AMA, AHA at Odds Over 'Surprise' Medicare Final Rule

The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have sent letters to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to register their respective displeasure over provisions in a final Medicare rule that affect physician influence over hospital decisions.

4 comments on "AMA, AHA at Odds Over 'Surprise' Medicare Final Rule"
Kay Bauer (6/19/2012 at 9:17 PM)

To myself as a patient have heard grumbles from a couple of my well respected physicians and I feel there are too many outsiders on hospital boards that really do not grasp the scope of what they are trying to do. I feel we need more physicians overseeing Hospitals as they understand what patients need much more than an outsider on the board. Physicians deal daily with patient illnesses and problems. Patients are starting to get frustrated with hearing these grumblings but I see why after reading this article.
Li (6/19/2012 at 8:38 AM)

First thing that came to mind: I think there will be a lot of educational loans not being paid if the docs can't 'moonlight' at different hospitals the way they do.
SteveA (6/18/2012 at 7:30 PM)

So if a multi-hospital system keeps a single governing board, but must have individual medical staffs, that would mean each hospital gets to send one doctor to the governing board. Imagine that - gasp ! - there would be local physician representation on the governing board ! Does anyone know whether it would be the medical staff who gets to select whom to send, or would the governing board get to pick the doctor they want? - A huge difference between those two scenarios.
bob (6/18/2012 at 10:54 AM)

Two comments: First, a multi-hospital system needs a system-wide medical staff organization that can systematically make input and response to key system-wide issues. But such system-wide medical staff organizations should supplement and not substitute for the more important medical staff organization at each hospital in the system . This is not an "either/or" situation. Many multi-hospital systems allow for separate Boards of Trustees at each independent hospital effectively related to the system-wide Board of Trustees. Why not the same arrangement with respect to medical staffs? Second, the most effective way for medical staffs to have effective input and relationship with the Board of Trustees of a hospital is through an effective Joint Conference Committee as called for in the historic hospital standards of the Joint Commission. A single physician on the Board of Trustees is not necessarily a bad practice but is no substitute for the Joint Conference Committee. Over the years, it has been the Joint Conference Committees that have prevented all of the inevitable tensions between medical staffs and Boards of Trustees from erupting more than about once or twice a year nationally in the newspapers or the courts.


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