Agreement reached on doc-performance reporting guidelines

From Modern Physician:

A broad coalition of leading physician groups, health insurers, consumer and labor organizations and employer associations have reached a major agreement on physician-performance reporting.

The Patient Charter for Physician Performance Measurement, Reporting and Tiering Programs creates a national set of principles to guide measuring and reporting on physician performance, including third-party independent review of plans’ physician-performance programs.

Groups endorsing the charter include: the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, AARP, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Leapfrog Group, AFL-CIO and the National Business Coalition on Health and major insurers Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint.

“We believe this builds on the critical New York state agreements between the state attorney general and the health plans,” said Nancy Nielsen, president-elect of the American Medical Association.

The charter calls on health plans to develop consistent, agreed upon performance measures on cost and quality that are meaningful for consumers; adopt national standards endorsed by the National Quality Forum; use transparent methodology in creating their programs; and give physicians an opportunity to participate and appeal their scores.

Study: CPR works as well as home defibrillators

From CNN.com

Having a defibrillator at home can help a heart attack survivor live through a second crisis, but so can CPR and at a much lower cost. That’s the bottom line from the first test of using these heart-shocking devices in the home.

The devices worked. But so few people in the study were stricken at home, and CPR by spouses in the comparison group was so good, that the 7,000-person study wound up being be too small to prove that a defibrillator can improve survival.