She described the healthcare reform law as “longer than a Harry Potter novel” and questioned whether anyone truly understands it.
Dr. Benjamin Carson's story of rising from inner-city poverty in Detroit to become the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital has been embraced by conservatives. But Carson began his talk with a conciliatory tone across the political spectrum by suggesting Americans grow a thicker skin so they are not offended by statements they don't agree with.
Americans “are not each other's enemies,” he said, and noted that you can often learn more from a discussion with someone you disagree with than from someone who thinks the same way you do.
In terms of healthcare reform, Carson spoke against penalizing hospitals for their 30-day readmission rates. These penalties will lead to hospitals cherry-picking the patients who will give them the best statistics, he said.
Carson urged physicians to get involved in civic and community affairs because it's necessary that “people who know what's going on to make the rules.” This especially holds true for doctors, he said. “We need people who make decisions based on evidence and not ideology.”
The AMGA includes 435 multi-specialty medical group and health system members in which 150,000 doctors provide care to 120 million patients. The AMGA reported that an attendance record was set with almost 2,200 people at this year's conference in Grapevine, Texas.
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks