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AMA Forms Alliance to Standardize Reports used in Physician Profiling Programs

For immediate release:
July 16, 2012

Chicago -- The American Medical Association (AMA) announced today that more than 60 organizations have pledged their formal support to an AMA effort designed to help physicians better use health insurer-provided data reports as tools to enhance the quality and value of patient care.

"Almost every public and private health insurer presents physicians with practice profile reports to support data-driven decision-making," said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. "This feedback has been ineffective since the complex reports vary from plan to plan and are difficult to read and interpret."

To help create data reports that physicians can easily understand and use, the AMA created the "Guidelines for Reporting Physician Data" with input from public and private health insurers, state and specialty medical societies, health standard organizations, and employer and consumer coalitions. The new guidelines provide a roadmap for improving the usefulness of physician data reports by encouraging greater format standardization, process transparency and level of detail.

Among the organizations that support the use of the AMA's Guidelines for Reporting Physician Data include Cigna, Midwest Business Group on Health, National Committee on Quality Assurance and UnitedHealth Group.

"The organizations who have pledged to use the AMA guidelines recognize that providing physicians with ineffective or inaccurate practice data represents a missed opportunity," said Dr. Lazarus. "Encouraging industry-wide standardization of practice data reports will help physicians double-check the information and use accurate data as a tool to identify opportunities for practice improvement."

Last March the AMA introduced a new teaching guide to help physicians review insurer-provided practice data and use the information for practice improvement. Take Charge of Your Data is designed to help physicians understand and verify the accuracy of profile reports provided by public and private health insurers.

For additional information on the new guidelines and other associated resources, including a related webinar, please visit the AMA website at: www.ama-assn.org/go/physiciandata.

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Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association
(312) 464-5970

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