American Medicine Voices Support for AAFP Report on Physician-Led, Team-Based Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Contact:
Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5224
lchampli@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — America’s top medical organizations have voiced their support for a new report saying the U.S. health care system can meet the nation’s demand for primary care by fully implementing the physician-led patient centered medical home. The report, “Primary Care for the 21st Century,” was released today by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Organization each issued statements of support for the report, which says health reform is moving rapidly toward team-based care and warns against substituting nurse practitioners for physicians as a stop-gap answer to the primary care physician shortage.

American Academy of Pediatrics

“The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that the optimal care of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults is delivered within the patient-centered medical home model by a physician-led team comprised of appropriately documented and trained clinicians,” said AAP President Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP.

American Medical Association

“The AMA commends the AAFP for their outstanding work on this timely subject,” said Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, president of the American Medical Association. “The AMA and AAFP recognize that the physician-led team approach to care is key to ensuring patients receive high quality, cost effective care, and most Americans agree. According to a recent AMA survey, 86 percent of respondents said that patients benefit when a physician leads the primary care team. Physicians and other health professionals have long worked together to meet patient needs for a reason — the physician-led team approach to care works. Patients win when each member of their health care team plays the role they are educated and trained to play. ”

American Osteopathic Association
“As the professional organization representing more than 100,000 DOs and osteopathic medical students, the American Osteopathic Association recognizes the important role of a team approach to health care for our patients,” said AOA Executive Director John B. Crosby, JD. "While there is an unarguable need for more primary care providers in this country, this report underscores our belief that a team led by a fully licensed physician — DO or MD — is the best way to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care.”

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).