Group practice physicians collectively reject key healthcare reform proposal

An astounding 93 percent of physician group practices responding to an informal survey by a key trade organization warned that they would not join a new healthcare reform program to reward quality of care unless it's thoroughly reworked.

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) wrote to Medicare administrator Don Berwick on Wednesday to raise concerns with the proposed regulations creating so-called Accountable Care Organizations. AMGA President and CEO Donald Fisher warned in the letter that the Obama administration risks wasting "the best opportunity to inject value and accountability" into the U.S. healthcare system if it doesn't make "substantial changes" to its regulation.

"On its face, it is overly prescriptive, operationally burdensome, and the incentives are too difficult to achieve to make this voluntary program attractive," Fisher wrote. "Our membership's concerns were many and focused on issues such as the risk sharing requirement, static risk adjustment, retrospective attribution, quality measurement requirements, the Minimum Savings requirement and others."

The trade group plans to submit more detailed comments as the regulation goes through the regular comment process.