A record 1,600 large group practice leaders are attending the American Medical Group Associations annual conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas March 2-4, and they were told Tuesday by their immediate past and current chairmen the organizations profile in Washington has never been higher, but its voice needs to get louder.
Immediate past chairman, Ronald Kirkland, M.D., who chairs the board for the Jackson (Tenn.) Clinic Professional Association, noted how congressional staffers reached out to the AMGA while drafting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, leading to the inclusion of an $18,000 subsidy for physicians who adopt information technology.
Kirkland told the AMGA members that they can pay their dues with that amount, and added that if this doesnt excite you, ask a doctor to check your pulse.
The current chairman, Edward Brown chief executive officer of the West Des Moines-based Iowa Clinic, mentioned how the U.S. healthcare system was morphing into what AMGA members already are: fully integrated, organized systems of care.
Brown said that thee current economic crisis is not an impediment to changing the healthcare system, but an accelerant.
The greater the challenge in healthcare, the greater the opportunity for AMGA to shape the solution, Brown said, adding that if members dont raise their voices, the vacuum will be filled by others whose interests and agenda are unsustainable.