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AMA Responds to Issues and Leadership from the Michigan Delegation

The Michigan Delegation to the AMA capped off an extremely successful six-day meeting in Chicago this week with the election of MSMS House Speaker Pino Colone, MD, to a four-year term on the AMA Council on Constitution and Bylaws.

MSMS Board Chair Bobby Mukkamala, MD, also announced his candidacy for a seat on the AMA Board of Trustees in the June 2017 elections. He currently serves as chair-elect of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health.

"I want to thank the members of the Michigan Delegation for their leadership and dedication this past week," said Delegation chair James D. Grant, MD, MBA. "There were many difficult issues to tackle and I am proud to say that the Michigan Delegation debated them thoughtfully and responsibly and developed a plan that moved our agenda forward."

The Delegation took 14 resolutions from the MSMS House of Delegates to the AMA Annual meeting. Ten were adopted as amended, three were reaffirmed, and one was referred. Many of Michigan's resolutions received overwhelming support such as Resolution 009, which emphasizes the importance of the physician-patient relationship as the foundation for quality care. In order to combat concerns regarding the reach of third-party payers and outside vendors in health care decision making, the resolution asks our AMA to advocate that physicians must maintain overall leadership in decisions affecting the health care received by patients. Twelve other MSMS resolutions will be submitted to the AMA Interim meeting in November.

Michigan's resolutions on safe drinking water and the need for greater transparency and accountability by government officials initiated the adoption of significant new policies by the AMA to prevent future lead poisoning. The Michigan Delegation spoke eloquently about the devastating situation in Flint and the AMA HOD responded by adopting policies advocating for state and federal laws, including updates to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule, requiring: 1) timely reporting on a publicly-accessible website of all public water system testing results; 2) complete removal of lead service lines and plumbing materials that come in contact with drinking water; and 3) all schools and registered daycare sites to receive routine municipal water quality assurance testing.

Other timely and critical matters debated at the AMA Annual meeting include:

  • The adoption of policy recognizing gun violence in the United States as "a public health crisis" requiring a comprehensive public health response and solution and the AMA to lobby Congress to remove the 20-year old federal ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gun violence research.
  • Upcoming Medicare payment reform under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was the topic of several education sessions and resolutions. Additionally, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressed the full AMA Delegation to provide the rationale for and clarity on several components of the proposed rule to implement MACRA. The AMA has developed a variety of resources to help physicians understand and prepare for MACRA. Additionally, to comment on the proposed rule, go to the AMA's Break the Red Tape webpage and watch for an upcoming Action Alert from MSMS.
  • Continued calls for action on maintenance of certification concerns and the adoption of a report from the Council on Medical Education on its activities over the last year and related recommendations.
  • Direction that the AMA to develop model legislation and resources related to telemedicine services to enhance the coordination of care between vendors and the patient’s established physician(s), privacy and confidentiality of shared information, and the knowledge of members on the use and implementation of telemedicine and other related technology in their practices to improve access, convenience, and continuity of care for their patients.

Others from the Michigan Delegation taking leadership roles at the AMA meeting included:

  • Michael Chafty, MD, JD, served as chair of the Reference Committee on Legislation, which endured seven grueling hours of testimony.
  • Betty Chu, MD, MBA, completed a two-year commitment as a member of the AMA Committee on Finance. She also presented the nominating speech for AMA president-elect candidate David Barbe, MD, a family physician from Missouri, who went on to win the election.
  • Cheryl Gibson Fountain, MD, served as a member of the Committee on Medical Service.
  • Mohammad Arsiwala, MD, served as a member of the Committee on Science and Technology.
  • David Walsworth, MD, served on the Reference Committee on a Modernized Code of Medical Ethics for a second consecutive meeting and the painstaking work of his committee was subsequently adopted by the AMA House. Doctor Walsworth also presented on the "MSMS Partnership with the AMA on Diabetes Prevention" during a CME course about the AMA's efforts to control the skyrocketing rise in diabetes nationwide.
  • Bassam Nasr, MD, MBA, continued to serve on the AMA Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • MSMS President David Krhovsky, MD, represented Michigan at the inaugural ceremonies for incoming AMA president Andrew Gurman, MD, a Pennsylvania hand surgeon.
  • Ted Jones, MD, president of the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan, also attended the meeting to observe and participate in the Michigan Delegation caucuses.

 

 
Michigan Delegation chair Jim Grant, MD, MBA, with MSMS President David Krhovsky, MD, and Kent County colleague Domenic Federico, MD, on the floor of the AMA House of Delegates.
 
  Venkat Rao, MD, testifying about the Flint water crisis.
 
 
Rick Smith, MD, discusses lead contamination effects on embryos, babies and children.
 
  Alan Mindlin, MD, makes a point about the physician-led health team.
 
 
Bobby Mukkamala, MD, notes that his home is in the heart of the Flint water crisis zip code.
 
  Cheryl Gibson Fountain, MD, confers with a fellow member committee member.
 
 
David Walsworth, MD, is poised to make a point during floor debate.
 
  Michael Chafty, MD, leads the debate on legislative issues.
 
 
Betty Chu, MD, MBA, completes her two-year term on the AMA Committee on Finance.
 
  Krishna Sawhney, MD, adds the voice of reason at the AMA House meeting.
 

 

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