AMA: A new initiative to improve health outcomes

AMA: A new initiative to improve health outcomes A guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com.

While the patient populations of individual physician practices vary greatly, nearly all physicians – regardless of practice location or specialty – see patients who have diabetes or cardiovascular disease or are at risk for developing them. Because cardiovascular disease accounts for one third of all deaths in the U.S., and 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, the American Medical Association (AMA) has launched a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative to reduce the prevalence of these two diseases and improve outcomes for those already living with these conditions.

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes cause a tremendous amount of human suffering and the costs associated with the conditions are staggering. We will begin this initiative by first addressing the key risk factors for these conditions: high blood pressure and prediabetes.

One in three American adults has high blood pressure, the number one risk factor worldwide for disability and death. The AMA will partner with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, a research institute within Johns Hopkins Medicine, to help meet and exceed the goal of the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Million Hearts®” initiative to bring the high blood pressure of 10 million more Americans under control by 2017. We will initially focus on improving outcomes for the 30 million people with hypertension who are receiving medical care but do not have their blood pressure under control. The AMA, working side-by-side with physicians and care teams, patients and families, communities and public health agencies, will seek to better understand the reasons for uncontrolled hypertension, find meaningful solutions and share lessons learned across the nation.

One in three U.S. adults has prediabetes, and those with this condition are at greatly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Our initial efforts will be in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program. In partnership with the YMCA of the USA, the AMA will work to increase physician referrals of patients with prediabetes to the evidence-based prevention programs offered by the Y that help increase physical activity, improve diet and achieve moderate weight loss. We have researched barriers to referrals and we will use this information to help physicians and medical practice staff, local Ys and other organizations develop new, streamlined approaches to getting patients at risk in diabetes prevention programs.

As physicians, we see firsthand how proper medical interventions coupled with the utilization of community resources can dramatically reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease and diabetes on our population. As the largest physician organization in the nation, the AMA is uniquely positioned to join the efforts currently underway to tackle these diseases, reduce health care spending and create a healthier America.

Jeremy Lazarus is president, American Medical Association.

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  • Guest

    “As the largest physician organization in the nation, the AMA…”

    What percentage of physicians actually belong to the AMA…?
    How many of them does the AMA actually represent?

  • DavidBehar

    I am a member of the AMA. I can attest they are all craven, left wing collaborators with the enemies of clinical care. They look out only for themselves, as in the officers personally. Any dissent from their suicidal policies will get crushed. They say, do not complain if you do not participate. Try participating, it is futile. They cannot be turned from their big government, Chicago gangland culture and policies. My friends call me a child for still hanging in there. This is a Communist front organization seeking the destruction of clinical care, and perhaps of America as we know it. There is no government initiative they do not support no matter how destructive of the profession.

    Little historical note. Roe v Wade was plagiarized from an AMA resolution, word for word. They are responsible for the slaughter of the millions of third trimester babies taken since that decision.

  • meyati

    I personally resent the tunnel vision created by this type of hype. Fad medicine is dangerous to the patient, the doctor is forced by peer and medical association to see the patient as a one dimensional object. I joined a senior care health plan-complete with a hospital. The induction questionnaire didn’t ask about family history of cancer or how long lived my family lived. I asked why the questionnaire didn’t mention cancer. I was told that diabetes, heart problems, etc were the real danger. I finally got nagged into taking a statin for lipids. I have statin toxicity. It hurts so much to vacuum the house, walk the dogs. It damaged my Achilles tendons. A year later I was diagnosed with a rare aggressive terminal cancer. I had surgery and radiation. The statin toxicity bothers me more than the cancer at this point. During radiation I needed to drink whole milk, eat 3 eggs a day, eat lots of cheese, yogurt, beef stew to gum without losing teeth. On a day that i felt mean, I replied to an Email from my PCP with-I’m eating the required 3 eggs a day, soups made with whole milk, cottage cheese-and why did you put me on statins? One grandfather was 98 and was run over by a speeder in front of the bus depot, one grandmother was 99 and slipped on a freshly waxed floor during a blizzard and froze to death, another grandmother died in a car wreck when she was over a 100, and another grandfather was 96 and he accidently shot himself while crossing a fence while he was pheasant hunting-he also used a long handle scythe to cut grass and weeds down for the old neighbors in their 60s that couldn’t take care of themselves. My father died from cancer 3 weeks after his 40th birthday. I was fatigued from the statin before the cancer. The cancer is on my face-but my legs and thighs hurt so much from the statin toxicity.

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