Professional News
What's Next on Psychiatry's Agenda at the AMA?
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 24 page 4-4

Health system reform will loom large at the next meeting of the AMA's House of Delegates, which will be held next June.

Among the items to be considered are options for reforming the way Medicare pays physicians. A report by the AMA's Council on Medical Services released at the Interim Meeting in November outlined four options for payment reform (see AMA Suggests Ways to Change How Medicare Pays M.D.s). The AMA is seeking input from state and specialty medical societies on these options, and APA's Office of Healthcare Systems and Financing—along with relevant councils—will review the CMS report and provide comments.

In addition, the Section Council on Psychiatry will be introducing a resolution that advocates for mandatory, comprehensive, and uniform screening of newborns for major hereditable disorders and for adequate and appropriate funding to support such screening programs. And it calls on the AMA to work with all appropriate state and specialty societies to enhance public awareness of hereditable disorders and the availability of comprehensive screening procedures.

Another resolution from the section council will concern lead-screening programs for children. It will seek to have the AMA's Council on Science and Public Health review and update its 1994 report on children and lead and generate evidenced-based recommendations on screening for lead. The resolution also calls on the AMA to advocate for updated policies, procedures, and standards with respect to lead-screening programs, consistent with current research and scientific knowledge.

The Section Council on Psychiatry includes APA, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

APA members wishing to provide input or who seek more information on these matters may contact Becky Yowell at byowell@psych.org or call (703)-907-8593.

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