Thursday, June 19, 2008

Transparency For All

The health care transparency movement has mostly been concerned with increasing consumerism in health care purchases, but the industry as a whole is shrouded in all kinds of complexities. This carries over to the providers themselves, for example the payment policies and business practices of the major insurers.

The American Medical Association released a report this week that grades major insurers on topics ranging from prompt payment to adherence to the contracted amount to the most common reasons for denying a claim.

I think this is great news that yet more business practices are being reported on, and the AMA has done a fine job of explaining their metrics.

Of course, this is the same week the very same AMA is getting concerned over medical tourism, which leaves them in the dubious position of asking for foreign docs info to be publicly available to US consumers while staying antsy about US doctors info being available too freely.

And it's the same AMA that can be pretty loud if insurers release a report without showing it to the docs first, yet the AMA did not see fit to show this report to the insurers first.

And the same AMA that this week railed against the use of secret shoppers working to measure the customer service standards of physicians.

Still, any data is better than no data, and even if the AMA is not the Consumer's Union, anything that pours more sunlight on claims and payments is a Good Thing.


wizkid said...

well look who it is... I follow a link on slashdot and there be Jaz Michael-King, 'master of the internetz'.

Jaz said...

Hiya wizkid. You're profile is restricted and your picture barely visible, so I'm thinking you're the co-host of the country's most popular intarwebs culture radio show of the 1999 season, but that's a shot in the dark. Either way, yay for me and my awesome recognisability factor! I welcome our new grainy arrest photo overlords.

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