I had the privilege of attending this year’s AMGA (American Medical Group Association) Annual Conference in New Orleans, to learn and share with hundreds of colleagues in the medical group industry. Many expert presenters shared their insights and an outlook on the future of healthcare, including Dr. Atul Gawande, Bill George, Kenneth Novak and Dan Heath just to name a few. The overarching theme resonating through these gentlemen’s presentations and the many other peer breakout sessions was unanimous, healthcare is changing…fast! While most of us are uncertain regarding the direction it will take and how the new Reform Act will affect the industry as a whole, down to the single physician-patient relationship, one thing is certain and that is it will change.
I found it interesting that the attitude conveyed to the attendees of the conference was not that of fear, apprehension or worry, rather it was an attitude of taking control and driving the future for patients, physicians and medical groups alike. My fellow attendees and I were eager to hear how we should adapt to this change, however, we were not given a road map to navigate the path; instead, we were challenged to step up and take charge ourselves. Dr. Gawande shared numerous stories regarding physicians across the country standing up and taking complete responsibility for the holistic care and well-being of their patients and he suggested each healthcare professional in the audience be ready to do the same for each of their patients. Healthcare is a local business, it matters most the three feet between the physician and the patient; that three feet is the responsibility of us all, administrators, consultants, physicians and patients to affect the outcomes and experiences for the better.
Leaving the conference, I feel optimistic in regards to the future of healthcare in this country (what can I say, I like to look at the glass half full rather than half empty) and believe that the many talented professionals we have working in our healthcare system today can, will and are already, stepping up to the needs of the patients and looking to affect outcomes for the better. I’m looking forward to watching this new Reform Act continue to unfold and hearing the feedback at next year’s AMGA Annual Conference at the Gaylord Hotel in Washington, D.C. I’m sure it will be a lively discussion and new ideas will be shared to motivate and inspire us as professionals in the industry to continue to put the focus of healthcare where it needs to be: on the patient.
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