Former California Medical Association (CMA) trustee, Francis J. Crosson, M.D., has been tapped to lead the American Medical Association's (AMA) new division of Professional Satisfaction, Care Delivery and Payment.
During the AMA's annual House of Delegates meeting in June, the association's new executive vice president and CEO, James L. Madara, M. D., introduced a five-year plan that focuses on the goals of improving health outcomes, reshaping medical student education for greater alignment with today’s health care marketplace, and enhancing physician satisfaction and practice sustainability. During his address to the delegates, Dr. Madara also announced the creation of a new executive position, manned by Dr. Crosson, established to help AMA reach these goals. Dr. Crosson is familiar to many California physicians as senior advisor for health policy for the Permanente Medical Group. He has also served on many boards and committees within the state and across the country. He was a member of the CMA Board of Trustees for nine years. He is the past chair of the governing board of the American Medical Group Association and founded the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an AMGA affiliate. He served on the congressional Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). He was vice-chairman of MedPAC from 2009-2010.
"As a pediatrician and long-term practicing physician and executive at Kaiser Permanente, Jay brings the AMA extensive real world experience in care-delivery systems and physician satisfaction," Dr. Madara said to the AMA delegates. "The important work Jay will lead will enable the AMA and individual physicians to advance policies and practices that enhance physician satisfaction, empirically defined, while delivering the quality care and value our patients deserve."
He began his new job with the AMA on July 1, 2012. And while the task that has been set out for him may appear daunting, "we know a lot about what causes physicians dissatisfaction," says Dr. Crosson. "What we really want to find out is ‘what is working.’ "
Dr. Crosson says his goal is to identify modes of medical practice that increase physicians satisfaction to the point they are willing to recommend that their children go into medicine rather than encouraging them to do something else.
His group will work with state medical associations to identify models that work. "We are targeting a small number of states that represent all types of [medical] practice from rural to suburban to inner city," says Dr. Crosson. "We will research this, conduct an analysis and look at the literature to back this up and then we will disseminate what we have found to our membership."
Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), he says "many physicians will need to make changes [to their practices] in order to be well represented in the industry." His job will be to help physicians prepare for changes, and more importantly to lead those changes. "We will be looking at how all physicians can find a way to a satisfying and sustainable practice structure and prepare for new payment models, if that is what they wish to do." he says.
Dr. Crosson says he expects to examine physician groups that are aligned with hospitals, single specialty groups, multiple specialty groups, large and small specialty groups and individuals in practice.
The results of this study will inform AMA’s leadership on practical and tested methods to help physicians manage and lead the evolving health system. Crosson says the AMA wants to help doctors think about and change their practices, "in proactive ways that both improve patient outcomes while positioning their practices for sustainability."