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AMA calls for doctor input on health exchange quality

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 14, 2013

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Physicians should be involved in the development of quality measures for the Affordable Care Act’s state health insurance exchanges, according to comments submitted by the American Medical Association.

James L. Madara, MD, the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO, in December 2012 responded to a request for comment from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding health care quality in the exchanges. The exchanges are marketplaces where consumers will be able to choose insurance coverage options starting in 2014.

In his letter, Dr. Madara stressed that doctors and other end-users of quality standards should play a part in constructing these measures. “This will facilitate adoption of measures relevant to a physician’s practice, which is key in ensuring that the measurement actually helps to improve quality, rather than measurement for measurement’s sake,” he wrote.

Adopting a national core set of quality measures would be helpful from the perspective of standardizing data, yet just one set across all payers might be limiting given how diverse health care services are for ambulatory care, Dr. Madara wrote. This is why the AMA would support the use of care domains to help develop a starter set of quality measures, “including care coordination, preventive health, patient safety, and population health-focused domains,” he stated.

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