On October 5, 2012, Mike Schweitzer, M.D., M.B.A., represented ASA at a special White House "Physician Specialties and Delivery System Transformation Roundtable Discussion." Key health care policy leaders from the White House, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were present including:
- Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy
- Michael Hash, Director of Health Reform, HHS
- Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare
- Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director, Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, CMS
- Richard J. Giliffan, M.D., Director, CMS Innovation Center
- Nancy Nielsen, M.D., Senior Adviser to the Secretary of HHS
These policy leaders opened the discussion by noting the commitment to improving delivery systems in health care. They highlighted recent efforts such as the CMS Innovation Center, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and other shared-savings initiatives. Acknowledging gaps exist in the Administration's current initiatives, these leaders explained the purpose of this roundtable was to seek physician input in identifying health care delivery gaps and hear about proposed improvement projects that address these gaps.
Representing ASA, Dr. Schweitzer raised the issue of the general lack of inclusion of hospital-based physicians in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and general inability to participate in the benefits of shared-savings programs. He explained that hospital-based physicians, such as anesthesiologists, have a significant role to serve in improving the quality of care as well as in reducing cost.
Speaking from his experience with establishing patient-centered medical home programs, Dr. Schweitzer highlighted the potential value in using models of coordinated care in the acute care setting. Specifically, he asked these leaders to consider ASA's Perioperative Surgical Home™ model for coordinated care, highlighting anesthesiologist's unique role in the acute care setting.