"Dear Colleague:And so begins a recent e-mail sent to electrophysiologists around the country from the Heart Rhythm Society.
In this era of health care reform, it has been said that when it comes to reimbursement issues, “you are either at the table or on the menu.” President Obama has said that he would like to cut Medicare costs by more than 300 billion dollars in the next 10 years. The Heart Rhythm Society needs to be at the table, and we need your help. To strengthen the Society's ability to represent your interests, we need to gain a seat in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates. This is one of the “tables” where the critical medical policy decisions are being made.
We know that many of you believe that AMA does not always represent your interests. You are not alone. Many physicians across all medical societies struggle with this, including those from societies who are already in the AMA House of Delegates. But it is critical that the Society is in all policymaking arenas to influence the future of EP practice. The AMA House of Delegates opens important doors for us — especially those entities who are in control of identifying Medicare procedures that will be reimbursed and performance measures that will be the basis for Medicare reimbursement in the future."
I find myself at a critical crossroad. Any society that has gone "all-in" as the AMA did with the recent H.R. 3200 because they simply wanted a "seat at the negotiating table" without evaluating the legislation has me deeply concerned. It was clear from the recent AMA House of Delegates meeting that physicians were NOT in agreement with a single payer system, and yet the AMA leadership decided unilaterally in under 24 hours after the first house bill was released to side with the legislation: legislation created more from special interests needs than those of the physicians and patients long term.
And like the push to approve the House Bill before the August recess, I have until 31 August to join the AMA so the Heart Rhythm Society can have a representative at the House of Delegates.
Problem is, it didn't matter for the societies that HAD delegates there before, what makes me think it'll matter now?