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AMA to develop measures of quality care

Physician Practice Advisor, February 23, 2006

The American Medical Association (AMA) has agreed to work with Congress to develop approximately 140 standard performance measures to be used in a future pay-for-performance program, according to a report in the New York Times.

Under the accord between leaders of Congress and the AMA, doctors' groups will develop the quality performance measures covering 34 clinical areas by the end of the year; and next year, doctors will voluntarily report to the federal government on at least three to five quality measures per physician. By the end of 2007, Congress and the AMA expect to have developed performance measures to cover the majority of Medicare spending for physician services, according to the article.

A number of speciality societies and doctors' groups have objected to the agreement because of its ambitious timeline and failure to include other members of the medical community. "The AMA cannot be the sole representative for the groups who are paramount to the development and implementation of quality measures," leaders of 10 national doctor groups wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders.

Click here to read the New York Times article.