Interim Meeting 2010

MMS Clarifies Position on Payment Reform

Posted in Interim Meeting 2010, Payment Reform on December 6th, 2010 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on MMS Clarifies Position on Payment Reform

Press reports in today’s [Monday, December 6] media that have incorrectly indicated that the Massachusetts Medical Society has endorsed the state’s proposed global payments system of health care provider reimbursements require clarification.

The policy adopted by the MMS House of Delegates at its Interim Meeting December 3-4 was not an endorsement by the Society. The resolution adopted by delegates said that accountable care organizations (ACOs) should merely be one option along with other approaches to health care financing.

The MMS still has deep concerns about the viability of ACOs. While we recognize that some ACOs have already been established and are proving successful, MMS believes it remains an untested means of health care financing and can pose unintended consequences that can impair the physician-patient relationship and affect the viability of physician practices. Additionally, many legal issues exist for those physicians considering moving into ACOs.

The current MMS policy states that the Massachusetts Medical Society encourages a pluralistic compensation system to include fee-for-service, salary, and limited pilot studies that utilize a global payment system.

MMS Physicians Adopt Policy on Payment Reform, Health Care Spending, Preauthorization, Physician Recruitment, Bullying, Tobacco, and Gambling

Posted in Global Payments, Health Reform, Interim Meeting 2010, Payment Reform on December 4th, 2010 by MMS Communications – 1 Comment

Amid spirited debate, the MMS House of Delegates adopted several new policies Saturday, including the following:

  • To advocate for multiple, innovative approaches to health care financing in any payment reform legislation;
  • To develop and offer training for health care providers aimed at preventing self-harm, suicide, and disability arising from bullying. Delegates acknowledged the special need for such training with regard to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • To join like-minded organizations in advocating for the removal of tobacco products and tobacco advertising from locations near cash-registers and counters in retail establishments;
  • To educate about the potentially adverse public health effects of gambling, and to advocate for revenues dedicated to addiction treatment if casino gambling moves forward in Massachusetts;
  • To ask the AMA Council on Science and Public Health to develop policy on the use of full-body airport scanners;
  • To take the position that preauthorization decision-making regarding medically necessary services and treatments is the de facto “practice of medicine,” and that such decision-makers are liable for bad outcomes and subject to malpractice actions;
  • To adopt principles for health care expenditures that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • A committee of physicians, Massachusetts residents, and others to make conflict-free, transparent recommendations about how health-care dollars should be spent
    • Frequent reviews of aforementioned recommendations
    • Malpractice reform to promote adoption of guideline recommendations
  • To improve recruitment and retention of physicians in Massachusetts, especially primary care doctors, by exploring the expansion of student loan repayment programs.

Annual Oration Opens Window to the World of Gender-Based Violence

Posted in Interim Meeting 2010, MMS Oration on December 3rd, 2010 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on Annual Oration Opens Window to the World of Gender-Based Violence

The Annual Oration at the MMS Interim Meeting is intended to focus on compelling medical issues, and this year’s presentation certainly delivered. With her presentation Friday afternoon before some 200 physicians, Dr. Gloria White-Hammond opened a window to a world many people never get – or perhaps even wish – to see.

Dr. White-Hammond, a pediatrician at Boston’s South End Community Health Center since 1981 and  Co-Founder and Co-Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, described the prevalence of gender-based violence around the globe in her presentation, Gender-Based Violence in Armed Conflicts, Sudan as a Case Study.

Stark pictures from her work against violence in Sudan supported her talk, which covered descriptions of the victims and the perpetrators, the many and varied forms of violence, the motivations behind the violence, and the physical and psychological consequences for those affected.

Such violence is “alive and well, worldwide and timeless” said Dr. White-Hammond. “It occurs in all places and at all times. There are no sanctuaries.”  Gender-based violence is occurring in 61 counties around the globe, she said, and while it affects mostly women, boys and men are also targets.

Dr. White-Hammond, who is also the Founding Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur and Chairwoman of Save Darfur Coalition’s “Million Voices for Darfur” campaign, also had a message for physicians, telling them they have a “unique opportunity and urgent obligation” to take the lead in addressing this issue.

“There’s no time to waste,” she said, concluding her presentation. “Lives are at stake, communities are at stake. Let’s get busy.”

View Dr. White-Hammond’s presentation, along with other resources for violence assessment and prevention, at the MMS website here.