Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AMA Adopts Policy on Dual Eligibles, Opens House to GLBT Physicians, and Works to Lower Student Debt

The AMA House of Delegates yesterday approved a policy on Medicare and Medicaid dually eligible patients—a category that includes many patients with psychiatric illness—that would customize benefits for patients and ensure that care-coordination demonstration programs do not interfere with the patient-physician relationship. “The AMA is working to improve the nation’s health care system through sustainable delivery and payment options that give physicians the flexibility to help lower costs and improve the quality of care for patients,” said AMA Board member Carl Sirio, M.D. “The principles included in this new policy address streamlining care plans while eliminating conflicting payment rules.”

The AMA also announced yesterday that the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) has been admitted to the House of Delegates. Physicians and medical students unanimously voted to accept GLMA’s application for representation in the House of Delegates. "Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) physicians and medical students will now have an important voice within the house of medicine that will enhance AMA policy and programs, especially those that affect GLBT physicians, students, and patients," said incoming AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. "The GLMA’s growth and rising profile has been good for both patients and physicians and has opened eyes regarding the diverse needs of GLBT patients. As a result, all our patients are stronger and healthier."

Additionally, the AMA adopted a policy to work with other health profession organizations to advocate for a reduction of the fixed interest rate of the Stafford student loan program. “To help students, residents, and physicians manage their medical student loan debt, the AMA has advocated for numerous policies, including the creation of additional tuition-assistance and loan-forgiveness programs,” said AMA Board member Stephen Permut, M.D. “A reduction in the fixed interest rate of Stafford loans, combined with other advocacy efforts, will help physicians and physicians-in-training better manage their debt burden.”

For more information about the AMA and its priorities, see Psychiatric News here.



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