Last June, the American Medical Association (AMA) held its annual House of Delegates meeting in Chicago. The Illinois Delegation to the AMA introduced several resolutions that originated in ISMS’ 2007 House of Delegates meeting. Here are preliminary highlights of actions taken by the AMA House on ISMS members’ resolutions.
Approved Resolutions; now AMA policy
Sham patients – Condemns the use of “sham patients” seeking real medical care and the practice of deceit in the evaluation of delivered medical care; requests a Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) study regarding the ethics of such practices.
Disclosure of health insurance costs – Encourages employers to inform employees (preferably with each payment period but at least annually) of the total cost of health insurance benefits paid in the form of premiums, direct payments, or health savings accounts deposits.
Resident burnout – The AMA Council on Medical Education delivered a report following up on last year’s Resolution 307 (A-06) calling for a study on resident burnout. The adopted report defines the problem, provides information on current literature, and lists Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education activities and initiatives related to burnout.
Medicare/financial support of medical education – Endorses the Association of American Medical Colleges’ opposition to further reductions in Medicare’s financial support of graduate medical education.
Railroad crossing safety – Calls for the study of possible methods for reducing automobile accidents at grade-level railroad crossings; supports federal funding for the construction of non-grade-level crossings throughout the country.
Reducing trans fats – Encourages and promotes the reduction of trans fats in the American diet to maintain good health and lower the incidence of coronary artery disease.
Tobacco settlement fund – Calls for the AMA to support national and local efforts to persuade
lawmakers to allocate funds for smoking cessation and other health-related programs from the states’ annual Tobacco Settlement Fund Award, at levels meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended minimum.
Retail health clinics – Calls for the introduction of legislation to help ensure high quality patient
care in accordance with state laws governing the corporate practice of medicine and providers’ scope of practice. See page five for more information.
Insurer-designated laboratories – Directs the AMA to work with state/federal agencies and insurers to guarantee the right of physicians and medical practices to choose laboratory testing vendors independent of managed care contract requirements.
Support of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) research – Calls for the AMA to initiate and/or support allowing medical examiners and coroners to take tissue samples for research purposes from infants who have died suddenly and unexpectedly, to the extent permissible by law and with proper consent of the responsible adult.
Human space exploration – Supports the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) new commitment for human exploration of the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies for the benefits to medicine and advances in patient care. Originally introduced by the Illinois delegates
to the 2006 AMA Medical Student Section Interim Meeting.
Referred to the AMA Board of Trustees for further study
Nursing home residents/health care surrogate – Supports the introduction of legislation requiring all nursing home residents to have a current health care surrogate or, lacking thereof, a state appointed Power of Attorney and an advance directive.
Controlled substances / pharmacy communications – Supports legislation or other appropriate action allowing pharmacists to share databases and information (regardless of pharmacy ownership)
with prescribing physicians on patients’ controlled substance prescriptions.
Nursing home abuse and neglect – Supports legislation and comprehensive steps to reduce incidences of elder abuse and maltreatment in nursing homes and giving consumers more information to guide nursing home placement.
Cash-based practices – Calls for the AMA to study the advantages and disadvantages of cash-based practices and to advise physicians once the study is completed.
Approved; affirms AMA policy
Access to care and Medicare – Calls for educating the public on the damaging effects of the current Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula as it relates to seniors’ access to care.
Drug expiration dates – Calls for policy stating that medication and durable medical equipment
expiration dates should be based on scientific evidence rather than commercial considerations.
Pharmaceutical samples – Would require pharmaceutical sample packages to have space where the physician can write patient dosing instructions.
Smoke free environment – Advocates that all AMA meetings be held at smoke-free facilities whenever possible.
Electronic medical records – Calls for AMA policy emphasizing that electronic medical record (EMR) technology purchases must be voluntary. Calls for tax credits to physicians who purchase
EMR technology or updates that are not reimbursed by an insurance plan.
Fee transparency – Calls for the voluntary public or private release of information about fee schedules by individual physicians or physician groups to their patients to the degree felt to be appropriate by those physicians. Encourages hospitals to voluntarily make their fee schedules
easily available to potential patients. Opposes mandatory listing of physician fees.
Contact: Nena Samardzija, 800-782-4767 ext. 2446 or firstname.lastname@example.org