How AMA is helping health systems face 2021’s biggest challenges

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, physicians are under greater stress than any other time in living memory. The pandemic also is exacting a major financial toll on health care. And with the AMA’s recent recognition of racism as a public health threat, medicine’s focus on health inequity has sharpened considerably.

Keep your practice open

Clear and decisive steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 are needed to protect staff and ease patients' fears about seeking care during pandemic.

Fittingly, these were among the key topics explored in great detail at the most recent meeting of the AMA Integrated Care Consortium, one of the offerings that make up the AMA Health System Program.

Now the AMA will expand its peer-based learning opportunities for the senior leadership of health system partners with the AMA Insight Network, set to get underway next year. The network will help member health systems save time and money, gain early access to innovative ideas, get feedback from their peers, network and learn about pilot opportunities.

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The AMA Health System Program already features in-depth quarterly exchanges with AMA advocacy leaders along with the meetings of the AMA Integrated Care Consortium.

The AMA Insight Network will feature “discussions around professional satisfaction and system sustainability—everything from burnout to practice transformation and payment and telehealth, and much more,” said Jim Gilligan, AMA vice president of health systems and group partnership. The network’s meetings also will cover other elements of health equity and chronic disease prevention.



Robust sharing at senior levels

The Integrated Care Consortium meeting in December featured timely explorations of topics such as caring for caregivers, business strategies, and health equity from physicians and other leaders from the AMA, Ascension Medical Group, Atlantic Medical Group, Henry Ford Health System, Ochsner Health, The Permanente Medical Group, and Virginia Mason Health System.

Find out more about these health systems and others are moving medicine at the AMA partner spotlight page.

Each meeting’s topics are selected based on a survey of the health system membership, explained the chair of the December Integrated Care Consortium meeting, William A. Conway, MD. He is senior adviser to the chief clinical officer at Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Conway previously served as CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group.

The AMA Integrated Care Consortium’s meetings have previously covered topics such as social determinants of health and fitness-for-duty evaluation of physicians.

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During the pandemic, the consortium has met virtually and had some “really robust sharing between the systems involved,” Dr. Conway said in a video shared at the December meeting. “Two issues that helped us, in particular, were plans around reopening services after closure and the rapid expansion of telehealth. Learning about what our colleagues were doing with those two topics were helpful for our group.”

Dr. Conway added that what he appreciates about the AMA Health System Program is that it “involves some very high-performing health systems around the country and we get to interact with the senior leadership of those organizations.”

Learn more about how the AMA Health System Program helps improve outcomes, elevate recognition and drive value.