AMA in the News: September 2023


AMA in the News covers media coverage and mentions about the American Medical Association. Find articles recognizing our efforts in health care, advocacy, medical education and improvements in public health. Read coverage on the achievements of our leadership and the members of the AMA community.

  1. The chatbot will see you now: 4 ethical concerns of AI in health care

    1. Information Week, Sept. 28, 2023
    2. “We have seen some spectacular publicly demonstrated reported failures where algorithms have actually worsened care for patients, reintroduced bias, made things more difficult for patients of color, in particular,” says Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, AMA president.
  2. AMA: Commercial coverage of digital medicine services is inconsistent

    1. Health Payer Intelligence, Sept. 28, 2023
    2. Commercial coverage policies for digital medicine Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are inconsistent and lag behind Medicare, an issue brief (PDF) from the American Medical Association (AMA) found.
    3. “While the United States has entered an era when digitally enabled care is integrated with in-person care, the potential of this hybridized care model is not yet fully realized,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, president of AMA, said in a press release.
  3. Primary care doctor shortage worsening across U.S.

    1. NBC Nightly News, Sept. 26, 2023
    2. Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, leads the association. Why is that shortage so acute today? “The problem is the number of physicians in the U.S. Is growing. It's just not growing fast enough.”
    3. “Reporter: The AMA says it takes ten years to educate and train a physician, while the population grows and ages.”
    4. “We know that health outcomes are worse when people don't have access to primary care. They live shorter lives, and they live sicker lives.”
    5. “Reporter: The AMA says more federal funding is needed to increase training slots. The average $200,000 in medical school debt must be eased, and physician burnout addressed.”
  4. CPT updates for 2024 include new RSV vaccines, Spanish translation

    1. MD Edge, Sept. 21, 2023
    2. The American Medical Association recently released the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) 2024 Code Set. The update included 349 editorial changes, including 230 additions, 49 deletions and 70 revisions.
    3. The AMA said the CPT update includes five new codes created to report product-specific RSV products (90380, 90381, 90683, 90679 and 90678) for better tracking, reporting and analysis that supports data-driven planning and allocation. (Free registration is required to view content.)
  5. Health care industry divided over draft merger guidelines

    1. Modern Healthcare, Sept. 20, 2023
    2. The American Medical Association offered its support of the proposed changes as they relate to limiting mergers among health insurance companies. The group said consolidation in the insurance industry has contributed to increased administrative burdens on physicians and lower provider payments.
    3. “It is our strong contention that the agencies must have merger guidelines that protect physicians against health insurer mergers that may substantially lessen competition for the purchase of physician services and that degrade physician working conditions,” AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James Madara, MD, wrote. (Publication subscription is required for full or unlimited access.)
  6. Commercial payers trail Medicare in the coverage of digital medicine

    1. Healthcare Finance, Sept. 20, 2023
    2. The lack of commercial coverage for digitally enabled care is a roadblock to affordable access to these medical services, according to the American Medical Association.
    3. The model of integrating digitally enabled care with in-person care is not yet realized, according to AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH.
  7. Examining malpractice risk to physicians

    1. Psychiatric Times, Sept. 19, 2023
    2. “Even the most highly qualified and competent physicians in the U.S. may face a medical liability claim in their careers; however, getting sued is not indicative of medical errors,” then-AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD, said in a news release. “All medical care comes with risks, yet physicians are willing to perform high-risk procedures that offer hope of relief from debilitating symptoms or life-threatening conditions,” he added.
  8. UnitedHealthcare, Cigna prior authorization cuts not to be confused with major progress: AMA

    1. Becker’s Payer Issues, Sept. 18, 2023
    2. UnitedHealthcare and Cigna's prior authorization cuts are steps in the right direction, but the American Medical Association is "careful not to confuse positive developments with major progress," the organization's immediate past president Jack Resneck, MD, said. 
    3. "Prior authorization remains a major obstacle to timely and necessary care for our patients and an overwhelming burden to physicians," Dr. Resneck said in a Sept. 18 article on AMA's website. 
  9. Blood donation policy is updated, allowing gay and bisexual men to give

    1. USA Today, Sept. 17, 2023
    2. Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, president of the American Medical Association, donated blood for the first time alongside his husband, Judd Taback.
  10. Historic blood donation

    1. MSNBC Chris Jansing Reports, Sept. 15, 2023
    2. Chris Jansing spoke to the first openly gay president of the American Medical Association, Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, about the FDA's historic decision to lift restrictions on blood donations for gay men.
  11. Raw medical test results right to your inbox spark confusion and concern

    1. Wall Street Journal, Sept. 14, 2023
    2. “Sometimes the pathology or radiology result can look worse than it is,” says Jack Resneck, MD, chair of the department of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, and a former president of the American Medical Association. “A physician can read between the lines and put it all in context.” (Publication subscription is required for full or unlimited access.)
  12. CDC recommends updated COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older

    1. CNN, Sept. 12, 2023
    2. “There is no group that clearly has no risk from COVID,” said Sandra Fryhofer, MD, who was representing the American Medical Association at the meeting. “And even children and adults with no underlying conditions can still experience severe illness due to COVID.”
  13. PBMs ‘deserve regulatory scrutiny’ as they increase market share in 2021, AMA says

    1. Medical Economics, Sept. 12, 2023
    2. “The effects of less competition and more vertical integration in the PBM industry deserve regulatory scrutiny as a check against anticompetitive business practices that harm patients by raising drug prices, lowering quality, reducing choice and stifling innovation,” AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, said in a news release. “As momentum grows for PBM reform in Congress, the AMA continues to lend its support to bipartisan bills that help promote greater transparency and oversight of PBM policies and practices to ensure prescription drugs are affordable and accessible.”
  14. CMA, AMA urge court to uphold prohibition on non-physicians' use of 'doctor'

    1. Healthcare Finance, Sept. 8, 2023
    2. The California Medical Association and the American Medical Association have filed a joint amicus curiae brief defending a California law that prohibits the use of the term "doctor," or the prefix "Dr.", by anyone other than California-licensed allopathic and osteopathic physicians.
  15. City Club of Chicago: The physician burnout crisis

    1. WGN Radio, Sept. 7, 2023
    2. American Medical Association President Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, joins Vice Dean of Education at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Marianne Green, MD, and Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha Jr. to examine the tenuous state of health care today, the stakes for patients, and what equitable solutions need to happen to bolster our physician and health care workforce to avert a true health crisis over the next decade.
  16. Why insurers are scaling back prior authorizations

    1. Modern Healthcare, Sept. 7, 2023
    2. In an American Medical Association survey last year, doctors reported they spend an average of 14 hours each week on prior authorization requests. Eighty-eight percent described the burden as high. (Publication subscription is required for full or unlimited access.)
  17. Over-the-counter Narcan may have less impact than meets the eye

    1. Washington Post, Sept. 6, 2023
    2. “These are all barriers that could mute the potential great impact of this change,” Bobby Mukkamala, MD, a head and neck surgeon who chairs the AMA’s Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, said in an interview. (Publication subscription is required for full or unlimited access.)
  18. Already working toward a healthier Wisconsin, head of AMA takes mission to national level

    1. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 6, 2023
    2. One of his highest priorities as AMA President is advancing the AMA’s Recovery Plan for American Physicians which looks to address physician burnout—especially in the wake of COVID—and reform parts of the health care system that may make it difficult to practice.
  19. FDA says it will finalize ban on menthol tobacco products ‘in coming months’

    1. CNN, Sept. 1, 2023
    2. American Medical Association President Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, said the delay harms Black people, and Black youth, in particular.
    3. “We implore the FDA to move swiftly to remove these harmful products from the market once and for all and keep them out of the hands of our nation’s youth—their health and well-being must be the first priority,” he said.