Patient-Centered Collaborative Holds Summit Meeting

October 21, 2010
Several members of the AOA staff and I traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative’s (PCPCC) Annual Summit meeting, taking place 10/21/10. Over 400 attendees representing medical associations, providers, health plans, employers, and federal/state bodies, attended to learn about system-wide reforms to create the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care. Collaboration among key health care stakeholders present is critical for success. Key speakers included Peter Lee, Director of the HHS Office of Delivery System Reform, and Vincenzo Costigliola, President of the European Medical Association. Michael Zarski, JD, the AOA’s Chief Information Officer and CEO of the AOA Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), presented at the meeting regarding HFAP’s efforts to recognize and accredit PCMH providers and care centers.

Teamwork Supported on Collaborative Calls

October 13, 2010
To encourage teamwork among family members, the AOA convened two separate conference calls of the state and specialty osteopathic medical associations, respectively, as we all prepare for OMED 2010 Unified. Topics discussed on both calls included the Phase III Strategic Planning Retreat Session to be held on 10/23/10 in San Francisco, the AOA’s planned launch of our new website, and participation in our joint programs, including ROME (Regional Osteopathic Medical Education) and AHP (Advocacy for Healthy Partnerships) meetings. In addition, specialty leaders inquired how the AOA will facilitate appropriate registration adjustments at OMED. State associations asked about the best way to educate osteopathic medical students about federal healthcare reform, including whether AOA speakers were available to address students (they are) and other joint meeting opportunities.

Federally Qualified Health Centers in the News

October 11, 2010
In other webinar news, the AOA Bureau of Hospitals (BOH), the AOA Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), and the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME) are working as a team to sponsor a series of collaborative webcasts to help you learn more about FQHCs. The first webcast will take place on 10/12/10 on the topic of "Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Relationships." Participants will learn the FQHC basics, including an overview of the health center "movement;" key federal requirements that differentiate FQHCs from other primary care providers; and the unique benefits that FQHCs enjoy. Future webcasts will focus on maximizing the benefits of FQHC status through collaborative arrangements and FQHC collaborations with residency programs. Register for this free webcast today!

Presidential Teamwork Theme Advanced

October 08, 2010
AOA President Karen J. Nichols, DO, visited AOA Headquarters on 10/6/10 for a series of meetings to advance her theme of “Teamwork” in the AOA family and with other health care stakeholders, including a conference call with HHS Director of Delivery System Reform, Peter Lee, as reported earlier this week. To return the favor, so to speak, I visited the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine on 10/7/10 to give a presentation at the 63rd Annual Ward E. Perrin Clinical Refresher Course during their Alumni Reunion Weekend. My remarks focused on the legislative process to enact health care reform through the Affordable Care Act and AOA’s efforts to implement and improve the law in the six-months since it was enacted. Much discussion focused on the need to reform physician payment mechanisms and the medical liability system, two of the AOA’s highest priorities.

Trustee Addresses Comparative Effectiveness Research

October 08, 2010
Yesterday, AOA Trustee Robert S. Juhasz, DO, addressed osteopathic physicians during the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) inaugural Web Conference on its Effective Health Care Program. Dr. Juhasz described how he uses comparative effectiveness research in his medical practice to discuss the best treatment options with his patients. Also featured were presentations from AHRQ Evidence-Based Practice Center investigators on the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and adding ACEIs and/or ARBs to standard therapy for stable ischemic heart disease. If you were unable to join the conference, it will be posted on the AOA Web site. See policy notes below for related news.

HHS Hosts Osteopathic Conference Call on Health Care Innovations

October 06, 2010
AOA President Karen J. Nichols, DO, several members of the AOA Board of Trustees, three AOA Bureaus, Councils and Committees, and representatives of our state and specialty osteopathic medical associations participated in a conference call today with Peter Lee, Director of Delivery System Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The call focused on new and innovative health care delivery system reforms authorized by the Affordable Care Act, including an expansion of the patient-centered medical home in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, creation of Accountable Care Organizations, and new programs to reduce administrative burdens and waste. As delivery system reform is a top priority for the AOA, this call provided our leaders with important background on the work HHS is conducting and the impact new delivery models will have upon DOs and their patients.

AOA and AHRQ Collaborate to Host Webinar

October 06, 2010
If you have not done so already, you are encouraged to register to attend the Web conference, "Applying Existing Evidence to Osteopathic Practice," jointly sponsored by the AOA and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Effective Health Care (EFC) Program at 12 p.m. EST on 10/7/10. This inaugural event will highlight AHRQ's existing comparative effectiveness research on treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee and ischemic heart disease. Researchers from the EHC Program's evidence-based practice centers will present two reports. In addition, AOA Trustee Robert S. Juhasz, DO, medical director at the Cleveland Clinic's Willoughby Hills Family Health Center, will share his views on the importance of using comparative effectiveness research in daily practice. This is the first event AHRQ's EHC Program has hosted for an individual association. Join the Web conference at noon Eastern tomorrow by visiting this link!

President Nichols Addresses Federal Health Care Leaders

October 05, 2010
AOA President Karen J. Nichols, DO, visited Washington, DC, on 10/4/10 to participate in the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation's (NDHI) first Summit on Physician-Industry Collaboration. Physician and industry thought-leaders from around the country engaged in a vigorous debate and shared ideas about how to create a positive innovation environment for the benefit of patients. When called upon to speak at the Summit, President Nichols emphasized the need to stay focused on what is best for the patient and to let that guide all decision-making. The Healthcare Leadership Council, which sponsored the Summit, plans to build on the ideas expressed and develop a set of recommendations to move forward.

Teamwork to Support Two DC Health Events

September 30, 2010
Speaking of strategic pathways, “teamwork” led the AOA to support two fundraising events in Washington, DC, this month. We were a “Candy Striper” sponsor of The Children’s Inn at NIH’s 22nd Annual Gala Dinner. The Inn provides a home-like setting for pediatric patients and their families while children undergo groundbreaking medical treatments at the NIH. The AOA also supported the Alliance for Aging Research’s 17th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards Dinner. The Alliance promotes medical and behavioral research into the aging process. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins each received the Indispensable Partnership of the Year Award.

AHRQ and AOA Host Inaugural Web Conference on 10/7/10

September 29, 2010
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program and the AOA are collaborating to present a Web conference, Applying Existing Evidence to Osteopathic Practice, on Thursday, 10/7/10, from 12–1 p.m. Eastern. This inaugural event will highlight AHRQ’s existing comparative effectiveness research on treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee and ischemic heart disease. Researchers from the EHC Program’s Evidence-based Practice Centers will present reports. In addition, Dr. Juhasz, medical director at the Cleveland Clinic’s Willoughby Hills Family Health Center, will share his views on the importance of using comparative effectiveness research in daily practice. This is the first event AHRQ’s EHC Program has hosted for an individual association. We hope you will be able to participate in the Web conference; to do so, click this link on 10/7/10. (No registration is required.)

Teamwork on Osteopathic Examination and Licensure

September 27, 2010
Yesterday President Nichols and I attended the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) Liaison Committee meeting in Conshohocken, PA. This collaborative meeting united representatives from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners, the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S., the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators, the AOA Council of Interns & Resident, and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association, among others, to discuss developments in the world of osteopathic examination and licensure. In particular, we discussed how our “team” of osteopathic leaders can provide support for NBOME initiatives in their continued search for excellence in osteopathic education, examination, licensure and practice.

Teamwork to Present Free Webcast

September 24, 2010
The AOA Bureau of Hospitals (BOH), Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME) are working as a team to sponsor a series of collaborative webcasts to help you learn more about FQHCs. The first webcast will take place on 10/12/10 on the topic of "Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Relationships." Participants will learn the FQHC basics, including an overview of the health center "movement;" key federal requirements that differentiate FQHCs from other primary care providers; and the unique benefits that FQHCs enjoy. Future webcasts will focus on maximizing the benefits of FQHC status through collaborative arrangements and FQHC collaborations with residency programs. Register for this free webcast today!

Teamwork and Advocacy in our Nation's Capital

September 23, 2010
President Nichols and President-elect Martin S. Levine, DO, joined me in Washington, DC, today for several advocacy and teamwork meetings. This morning President Nichols met with Senator Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK), and I met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to discuss AOA policies on health care reform and priority issues that still need to be addressed, including repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment policy and medical malpractice reform. Later we met with leadership from the American Academy of Physician Assistants to discuss how our organizations could collaborate to advance team-based medical care, following which we represented the AOA at a meeting of the American Osteopathic Information Association's Board of Directors.

PCPCC Strategic Planning Session

September 22, 2010
I am in our Nation's Capital today representing the AOA at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative's Board of Directors Strategic Planning Meeting, taking place today in Washington, DC. As Chair of the PCPCC, I led my fellow Board Members-including leadership from the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the McKesson Corporation, among others-through an agenda aimed at developing a strategic direction for the PCPCC and launching the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) concept nationwide. Discussions focused on the 2010 PCPCC Strategic Plan; the PCPCC organizational structure; and using the PCMH to transform our health care delivery system in order to provide patients, purchasers, physicians and other health providers with better health, better care, and better value.

Teamwork to Present Free Webcast

September 20, 2010
The AOA Bureau of Hospitals (BOH), Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME) are working as a team to sponsor a series of collaborative webcasts to help you learn more about FQHCs. The first webcast will take place on 10/12/10 on the topic of "Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Relationships." Participants will learn the FQHC basics, including an overview of the health center "movement;" key federal requirements that differentiate FQHCs from other primary care providers; and the unique benefits that FQHCs enjoy. Future webcasts will focus on maximizing the benefits of FQHC status through collaborative arrangements and FQHC collaborations with residency programs. Register for this free webcast today!