Physicians challenge federal physician-ratings bill

It appears that some crafty U.S. Senators have slipped in a provision mandating a controversial claims data-based physician ratings system in a bill otherwise focused on health IT. On the surface, the bill is largely designed to encourage physicians and other providers to hook up to health information exchanges. It seems, however, that Senators hoping to get onto the quality-ranking bandwagon as quickly and quietly as possible. (That apparently didn't work--see more below.)

The physician-rating provisions of the bill, the Wired for Health Care Quality Act of 2007, has filled medical trade groups with ire, who say that it's not appropriate to use such claims data to rate physician performance, as such data doesn't allow for risk adjustment. Not only that, they contend, claims data contains many errors which would unfairly bias such a system. The bill is being challenged by an alliance of 36 physician organizations, including the AMA and Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

To learn more about challenges to the bill:
- read this iHealthBeat article

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