Ardis Hoven is active in AMA, works for Health-care Reform
Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, the president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), is an internist and infectious disease specialist from Lexington, Ky.
Born in Cincinnati, Hoven received her undergraduate degree in microbiology and her medical degree from the University of Kentucky. She completed her internal medicine and infectious disease training at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is board certified in both disciplines. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Disease Society of America.
Hoven has long been involved with the AMA. She was a member and chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service. She was a member of the Utilization Review and Accreditation Commission for six years and served on its executive committee. She has been a member of the AMA Board of Trustees (BOT) since 2005. She was board secretary in 2008-2009, chair during 2010-2011 and immediate past chair in 2011-2012. She has also served on the AMA Foundation board of directors and the Group Practice Advisory Council of the AMA and was appointed to the Practicing Physicians Advisory Commission.
Hoven also serves as the AMA-BOT representative on the COLA board, the National Quality Forum board of directors and the AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement®. Most recently she was appointed to the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality.
She was president of the Kentucky Medical Association from 1993-1994 and served as a delegate to the AMA from Kentucky prior to her election to the AMA board of trustees. She has held a variety of positions at the University of Kentucky Hospital, including president of the medical staff, member of the board of directors and president of the hospital foundation board. While she undertakes her position at the AMA, she will be in a post-retirement position from UK Hospital.
“This is basically a full-time job for the next three years, so trying to continue patient care and the work I was doing at the university was not going to be possible,” she said. “It wouldn’t have been good for the university or my patients. So this is the way to handle this for the next three years.
“For me, this is a very important thing to do,” she added. “There’s a lot of work for everyone to do and a lot of responsibility.”
Hoven has a number of goals and objectives for her tenure as president of the AMA. One issue of prime concern for the AMA is access to health care.
“With the Affordable Care Act in place as it stands right now, we have the opportunity for people to have health-insurance coverage, which is a wonderful thing,” she said. “But we still have to look at the fact that there are going to be folks out there that don’t have coverage yet. They’re real patients right now, and I’m not going to be happy until every one of them has that access and that health-care coverage.”
Hoven said the AMA is pleased with the Supreme Court decision concerning health care reform.
“The court ruled to support the constitutionality of the individual mandate,” she said. “That allowed certain crucial reforms already in the legislation passed in spring 2010 to continue, such as elimination of the lifetime cap, coverage for young people up till age 26 on their parents’ insurance and elimination of co-insurance for a lot of the prevention pieces.”
However, she added, the bill is not perfect. “There are things in the Affordable Care Act that need to be remedied, such as the issue of Medicare payment,” she said. “We have got to assist Congress with how that Medicare payment model should be constructed. The whole concept of how physicians are paid, based on something called the sustainable growth rate formula, which is not sustainable nor allows for growth, has got to be eliminated.”
Another issue in the forefront for the AMA is delivery change. “The AMA in one of its new strategic plans is taking on this whole concept of delivery change – how we can improve patient satisfaction in addition to physician satisfaction,” Hoven said. “We’re going to see some major moves in that area.”
Hoven believes her work with the AMA will ultimately benefit physicians and patients alike.
“I want the AMA to be able to help physicians, because at the end of the day I want them to continue to practice and allow the citizens to get the care they deserve in the best possible way,” she said. “I am fully committed to doing what’s best for doctors as they take care of their patients. I learned a long time ago with the Kentucky Medical Association that the values and the things that are so important to physicians as they take care of their patients are something we have to protect and work for.”
By Tanya J. Tyler, Associate Editor