Thursday, January 20, 2011
Medica Gets Zero Stars for Physician Relations
You may have seen or heard the voices of myself, Past President Ben Whitten and others representing MMA in the press this week. We have been working hard to put forward the concerns of our members about Medica’s flawed individual physician rating program.
Despite our efforts to work with Medica behind the scenes and in public, Medica decided to ignore the input of physicians and move forward with their program. MMA met with Medica in December and shared its concerns. We sent a letter and requested a delay in publication of the program a week before its public release and never heard back from them. That is disrespectful of Minnesota’s physicians.
The MMA is concerned about known errors in the data, the inadequate time for review and validation and clearly insufficient statistical testing. Medica’s program could harm physician reputations, undermine the physician-patient relationship, and mislead Medica patients and purchasers of health care. MMA’s request that Medica address our specific concerns was completely reasonable and justified.
I am saddened that Medica chose to ignore our concerns and to dismiss our overtures to work together. Minnesota has had an admirable culture of collaboration between health care organizations in the past. To ignore the input of physicians is not the way things are done in Minnesota.
The MMA was a founding member of Minnesota Community Measurement and has supported state and federal policies to expand performance measurement. We have invested significant resources and physician expertise to inform and improve the state’s peer grouping program, which will generate cost and quality measures of physician clinics and hospitals.
Medica has truly missed a chance to work with physicians to design a useful tool and strengthen its relationship with the physician community.