The American Medical Association (AMA) recently has developed a plan to encourage competition and innovation in order to benefit patients and the healthcare system. The AMA calls its model of patient care the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and at the heart of these ACOs will be physicians, removing the need for consolidation under a hospital system.
The AMA gave the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) its recommendations for adopting this system of ACOs. According to AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., “The AMA’s recommendations make it possible for physicians in all practice sizes and settings to successfully participate in ACOs, which will foster competition and innovation…to optimize patient care and curb health care costs.”
Some of its recommendations include developing new payment models for physicians that transition Medicare away from the physician payment system currently in place, a whole host of new payment methods, loans and grants for small physician practices, alleviating of anti-trust regulations that may hinder providers from collaborating, and real-time access to important and useful data.
“Competition fosters innovation, which ultimately helps patients receive efficient high-quality care. Care coordination is vital, and physicians can work together with a health care team to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital while maintaining independent medical practices. CMS should adopt policies that facilitate physician-led ACOs and do not inadvertently bias participation in favor of large health systems and hospitals,” said Dr. Wilson.