The Integrated Physician Practice Section (IPPS), the newest addition to the AMA’s sections and special groups within the House of Delegates, represents physicians employed in health systems striving toward integrated, interdisciplinary care using quality measures to improve care and lower costs.
Established in June 2012, the AMA-IPPS enables physicians in or actively working toward multispecialty, physician-led, integrated health care delivery groups or systems to have an official vote in the AMA policymaking process.
According to the AMA’s webpage for the IPPS, “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other factors are accelerating change in health care delivery and creating a strong impetus to foster and expand integrated modes of practice in the near term. The ACA has created a broad regulatory framework for clinical integration, care coordination, quality and other performance metrics, cost containment, and mandatory nationwide adoption of electronic health records. Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and multiple private insurers have already begun deployment of these initiatives.
“Though many health systems have achieved or have been working toward integration and care coordination for decades, most physicians are still thoughtfully gathering information and seeking to understand how integration applies to their practice and patients. Large hospital systems have already begun to position themselves with the necessary infrastructure and financial strength to become clinically integrated and form accountable care organizations.”
Psychiatrist Jerry Halverson, M.D., a member of the AMA Section Council on Psychiatry, is also an affiliate member of the IPPS. In an interview with Psychiatric News, Halverson said the new section is more than simply an interest group that helps to form policy for the AMA, but has gained voting delegates in the House of Delegates. “It’s a new home in the House for physicians employed in physician-led integrated groups working toward higher-quality care,” he said.■