Dr. Martin Attends White House Meeting


ACOFP President Paul A. Martin, DO, of Dayton, Ohio, (right) accompanied AOA President Martin S. Levine, DO (center) and AOA President-Elect Ray E. Stower, DO, to town hall meeting at the White House, June 6.  

Approximately 30 physician groups were invited to send representatives to the meeting, which featured senior officials from the Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Topics included health care delivery reforms, programs, and resources.  

Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, whose talk was entited “Doctors Know Their patients Best and What They Need,” convened the forum by discussing the need for medical system transformation.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius,  reiterated that the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate) payment system is broken and must be fixed .  Noting that it is one of President's top priorities, she said  the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is charged with the testing of new payment and delivery healthcare systems as well as gathering population data for the provision of quality care.

A panel chaired by Richard Gilfillan, MD, a family physician and director of CMMI, disucssed innovative projects currently underway.  Panel members included:

  •  Andrea Anderson, MD,  a family physician associated with Unity Health Care of Washington, DC, which is a federally qualified medical center (FQHC) with 40 providers, spoke about empowerment of the entire health care team from top to bottom as part of a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).  This FQHC has a robust Electronic Medical Record (EMR) as its backbone and sees about 300 patients a day.
  • Geriatrician Caroline Blaum, MD, a member of the University of Michigan Medicare Large Group Practice Demonstration Project and the Medicare Pioneer ACO model, discussed the need for empowerment of patients in their health care through a PCMH, by using imbedded care coordinators, dieticians, diabetic educators, etc. in practice sites.
  • Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer of New York’s Montifiore Medical Center, Henry Chung, MD, related his experience in a Pioneer ACO dealing with 23,000 Medicare beneficiaries, of which 8,000 are dual eligible with 50% having behavioral health issues.
  • Finally, rural and private practice family physician, David Loxterkamp, MD, of Seaport Medical Practice in Maine, discussed how he used Meaningful Use and PCMH dollars to purchase a care manager for his practice.  He also said payment reform must become a reality to survive in the futre.

Following the panel discussion, AMA Past President Nancy Nielson, MD, who was guest speaker at Dr. Martin's inauguration, fielded questions and suggestions from the audience regarding health care transformations that have increased value and improved care coordination and quality while decreasing costs. Dr. Nielson is also a Senior Advisor to CMMI.

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