TMA, AMA Explain Insurer Data

TMA is among more than 60 organizations supporting an American Medical Association effort to help physicians better use health insurer-provided data reports as tools to enhance the quality and value of patient care.

To help create data reports that physicians can easily understand and use, 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 offer 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 AMA's Guidelines for Reporting Physician Data include CIGNA, Midwest Business Group on Health, the National Committee on Quality Assurance, and UnitedHealth Group.

"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, MD. "This feedback has been ineffective since the complex reports vary from plan to plan and are difficult to read and interpret. The organizations who have pledged to use the AMA guidelines recognize that providing physicians with ineffective or inaccurate practice data represents a missed opportunity. 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."

Action, Aug. 1, 2012