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AMA News Room

Nov. 17, 2015

AMA Adopts New Policies to Improve Health of Nation on Day Two of Interim Meeting

For immediate release:
Nov. 17, 2015

ATLANTA—The American Medical Association (AMA), the premier national physician organization, gathered physician and medical student leaders representing all aspects of medicine during its Interim Meeting and today voted to adopt new policies on emerging health care topics.

The AMA’s House of Delegates is the policy-making body at the center of American medicine, bringing together an inclusive group of physicians, medical students and residents representing every state and medical field. Delegates work in a democratic process to create a national physician consensus on emerging issues in public health, science, ethics, business and government to continually provide safer, higher quality and more efficient care for patients and communities.

The policies adopted by the House of Delegates today include:

Taking Bold Steps to Reduce Burdens of Meaningful Use Program
Recently, an AMA-led coalition of 111 medical societies called on Congressional leaders to refocus the Meaningful Use program on the goal of achieving a truly interoperable system of electronic health records.

This urgent call for action comes in the wake of the administration’s decision to move ahead with implementation of Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use (MU) program despite widespread failure of Stage 2. In a string of letters to House and Senate leaders, the AMA and other medical societies noted that what has emerged from the administration is a “morass of regulation” for a program that has “failed to focus on interoperability and has instead created new barriers to easily exchange data and information across care settings.”

Today the AMA adopted new policy that would enhance its efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of universal and enforceable electronic health record (EHR) interoperability standards for all vendors before the implementation of the Medicare Incentive Based Payment System (MIPs). 

“The AMA wants the Meaningful Use program to succeed, but swift Congressional action is needed to refocus the goals of the program on promoting better coordinated and high-quality patient care instead of burdensome, administrative tasks for physicians,” said AMA Immediate Past Chair Barbara L. McAneny, M.D.

As part of an ongoing effort launched earlier this year, the AMA is encouraging physicians to visit BreaktheRedTape.org to tell Congress and relevant agencies how rushing MU Stage 3 creates a costly burden and limits innovation.

Support for Veterans to Paramedics Transition Act of 2015
The AMA today adopted policy calling for support of federal, bi-partisan legislation that would expedite and streamline paramedic training for returning veterans who have already received emergency medical training while in the military.

Introduced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), Senate Bill 218 would create the Veterans to Paramedics Transition Act of 2015—authorizing federal grants for universities, colleges, technical schools, and State EMS agencies to develop curricula that would help these veterans more quickly become eligible for paramedic certification.

“The men and women who serve in our nation’s military as medics and corpsmen receive excellent training that should translate into work as paramedics as soon as possible upon their return to the civilian workforce,” said AMA Board Member David O. Barbe, M.D. “Requiring these skilled service men and women to go through redundant, entry-level training is costly, timely and undervalues the relevant experience they’ve already received. We urge Congress to act swiftly to pass the Veterans to Paramedics Transition Act of 2015.”


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