AMA PRESIDENT CALLS ON INSURERS TO ABANDON FLAWED PHYSICIAN RATING PROGRAMS

March 17, 2010

Statement attributable to: J. James Rohack, M.D., President, American Medical Association

 "The RAND Corporation study published today verifies the AMA's longstanding contention that there are serious flaws in health insurer programs that attempt to rate physicians based on cost-of-care. 

"The RAND study shows that physician ratings conducted by insurers can be wrong up to two-thirds of the time for some groups of physicians. Inaccurate information can erode patient confidence and trust in caring physicians, and disrupt patients' longstanding relationships with physicians who have cared for them for years. 

"Patients should always be able to trust that the information they receive on physicians is valid and reliable, especially when the data is used by insurers to influence or restrict patients' choice of physicians. 

"Given the potential for irreparable damage to the patient-physician relationship, the AMA calls on the health insurance industry to abandon flawed physician evaluation and ranking programs, and join with the AMA to create constructive programs that produce meaningful data for increasing the quality and efficiency of health care." 

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