PRACTITIONER RECORDS: Bliley, AMA Continue Epic Feud
Retiring House Commerce Committee Chair Thomas Bliley (R-Va.) last week proposed a bill that would open the National Practitioner Data Bank to the public -- amidst "angry protests" from the AMA -- marking the most recent clash in an ongoing feud between the medical group and the Virginia lawmaker, CongressDaily reports. "The American public currently has more information about the used car we purchase or the snack food we eat than the doctors in whose care we entrust our health and well-being," Bliley said, repeating a familiar mantra. According to AMA officials, however, Bliley has pushed the legislation to "punish" the group for backing the House version of the managed care reform bill that would allow patients to sue HMOs. "We look at this as retribution for our work on the patients' bill of rights," AMA President Thomas Reardon said, calling the information about doctors Bliley hopes to release "incomplete" and "misleading to consumers because it lacks context." Bliley's office challenged the AMA to "quit hiding behind the retribution charge" and face the issue. "AMA should ... explain why they want to prevent patients from getting information about doctors," a Bliley spokesperson said (Fulton/Rovner, 9/8).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.