Despite decades of constant health-system upheaval during the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 pandemic, physicians have been there for America’s patients.
Now, with the aftermath of that event continuing to wreak havoc on the profession, America needs to be there for its physicians. The AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians aims to ensure that it is.
The Recovery Plan is rebuilding critical components of the medical profession by:
A session during the 2023 AMA Annual Meeting detailed the particulars of the Recovery Plan, its impact and how physicians can amplify its message.
Regarding the plan’s first pillar, Medicare physician payment reform, the Recovery Plan’s priority areas are gaining major traction. The AMA’s efforts to reform Medicare fall into three buckets—an annual inflationary payment update, easing administrative burdens and reforms to the budget-neutrality process that too often leads to across-the-board cuts to offset the impact of fee schedule payment and policy changes.
Progress on those fronts is taking shape, according to Michaela Sternstein, vice president of the AMA Advocacy Resource Center. A key bill supported by the AMA would provide an inflation-based annual Medicare physician payment update.
“It’s really important to note that you know that the AMA is in the for the long haul,” Sternstein said. “We are ready to do whatever it takes to get this across the finish line.”
Learn about the Recovery Plan’s progress so far.
Physicians’ powerful voice
The AMA is working to seek co-sponsors on the legislation related to inflation and Medicare payment. Physician voices, Sternstein said, can be an asset in that pursuit.
“We need you and your colleagues to begin sharing your stories. Your stories matter on all the issues we talk about in advocacy. [Congress people] need to hear the problems you are having with Medicare payment and the impact they have on your practices and your communities, and they need to hear about them now.”
“We also encourage you to visit with your legislators,” Sternstein said. “Be bold ask them to be co-sponsors. The worst they can do is say no.”
In addition to leading the charge to reform Medicare physician payment, learn more below about how the AMA Recovery Plan also is committed to these four pillars.
- Prior authorization is overused, and existing processes present significant administrative and clinical concerns. The AMA’s approach to the prior-authorization challenge includes research, practice resources and reform resources. We’re standing up to insurance companies to eliminate care delays, patient harm and practice hassles.
- Patients deserve care led by physicians—the most highly educated, trained and skilled health professionals. The AMA vigorously defends the practice of medicine against scope-of-practice expansions that threaten patient safety.
- Far too many American physicians experience burnout. That's why the AMA develops resources that prioritize well-being and highlight workflow changes so physicians can focus on what matters—patient care. We are focused on removing administrative burdens, providing real-world solutions and helping physicians rediscover the joy in health care.
- Telehealth is critical to the future of health care, which is why the AMA continues to lead the charge to aggressively expand telehealth policy, research and resources to ensure physician practice sustainability and fair payment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth emerged as a vital way to maintain patient access to high-quality care. The AMA is fighting for legislation to permanently fix the restrictions on telehealth coverage and payment.
The necessity to take physician stories to social platforms is key to the Recovery Plan’s growth and success. The AMA Ambassador Program is one mechanism designed to amplify the physician voice.
In founding the program, “we saw what our members can do organically,” said Anastasia Dextra, the AMA’s lead social media specialist. “We saw the results you drove on social and in conversations you were having with your colleagues. We want to allow you to share the AMA’s story and incorporate your own while giving you credit for the great work you are doing.”
“Your stories are so important for socializing the Recovery Plan,” she said. “We provide our ambassadors tools to do that at scale.”