U.S. doctors to establish performance
The American Medical Association (www.ama-assn.org)
has reached an agreement with Congress to develop about 140 standard
measures of performance for physicians covering 34 clinical areas by the
end of 2006, the New York Times reports.
The deal “comes as the Bush administration pushes ‘pay-for-performance’
arrangements with various healthcare providers in an effort to publicize
their performance and link Medicare payment to quality,” and it “mirrors
efforts” from consumer groups, insurance companies and large employers
to have more information on quality of care, the Times reports.
Performance measures to be developed by AMA will be intended to provide
information on whether physicians follow best practices when treating
According to the agreement with Congress, signed on Dec. 16, 2005,
doctors beginning in 2007 will report to the federal government “on at
least three to five quality measures per physician.” The agreement adds
that physicians “should receive” some additional payment to reflect the
costs of collecting and reporting the data.
“By the end of 2007, physician groups will have developed performance
measures to cover a majority of Medicare spending for physician
services,” according to the agreement. The agreement was signed by AMA
Chair Duane Cady, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Reps. Nathan Deal
(R-Ga.) and Bill Thomas (R-Calif.)