The healthcare industry should combat disinformation through fact-checking, penalties and proactive engagement, doctors said at the American Medical Association's House of Delegates meeting in Chicago Monday.
The AMA governing body took positions on a range of topics including disinformation, obesity, the minimum wage, universal child care and payment rates.
Here are 5 things to know:
- The AMA adopted a recommendation to curb health-related disinformation circulated by medical professionals after falsehoods about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines misled Americans during the pandemic. The AMA aims to engage with publishers, research institutions and media outlets to improve access to evidence-based data; limit the financial incentives to spread disinformation on social media; educate health professionals and the public about how to identify disinformation; mobilize healthcare workers to fact-check social media claims; and give licensing boards the authority to penalize providers who disseminate disinformation.
- Delegates approved a proposal that urges health and life insurance companies to divest business interests in companies that profit from the exploration, production, transportation or sale of fossil fuels. The resolution mirrors the AMA policy on tobacco holdings.
- The AMA called for universal access to high-quality, affordable child care and preschool to close the academic achievement gap, improve parents' economic output and boost children's health outcomes. Delegates vetoed an amendment that would've advocated "child-directed and play-based" child care, with opponents arguing those descriptions were too narrow.
- Delegates adopted a recommendation to push federal and state governments to incorporate inflation adjusters to minimum wage laws. The consumer price index rose 8.6% in May, the greatest increase since the 1980s.
- The AMA supports granting credentialed independent specialty physicians equal access to inpatient consultations. Hospital-employed specialists have historically been prioritized over outside doctors through narrow referral networks that limit access and equity, physicians testified.