Not all physicians appreciate how much data public and private third-party payers and others have about their medical practices. However, it is increasingly necessary for all physicians to recognize the reality that the payers have extensive data warehouses of claims data which, with the power of today’s computers, can be mined and analyzed at very little cost. It is imperative that physicians obtain and understand this data themselves, both to improve the quality and efficiency of their care and to protect themselves against the potential misuse of this data.
AMA encourages physicians to obtain their data and use it for practice improvement
Many physician groups have already started using their practice data to compare their performance to that of their peers and physician-supported quality measures, such as those developed by the AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Quality Improvement® (PCPI™). Physicians are encouraged to ask the payers with whom they work to provide detailed data and then to evaluate this data for the lessons it holds.
Learn how to use your practice data
The AMA has created a guide to assist physicians in understanding performance data and using the information for practice improvement activities. This resource was developed to be used in tandem with the AMA's Standardized Physician Data Report, but it can help physicians decipher and use the data reports prepared by most payers and reporting entities.
Learn more about the AMA's physician data guidebook.
AMA encourages physicians to collect and utilize patient experience (satisfaction) data
When collected in a valid and actionable way, patient experience data can also be extremely helpful to physician practices. This data can inform quality improvement efforts, staffing decisions and contract negotiations, while providing patients with a constructive outlet to provide feedback.
Learn more about patient experience.
AMA Policy on the use and release of physician data
At its June 2009 annual meeting, the AMA House of Delegates approved the Principles for the public release and accurate use of physician data. Issues addressed in these principles include data accuracy, transparency, appeals, and quality and patient satisfaction measurement.