ACG President announces telehealth initiative, lauds concrete accomplishments
SAN ANTONIO — In the Presidential Address at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting, Sunanda V. Kane, MD, announced a new initiative in telemedicine for gastroenterology providers and congratulated her peers on their concrete achievements for the year.
“To be your leader during this tumultuous time has been a truly unforgettable experience,” Kane, the outgoing president of ACG, said during her address.
Kane used her presidential address to announce a new member benefit in the form of GI OnDemand.
“Today, I am proud to announce new groundbreaking member benefit initiative, an initiative that addresses physician burnout, reimbursement and patient satisfaction, an initiative that expands your ability to deliver the highest quality patient care that is both flexible and sustainable. This innovative initiative is GI OnDemand, gastroenterology’s virtual care and support platform,” she said.
In cooperation with GastroGirl, ACG will support this opportunity for its members to participate in a telemedicine platform to better serve their patients.
“GI OnDemand features a telehealth solution that has been beta tested by your colleagues in both private practice and academic settings and also supports a full ecosystem for your patients,” Kane said.
Kane pointed to the work done by ACG members to push the American Board of Internal Medicine to reconsider its inflexible proposal for Maintenance of Certification.
“The ACG, along with its sister societies, has been the external force behind the changes at ABIM. Our voices were heard,” she said.
In August 2019, the ABIM announced a longitudinal assessment pathway for MOC that has “flexibility, actionable feedback and educational value,” she explained. Through work with ABIM and the annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., Kane said the impact of ACG is felt at the highest levels of regulation and policy.
Additionally, Kane said she fulfilled a personal goal this year in more advanced practice providers (APPs) “finding a home in the ACG.”
Along with a technology and innovation committee, Kane and the ACG added an APP committee, bringing the total number of committees in the ACG to 22.
The APP committee, she said, was “a dream of mine to finally give a professional home to those advanced practice providers who work side by side with physicians in the care of our patients.” And they are already doing productive work.
“The APP committee is already putting final touches on curriculum for training of APPs entering training for gastroenterology practice,” Kane said.
“It would not be a professional address without talking about professional burnout,” Kane said.
A recent study identified lack of autonomy and EMR tasks as the greatest contributing factors for physician burnout, but a study released in September 2019 showed an improvement in physician burnout and overall satisfaction among physicians.
“I would like to think this is because we are not just talking about this issue but now we are actually helping to identify root causes like the lack of autonomy and actively engaging to affect change that is real,” Kane said.
With that work in mind, Kane left the audience with a Tibetan proverb to the secret of living well and longer: “Eat half. Walk double. Laugh triple. And love without measure.” – by Katrina Altersitz
Reference: Kane SV. Presidential Address. Presented at: The American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting. October 25-30; San Antonio.
Disclosures: Kane reports no relevant financial disclosures.