ACC CEO Dr. Jack Lewin’s Statement on President Obama’s Speech to the American Medical Association

Contact: Amanda Jekowsky,, 202-375-6645

Chicago, IL – The American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) CEO, Jack Lewin, M.D., today released the following statement after attending President Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association:

“I was encouraged by President Obama’s message at the AMA conference here in Chicago and from conversations with my colleagues. We all agree that we must reform our very troubled health care system. The nation is poised to take on this tough issue now.

“What really matters is how we can drive down costs for our patients and for our country, while ensuring patients have quality care. One of the ways we do that is by looking at the way doctors are compensated and reforming the system so that it’s based on the quality of care provided – not the quantity.

“If President Obama, Congress and health care reform advocates are serious, they should be willing to put all of the options on the table, and remember that payment reform and access are parallel issues. In order to address the problem of increasing costs, we must restructure the flawed payment system.

“The idea of a public plan is a legitimate issue to consider, with pros and cons. Regardless, the nation must move forward and expand access and coverage to all Americans, and also use the momentum of reform to fix the SGR, to improve quality of care, and to institute payment reforms that promote quality and effectiveness. These are the key things Americans need. To derail reform over the controversies surrounding a public plan as a single provision is irresponsible. If that issue takes longer to resolve, so be it. But let’s not let one divisive issue otherwise hold back major needed reforms.

“The ACC has proposed a payment reform option through the development of a voluntary, multi-specialty, quality-based physician network that is organized around participation in CMS-approved clinical registries. Under this proposal, physicians would be paid by a combination of budget neutral fee-for-service and virtual bundled bonus payments that rewards effective practice and improved patient outcomes.


The American College of Cardiology is leading the way to optimal cardiovascular care and disease prevention. The College is a 36,000-member nonprofit medical society and bestows the credential Fellow of the American College of Cardiology upon physicians who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at .

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) provides these news reports of clinical studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology as a service to physicians, the media, the public and other interested parties. However, statements or opinions expressed in these reports reflect the view of the author(s) and do not represent official policy of the ACC unless stated so.

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