Health Policy Education Network

Academy delegates attend AMA House of Delegates meeting
Academy Delegate Dan Ein, M.D., and Alternate Delegate George Green, M.D., attended the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates in Chicago in June. The meeting, which marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the AMA, provides an opportunity for all attendees to consider many resolutions and issues related to the practice of medicine in the current health care environment.

Items of specific interest to allergists include:

There was, again, debate of a mandatory point of service option in managed care plans which was defeated, despite much support from specialty societies. AAAAI Alternate Delegate George Green, M.D., testified that with the rapid conversion of the Medicare population to managed care plans, this large group of patients with publicly funded health insurance would lose access to appropriate care if closed panels do not have adequate numbers of specialists.

A resolution passed which supported a three-year, incremental transition to a single conversion factor for Medicare. The AAAAI has also supported this conversion as a participant in the "Single-Conversion Coalition" spearheaded by the American Society of Internal Medicine.

A resolution concerning the definition of "principle care" was passed and calls for the AMA to develop a pilot study of how specialists could be designated "principle physicians" in managed care plans. This plan could permit allergists/immunologists to be, in effect, primary care physicians for their patients, obviating the difficulties often encountered with the gatekeeping system.

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