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AMA hammers out positions in changing market

The Times-Picayune, November 16, 2011
The American Medical Association's assembly on Tuesday completed a four-day meeting in which physician delegates set policies and took positions on matters ranging from organ donations for HIV-positive individuals to drug shortages in the American health-care market. But with the ongoing implementation of the 2010 federal healthcare overhaul and congressional debate over the long-term budget structure, issues surrounding how physicians are paid and how the government implements new insurance exchanges loomed large over the House of Delegates. The 512-member body includes representatives of medical societies from across the spectrum of disciplines and collectively decides the advocacy agenda for the nation's largest group of physicians. The delegates Tuesday affirmed AMA's support for federal legislation that would allow doctors to contract directly with Medicare patients beyond the rates set by the government insurance program for Americans over 65. Providers now must accept what the government pays or opt out of the program.