David L. Bronson, MD, is immediate past president of the 133,000-member American College of Physicians—the largest medical specialty group in the nation.
During an interview Monday, Bronson, who also is president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, explained why he thinks attendance was up at the organization's annual meeting this month in San Francisco. He also discussed what he views as internal medicine's biggest concerns.
HLM: This year's ACP conference was better attended than ever. Why was this meeting the biggest? Arguably we are just coming out of a major recession that hurt medical conference attendance throughout all specialties.
DB: People are trying to figure out where we are, and how we respond to health reform changes that all of us in American medicine are facing.
HLM: Do you get the sense that no, there's a realization that things will move forward, the Supreme Court has affirmed the legality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration is committed to moving ahead? That push has now come to shove?
DB: That's exactly right. The ACOs are forming across the country, and there's a lot of pressure, even outside these ACOs, in terms of financial stressors in the states, and small businesses that affect (health plan) contracts. So people are trying to figure out, how do we get ready for this, and respond?