Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) joins health care leaders to discuss patient-centered care

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 2 May 2011




(2011), "Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) joins health care leaders to discuss patient-centered care", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 24 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) joins health care leaders to discuss patient-centered care

Article Type: News and views From: Leadership in Health Services, Volume 24, Issue 2

Keywords: Patient care, Leadership, Health care

AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, joined other national health care leaders for “Ensuring that patient-centered health care delivery thrives,” a panel discussion sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center in Bethesda, Md.

“Courageous leadership from the provider community” is the most important aspect needed for true health care reform, Kirch said. “Leaders must move their organizations collectively in the direction of value.”

Kirch was joined by J. James Rohack, MD, past president of the American Medical Association; Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council; DeAnn Friedholm, campaign director for health care reform at the Consumers Union; and Karen Ignani, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Tim Johnson, MD, senior medical contributor for ABC News, moderated the panel and directed the conversation toward strategies for reforming the health care system while making it more patient centered.

The comments of panel members highlighted the disparate and complex needs of the many stakeholders in health care reform. Ignani said containing costs was paramount, while Friedholm pointed to out-of-pocket costs for patients as the primary concern. From the physician perspective, Rohack commented that shifting incentives from volume to value was vital, and Grealy listed collaboration as the most important issue to address.

According to Kirch, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are ideal “learning laboratories” for testing new care models through approaches such as accountable care organizations and Healthcare Innovation Zones. In addition to providing care to large populations, medical schools and teaching hospitals are the training grounds for the next generation of physicians and other health care professionals. As large employers and health insurance providers themselves, academic medical centers can also move away from “the sidelines” by redesigning care for their own faculty and staff, Kirch said.

Kirch also spoke about the challenges new physicians face upon entering practice after medical school, where they learn core communication skills and how to work in interprofessional teams. After graduating, students “enter a system where shared decision making is not rewarded,” he added.

An exception to this is the Veterans Administration (VA) health system, which Kirch said rewards primary care, interprofessional care teams, and health information technology.

“The nation has much to learn from the VA,” Kirch stated. “It’s a good system with high patient and provider satisfaction.”

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