Tools help guide physician choices in career and practice

Understanding historic Medicare payment changes, an easier way for patients to prevent diabetes and an ethics code for the 21st century were among the popular tools and resources shared with readers this year.

Preparing for upcoming Medicare changes? Tools to help your practice. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule Nov. 1. While the program does not affect Medicare payments until 2019, physicians need to prepare for the changes now. To help your practice prepare for this historic change, the AMA has been developing a collection of valuable online tools and resources.

Interactive tool reveals where physicians are needed. The distribution of the health care workforce has major implications for residents, physicians, advocates, policy makers and, of course, patients. An updated mapping tool can help you better grasp that distribution and how it relates to population health and professional opportunities.

Online DPP tackles challenges of location and participation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program has been proven effective at helping participants make substantial and sustainable lifestyle changes. But adoption of the program has been greatly limited by challenges in enrolling patients into local programs and scaling the program beyond its brick-and-mortar settings. A new approach—providing the program digitally and remotely—is tackling both simultaneously.

New tool identifies short-term volunteer and paid opportunities. An interactive tool provides physicians interested in volunteering or working outside of their normal practice settings with short-term opportunities in the field of medicine. The Physician Opportunities Portal, launched by the AMA, enables physicians to quickly and easily identify opportunities to add stability and longevity to their careers and increase joy in practice by giving back.

Code of Medical Ethics modernized for first time in 50 years. Physicians affirmed a comprehensive update of the nearly 170-year-old AMA Code of Medical Ethics, the conclusion of a meticulous project started eight years ago to ensure that this ethical guidance keeps pace with the demands of the changing world of medical practice.