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AMA Commits to Help Slow Increases in Health Spending

Joins Effort to Bend Spending Curve to Help Move Health Reform Forward

For immediate release:
May 11, 2009

"The need for health reform that provides coverage and high quality, affordable health care for all Americans is clear. Rising health care costs strain individual, business and government budgets, and projected increases in health spending are not sustainable. The AMA is committed to action to help achieve greater value from our nation's health care spending. We want to help bend the spending curve and move forward on health reform.

President Barack Obama, flanked by American Medical Association President-elect J. James Rohack, M.D., right, and Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halverson, speaks about health care reform, Monday, May 11, 2009, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo-Charles Dharapak)

"The AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, with the efforts of more than 100 state and national medical specialty societies, continues to develop measures to improve health care quality and value. The medical profession is working to address appropriateness of care, overutilization of some services and avoidable hospital readmissions.

"The AMA has also initiated an important program to improve medication reconciliation. Patients with multiple conditions often see several physicians. Every physician that comes in contact with a patient needs to be aware of all the drugs the patient takes to avoid drug interactions and eliminate unnecessary prescriptions.

"Defensive medicine continues to be a major factor in rising costs. We need medical liability reforms that help physicians provide the best care without needing to order additional services to guard against possible lawsuits.

"All Americans can help in the effort to keep health care costs down. The combination of large-scale national initiatives and efforts by individual patients to engage in prevention and wellness efforts is key to reducing spiraling health costs, preventing chronic disease and keeping America healthy."

Contact:

Brenda L. Craine
Director, AMA Media Relations
(202) 789-7447

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
AMA President-elect