Report from the AMA House of Delegates: AMA Supports Public Listing of Nursing Home Medical Directors
During this year’s American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates meeting, held in Chicago June 10-15, the Society introduced several resolutions for consideration. The Society introduced a resolution, Public Listing of Medical Directors for Nursing Facilities, that asked the AMA to advocate for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote health care transparency and consumer access to quality health care by hosting a public listing of medical directors of all nursing facilities (NFs) in the country. The AMA agreed and adopted the resolution, noting there is often difficult for caregivers of nursing facility patients to access the name and contact information for medical directors—information that is important for continuity of care purposes, as well as addressing quality issues in a timely fashion.
Another resolution introduced by the Society was Senior Living Community Training for Medical Students and Residents. The AMA amended and passed the resolution to “encourage development of opportunities for medical students and resident/fellow physicians to train in senior living communities (for example, nursing homes and assisted living facilities), as appropriate to the education objectives of the program.”
Lastly, the Society introduced a resolution, HPSA and MUA Designation for SNFs, asking the AMA to advocate for legislative action directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to designate all skilled nursing facilities, irrespective of their geographic location, as health professional shortage areas and/or medically underserved areas to facilitate recruitment and retention of health professionals using the usual and customary support made available for such designations. After hearing mixed testimony, the AMA referred the resolution, noting that while there is a lack of incentives for workers in senior living communities, the AMA has ample policy addressing these types of needs in rural and underserved areas.
The Society thanks its lead delegate, Karl Steinberg, MD, HMDC, CMD; its alternate delegate, Rajeev Kumar, MD, FACP, CMD; and Alex Bardakh, MPP, CAE, AMDA’s director of public policy and advocacy for their work at the meeting.
The Society looks forward to working with AMA to implement these important policies.