Dr. Vivian Fonseca has served as editor of the journal Diabetes Care and is the 2012 president, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Fonseca is a professor of medicine and chief of the endocrinology section at Tulane University. His current research interests include the prevention and treatment of diabetic complications and risk factor reduction in cardiovascular disease.
How will the newest elements of the Affordable Care Act affect physicians in the next year?
Physicians will pay more attention to meeting goals and guidelines for people with chronic disease, rather than on just seeing patients as and when needed for acute illness. Although physicians have always wanted the best long-term outcomes for their patients, they will now focus on the pathway to get them there and hopefully will be rewarded for these efforts appropriately.
What challenges do physicians face in the coming year? What are some of the opportunities?
Moving over to electronic health records and integrating them with the multiple clinical, laboratory and pharmacy systems is challenging in terms of being time consuming and expensive. It is also difficult to make appropriate computer entries when talking to patients and focusing on the computer may detract from patient relationships. This challenge will be coupled with some potential loss of income, particularly for those who are unable to adapt their care model to new regulations, etc.
What are some of the hot-button diabetes-related health issues and trends you expect to dominate the news in 2013?
Patient-centered goals and how to set them as per the new ADA/EASD guidelines. Furthermore, the guidelines still leave open many choices for therapy without good comparative effectiveness research data available. As this type of data becomes available, using it to change practice will dominate the clinical discussion.
This question-and-answer session was produced as part of SmartBrief’s 2012 Best Of reports, which capture the year’s most important stories in each industry. Sign up now for DiabetesPro SmartBrief to get tomorrow’s report on the top must-read stories on diabetes treatment.
Image courtesy of the American Diabetes Association.