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Resident Forum
February 4, 1998

AMA House of Delegates Adopts Resolutions, Part 1

Author Affiliations

Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident Physicians Services, American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1998;279(5):342U. doi:10.1001/jama.279.5.342

At the 1997 American Medical Association Interim Meeting, the House of Delegates considered many issues of importance to the Resident Physicians Section. The most important topic concerned collective negotiations between residents and training institutions. This has many implications for resident working conditions and the ability of residents to provide high quality patient care. It is a complex subject that will be discussed in greater detail in a future Resident Forum.

The resolutions summarized below concern House actions on funding for graduate medical education, resident contracts, and the residency application process. Next week's Resident Forum will summarize resolutions concerning resident benefits and public health issues. A complete summary of all House actions is available through the AMA web page at www.ama-assn.org/meetings/public/int97/.

Medicare Voluntary Residency Reduction Incentive Program expresses the House's concern over the nationwide expansion of the New York Medicare Demonstration Project because the project's end results on patient care are not yet known. The New York Medicare Demonstration Project provides a financial incentive to a teaching institution to encourage the institution to cut the number of residents it trains. The resolution calls on the AMA to research the project's effect on patient care.

Planning for Mergers/Acquisitions of Teaching Hospitals asks the AMA to study the impact of hospital mergers and acquisitions on the education of medical students and residents.

Compensation for Teaching Physicians by Non-Medicare Payors opposes private payor use of Medicare rules regarding reimbursement of teaching physicians for supervision of resident physician services unless the payor also contributes to the financing of graduate medical education on a scale proportionate with Medicare's contribution to graduate medical education.

Revision of PATH Audit Rules asks the AMA to study and, if necessary, work toward revising the Health Care Financing Administration documentation guidelines regarding Medicare payments to physicians for supervising residents. This issue was referred to the AMA Board of Trustees for a decision because the Board is already working on a closely related issue.

Graduate Medical Education (GME) Funding for Preventive Medicine Residencies calls on the AMA to assist the Secretary of Health and Human Services with efforts to ensure funding for these residency programs.

Restrictive Covenants in Residency and Fellowship Training Programs calls on the AMA to work with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to prohibit restrictive covenants in residency and fellowship contracts. This issue is being considered as a new requirement by ACGME at its February 1998 meeting.

A related resolution, Restrictive Covenant Information Dissemination calls on the AMA to require that residency programs include information on their use of restrictive covenants on the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access (FREIDA). If the ACGME does prohibit restrictive covenants for residents, this resolution would become irrelevant.

Exposure to Residency Contracts for First Year Residents Prior to Match Day calls on the AMA to ask the ACGME to require residency programs to provide each medical student who applies to that program with a copy of a representative contract before the student's interview.

Notification of Interview Decision to Residency Program Applicants asks the AMA to strongly encourage residency programs to inform applicants in a timely manner about their interview status and provide a time frame of notification dates in the application materials.

Opposition of Central Data Collections of Resident Physicians Named in Malpractice Suits asks the AMA to implement current policy that seeks to limit the reporting of residents to the National Practitioner Data Bank unless a final adverse action has been taken by a medical licensing jurisdiction.