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RUC and the Special Deal of the Ologists

February 10, 2014

This article received some notice when it was first published in August. Haley Edwards writing for Washington Monthly does a great job exposing the insider deals and duplicity of the AMA’s Relative Value Update Committee, or RUC (commonly pronounced “ruck”). This is the AMA’s committee that advices Congress on updates to physician fees.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/july_august_2013/features/special_deal045641.php?page=all

Given the continued inaction of CMS or the insurance companies to fix the payment disparity between primary care and the ologists, it’s worth another look. And why the AAFP continues to sheepishly continue with this distorted process continues to befuddle me.

4 Responses to RUC and the Special Deal of the Ologists

  1. Donald on February 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

    “why the AAFP continues to sheepishly continue with this distorted process continues to befuddle me”

    You, me, and every family physician I know.

    The complete and utter cluelessness of the AAFP leadership as to what is happening to their members is beyond belief. I have no idea as to how to pierce the wall of indifference with which they have surrounded themselves. Do you?

    • Richard Young MD on February 11, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Their passivity is what’s so annoying. I know we’re the nice guys, but at some point you’d think we collectively would be fed up with the abuse. Somehow they have been brainwashed into believing that we can’t survive without the AMA, which is ludicrous to me. In 20 years, there will be no significant number of general internists providing ambulatory primary care for adults. We will be the only ones left. I just don’t understand what our leadership is so afraid of.

  2. Chris Gregory on February 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I hate to say it, but the sheep are being led by the goats in our system. The ones who should be absorbing the blame and being held accountable for the consequences we all must endure – are the AAFP leaders. In the AAFP, it’s the leadership which continues to kiss the AMA ring (political expedient?)while overlooking and ignoring the terrible disparity that exists between the highly-paid, RUC-lubricated specialists and the workhorse, underpaid PCPs. In the AAFP, I also hold the family physician membership accountable. Were there more intestinal fortitude, the family docs in this country would rise up and sound a collective voice for the change.

    Unfortunately, the AAFP footsoldiers are too busy running in their accepted, self-imposed hamster wheels to mount a real challenge to the woefully inept AAFP leadership (so I’m told). The Augusta family docs, in their challenge to the courts and the RUC, should have had legions of family docs supporting their cause financially and marching on Washington to make their presence and their numbers felt.

  3. NewMexicoRam on February 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I have sent a brief e-mail to my congresswoman and senators, including the link to this article.
    Unless Congress acts, primary care will go down the whirlpool into oblivion.

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