When the American Medical Association shut down its physician accreditation program, AMAP, last month, several physician leaders expressed concern that the profession had lost its best chance to demonstrate efficient, high-quality care. Now, they say, health plans and others will define physician performance in their own terms.
After four years and a $12 million investment, the AMA never realized its vision for the program. The association had hoped to establish and track performance measures that would evaluate clinical processes and outcomes for AMAP-accredited physicians, but the program didn't really move beyond a physician credentialing forum.
New Jersey's medical society is particularly disappointed by the AMA's decision; one fourth of the state's physicians participated in the program. The person who led the state's AMAP operations told American Medical News that the AMA didn't adequately market the concept to payers and purchasers.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance has said it intends to develop a program that would measure quality at the physician-group level.