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Join in the conversation: Introducing a place to discuss hot topics in medicine with your AAMC colleagues

by Mitchell Schwartz MD on April 9, 2013

Take a look at any newspaper, magazine or web-based headline and you’re bound to see references to changes affecting the world of medicine. The information comes in multiple forms. It can be in a blog, such as Wachter’s World, or a documentary, Escape Fire, on CNN.  From Obamacare to Medicaid, the rapid evolution of the expectations of our health system is on display. Somehow, I sense there are more negative messages than positive. And, in many ways, the criticism is justified.  The costs do not appear to deliver measurable value, such as in mortality rates, harm and patient satisfaction.

There are few venues at AAMC to discuss these challenging topics that directly affect our professional careers. The quick hallway conversations don’t do justice to the complexity of the problems. There is little evidence of a two-way dialogue to spark frank discussion on these topics. The lack of appropriate discourse only generates more assumptions, second-guessing and misunderstandings within our own medical community.

For example, a Washington Post article regarding cancer clinics recently garnered more than 5,000 comments.

I’m sure that most physicians will be affected directly by the cuts. And if there is little in the way of response, I believe it opens the door to further reimbursement changes either through the SGR formula, bundling of payments or other obligations that will put a price on the value of care.

Do you believe your practice will be affected? Will you continue to see new Medicare patients? What are your thoughts about bundling of payments? Please send in your comments.  They will be available for viewing and further responses.

2 comments

  1. sally

    great idea!

  2. Pat

    We can talk internally to commiserate, but action is better. As we talk and plan about how we might react locally to change, it is important to remember we have access to those who make the Big Decisions as well.

    Here we are in a plum location: our state’s capital but also right next to DC.

    The legislators and appointed leaders who make decisions typically won’t come to us, but we can go to them. Senators, Reps and their staff look to local (DC, Maryland, VA, PA) chapters of specialty societies to get opinions from in-the-trenches docs. The White House, CMMI, DHMH and Maryland’s Health Care Reform Council all do as well. Let your local chapter know you are available! You will get tapped.

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