The MMS House of Delegates completed its work Friday afternoon and approved dozens of resolutions relating to payment reform, the primary care workforce, retail health clinics, and many public health issues.
Annual Meeting 2009
Bruce S. Auerbach, MD, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, opened the Society's 2009 Annual Meeting this morning with remarks calling on physicians and the medical society to help lead health reform efforts.
The current environment "requires our willingness, as a profession and as a medical society, to change. We cannot advocate for the status quo, and expect to be taken seriously," he said.
Dr. Auerbach noted the work of the state Payment Reform Commission, which is studying new payment models for promoting efficient, effective and accessible health care. He praised the commission for appreciating the complexity of the problem and for "proceeding with due care."
He said that a new payment model could be a significant improvement over the current health care delivery system, providing that several conditions are in place:
- Spending levels must be sustainable and affordable for the society at large
- Payment levels for health care providers must be realistic
- All providers must have the tools to succeed under a new payment system. "If you're in a small practice," he said, "you have as much a right to thrive in a new system as the big teaching hospital. But you will need help, and you will need time to get that help."
"The good news is that everyone wants us to be at the table," Auerbach said, "and we have responded to that challenge. In truth, we have only one choice. We must lead."
The Society's House of Delegates is reviewing 46 resolutions that seek to establish MMS policies and programs in the areas of advocacy, education and Society administration. Today, reference committes heard testimony on the proposals. Tomorrow, the full House will vote on them.