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Posts Tagged ‘American Medical Association’

We are inundated with partisan bickering over health care reform. What does the health care reform legislation really do? Is it truly a government takeover of health care?

Dr. Jack Resnick followed health care reform for the American Medical Association (AMA)  and the American Academy of Dermatology. He has read the whole bill and tells us the real story without the bias.  You can hear my interview of Dr. Resnick on Getting Better Health Care.

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The AMA News published a terrific article entitled, “Negative online reviews leave doctors with little recourse.”  The article describes inappropriate practices by one doctor rating site and the privacy limitations that prevent doctors from responding to negative reviews.  It certainly isn’t a level playing field.

I’m not sure the playing field needs to be completely level, but fairness ought to be expected.  Giving patients the right to freely publish their opinions isn’t a problem.  As readers of this blog know, our DrScore research finds that patients typically love their physicians. On the DrScore.com rating site, the average score of a doctor with 20 or more ratings is 9.3 out of 10.  Online physician rating Web sites that purposely advertise for or prominently display only negative ratings aren’t being fair and aren’t giving the public what they deserve: honest, representative feedback on doctors.

Transparency is good for patients and physicians.

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What do doctors think?

Writing anything about physicians’ perspectives is difficult. Physicians’ perspectives vary incredibly across pretty much any dimension one would look at.  That makes the American Medical Association’s job pretty difficult.  As the organization that represents doctors, The AMA represents people across a broad spectrum of opinions.  The AMA weighs in on issues that can be very controversial, including measuring doctor quality and health care system reform.

Today on Getting Better Health Care, I interview AMA president Dr. Cecil Wilson.  He explains what the AMA is, how it works, and why it chose to be a productive participant in developing health care reform legislation.

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The AMA and 47 state medical societies authored a letter to insurers about the unreliability of “claims-based” doctor ratings. Claims-based studies use the billing information doctors send to insurers to assess the quality of the care that is delivered. The AMA letter cited studies by the RAND Corporation showing the limitations of these studies.

The AMA hasn’t offered a better way to assess the quality of care doctors provide. Measuring the quality of medical services that doctors provide is extremely complicated, especially because we want doctors to tailor treatments to each patients’ specific needs, preferences and desires.

One aspect of medical care that may be most easily measured is patient satisfaction. This is what we measure and report at DrScore.com.

Patients always know how satisfied they were with their experiences, and there’s growing recognition of the value of patient satisfaction measurement. Government reimbursement programs covering health care may soon require patient satisfaction measurement. The medical boards that certify physicians may require doctors to document and report results of patient satisfaction surveys, too.

This is good news for doctors. Doctors give patients great medical care, and open reporting of that quality is bound to help the public see what a good job physicians are doing.

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