Conference Coverage

AAFP Congress adopts resolutions on physician privileges, medical education, employee benefits


 

REPORTING FROM AAFP Congress

Resolutions addressing practice enhancement, education, and advocacy highlighted delegates' efforts at the 3-day meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates.

AAFP Congress of Delegates session Katie Lennon/MDedge News

AAFP Congress of Delegates session

Practice enhancement

Hospital privileges were a hot topic for the reference committee on practice enhancement.

Adopted Resolution No. 304 calls on AAFP to oppose health insurance companies “privileging physicians based solely on their hospital privileges and hospital credentials.” The new rule also resolves that AAFP engage major national health insurance companies to develop methods to credential physicians that do not depend on hospital privileges.

The Congress also adopted Substitute Resolution No. 305, which calls on the AAFP to collaborate with the Joint Commission and other appropriate entities to create policy stating that hospitals remove undue barriers and restriction of privileges to hospitals and intensive care units for qualified family physicians who practice hospital medicine.

Delegates requested amendments to a resolution that called on AAFP to oppose nonphysician health care professionals making credentialing or privileging decisions regarding family physicians and that the AAFP oppose the use of nonphysician health care professionals in providing consultations requested of other physicians. The Congress could not agree on a final wording of the resolution.

Douglas J. Gruenbacher, MD, a Kansas delegate who works in a small hospital, said, “We actually credential in our hospital radiologists, orthopedists ... urologists. Do I know what they know? So we have to have many of our nonphysician providers, our nurse practitioners, help us. ... Should they be independent? No, of course not, but they do play an important part of our team.”

Douglas W. Curran, MD, a delegate from Texas, said, “I think we continue to give away stuff without taking care of ourselves. I have seen it for 4 years and, as result, we have seen this expansion of second-class care for people. ... Those are huge decisions, especially thinking about who’s going to do what in our hospitals. That includes small hospitals; I practice in a small hospital. I get all of that.”

After much debate, the Congress voted in favor of referring two proposed amendments to the board.

The Congress also adopted an amended version of Substitute Resolution No. 303, which calls on AAFP to support insurance coverage of acupuncture for pain control when ordered by a licensed physician or licensed collaborating advanced clinician on their practice team.

Education

Multipronged Substitute Resolution No. 606 – adopted by the Congress – aims to address racial inequities in medical education. Specifically, it calls on AAFP to do the following:

  • Instruct the Liaison Committee for Medical Education to add race to its existing Cultural Competence and Health Care Disparities section 7.6 of Functions and Structure of a Medical School: Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree.
  • Ask the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to adopt an antiracism policy that includes corresponding curricular requirements,
  • Develop and implement a policy on training in racism and implicit bias for officeholders and commission members.
  • Take an active stance against racism when racist events occur within the medical community.

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