CAHP: Calls CMA’s Doctor Compensation Data ‘Inaccurate and Misleading’
In a letter sent to the California Medical Association (CMA) this week, California Association of Health Plans (CAHP) President Walter Zelman asked the group to stop using physician compensation data CAHP believes is "inaccurate, misleading, statistically invalid and non-representative of the California managed care environment" to pressure state lawmakers to approve collective bargaining rights for doctors. Writing to CMA Executive Vice President and CEO Dr. Jack Lewin, Zelman argued that a recent CMA-conducted study of physician capitation rates and medical groups solvency was based on a "very limited, non-scientific sampling" and produced a "very inaccurate set of numbers" that serve only to "undermine the collaborative process" necessary to improve the state's health care system. Among CAHP's contentions: capitation rates reported in the CMA study from 1997-1999 are "at least 25%-30% below real marketplace rates," and CMA's claim that inaccurate capitation rates and payments for doctors caused physician group failures is unsubstantiated by its own report. Zelman concluded: "We need to focus more on our partnership in providing care to all Californians and we need to resolve some of the tensions that now exist. But we cannot allow extremely inaccurate representations of today's managed care environment to go unchallenged. If we are going to have a fair and candid discussion about health care and health care reform we need to start with the truth" (CAHP release, 3/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.