This post was contributed by Ami A. Shah, MD, American College of Radiology (ACR) Alternate Delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates
I recently had the honor and responsibility of serving as an ACR alternate delegate to the AMA House of Delegates. I stress “responsibility” because what is decided at these meetings can impact our practices and our patients for years to come.
For example, this year, the ACR and the AMA Radiology Section Council supported AMA Resolution 803, brought by the AMA resident and fellows section, which urged support for access to — and insurance coverage for — supplemental screening (MRI, ultrasound, etc.) for women with dense breasts.
In my testimony, I educated the AMA delegates on the federal mandate to report breast density. I also informed them that many states, including my own, require me to send a letter to patients informing them that their breast tissue is dense and instructing them to “Use this information to talk to you doctor about your own risks for breast cancer. At this time, ask your doctor if more screening tests might be useful, based on your risk. A report of your results was sent to your physician.”
I stated that the ACR holds that mammography and appropriate supplemental screening exams should be covered by insurers. Otherwise, there may be an unfortunate disparity between women who can afford to pay for additional screening and those who cannot.
The ACR and AMA recognize the importance of collaboration across specialties to improve the delivery of, and access to, quality patient care.
I learned a great deal about the importance of radiology participation in the AMA. Engaging the entire house of medicine can help many of our patients.
As health care evolves toward value-based, patient- and family-centered care, radiologists have unique opportunities to shape medical policy and improve the patient experience.
I strongly urge you to consider taking part in your ACR state chapter, on ACR commissions and committees, and/or representing our profession through active involvement in your state medical society.
Together, we can build a better health care future for our practices and our patients.
- How can the ACR engage more members to become AMA members and ensure that radiology’s vital role in patient care and population health is known by the rest of the house of medicine?
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