Volume 6                                                                                                                                                  Issue 1
Southeast News
Your news from the  Southeastern Delegation to the AMA
Welcome to 2017!
With the results of last year’s elections and a new administration in place, we can expect to see changes in our Health Care System.

And so this year we will skip our usual topic of history and get right into the thick of things with thoughtful essays by Drs. Corey Howard and Asa Lockhart.  We encourage your feedback to them and to us.

We have also included some older statements from the AMA on Health System Reform and the nomination of Dr. Tom Price to head up the US Department of Health and Human Services.

We will follow up in April with our traditional “Washington Update” newsletter, but this time it will be even more interesting than usual.

As many of you know, Brian Foy has accepted a position as Director of Public Affairs and Legislative Outreach with the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Alumni Association and Foundation.  This position allows Brian to live anywhere and travel to Washington, DC as needed.  Brian and Karen have decided to relocate to Florida in mid-March.  We are all excited for Brian and his new career opportunity.  The Foys have been delightful to work with and have performed at an extremely effective level for the Southeastern Delegation.  The reassurance of continuity of that service is gratefully embraced by your leadership.  Karen's role as Administrator will continue uninterrupted.  Brian's informed input will continue to be appreciated. 

As members of the Southeastern Delegation you have seen the function of our organization enhanced by the efforts of Karen and Brian Foy.  We expect this to continue and we express our appreciation for their work.  We also wish Brian the best in his new endeavors.

Have a Great New Year!
Greg Cooper, MD, Chair, SE Delegation to AMA
Bill Clark, MD, Chair-elect, SE Delegation to AMA
Stephen Imbeau, MD, Immediate Past Chair, Newsletter Editor

Tom Price, MD Confirmed as
HHS Secretary

The Senate voted early Friday, February 10th, to approve the nomination of Representative Tom Price to be secretary of health and human services.  Senators confirmed his nomination by a strictly party-line 52-47 vote.

Statement attributable to:
Patrice A. Harris, M.D.
Chair, AMA Board of Trustees

“The American Medical Association strongly supports the nomination of Dr. Tom Price to become the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). His service as a physician, state legislator and member of the U.S. Congress provides a depth of experience to lead HHS. Dr. Price has been a leader in the development of health policies to advance patient choice and market-based solutions as well as reduce excessive regulatory burdens that diminish time devoted to patient care and increase costs.

We urge the Senate to promptly consider and confirm Dr. Price for this important role.”

The Senate Finance Committee on February 1st, approved the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, MD, (R-Ga), to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and serve as President Donald Trump's point person in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Dr. Price's nomination now goes before the full Republican-controlled Senate for a vote. Because the Senate changed its rules when Democrats were in power to exempt cabinet-level appointments from a filibuster, Dr Price needs only a simple majority, or 51 votes, for confirmation. Republicans hold 52 seats.

Navigating Healthcare Reform
Cory Howard, MD, Speaker, FMA, Chair, FL Delegation

Healthcare reform is at the top of the agenda for our government.  How this plays out will likely determine the direction of medicine for the next decade or longer.  Creating a product that will be acceptable  will take a team approach, applying systems theories and the practical application of polices already in place as well as many that are yet to be written.  There are diverging views of what to do and how to do it as the players are beginning to line up for possible battle.  Is this necessary?  

To read the rest of Dr. Howard's article, click here.
So, What Now?
Asa C. Lockhart, MD, MBA,  Principal, Golden Caduceus Consultants

As you recover from the Holidays and look to planning for 2017, there are more Health Care unknowns this year than last.  There was the Presidential election.  There are the perceptions by some of a clear mandate.  Things are set to change and change dramatically.  Or will they?  And how?  What are the implications for the business aspect of my practice?

Dr. Lockhart's article continues here.
Statement by Andrew W. Gurman, M.D.
President, American Medical Association

“The AMA House of Delegates, reflecting more than 170 state and specialty medical societies from across the country, today reaffirmed its commitment to health care reform that improves access to care for all patients.

Using a comprehensive policy framework that has been refined over the past two decades, the AMA will actively engage the incoming Trump Administration and Congress in discussions on the future direction of health care. The AMA remains committed to improving health insurance coverage so that patients receive timely, high quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments. 

A core principle is that any new reform proposal should not cause individuals currently covered to become uninsured. We will also advance recommendations to support the delivery of high quality patient care.  Policymakers have a notable opportunity to also reduce excessive regulatory burdens that diminish physicians’ time devoted to patient care and increase costs.

Health care reform is a journey involving many complex issues and challenges, and the AMA is committed to working with federal and state policymakers to advance reforms to improve the health of the nation.”

For the latest information on issues, meeting dates, helpful resources and pictures from past events make sure to visit the SE Delegation to the AMA's website!
Southeastern Delegation to the AMA
Karen A. Foy
4250 A1A S, F-32
St. Augustine, FL  32080