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American Medical Association President-Elect Discusses Healthcare Reform with Silver Cross Physicians

Joliet, IL (February 17, 2011)- Peter W. Carmel, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon from Newark, N.J and president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), recently visited Silver Cross Hospital and spoke to the medical staff about healthcare reform and how it will impact the healthcare industry.

“We were privileged to have Dr. Carmel present at the Silver Cross Hospital Quarterly Medical Staff meeting,” said Dave Mikolajczak, D.O., Chief of Staff and emergency medicine physician at Silver Cross Hospital. “He spoke in detail about some of the changes which are on the horizon as healthcare reform becomes a reality, and discussed the impact to patients, doctors and hospitals.”

Even though Dr. Carmel has been labeled a strong advocate for healthcare reform, as the newly elected leader of the nation’s largest physician organization, Dr. Carmel feels the federal government is not giving doctors a fair deal.

The American Medical Association believes problems still remain in the healthcare reform law. The AMA opposes the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

If this board is retained, the AMA recommends the following: spreading out the burden of reductions and permit increases, increasing levels of physician participation, ensuring transparency and allowing Congressional oversight.

The AMA also opposes physician payment based partly on quality and efficiency because the methodology to implement this process has not been developed, and therefore cannot be verified for accuracy.

Dr. Carmel highlighted to the group some of the key points of the healthcare reform law known as The Affordable Care Act. The law includes insurance market reforms by eliminating denials based on pre-existing conditions, and removing lifetime and annual limits. The law also gives tax credits that are refundable tax credits allowing low-income individuals to purchase health insurance, and increased federal funding for Medicaid giving direct aid to states.

Looking ahead, Dr. Carmel acknowledged that physicians throughout the country have anxieties about the changes coming to the practice of medicine. Dr. Carmel said that the AMA’s role is to shield physicians from any adverse effects on their practice from the law in order to protect the physician-patient relationship.

“We were deeply honored that Dr. Carmel, president-elect of the AMA, shared with the Silver Cross Hospital medical staff the American Medical Association’s position on healthcare reform and their lobbying efforts on behalf of physicians throughout the country,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “Silver Cross Hospital is working closely with the medical staff to prepare for the anticipated changes.”

 About Peter W. Carmel, M.D.

Peter W. Carmel, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon from Newark, N.J., was elected president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) in June 2010, after serving on the AMA Board of Trustees for eight years. A member of the AMA House of Delegates since 1985, Dr. Carmel has served as chair of the Specialty and Service Society, helping it achieve AMA bylaws recognition. He has also served on the AMA

Council on Long Range Planning and Development and was its chair. During his tenure, the council originated the AMA International Medical Graduates Section and established proportional representation for specialty medical society members. From 2006 to 2007, Dr. Carmel served as president of the AMA Foundation, and is currently on the foundation’s board of directors. Dr. Carmel has served in numerous positions in both the

American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). He was the delegate to the AMA from the CNS (1985–2002) and received the AANS Distinguished Service Award in 2008. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Carmel completed his medical training at the New York University School of Medicine and was a research associate at the National Institutes of Health. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York, and obtained his

doctorate in neuroanatomy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S). Dr. Carmel was on the faculty at P&S for 27 years, and was the founding chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a professor of neurological surgery. In 1994 Dr. Carmel moved to the New Jersey Medical School, where he is currently chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and co-medical director of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. A noted clinician who operates at the University Hospital in Newark, N.J., he has been named to “Best Doctors in America” (American Health), “Best Doctors in New York” (New York magazine), “New Jersey Top Doctors” (New Jersey Monthly) and “America’s Top Doctors” (Castle Connally).

A committed advocate for neurological research, Dr. Carmel served as chairman of the National Coalition for Research in Neurological Disease and Stroke, and subsequently as chair of the National Foundation for Brain Research. In addition, he also founded the Neuroendocrine Laboratory within the Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction at P&S in 1969. This laboratory has been continuously funded for 41 years. Dr. Carmel has also served on the board of directors of the National Patient Safety Foundation and the National Health Museum, and he serves on the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research. Dr. Carmel and his wife, Jacqueline Bello, M.D., a neuroradiologist, live in Manhattan, NY. Dr. Carmel has three sons.

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