Profession

AMA says quality group lacks transparency

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 4, 2006

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The AQA Alliance needs to become more transparent and slow down, according to the AMA's House of Delegates. AQA, an influential consensus-building group formed to develop measures for quality reporting and pay for performance, has favored employers and health insurers in its policymaking, delegates said.

At its November Interim Meeting, the house adopted a resolution saying the AQA -- convened in September 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality -- should "establish a fair and open process for conducting its business through bylaws, due process, representative voting and respect for alternate viewpoints."

The adopted resolution also says AQA should avoid rushing to endorse measures that might harm patient care and conflict with AMA principles and guidelines on pay-for-performance. AQA, formerly known as the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance, published a starter set of 26 ambulatory care quality measures in May 2005. The set measures appropriate care in areas ranging from breast cancer screening to treatment for children with upper respiratory infections.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/12/04/prbf1204.htm.

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