The American Medical Association on June 9 during its annual meeting in Chicago adopted a number of new policies covering data use and other information technology processes as well as taking another shot at delaying ICD-10.
The association called for a two-year ICD-10 grace period during which physicians will not be penalized for errors, mistakes and/or malfunctions of the system. AMA also wants hardship exemptions for physicians whose billing software or claim clearinghouse service are unable to smoothly transition to the code set.
As large amounts of data have become available in recent years from the Medicare program, all-payer claims databases, registries and other sources, the AMA contends that much of the data is not timely or actionable and lacks context. A new policy calls for ensuring clinicians and other relevant stakeholders can proactively access meaningful information to improve quality reporting, foster innovation and support new delivery and payment models.
Another policy on price transparency encourages physicians to talk about costs with patients, along with insurance status and other information when possible. The policy also calls on insurers and other stakeholders to facilitate price and quality transparency. Other ways to improve transparency could include physician-led development of quality measures, more access to information to support patient informed choices at the point of care, and removal of barriers to accessing information from payers and other care settings.
Developing best practice for use of mobile medical apps is another policy that AMA delegates approved. The association pledges to work with other stakeholders to foster new technologies that increase patient engagement.
Two other policies unrelated to information technology pledge to increase public awareness of the dangers of using headphones in both ears during outdoor activities, and to call on manufacturers of sunglasses to clearly label how well their products protect against ultraviolet radiation.
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