Short Takes On News & Events

AMA To Do ‘Whatever We Can’ To Help Carry Out Health Law

By Mary Agnes Carey

July 3rd, 2013, 5:45 AM

The American Medical Association will do “whatever we can in our power” to help implement the 2010 health care law, the group’s president said Tuesday.

Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven

In an interview taped for C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, Ardis Dee Hoven, who became the AMA’s 168th president last month,  said the White House has not approached her or the AMA directly about a formal role,  but “we have been in communication with many, many individuals in the administration about our role as physicians in this and what we can help them do, and what we can do to help our patients get the kind of information they need.

“We will continue to work with the administration and do whatever we can in our power to make this happen,” said Hoven, an infectious diseases specialist from Lexington, Ky.

In the C-SPAN interview, which will air Sunday at 10 a.m. and again at 6 p.m., Hoven said that while there are shortages of physicians, nurses and other health professionals, a greater focus on team-based care will ensure that Americans who now have health insurance, as well as the millions who are expected to gain coverage through the law, will get the care they need.

“I think there will be enough doctors,” she said. “We will have to practice in team-based care. We will have to be more efficient.” She said it’s hard to know now if people who currently have health insurance will have to wait longer to see a physician.

Hoven’s top priorities are improving health outcomes for patients, including in the areas of cardiovascular disease and diabetes; accelerating change in medical education; and sustaining physician practices in an era of consolidation.

She said that the AMA is studying 30 medical practices across the country that vary in size and specialty but all have good health outcomes and high levels of patient and physician satisfaction. The project will determine “what are the key elements, what are the things that make those practices tick?” Hoven said. “How can we translate that information into work that would be good for doctors and practices right now?”

Hoven is also focused on repealing Medicare’s payment system for doctors, called the sustainable growth rate, or the SGR. The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently released a revised SGR overhaul plan.

“We have seen demonstrated bipartisan support for repealing the SGR and replacing it with other models and transitioning to those models,” she said. “There is good support for this. I am very enthusiastic about this.”

8 Responses to “AMA To Do ‘Whatever We Can’ To Help Carry Out Health Law”

  1. Geri says:

    Above all, keep those patient waiting rooms and those hospital beds filled to capacity, right doc? Enthusiastic? Huh? Get real!

  2. Legislative changes that would allow for nurse practitioners to work under their own license and to their full capacity would increase the number of health care providers to meet the nation’s needs. Historically organized medicine has fought laws that would remove patient access barriers to nurse practitioners. Team based care is important, but not if it continues the current status-quo that restricts access for patients.

    The facts show that there are not enough physician providers to deliver all the primary care needs of our country. Rural areas suffer the most from a lack of physician providers and restrictive laws prevent nurse practitioners from creating innovative delivery models that would reach rural areas.

    It is my hope that organized medicine will embrace the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing and support legislation that improves access to nurse practitioners. The military has already done this, now it is time for our country to follow suit.

  3. ME says:

    @ Geri…they are shoulder deep in their endorsement of the AMA. At this point, they couldn’t backtrack even if they thought the bill as a whole was bad.

    They THINK team-based care is the solution, but thats only because they don’t want to get into the autonomy demands of NPs. Of the few docs who go into primary care, they are even less likely to go into those areas who are more likely to have the patients this bill brings in. Short of some autonomy endorsements for NPs, there will be a whole bunch of newly insured patients who still can’t find a doc to take them on. They will continue to use the urgent care/ED for everything.

  4. Richard says:

    “Short of some autonomy endorsements for NPs, there will be a whole bunch of newly insured patients who still can’t find a doc to take them on. They will continue to use the urgent care/ED for everything”

    If this is true, if docs can’t (or won’t) begin to think outside the box and try to introduce new ways to include the unfortunate people that can’t afford insurance, the people that must rely on uncompensated care, then it’s time to find ways to exclude those regressive docs. Today, the uninsured live in a Repiglican model of healthcare that is designed to exclude poor people. Hateful and spiteful Repiglicans like it that way and don’t want it to change. In a regressive Repiglican healthcare model, if you get sick and have no insurance, you should be allowed to die. If more NP’s and more RN’s need to be aggressively promoted into the role of primary care, then bring it on as fast as is humanly possible! The Marcus Welby types have milked the cow dry. The Marcus Welby types have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs. The Marcus Welby types have ruined it for themselves with their “Holier Than Thou” professional attitude. Docs have displayed an attitude of superior virtue and self-righteousness for far too long. It’s a Repiglican promoted mentality. It stinks! Docs need to down to earth and mix it up with the rest of us common slugs. For those that don’t a clue and want to continue to promote class warfare, the fact is, we are all in this together! If the least fortunate people continue to be the victims of Repiglican class warfare, casting people of color and women aside, we all lose as a society. Society is only as strong as the weakest link. We must strengthen our weakest links in order to be a stronger America. When Repiglicans begin to understand that America is not a nation of old white males, we will begin to see an America that was envisioned by our founders.

  5. killroy71 says:

    Um, was it necessary to say this out loud? Is this a reversal of course? It’s just sounding like the AMA protesteth too much.

    Of course, the ACA calls for employing – and rewarding for – evidence based care, which means cutting down needless costs for pregnancies, back surgeries and other areas of overtreatment that will take money out of AMA members’ pocket, so it’s good to know they’re down with that.

  6. oncdoc says:

    2/3 docs dont belong to AMA, self included! The ACA is starting to look like the miserable failure that it was predicted to be
    Richard is a true blue liberal, turning this into a racial issue
    To imply that Medicine is somehow controlled by white males is rediculous
    The problem is that Medicine is increasingly under the control of big business and Drs have lost control. 60-70% of docs employed and that is the problem! Stop comlaining to Drs and start complaining to their employers(hospitals and health systems)
    You are going to find in the end that docs were on the side of the pts all along

  7. oncdoc says:

    Richard, I have done more charity work over the past 25 yrs than most people will do in an entire lifetime

  8. Richard says:


    Me too! By the power of nearly two. I just don’t brag about it.