American College of Physicians expresses support for executive order on health care transparency

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today expressed its support for the goals of the executive order signed by President Bush, noting that the ACP has provided the White House with detailed recommendations on introducing transparency in health care decision-making

The executive order is designed to help people make more informed decisions about doctors and hospitals. Following a talk Tuesday with health care providers about "health transparency," President Bush ordered four federal agencies to compile information about the quality and price of care they pay for and share that information with customers and each other. In May, 2006 ACP provided the White House with detailed recommendations on how to structure programs to inform consumers about the quality and cost of care provided by individual physicians (http://www.acponline.org/hpp/price_trans.pdf). ACP also provided similar recommendations to the House Ways and Means Committee for the record of a July hearing on transparency.

ACP's recommendations to the White House and Congress emphasize:

  • the distinction between the price a physician charges for a service, the amount of reimbursement a health plan allows towards a covered service, and the total cost of care associated with a particular episode of illness;
  • the importance of developing quality and cost of care measures through a transparent, evidence-based, and multi-stakeholder process like the AQA;
  • short and long term steps that Medicare and individual physicians can take to provide patients and beneficiaries with information on quality, the fees charged for specific procedures, and the cost of care.

Lynne Kirk, MD, FACP, president of the ACP, said physicians support more transparency because both physicians and patients will benefit from having access to reliable and evidence-based measures of quality and cost. She urged the administration to continue to work clo

Contact: David B. Kinsman
American College of Physicians

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