PAMED Delegation to AMA Successfully Drives Critical Clinical and Professional Concerns

The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED’s) delegation to the 2014 American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting helped make national headlines before their planes touched down back on Pennsylvania turf. PAMED sent 30 physicians to participate as delegates and alternates to the AMA meeting held June 7-11 in Chicago.

According to PAMED delegation chair and former PAMED President James A. Goodyear, MD, “Our delegation to the AMA has always been very productive and cohesive, but this year we were able to make some exceptional progress on national health care issues.”

“For example, we were successful in getting AMA adoption of resolutions on Maintenance of Certification (MOC), physician leadership of team-based care, telemedicine licensure, and seeking nationwide compatibility for electronic prescriptions for controlled substances,” Dr. Goodyear said. “Our delegation is also very active in supporting, along with other states, key national measures that are important to Pennsylvania physicians such as observation care, e-cigarettes, and timely care for veterans.”

“Over the years, I’ve been impressed with how well Pennsylvania physicians understand the power of the physicians’ voice in national and statewide advocacy. I’m also very proud of the number of Pennsylvania physicians who — in addition to our delegates — have taken the huge commitment to seek AMA leadership positions,” Dr. Goodyear said.

In particular, the PAMED Board of Trustees recently tasked our delegation with tackling the hot-button issue of MOC. The AMA adopted a PAMED resolution seeking further investigation of physicians’ concerns and stating that it should not be mandatory, nor a condition of licensure.

The PAMED resolution to seek compatibility for e-prescriptions for controlled substances was introduced by Pennsylvania AMA delegate and speaker of the PAMED House of Delegates Martin Trichtinger, MD.

Recognizing the growing importance of physician-led health care teams to address access to care, as well as to help shape delivery and payment models, the AMA adopted recommended models and guidelines for team-based care. PAMED supports two bills that would further promote physician-led team-based care in Pennsylvania by establishing the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council.

“It’s a tremendous amount of work for the physicians who volunteer for our delegation, taking days out of their practices to travel to Chicago. But it’s worth it when we see the results such as we have this year. And our job’s not over after we all get home, since we need to provide continual support as the AMA works to move these actions forward on the national scene, ” said Dr. Goodyear.