AMA weighs doc-led team-based care

The American Medical Association (AMA) may endorse physician-led team-based care, according to Forbes.

The AMA wants doctors to serve as "quarterbacks" of healthcare teams, according to the article, a controversial stance as other health professionals such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners step into expanded roles in healthcare in response to the physician shortage, and as the Affordable Care Act gives Americans access to more healthcare services.

The AMA believes "physician-led care teams" have the greatest potential for American healthcare. During the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, members will consider a report from the Council on Medical Service, which the organization will debate, and possibly endorse or amend, at its House of Delegates meeting.

The report recommends that "medical teams are led by physicians who have ultimate responsibility and authority to carry out final decisions about the composition of the team," according to the article.

"The AMA continues to look to innovative physician-led team models by some of the nation's top healthcare systems across the country that are achieving improved care and patient health, while reducing costs as evidence that physician-led, team-based models of care are the future of American healthcare," the AMA said in a statement to Forbes.

Other medical professional groups object to the proposal; the American Association of Nurse Practitioners told Forbes it rejects the "overarching premise that physicians are best suited to lead healthcare teams," saying that team-based care should instead be "a multi-disciplinary, non-hierarchical collaborative centered around a patient's needs."

Healthcare professional groups have long debated physicians' role in team-based care, with many physicians saying it jeopardizes team-based care to expand nurse practitioners' scope of practice, FierceHealthcare previously reported. This is a common theme in scope of practice controversies, such as a recent law expanding New York nurse practitioners' authority to practice independently.

To learn more:
- read the article