The judicial challenges to the PPACA have now run their course – with a result surprising to most.  While the legislative debate (and rhetoric) will continue through the election cycle, the many aspects of this unwieldy and complex piece of legislation become even more embedded into the processes of healthcare delivery.

To many, this legislation represents a ‘start’ and it will undoubtedly evolve over time.  The Supreme Court decision affirms that health care reform is here to stay.  Healthcare services will be increasingly ‘value-driven’ and supported by improving metrics, increasing transparency and more sophisticated analysis.

Now, more than ever, physicians must gain an understanding of the very real and difficult issues of health care.  We must become more involved in promoting positive changes, pursuing innovation and working together as teams.  We must continue to support fair and reasonable changes to tort reform – that support both the physician and those who incur avoidable harm in our systems.   It is likewise important to hear the views of other constituents – individuals, employers, payers and others.  This is only the beginning of a new era in medicine and along with the many challenges, so are there opportunities.  There is no better time for physicians to become engaged and to make a difference.  Join us at the SMA’s Healthcare Summit on November 16-17 to learn, to share and help shape our collective futures.

Mark S. Williams, MD, MBA, JD, CPE
Chair, SMA’s Coordinating Committee on Quality and
Co-Chair, SMA 2012 Healthcare Summit

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