Medicare Pay 'Transparency' Divides Physicians

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , September 5, 2013

Another physician, Kenneth Maxwell, MD, from Winston Salem, NC, wrote to ACPE: "What purpose does this action serve? Publishing the amount of Medicare reimbursement without some form of normative information provides no useful information for consumers.

Despite the split among the ACPE, Angood, the group's leader, believes that the overall move toward "greater transparency in medicine and increased public reporting" is necessary and here to stay.

The differences within his group show that government regulators need to "throw up a flag of caution" as they consider all the policy changes, Angood says. "Part of our job as physician leaders is to help ensure that when health care data is presented to the public, it is accurate, fair, meaningful and useful."

Angood may have been surprised by the nearly even vote in the poll results, but not the underlying reasons why.

It reflects the "degree of the sense of disenfranchisement many physicians have," Angood says. "And when any human starts to get disenfranchised, they begin to get suspicious about what motivates the external voices changing their environment."

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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