Patients not well served by transparency proposals on price and quality reporting

LETTER — Posted Dec. 18, 2006

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Regarding: "Not so transparent: Health care data hard to define" (Article, Nov. 20): I sincerely hope the American Medical Association does not condone this idea.

The one-sidedness of this proposal is unbelievable.

This policy will undoubtedly discourage the provision of care to the sickest, most vulnerable segment of our population.

Comparing the fees of different hospitals and physicians is no measure of value or quality unless you are discussing cosmetic surgery.

Fees reflect the negotiating skills and leverage of the parties involved, and we all know the physician is on the short end of that stick.

I'd like to see an insurance company tell me exactly what percentage of every premium dollar goes to patient care and explain why that represents value to the patient in the United States when no other industrialized nation emulates our system.

David A. Konanc, MD, Raleigh, N.C.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/12/18/edlt1218.htm.

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