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Internists release policy paper on medical liability crisis

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Internists release policy paper on medical liability crisis
Source: American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released a policy paper on the medical liability crisis, which continues to have a profound effect on the medical system. “Medical Liability Reform — Innovative Solutions for a New Health Care System” (PDF) provides an update of the medical liability landscape, state-based activity on medical liability reform, and summarizes traditional and newer reform proposals and their ability to affect system efficiency and encourage patient safety.

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Internal Medicine Physicians Recommend Principles on Role of Governments and Legislation in Regulating Patient-Physician Relationship

August 8, 2012 Comments off

Internal Medicine Physicians Recommend Principles on Role of Governments and Legislation in Regulating Patient-Physician Relationship

Source: American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released a paper, Statement of Principles on the Role of Governments in Regulating the Patient-Physician Relationship, which recommends principles for the role of federal and state governments in health care and the patient-physician relationship.

“The physician’s first and primary duty is to put the patient first,” David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of ACP, said. “To accomplish this duty, physicians and the medical profession have been granted by government a privileged position in society.”

Dr. Bronson noted, though, that “some recent laws and proposed legislation appear to inappropriately infringe on clinical medical practice and patient-physician relationships, crossing traditional boundaries and intruding into the realm of medical professionalism.”

Pointing to examples in ACP’s paper, he expressed concern about laws that interfere, or have the potential to interfere, with appropriate clinical practice by:

  • prohibiting physicians from discussing with or asking their patients about risk factors that may affect their health or the health of their families, as recommended by evidence-based guidelines of care;
  • requiring physicians to discuss specific practices that in the physician’s best clinical judgment are not individualized to the patient;
  • requiring physicians to provide diagnostic tests or medical interventions that are not supported by evidence or clinical relevance; or
  • limiting information that physicians can disclose to patients.

Physicians Call for Improvements to Country’s Public Health System to Protect U.S. Residents

April 25, 2012 Comments off

Physicians Call for Improvements to Country’s Public Health System to Protect U.S. Residents
Source: American College of Physicians

A call for an improved public health infrastructure that works collaboratively with physicians in order to ensure the public’s safety and health was made today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The action was highlighted by the release of a new policy paper, Strengthening the Public Health Infrastructure, at Internal Medicine 2012, ACP’s annual scientific meeting in New Orleans.

“This paper points out that strengthening the public health infrastructure is imperative to ensure that the appropriate health care services are available to meet the population’s health care needs and to respond to public health emergencies,” said Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, MACP, president of ACP. “A strong public health infrastructure provides the capacity to prepare for and respond to both acute and chronic threats to the nation’s health, yet ill-advised budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels pose a grave threat to the health of U.S. residents.”

ACP’s paper makes the case for adequate investments in public health, which is the practice of preventing diseases and promoting good health within groups of people. Public health depends on an underlying foundation, or infrastructure, to support the planning, delivery, and evaluation of public health activities and practices. Public health works to protect and improve the health of communities through education, policy development, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research. It concentrates on the health of the population, rather than care of the individual patient, although these are becoming more intertwined as non-communicable diseases are becoming a priority focus for both population and patient-directed care.

The paper calls for adequate funding for the public health infrastructure, but recognizes that the tight budget environment requires that funding be prioritized. It makes the case that the consequences of underfunding essential and effective programs that prevent diseases and promote good health within groups of people would be an unwise, and ultimately very costly, use of limited resources. The paper recommends that funding priority be based on assessment of which programs have demonstrated effectiveness in achieving key public health objectives.

+ Full Document (PDF)

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