American Medical Association President David Barbe, MD, MHA, provided an update on the activities of the AMA — from protecting patients’ access to quality care to addressing chronic health and opioid misuse issues, along with physician burnout — during the Dec. 5 annual meeting of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County.
Kansas Medical Society President Robert Gibbs, MD; American Medical Association President David Barbe, MD; 2018 Medical Society of Sedgwick County (MSSC) President Jed Delmore, MD; and 2017 MSSC President Denis Knight,DO, spoke at the annual meeting on Dec. 5.
The meeting also served as a fundraiser to support the society’s Project Access initiative, which coordinates care for uninsured Sedgwick County residents. A silent auction, featuring various wines and some locally crafted beer, raised $3,900 for Project Access, which annually supports more than 1,000 patients.
Dr. Barbe, a small-town Missouri physician who also serves as the Vice President of Regional Operations for Mercy health systems, is no stranger to health care in Wichita: He completed his residency in family medicine at what is now Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph.
The AMA has established a website, PatientsBeforePolitics.org, where it outlines nine objectives to improve health insurance coverage and healthcare access, Dr. Barbe noted in his speech. The AMA remains against repealing the individual mandate, which requires that individuals and companies maintain health insurance for themselves and employees. Other objectives call for improving the ability for low- and moderate-income patients to get affordable and meaningful coverage, to adequately fund programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and to have transparency about how medications are priced, he said.