AMGA Unveils Health Care Reform Priorities

With the advent of the new administration and the 111th Congress, the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) recently announced its health care reform principles. Beginning with a call for universal access to health care, AMGA's priorities focus on systemic changes to improve the quality of health care for America's patients.

The document detailing the reform ideas, approved by AMGA's Board of Directors, was made public by Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA's president and chief executive officer."AMGA looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress to make necessary reforms and improvements in our healthcare system; there is much to be done," he said. "While undertaking such thoroughgoing reform will be challenging in these difficult economic times, maintaining our current system will have an even greater cost, in terms not only of finance, but of quality patient care."

AMGA's reform priorities focus on improving health care for America's patients and highlight several practices commonly found in the model of health care delivery practiced by multi-specialty medical groups and other organized systems of care.

Other recommendations are broadly based and center on the restructuring of reimbursement, delivery mode, tort reform, prevention and wellness, and other issues.

The key points contained in the document are:

  • All Americans Should Have Access to Health Care--Changes among all payers will be necessary.
  • Delivery System Reform--The health care delivery system must be transformed from a fragmented non-system to an organized system of care.
  • Multispecialty Medical Groups/Organized Systems of Care--The multi-specialty medical group and organized systems of care delivery model should be supported as a matter of national policy.
  • Community-Based Accountability for Health Care Services--Those who deliver health care should be accountable for their services to the communities served.
  • Shift Payments from Volume to Value--The health care reimbursement system must shift from pay-for-volume to pay-for-value.
  • Incentives--Incentives should be in place to encourage coordinated care and are needed to expand health information technology.
  • Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) Reform--Professional liability (medical malpractice) reform must be a component of health care reform.
  • Comparative Effectiveness--Comparative effectiveness must be a component of health care reform.
  • Prevention and Wellness--Preventive measures and wellness practices should be adopted to address chronic disease and obesity.
  • Enhancing the Health Care Workforce--Increase numbers, expand loans and grants, and address payment inequities.
  • Transparency in Business Relationships--Those with involvement in patient care should make public their significant financial, ownership, or similar relationships.
  • The full text of AMGA's reform priorities may be accessed by clicking here.

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