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Professional News
Psychiatrists Vie for AMA Positions: McIntyre Would Guide Key Policy Issues
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 10 page 8-8

Psychiatrist and past APA President John McIntyre, M.D., is a candidate for a second term on the AMA's Council on Medical Service.

The election will be held at next month's meeting of the AMA House of Delegates in Chicago. McIntyre is one of six candidates, including two incumbents for three open seats on the council. He was elected to a first term in 2007.

The Council on Medical Service formulates policy around socioeconomic issues that affect the practice of medicine and makes recommendations to the House of Delegates.

McIntyre brings to his candidacy for the council an extensive background in organized medicine and psychiatry and rich experience working on the issues that will be commanding the council's attention in the coming year. In addition to being a past APA president, he was speaker of the APA Assembly, and he has been senior delegate from the APA to the AMA House of Delegates. (McIntyre continues to serve as a delegate with Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., now senior delegate and chair of the Section Council on Psychiatry.)

Health care reform will continue to be front and center for the council. In an interview with Psychiatric News, McIntyre said the council has been developing AMA policy around expanding access to care while addressing cost issues for decades.

In some cases, the AMA has anticipated events on the national stage. McIntyre noted that five years ago the council recommended—€”and the House of Delegates adopted—€”a policy endorsing an "individual responsibility" to purchase insurance for catastrophic costs and preventive care for anyone earning more than 500 percent of the federal income poverty level.

Now, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes an "individual mandate" to purchase more comprehensive insurance and carries penalties for failure to do so.

The mandate has become a hot-button issue politically, and McIntyre said a resolution to reaffirm the existing AMA policy on individual responsibility was referred back to the council at last year's Interim Meeting and will be debated again next month in Chicago.

Very prominent also on the house agenda next month will be the subject of accountable care organizations (ACOs). Delegates at the meeting will be debating a report by the council titled "Implementing Alternative Healthcare Delivery and Physician Payment Models," which will have recommendations on the structure and function of ACOs and the use of payment methodologies such as "bundling services."

Other issues the council will be addressing at next month's meeting include denial of Medicare payments to hospitals on the basis of volume of services provided; financing of interpretative services, which are currently borne by physicians in the Medicare program; and the longstanding exclusion of "institutions of mental diseases" from federal matching funds under the Medicaid program.

"I'm looking forward to continuing work on the council and on core issues for the practice of medicine and psychiatry," McIntyre said. 8_3.inline-graphic-1.gif

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