-cdg48xlLgz3S" height="350" hspace="15" id="ltVideoYouTube" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOfpzj4-d04?list=PL7ZHBCvG4qsf4HalVXnQ-cdg48xlLgz3S" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="15" width="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOfpzj4-d04?list=PL7ZHBCvG4qsf4HalVXnQ-cdg48xlLgz3S" /><param name="quality" value="best" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="playerMode=embedded" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="350" hspace="15" quality="best" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOfpzj4-d04?list=PL7ZHBCvG4qsf4HalVXnQ-cdg48xlLgz3S" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" vspace="15" width="450" wmode="transparent"></embed></object>The film is about the physician experience, and the powerful relationships and patient encounters physicians have. Grubin’s father and grandfather were physicians, among others in his family.</p> <p> “[My father] forged profound connections with his patients that, in my mind, made him a hero in the high drama of his medicine,” Grubin said. “As a child, I remember looking at that black bag and just thinking of it being filled with miracles.”</p> <p> The film looks beyond technology and medicine, and explores a health care model focused on medicine's fundamental mission: to promote health, prevent sickness and help people live long, productive lives. One theme of the film is the team-based care model.</p> <p> “It’s a very stressful job, and when you had a team to talk to, and you had other eyes on the situation, the burden wasn’t all yours,” Grubin said of his experiences filming physicians around the country.</p> <p> The documentary places patients and caregivers within the context of innovative practices. It explores how physician practices foster affordable health care while encouraging intimacy, inclusion, trust and healing. Among the film’s subjects are a primary care center in Anchorage run by Alaskan natives, a family physician in a small town in Maine and an innovative medical education program at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.</p> <p> Grubin hopes the film will show non-physicians how much high-quality doctoring is happening around the country, in contrast to what may be portrayed on television shows, on the nightly news or in Hollywood movies.</p> <p> “How do you treat chronic disease? It’s difficult to make a film about it,” Grubin said. “That’s what you haven’t seen on television. It’s all about the relationship you have with that patient, and that’s what I’m trying to represent on the film, so people see doctors really working in a way they haven’t seen before.”</p> <p> The film will be released next year.</p> <p> Grubin has produced more than 100 films and won many awards in the field of documentary television, including 10 Emmy awards. His five-part series for PBS, <em>Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers</em>, won numerous awards, and the companion book for which he was executive editor rose to No. 1 on <em>The New York Times</em> Best Sellers list, remaining there for 32 weeks.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:8ea91be3-6a66-4578-8b3f-e47445bab364 How medical schools are redefining the basic sciences http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_medical-schools-redefining-basic-sciences Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:34:00 GMT <p> Part of transforming undergraduate medical school curriculum means shifting the way educators and medical students think about the basic sciences. What do tomorrow’s physicians need to know to treat patients in the future?</p> <p> Physicians must have strong foundations in both basic sciences—including cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology—and clinical sciences, which means mastering a large body of knowledge. Some of the schools in the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-focus/accelerating-change-in-medical-education.page" target="_blank">Accelerating Change in Medical Education</a> initiative are devising new ways to incorporate basic sciences into the curriculum to ensure tomorrow’s physicians not only have the right information but know how to apply it and adapt to it.</p> <p> At Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, there’s movement toward a hub-and-spokes model, with the hub being the core basic science content and the spokes being a variety of different clinical settings where students can apply their basic science knowledge.</p> <p> For example, the core of the cancer course includes molecular drivers of cancer, screening and imaging for the disease. The spokes include medical oncology, intervention, pediatric oncology, genetics—all different settings within Vanderbilt University Medical Center where students can get hands-on experience applying what they’ve learned. The integrated course model allows students not only to advance their knowledge and skill in a basic science core but also to do “deep dives” into specific topics if they are interested.</p> <p> The Vanderbilt model also allows student to see how different <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/making-case-interprofessional-education" target="_blank">clinical teams</a> take on various parts of treatment, which is crucial for physicians of the future.</p> <p> “You’re not necessarily an expert in any particular area all the time, in every single field,” said Lourdes Estrada, PhD, assistant professor of cancer biology at Vanderbilt. “You’re really dependent on what your team provides for that care. We’re trying to revisit the question, ‘Do you need to know everything there is to know about these foundational sciences?’”</p> <p> Similarly, the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine is redefining basic science by expanding the notion about which sciences are foundational to the practice of medicine and assessing what it means to “master” a science.</p> <p> “It’s not sufficient to have knowledge of how the body works,” said Catherine Lucey, MD, vice dean for education at UCSF. “You have to understand the sciences that help us [make sense of] the patient’s approach to illness, impact on environment, how patients make decisions … the complex problems that face physicians and patients today require knowledge in at least six domains of science.”</p> <p> Those six domains include:</p> <ul> <li> Biomedical science or the “traditional” idea of basic science</li> <li> Social and behavioral science, including addiction, medication adherence and lifestyle changes</li> <li> Clinical and translational science, which encompasses how biological principles are applied to real-world environments</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/two-schools-embracing-new-science-medical-education" target="_blank">Systems engineering</a>, or the science around safe, reliable and consistent delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care</li> <li> The <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/training-adaptive-learners-will-essential-med-ed" target="_blank">science of learning</a>, so students understand how to continue to learn and adapt throughout their careers</li> <li> Population science and public health</li> </ul> <p> “If all you know is just one of those ‘arms,’ you’re not going to be very well-suited to solve the complex challenges in front of us,” Dr. Lucey said.</p> <p> By thinking about the basic sciences in a different way, the educators that are part of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education consortium of schools hope to train physician leaders that have foundational knowledge. These physician leaders also will know how to ask appropriate questions, filter and apply data and cultivate a habit of inquiry—in short, to know how to think like scientists who continually progress in a rapidly changing health care environment.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:1b43e907-11d6-462b-aaa9-e9cf659d1a96 Time running out to apply for a meaningful use exemption http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_time-running-out-apply-meaningful-use-exemption Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:30:00 GMT <p> Physicians have less than a month to <a href="http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/HardshipExtension_Application.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">apply for a hardship exception</a> for the federal electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program. Apply by Nov. 30 to avoid next year’s payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use.</p> <p> Physicians who have never participated in the meaningful use program may find this opportunity particularly helpful because they will face penalties in 2015 if they did not attest by Oct. 1.</p> <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications as a result of AMA advocacy. Previously, the hardship application deadline was April 1 for hospitals and July 1 for physicians.</p> <p> If you’re unsure whether you have met all the requirements to demonstrate meaningful use this year, be sure to apply for the exception by the end of the month.</p> <p> Read more about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cms-reopens-period-apply-meaningful-use-hardship-exemption" target="_blank">how to submit an application</a> and the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/last-chance-apply-july-1-avoid-meaningful-use-pay-penalty" target="_blank">hardship exemption categories</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> <p> The AMA continues to seek greater flexibility in the meaningful use program and has outlined <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">four key changes</a> in a blueprint for Stage 3 of the program.</p> <p> The AMA also <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-hr5481-letter-18sept2014.pdf" target="_blank">supports H.R. 5481</a> (log in), legislation that would shorten the 2015 reporting period for the meaningful use program from one year to 90 days. In addition, the AMA continues to push for program revisions that include no longer compelling physicians to meet 100 percent of the program’s requirements in order to avoid a penalty and seeking ways to simplify the various Medicare quality reporting requirements.</p> <p> The association also is working to address the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">eight top challenges to EHR usability</a> as part of its Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability initiative.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:2b608999-2495-40ec-96dd-40c2048d84c0 Travel abroad in 2015 with AMA physicians http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_travel-abroad-2015-ama-physicians Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:49:00 GMT <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/12/7ebc3e1a-bbd4-4b27-8ca4-18b0ebec24d7.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/14/12/7ebc3e1a-bbd4-4b27-8ca4-18b0ebec24d7.Large.jpg?1" style="border-width:0px;border-style:solid;margin-right:15px;margin-left:15px;float:right;height:310px;width:300px;" /></a></p> <p> The AMA MVP Program is pleased to offer 18 new trips next year to international travel destinations, sponsored through AHI Travel.</p> <p> Travelers have the opportunity to spend time with fellow AMA physicians on <a href="https://ama.ahitravel.com/TripSearchResults.aspx?view=paged" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">land- or cruise-based travel excursions</a> to such countries as Switzerland, Bhutan and Greece. Tours range from eight to 14 days and include optional excursions to add at your leisure.</p> <p> Trips can sell out six months in advance of departure, so sign up today. Visit the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/membership/membership-benefits/member-value-program/mvp-ahi-travel.page" target="_blank">travel Web page</a> to learn more about AHI’s educational and leisure travel destinations.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:f0a508a4-46a3-4f3b-8ae6-011c7bf79dbe Early retirees choose locum tenens work http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_early-retirees-choose-locum-tenens-work Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:46:00 GMT <p> For physicians who are not ready to retire but want to scale down their work hours, locum tenens opportunities provide an excellent alternative to full-time practice.</p> <p> Physicians can enjoy more reasonable hours while combining work and travel time in a new location. Find locum tenens and volunteer opportunities through the <a href="http://www.jamacareercenter.com/index.cfm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">JAMA Career Center</a><sup>®</sup>. This service will put physicians in touch with both domestic and international locum tenens and volunteer opportunities through which they can share their time and expertise.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:6e097029-6f69-4edb-b320-37f611103931 2014 AMA Interim Meeting gets underway--follow daily updates http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_2014-ama-interim-meeting-gets-underway-follow-daily-updates Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:27:00 GMT <p> The nation’s doctors and physicians in training are gathering Nov. 8-11 in Dallas to weigh new AMA policy that will help shape a better health care system for all Americans.</p> <p> During the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, all the nation’s physicians will be represented via delegations from the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In addition, other groups with one or more seats in the House include the federal services (e.g., U.S. Air Force and Public Health Service), national medical specialty societies, professional interest medical associations, AMA sections and other groups.</p> <p> AMA sections and special groups will meet Thursday through Saturday to discuss proposed AMA policy and attend education sessions. </p> <ul> <li> Hundreds of medical students, residents and international medical graduates will present their original research beginning at 4 p.m. Central time Friday during the 12th annual <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/news-events/research-symposium.page" target="_blank">AMA Research Symposium</a>.</li> <li> Attendees will get a sneak peek of the PBS documentary <em>Rx</em>, for which the AMA is a premiere sponsor<em>. </em>The film looks beyond technology and medicine, and explores a health care model focused on medicine’s fundamental mission to promote health, prevent sickness and help people live long, productive lives.</li> <li> A special Ebola update will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central time Sunday, during which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s associate director for health care associated infection prevention programs will discuss how to prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings. This session will be <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/livestream.html" target="_blank">live streamed</a> for those who can’t attend the meeting in person.</li> </ul> <p> The AMA House of Delegates will convene Saturday afternoon, when delegates will hear from both the AMA president and the AMA CEO about the state of affairs in medicine and the association. U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald also will address attendees regarding veterans’ health care. His update will begin at 3:15 p.m. Central time and will be <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/livestream.html" target="_blank">live streamed</a> as well.</p> <p> Dozens of proposed <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/reportsresolutions.html" target="_blank">policies and reports</a> on a range of important issues also will be considered. They include:</p> <ul> <li> Expansion of safe disposal sites for prescription drugs</li> <li> Promoting improved electronic health records</li> <li> Facilitating state licensure for telemedicine services</li> <li> The role of pharmacists in improving immunization rates</li> <li> Timing of the USMLE Step 1</li> </ul> <p> You can find meeting news in a variety of places. Beginning Friday night, look for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1" target="_blank">daily updates</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®, and check the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/AmerMedicalAssn" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Twitter</a> (#AMAmtg) news feeds.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:cf142754-a14d-489d-8e63-f5ed5bfb3fbd View live: Preparing for Ebola, improving veterans’ health care http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_live-preparing-ebola-improving-veterans-health-care-1 Thu, 06 Nov 2014 05:59:00 GMT <div> Make sure you’re equipped with the latest information about two pressing health care issues—view <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/livestream.html" target="_blank">live streaming</a> of critical updates to be delivered at the 2014 <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">AMA Interim Meeting</a> this weekend.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <strong>Nov. 8: Improving access to care for American veterans</strong></div> <div> U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald will give an update on how the nation is making sure that veterans have timely access to the health care they need. This address is scheduled to begin between 3 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Central time.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <strong>Nov. 9: Infection control for Ebola—an update from the field</strong></div> <div> Arjun Srinivasan, MD, an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, will discuss how physicians can prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings. This session will include time for attendees to ask questions. Live streaming will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central time.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Don’t miss this special opportunity to prepare your practice and earn continuing medical education credit for the Ebola session. The AMA designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credits</em>™.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Claim your CME credit by Dec. 19: Visit the AMA <a href="https://cme.ama-assn.org/Education.aspx" target="_blank">Online Learning Center</a>, then sign in with your AMA login or create a free account. Select the activity “I-14—Infection Control of Ebola: An Update from the Field” from the list and use code “4344” when registering.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Additional information and resources created by the CDC and other public health experts is easily accessible to physicians and the public through the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a>.</div> <div>  </div> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:e1c09455-0de3-42b3-b56d-a6f1cedd48e5 This month in medical ethics, it’s all about sex http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_this-month-medical-ethics-its-sex Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:32:00 GMT <p> The <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/11/toc-1411.html" target="_blank">November issue</a> of <em>Virtual Mentor</em>, the AMA’s online ethics journal, isn’t as racy as it sounds. But the issue warrants attention by physicians in practice and training alike as they seek to navigate their role in commenting on sexual behavior in the context of clinical conversations.</p> <p> Beyond treating dysfunction in human sexual reproduction, medicine has acquired a normative role—alongside the law and religion—in commenting on sexual behavior. This month’s issue of the ethics journal looks at how physicians got that role, how well they function in validating norms of sexual conduct, and their actual and possible advisory roles<em>.</em></p> <p> Among other topics, contributors to the issue discuss the profession’s formal guide to sexual disorders—the <em>Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders</em> (DSM)—and propose ways in which physicians can improve how they talk with patients about sex-related concerns.</p> <p> Highlights this month include:</p> <ul> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/11/ecas1-1411.html" target="_blank">Interviewing a patient about intimate partner violence</a>.” Charles Moser, MD, PhD, argues that in the same way that physicians learn about normal variations in blood pressure, they need to learn about “normal” variations in sexual interests and practices.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/11/stas1-1411.html" target="_blank">Will risk compensation accompany pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV?</a>” Jill Blumenthal, MD, and Richard H. Haubrich, MD, discuss how an intervention that reduces the perceived risk of a given behavior may cause a person to increase risky behavior.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>  “<a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/11/msoc1-1411.html" target="_blank">Medicine, sexual norms and the role of the DSM</a>.” Leonore Tiefer, PhD, writes that every physician should know that erotic pleasures occur in more diverse situations than one can imagine and that gender identity is a complicated idea.</li> </ul> <p> Don’t forget to listen to this month’s <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/ethicstalk.html" target="_blank">special podcast</a> featuring Drew Pinsky, MD, commonly known as “Dr. Drew,” who discusses educating the public about love, sex and relationships.</p> <p> And this month’s <a href="http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/site/current.html" target="_blank">ethics poll</a> asks readers to weigh in on a practical question: “Do you think the medical profession should take public positions on topics having to do with sexual behavior and sex education?”</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:379dc508-da1a-4465-8f57-fbe00a1ee81b Hot topics that could affect how residents practice medicine http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_hot-topics-could-affect-residents-practice-medicine Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:29:00 GMT <p> More than 500 physicians, residents and medical students will meet this week in Dallas to weigh new AMA policy that will affect both the medical profession and the patients they serve. Here are the top issues residents should watch for during the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, Nov. 8-11.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Equal paternal and maternal leave for residents. </strong>One resolution asks the AMA to amend current policy to extend new parent leave rights to fathers as well as mothers.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Alleviating excessive computer time for medical students, residents and fellows.</strong> Another resolution encourages the nation’s medical schools and residency and fellowship programs to teach trainees effective ways to use electronic devices both in exam rooms and at the bedside. The goal is to make sure technology use enhances, rather than impedes, the physician-patient relationship. The resolution asks the AMA to work with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education on this endeavor.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Latest guidance on Ebola from CDC expert. </strong>Learn how to prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings by participating in a continuing medical education session led by an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This session can be attended in person or viewed remotely via live streaming. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cdc-expert-share-latest-ebola-guidance-live-nov-9" target="_blank">Learn more</a>.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Reducing medical student debt.</strong> A report from the AMA Board of Trustees asks the association to explore the development of an affinity program through which trainees could apply for new student loans and consolidate existing loans.<br />  </li> <li> <strong>Population health approaches to improving patient care.</strong> An education session will discuss the various definitions of population health—a term often used but imprecisely defined—and how the AMA is improving health outcomes by strengthening the links between physicians and the communities in which they practice. A Dallas-based physician and one of his patients will share their experiences and insight into what worked well to improve the patient’s health. The session will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. Nov. 8 in Senators Lecture Hall.</li> </ul> <p> Check out <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/physicians-set-enact-change-dallas" target="_blank">more hot topics</a> to follow during the meeting. Beginning Friday night, look for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1" target="_blank">daily updates</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®, and check the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/AmerMedicalAssn" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a> (#AMAmtg) news feeds for the latest information coming out of the meeting.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:749da7f2-a6a1-4be6-84df-c85dbba08c2d How physicians are helping stop the spread of Ebola http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-helping-stop-spread-of-ebola Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:27:00 GMT <p> Nearly 5,000 people in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have died from Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized that stopping the virus in these areas is essential to aiding the people in that region and curbing spread of the disease to the United States.</p> <p> While there are signs of progress in West Africa, “it’s going to be a long, hard fight and the assistance of health care workers from around the world will be [essential to] stopping it at the source,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, said in a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/t1027-ebola-response-interim-guidance.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">press conference</a> last week.</p> <p> “With so many … falling ill, the entire health system in West Africa has essentially shut down,” said Adam Levine, MD, director of the global emergency medicine fellowship at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a member of the International Medical Corp Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia.</p> <p> Groups like <a href="http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/our-work/medical-issues/ebola" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Medecins Sans Frontieres</a> (Doctors Without Borders), <a href="http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/ebola-emergency-response" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">International Medical Corps</a> and <a href="http://act.pih.org/page/content/ebola-recruitment" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Partners in Health</a> are sending health professionals to the area. The CDC offers an <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/safety-training-course/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ebola safety training course</a> for workers who will be going to West Africa.</p> <p> “There is risk involved in this work, certainly,” Dr. Levine said. “But the risk can be mitigated with the proper training and personal protective equipment. And the benefit to humanity far outweighs the risk to individual clinicians.”</p> <p> Physicians heading to West Africa also should know it’s about more than just treating the sick, said Edward O’Neil, Jr., MD, founder of <a href="http://www.omnimed.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Omni Med</a>, a health volunteerism and ethical leadership organization.</p> <p> “What do you need to do to properly prepare?” Dr. O’Neil said. “Take a critical look at the forces of disparities …. Why do we see Ebola ripping through the incredibly impoverished countries?”</p> <p> Dr. O’Neil said physicians should keep in mind the long-term solution of helping the Ebola-ravaged West African countries: building up infrastructure.</p> <p> “We stress the larger piece of examining the underlying forces,” he said. “[If you’ve thought about these things,] your expectations and performance are going to be different.”</p> <p> Dr. O’Neil said he doesn’t think West Africa is the best place for a first-time volunteer to go right now—but he also said he understands there is a severe need for workers.</p> <p> “To think we’re going to be isolated from any of these infectious diseases is just not true, so intervening in developing countries now to build up infrastructure is important,” he said. “It’s part of the ethos of who we are—the medical profession does not take a national perspective, it is very much transnational. … It’s part of the DNA of who we are as health providers.”</p> <p> <strong>U.S. monitoring of people exposed to Ebola</strong></p> <p> The CDC recently released <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">interim guidance</a> for how people exposed to Ebola—including health care workers—should be monitored and in what ways their travel should be restricted, depending on a new system of risk levels.</p> <p> “Continued volunteer efforts of nurses, physicians and other health care workers is fundamental to international efforts to contain the outbreak in West Africa and to stop the spread of this virus,” the AMA, American Hospital Association and American Nurses Association said in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2014/2014-10-28-joint-statement-cdc-interim-guidance-ebola.page" target="_blank">news release</a>.</p> <p> “This guidance appropriately safeguards public health without unduly burdening those who have heroically cared for Ebola patients,” the organizations said.</p> <p> Additional information about the guidance is available in <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/qas-monitoring-and-movement-guidance.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">frequently asked questions and answers</a> posted to the CDC website earlier this month.</p> <p> <strong>Preparing to volunteer</strong></p> <p> If you’re interested in volunteering your medical services, the following resources are good places to start your preparations.</p> <ul> <li> The U.S. Agency for International Development <a href="http://www.usaid.gov/ebola/volunteers" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">connects medical volunteers</a> with reputable volunteer organizations.</li> <li> Learn about the <a href="http://www.usaid.gov/ebola/medevac" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">care and evacuation</a> of international responders treating Ebola in West Africa.</li> <li> Get the CDC’s <a href="http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/advice-humanitarian-aid-organizations-ebola" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">advice for treating Ebola</a> for humanitarian aid organizations.</li> <li> Watch online training to learn the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/ppe-training/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">correct ways to don and doff personal protective equipment</a>.</li> <li> Learn more about <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/non-us-healthcare-settings.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ebola in non-U.S. health care settings</a>.</li> </ul> <p> Additional volunteer opportunities—including several that are tied to affected countries—are posted on the <a href="http://www.jamacareercenter.com/volunteer_opportunities.cfm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">JAMA Network Career Center</a>.</p> <p> <strong>Other resources for physicians</strong></p> <p> For physicians who are preparing for Ebola in their own communities, the AMA will be live streaming a special presentation by CDC expert Arjun Srinivasan, MD, who will discuss how to prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/livestream.html" target="_blank">Watch live</a> from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central time Nov. 9.</p> <p> In addition, the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/ebola-resource-center.page" target="_blank">Ebola Resource Center</a> offers up-to-date Ebola materials developed for physicians and the public by the CDC and other national experts.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:5f1b3e77-51b2-44f4-8b5b-29fa27ae02c2 Data doesn’t lie-meaningful use needs to change now http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_data-doesnt-lie-meaningful-use-needs-change-now Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:23:00 GMT <p> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Tuesday released the latest data detailing how many physicians and hospitals have successfully attested to the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program this year. The results have been met by disappointment but little surprise, prompting health care organizations to call for immediate changes to the program.</p> <p> The <a href="http://www.healthit.gov/facas/sites/faca/files/HITPC_EHR_Incentive_Programs_2014-11-04_0.pptx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">data report</a> reveals that only 11,478 physicians and other eligible providers had attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use by Nov. 1—that’s just 2 percent. While physicians who have already participated in the meaningful use program have until Feb. 28 to attest to meeting requirements this year, the final numbers are not expected to be overwhelmingly higher. Hospital attesters also were in the minority, totaling just 840, or 17 percent.</p> <p> These abysmal numbers highlight the difficulty of the program requirements and foretell continued struggles in the coming year, even as CMS is busy developing Stage 3 requirements.</p> <p> The results are “disappointing yet predictable,” the AMA, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Medical Group Management Association said in a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2014/2014-11-04-meaningful-use-data-prompts-call-for-action.page" target="_blank">joint news release</a> shortly after CMS released the data. The associations are calling on CMS to take “immediate action.”</p> <p> More than 260,000 eligible professionals and 3,900 hospitals will be required to meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015, beginning Jan. 1. Anyone who began participating in meaningful use in 2014 or earlier must use a 365-day reporting period next year and beyond. The only physicians who will be allowed to use a 90-day reporting period are those who are participating in meaningful use for the first time.</p> <p> “In addition to a shortened reporting period, CMS must end its one-size-fits all approach to achieve the goals of the meaningful use program, which are to create a secure and interoperable infrastructure,” said AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD.</p> <p> The AMA recently released a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/4-key-changes-needed-ehr-meaningful-use-program" target="_blank">blueprint</a> outlining ways to improve the meaningful use program and a framework that details <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/8-top-challenges-solutions-making-ehrs-usable" target="_blank">eight priorities</a> for moving toward more usable EHR systems.</p> <p> “We believe the stringent pass/fail requirement for meeting meaningful use—combined with a <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/regulatory-penalties-tsunami-could-cut-doctors-pay-13-percent" target="_blank">tsunami</a> of other overlapping regulations—are keeping physicians from participating in the meaningful use program,” Dr. Stack said.</p> <p> The AMA and more than a dozen other national health care associations in September <a href="http://www.cio-chime.org/advocacy/resources/download/Letter_to_Burwell_2015_EHR_Reporting_Period_Concerns_Final.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">sent a letter</a> to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, highlighting that a shortened reporting period and flexibility on the measures for transitioning care, viewing, downloading and transmitting data are necessary changes to help physicians meet meaningful use requirements.</p> <p> In addition, the AMA has <a href="https://download.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/meaningful-use-hr5481-letter-18sept2014.pdf" target="_blank">supported H.R. 5481</a> (log in), legislation that would shorten next year’s reporting period from one year to 90 days. The AMA also continues to push for program revisions that include no longer compelling physicians to meet 100 percent of the program’s requirements in order to avoid a penalty and seeking ways to simplify the various Medicare quality reporting requirements.</p> <p> <strong>Apply by Nov. 30 for hardship exception:</strong> CMS has reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications, allowing more physicians to avoid next year’s payment penalty for not demonstrating meaningful use. The new deadline is Nov. 30. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/cms-reopens-period-apply-meaningful-use-hardship-exemption" target="_blank">Read more</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:1f62c395-dc67-49e2-a545-1ea1829fd327 State high court rules for patient safety in liability case http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_state-high-court-rules-patient-safety-liability-case Tue, 04 Nov 2014 22:26:00 GMT <p> The recent decision of a state supreme court upholds a state law requiring the confidentiality of peer review, a process intended to keep patients from harm and ensure continued quality improvement in the care provided.</p> <p> In <em>Allred v. Saunders</em>, the Utah Supreme Court weighed in on an earlier court ruling that required a physician’s peer review files to be produced as evidence in determining medical liability, contrary to a law passed in 2012 that explicitly protects that information in order to preserve the integrity of peer review proceedings.</p> <p> “Peer and care review panels, as well as committees that evaluate physicians’ credentials, work only because participants are assured that anything they say will be kept confidential,” an <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/legal-issues/x-pub/allred-v-saunders.pdf" target="_blank">amicus brief</a> filed by the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center.page?" target="_blank">Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies</a> and the Utah Medical Association states (log in).</p> <p> “The goal of these review meetings has always been to improve patient care and to improve quality care processes,” the brief states. “These reviews reduce the chance that adverse outcomes will recur, and help all to learn from challenges that others have experienced.”</p> <p> Read more about this case and other recent cases regarding <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/litigation-center/case-summaries-topic/peer-review.page?" target="_blank">peer review</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:4626d13b-f735-4fec-91f3-4c66b7067fbd Physicians set to enact change in Dallas http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_physicians-set-enact-change-dallas Tue, 04 Nov 2014 22:23:00 GMT <p> <em>An </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Viewpoints/1" target="_blank"><em>AMA Viewpoints</em></a><em> post by </em><a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/board-trustees/our-members/barbara-mcaneny.page" target="_blank"><em>Barbara L. McAneny, MD,</em></a><em> chair of the AMA Board of Trustees.</em></p> <p> <a href="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/0/900d4bf5-da92-40a7-80db-090ca459a2cd.Full.jpg?1" target="_blank"><img src="http://pluck.ama-assn.org/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/0/900d4bf5-da92-40a7-80db-090ca459a2cd.Large.jpg?1" style="margin:10px;float:right;height:140px;width:100px;" /></a>I’m getting ready to join more than 500 physicians, residents and medical students Nov. 8-11 in Dallas for the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/index.html" target="_blank">2014 AMA Interim Meeting</a>, where we’ll come together for activities and policy debate that will help shape the future of health care.</p> <p> Whether you’re attending the meeting in person or following our coverage, here are some highlights not to miss:</p> <ul> <li> Hundreds of medical students, residents and international medical graduates will present their original research beginning at 4 p.m. Friday during the 12th annual <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/medical-student-section/news-events/research-symposium.page" target="_blank">AMA Research Symposium</a>.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> At 6:30 p.m. Friday, we’ll get a sneak peek of the sneak peek of the PBS documentary <em>Rx</em>, for which the AMA is a premiere sponsor<em>. </em>The film looks beyond technology and medicine, and explores a health care model focused on medicine’s fundamental mission to promote health, prevent sickness and help people live long, productive lives.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs will host an open house from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, during which members can ask questions about the council’s project to modernize the AMA <em>Code of Medical Ethics</em>. AMA members can log in to see the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/community/forums/interim-2014/ceja-discussion-forum.page" target="_blank">draft modernized <em>Code</em> online</a>. The <em>Code</em> will be presented the House of Delegates at this meeting.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Robert McDonald, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, will speak at the House of Delegates opening session Saturday afternoon. His update on access to care for America’s veterans will be <a>streamed live</a>, starting at 3:15 p.m. Central time.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Two U.S. congressmen will give insights into efforts to repeal Medicare’s physician payment formula during a special session Saturday afternoon, following the meeting’s opening session.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> A special Ebola update will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central time Sunday, during which Arjun Srinivasan, MD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s associate director for health care associated infection prevention programs, will discuss how to prepare for and manage Ebola patients in hospital and ambulatory care settings. This session also will be <a>streamed live</a> for those who aren’t able to attend in person.</li> </ul> <p> Additional educational sessions and forums cover a variety of timely topics, including how new hospital regulations will affect you and your staff and how to effectively use electronic payments. Get information on educational sessions at the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/cme.html" target="_blank">meeting website</a>, or download the <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/hod/x-pub/i14-speakers-letter.pdf" target="_blank">Speakers’ Letter</a> (log in) for even more detail. If you’re planning to arrive early, check out the section meetings being held Thursday and Friday for additional educational activities.</p> <p> Dozens of proposed <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sub/meeting/reportsresolutions.html" target="_blank">policies and reports</a> on a range of important issues also will be considered. They include:</p> <ul> <li> Expansion of safe disposal sites for prescription drugs</li> <li> Promoting improved electronic health records</li> <li> Facilitating state licensure for telemedicine services</li> <li> The role of pharmacists in improving immunization rates</li> <li> Timing of the USMLE Step 1</li> </ul> <p> Even if you aren’t attending the meeting this year, you still can stay connected to your peers in Dallas. Beginning Friday night, look for <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/blog/AMA_Meeting/1" target="_blank">daily updates</a> at <em>AMA Wire</em>®, and check the AMA’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMedicalAssociation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/AmerMedicalAssn" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Twitter</a> (#AMAmtg) news feeds.</p> <p> If you are attending, I look forward to working with you to effect change on the future of health care. See you in Dallas.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:2e89ee16-9e1e-479d-8c93-65d7170a7a75 Prepare for ICD-10 with one-day workshop http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page_prepare-icd-10-one-day-workshop Tue, 04 Nov 2014 22:07:00 GMT <p> Get help preparing for and transitioning to the ICD-10-CM code set with a one-day workshop offered in multiple locations. You’ll be just in time to ready your practice for the Oct. 1, 2015, ICD-10 implementation deadline.</p> <p> The ICD-10-CM Workshop teaches participants how to code from every section of the ICD-10-CM codebook. The event includes a self-assessment of your readiness for the new code set, a printed attendee guide with case studies and exercises, and a copy of the ICD-10-CM 2015 codebook.</p> <p> The workshop will help you:</p> <ul> <li> Understand coding guidelines</li> <li> Learn correct coding practices</li> <li> Review the necessary documentation for accurate coding</li> </ul> <p> This one-day workshop is offered in five locations:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510011&navAction=push" target="_blank">Atlanta, Georgia</a>: Dec. 9</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510010&navAction=push" target="_blank">Newark, New Jersey</a>: Dec. 9</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510013&navAction=push" target="_blank">Baltimore, Maryland</a>: Dec. 12</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510012&navAction=push" target="_blank">Las Vegas, Nevada</a>: Dec. 12</li> <li> <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2510014&navAction=push" target="_blank">San Antonio, Texas</a>: Dec. 16</li> </ul> <p> Review the <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/catalog/media/icd-10-2015-workshop-agenda-december.pdf" target="_blank">workshop agenda</a> (log in) for more information.</p> <p> In addition, a one-and-a-half day workshop will be offered Nov. 18-19 in <a href="https://commerce.ama-assn.org/store/catalog/productDetail.jsp?product_id=prod2500018&navAction=push" target="_blank">Chicago</a>. Use promo code “FOQNOV” to attend the Chicago location and save $100. Registration closes Nov. 11.</p> <p> While the AMA continues to raise physicians’ significant concerns regarding implementation of the ICD-10 code set with federal policymakers, practice management experts advise physicians to start preparing for implementation now.</p> <p> Read more about <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/icd-10-financially-disastrous-physicians-ama-tells-hhs" target="_blank">how the AMA is working</a> to help ease ICD-10 implementation for physicians. Additional education and planning resources are available on the AMA’s <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/transaction-code-set-standards/icd10-code-set.page" target="_blank">ICD-10 Web page</a>.</p> Blog:e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post:64ecc5ac-c226-492e-8f04-fb0265028653