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AMA asks TJC for time on disruptive docs
The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) in Chicago at its November 2008 meeting in Orlando voted to ask The Joint Commission for a moratorium on its disruptive physicians policy, introduced in July 2008 and scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2009. A decision on the matter was not reached prior to press time.
A spokeswoman for The Joint Commission, in Oak Brook Terrace, IL, confirmed that the AMA's request for a moratorium, as well as a more specific definition of what constitutes a disruptive physician, is "under review."
Other actions considered included:
• At the HOD meeting, delegates also considered a proposal on how to best conduct activities related to "secret shoppers." Such patients are paid to visit physician offices or institutions — even emergency departments — to provide feedback on such things as customer service and quality of care to third-party payers or to those facilities. However, it was recommended that the resolution not be adopted.
According to the Report of Reference Committee on Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws; "Though there was testimony in favor of referral back to Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs for a report that declared the use of secret shoppers to be unethical, testimony overall asked that this report not be adopted."
• Forced repatriation of immigrants by hospitals also was considered by the HOD. The HOD considered a resolution that asked the AMA to oppose forced deportation of patients.
According to the reference committee report, "Testimony for this resolution was divided, but witnesses generally concurred that repatriation poses significant professional challenges for physicians. It was suggested that the overarching concern in this matter involved inappropriate discharge of patients more than immigration status specifically."
Because it was suggested that "more appropriate framing would speak to physician participation in forced deportation of medically unstable patients," the resolution was referred to the board of trustees for another report to be presented to the HOD in 2009.