HLM: What about the Sustainable Growth Rate formula? It has been a matter of frustration to physicians for years.
Hoven: That is broken, the whole payment thing. Some physicians have quit practicing medicine, called it quits and have gone into other careers. We've got to get the SGR repealed. It's been a quagmire.
HLM: Is it going to happen?
Hoven: I'm much more optimistic about the SGR being repealed than I've ever been. There is now bipartisan talk to do it. There is movement. The important thing is that Congress has said to the AMA, "Please help us with this," and we are doing that. It is just not feasible to continue the way we have been, so we are very optimistic about it.
HLM: There are clinical issues on your agenda, too. Can you talk about your plans? [This week, the AMA adopted a policy that recognizes obesity as a disease requiring a range of medical interventions; supported a policy to ban the marketing of high stimulant/caffeine drinks to adolescents under 18; and adopted a policy recognizing the risks of prolonged sitting.]
Hoven: Let's take one or two that we can really do a good job around, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. You are going to see a lot of movement in those two areas in particular.