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National Minority Quality Forum Applauds AMA's Health Insurer Code of Conduct

Friday, November 21, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) today applauded the American Medical Association's recent decision to develop a Health Insurer Code of Conduct and called on physician and patient advocates to join the Forum in encouraging adoption and compliance by health-insurance plans.



"Physicians and lawyers -- even politicians -- follow ethics rules," said Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forum. "It's long past time for health insurers to subscribe to a code of conduct that benefits patients, physicians, hospitals, and other health-care providers by adherence to clear and concise principles that address both medical-care and payment issues."



The Forum is committed to improving the quality of health care for every American. Implementation of today's performance-measurement and pay-for-performance systems is taking place without input or feedback from the full range of stakeholders. These new systems are also being embedded in new health-information-technology infrastructures. Lack of minority participation in quality-of-care determinations is putting minority health at further risk and may increase disparities rather than reduce them.



"We are deeply concerned about the disparities that arise under the current system, where the financial imperatives of health insurers interfere with the treatment decisions made between doctors and their patients," Dr. Puckrein added. "By adopting a code of conduct that anticipates an increasingly diverse member base and focuses on improving patient care, health insurers will move closer to ensuring that high-risk populations and communities receive optimal health care. We applaud the American Medical Association for taking the lead in this effort, and we invite physician and patient advocates to join us in encouraging adoption and compliance by health-insurance plans."



The National Minority Quality Forum is a research and educational organization focused on strengthening national and local efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to guide programs to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other high-risk populations.





SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
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