From accountable care organizations to school physicals, from same-sex-marriage to insurance practices – the ISMA convention let members act on issues important to them.
This year, physician delegates to the ISMA convention explained to colleagues at home – on video – why they attended convention. Delegates said they came to Indianapolis to be part of decision making, contribute to health policy debates and set the future course of the ISMA because they want to help their patients. See videos on the ISMA Facebook fan page.
Whether the topic was emerging models of health care delivery or protecting children from bullying, delegates testified in reference committees on Saturday, conferred with colleagues from their districts and then voted Sunday on 69 resolutions.
Some key votes
Responding to health care reform legislation, 13th District submitted Resolution 10-12. It asked the ISMA for a task force to study bundled payments and accountable care organizations (ACOs). The resolution cited the limited knowledge physicians have about ACOs and the impact bundled payments may have on their practices. They asked for study by the AMA as well.
The reference committee called the resolution “concise and well worded,” and the House of Delegates (HOD) passed it without further discussion.
Don Wagoner, M.D., submitted a second resolution on ACOs. His resolution sought to mandate that half of each ACO’s board of directors consist of physicians who own their own practices. Following discussion at the HOD, this resolution was forwarded to the ISMA Board of Trustees for appropriate action.
Learn more about ACO formation in Indiana here.
Out of concern for children
Indianapolis pediatrician Scott Curnow, M.D., had the support of other pediatricians and fellow delegates for his Resolution10-23, seeking a change in required dates for pre-participation physical exams for student athletes.
“The IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) does a tremendous job administering the logistics of high school athletics,” said Dr. Curnow in his resolution. “It is the responsibility of the medical community to see to the health and well-being of our student athletes.”
The House agreed and adopted his resolution without dissent. The ISMA will now urge the IHSAA to implement change, allowing athletes an opportunity to receive comprehensive exams by their primary care providers with ample time for follow-up.
In Resolution 10-21, pediatrician Mary McAteer, M.D., asked Indiana physicians to join her in saying, “We won’t tolerate bullying.” Delegates were united in adopting her resolution to help reduce bullying – and its health consequences – through educational partnerships.
“I have high hopes that we can work together as a community to change attitudes and demand programs that have proven efficacy to combat bullying,” Dr. McAteer said.
The long debate
After lengthy testimony and review of online comments to the ISMA message board, Reference Committee IV, and then the House, agreed on disposition of Resolution 10-02 on same sex-marriage and its public health implications.
The reference committee heard clear consensus that all persons should receive medical care regardless of ethnicity or social, political or gender preference. Mary Baker, M.D., delegate for the Resident & Fellow Medical Society advised that the resolution had unanimous support from RFS members.
Ultimately, the HOD adopted an amended version of AMA policy that commits the ISMA to work to reduce health disparities in same-sex partner households and to support measures providing same-sex households the same rights to health care as afforded opposite-sex households.