A policy paper and principles assuring that physicians are given the opportunity to comment on performance ratings that they believe are inaccurate were adopted this week by the American College of Physicians (ACP) at its annual meeting. The principles, part of the paper Developing a Fair Process Through Which Physicians Participating in Performance Measurement Programs Can Request a Reconsideration of Their Ratings, also address performance ratings that do not take into account the characteristics of the practice or patient population being treated prior to the release of ratings to the public.
ACP is host to 6,000 physicians for Internal Medicine 2007 from April 19-21 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Accurate reports of physician performance will allow physicians to effectively assess and improve their performance, and enable consumers and purchasers to make informed decisions concerning treatments, coverage and the quality of care. The principles, ACP says, should be considered in tandem with other organizational principles on developing measures; sharing, aggregating, and reporting data; and the ethics of physician performance measurement.
ACP has stated in previous position papers that programs measuring physician performance should operate in a fair, objective and scientifically sound manner. Performance data should be used for public reporting or to determine physician payment only after data are fully adjusted for case-mix composition, including age, severity of illness, co-morbidities, and other features of a physician's practice and patient population that may influence the results.