Doctor-Patient Relationship Has Starring Role In AMA Ad

Keep an eye out during the evening news, or even your favorite show on Lifetime, because the American Medical Association is taking to primetime news and cable to fight Medicare physician payment cuts.

Doctors face a 29.5 percent payment cut Jan. 1 if Congress doesn’t intervene. The AMA ran ads explicitly against the cut in a campaign that ended last week, but now the group is running a different, much-less-direct campaign through Nov. 20. The currently running ad focuses on the “essential partnership between patients and their doctors.”

“The ads reflect the reality that while AMA advocacy addresses issues like Medicare cuts specifically, our overall objective is more global: protecting the essential partnership between patients and their physicians,” AMA President Peter Carmel wrote in an email.

The spot will air on “60 Minutes,” Sunday news programs and national nightly news, as well as during both daytime and primetime shows on cable channels like CNN, Lifetime and Hallmark.

Here’s a transcript:

From an ear ache, to the flu; an accident, to asthma; a new heartbeat, to a heart condition: When you see your doctor, you don’t face any medical issue alone — you do it together. At the American Medical Association, we’re committed to preserving that essential partnership between patients and their doctors, because when it comes to your health, you need someone you trust. The AMA — protecting the relationship between patients and physicians.

In the previous ad campaign, a voiceover describes the Medicare cuts as an elderly man flies through the sky, holding a bunch of balloons. Attacking arrows soon pop the balloons and send him down into a forest. It looks like a (much more) depressing version of the Pixar film, “Up.”

Here’s a transcript:

Medicare keeps many seniors afloat, but Medicare payments to doctors are scheduled to be cut by 30 percent in January. It means doctors may have to limit the number of Medicare patients they see or even stop seeing them altogether, to keep their doors open. Tell your representatives in Washington to stop the cuts and find a permanent solution for Medicare that safeguards health care access for America’s seniors, now and forever.

christiant@kff.org