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AMA to New York Times: When Hospitals Buy Doctor Practices

Dec. 3, 2012 (published)

New York Times
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Your article illustrated concerns about anticompetitive practices in health care that should be evaluated by the Federal Trade Commission. The American Medical Association strongly opposes practices that reduce competition and compromise patient safety and quality of care.

The article notes factors that may be adding to this trend. Chief among them is the chronically flawed payment system that leaves physicians who care for Medicare patients in a perennial state of turmoil because of the threat of large cuts. This uncertainty keeps physicians from participating in the types of physician-led, coordinated care delivery systems that ensure competitive health care markets and provide the highest quality of care for patients.

Congress must end the broken, outdated Medicare physician payment formula and work with physicians to move to an innovative coordinated care system that rewards quality, ensures the best health outcomes for patients and provides a competitive, rewarding practice environment for physicians.

Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association