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AMA Offers Guidance on Physician Employment

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 14, 2012

Earlier this year, the AMA adopted a five-year strategic plan to ensure that enhancements to healthcare are physician-led, advance the physician-patient relationship and ensure that healthcare costs are prudently managed.

While the AMA again flatly sought to rid the government of the sustainable growth rate  formula, (SGR) its officials were enmeshed in a "lot of vigorous debate" about the ICD-10, Lazarus said. The AMA has opposed implementation of ICD-10, the disease coding set with an October 2013 launch deadline.

"It's our policy [that] we want to get the ICD-10 stopped, but there was a lot of vigorous testimony on different sides of that. There was recognition by some people that we need to move on to something different." Still, Lazarus said, "the House of Delegates made it very clear we want (ICD-10) stopped."

In other actions, the AMA board:

Outlined a set of principles to guide physician leaders of healthcare teams.  "The future of health care delivery is patient-centered and will require a team approach, and physicians and health care professionals need to be prepared to efficiently work together to provide quality patient care," said AMA Board Member Carl A. Sirio, M.D, in a statement.

Presented a report on "workplace violence" in non-hospital work environments. An AMA survey found that 12% of physicians who responded said they were a victim of "at least one incidence of workplace violence in the past 18 months." The most commonly reported form was characterized as verbal complaints.

"In order to provide the best possible care to patients, and maintain a rewarding work environment for physicians and other health professionals, all forms of workplace violence must be addressed," AMA Board Member Patrice A. Harris, M.D., noted in a statement. "This report is an important step towards enhancing the health care workplace setting for both physicians and patients."

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