AMA Chooses Oncologist Dr Barbara McAneny to Lead as President-Elect

The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced its choice of Barbara McAneny, MD, to lead as president-elect, making her the first oncologist to take the reins of the nation’s largest physician organization.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced its choice of Barbara McAneny, MD, to lead as president-elect, making her the first oncologist to take the reins of the nation’s largest physician organization.

McAneny is known for her work with developing the COME HOME model within New Mexico Hematology Oncology Consultants, a multidisciplinary cancer center where she is chief medical officer. COME HOME, which received a grant from CMS’ Innovation Center, “was developed to meet the Triple Aim by working on the parts of the healthcare system that physicians can actually control—the site of service and the care we give,” McAneny wrote in The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) in 2013.

COME HOME is an oncology medical home model that aims to prevent complications and hospital admissions by practicing patient-centered medicine, improving efficiency, and emphasizing early intervention. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recognized the program’s potential and began a partnership with McAneny’s company, Innovative Oncology Business Solutions, in the hopes of improving the delivery of community oncology care.

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“With ASCO's ability to send out people to do surveys, and our ability to teach people how to use triage pathways and the other parts of COME HOME to really enhance care, I think we can really give a path forward for community practices across the country,” McAneny explained in a recent interview with AJMC® adding that she was “very excited” about the collaboration.

ASCO was equally excited about McAneny’s new job as president-elect of AMA, as the group’s president, Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, issued a statement congratulating its former board member.

“The awareness Dr. McAneny brings, as an oncologist at the helm of the largest physician association, will benefit patients and providers broadly,” Johnson wrote. “I am delighted that she has been elected to represent the entire physician community and certain that her broad expertise and insight on today's challenging healthcare environment will greatly benefit the practice of medicine and our patients.”

McAneny has been a staunch advocate of alternative payment models such as ASCO’s Patient-Centered Oncology Payment (PCOP) Model. In the April 2017 issue of Evidence-Based Oncology™, she and her co-authors contributed an article explaining that the program represents a move away from the fee-for-service paradigm towards “reimbursing oncology professionals for performing high-value care improving activities that had not been compensated previously.”

Today’s vote of approval from physicians attending the AMA’s Annual Meeting indicates that clinicians are interested in embracing such alternative payment models, as McAneny is expected to encourage wider implementation of these ideas when she becomes president in June 2018 after a year as president-elect.

“The AMA will play a pivotal role in the changing health care environment as our nation confronts pressing health care issues,” she said in the announcement. “With vision and perseverance, I look forward to creating a brighter future for patients and the medical profession."