Monday, November 12, 2012

AMA President Calls on Physicians to Embrace Values of Integrated Care

It’s a new era in American health care—one that calls for physicians to collaborate with other doctors and health care professionals in a new model of integrated care.

That’s what psychiatrist Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., president of the AMA, told delegates in a presidential address at the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates this week in Honolulu, Hawaii. He announced in his address that a new Integrated Physician Practice Section would be joining the House of Delegates to address issues faced by physicians working in group and integrated practices.

(Lazarus is pictured with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie at a reception Friday evening when he and other APA and AMA leaders met with Abercrombie and Hawaiian policymakers.)

“It once made sense for physicians to value autonomy, independence, and self-sufficiency,” Lazarus told the House of Delegates. “But the game has changed. Integrated care asks us to cultivate mutual trust, to recognize that each team member offers unique skills and knowledge and to support this trust with open and timely communication….And we must go all in to improve the quality of health care for our patients and the country. That means collecting, sharing, and analyzing data, leveraged to care for patients.
“Team-based care is just one aspect of our medical world, [but] it’s a big one—and its evolution depends on how well it keeps patients healthy, and how well it functions for physicians members….[F]or most physicians, these new systems can bring better results.”

AMA delegates are meeting this week to discuss the future of health care and Medicare reform and other issues of concern to psychiatrists and other physicians. Follow Psychiatric News for coverage.

(Image: Kathleen Connelley)


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