AMA says time to move Medicare away from broken payment system

By Erin McCann
09:15 AM

With President Barack Obama scoring a big victory Tuesday night, earning many more than the 270 electoral votes he needed for reelection, the healthcare industry is responding to the outcome, and the impact it may have on the future of care delivery.

The American Medical Association (AMA), which has publically voiced its support for Obama’s healthcare plan, released a statement this morning congratulating the president.

[Political Malpractice commentary: Don't pop the champagne for ACA anytime soon]

“The AMA congratulates President Obama on winning re-election as the President of the United States,” said Jeremy Lazarus, MD, president of the AMA. “This is a critically important time for our healthcare system, and America’s physicians remain at the forefront of policy discussions, working with President Obama, members of Congress and the administration to focus on the important task of improving both the delivery of health care and the health of our nation.”

The association also reiterated its commitment to working with both sides of the political aisle to continue to reform healthcare. 

“The AMA is eager to continue working with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle to accelerate bold innovation in medical education, create an environment in which physicians thrive in sustainable practices, and help patients and physicians work together to improve health outcomes and ensure high quality care with optimal value for our health care dollar,” added Lazarus.

Moreover, Lazarus said the AMA will work with Congress and the Obama administration to prevent the 27 percent reimbursement cut headed for physicians who treat Medicare patients. “It is time to transition to a plan that will move Medicare away from this broken physician payment system and toward a Medicare program that rewards physicians for providing well-coordinated, efficient, high-quality patient care while reducing health care costs.”

“The evolution of healthcare in the last few years has proven a monumental benefit to the way we are able to deliver healthcare to ALL Americans,” said Alan Kravitz, CEO of healthcare IT consulting firm MedSys Group Consulting. "We believe that President Obama will continue to positively support the current healthcare IT initiatives and provide further legislation to benefit our technological advancements."

[Related: Medicaid will pay primary docs equal to Medicare]

In respect to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is now no longer in danger of being overturned (yet), Robert Laszewski, health policy expert and president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said although the ACA is now law and will indeed be fully implemented, "There are and will be more lawsuits."

"I wouldn’t waste a lot of time worrying about those," he added. "Anyone in the market will do better spending their time getting ready."