There is no tradeoff between recognizing the serious methodological problems in the ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard, improving the Scorecard, and encouraging providers to release their own data. All three can and should be done simultaneously.
ProPublica's Surgeon Scorecard displays "Adjusted Complication Rates" for named surgeons for eight surgical procedures performed in hospitals. This perspective critiques the methods of the Scorecard and identifies opportunities for improvement.
Use of buprenorphine, a drug to treat opioid addiction, is increasing faster than the number of doctors licensed to dispense it. Policies focused on increasing the number of patients a qualified physician could treat may be more effective in addressing this increased use than other alternatives.
The increased number and geographic distribution of physicians obtaining waivers to prescribe buprenorphine has widened potential access to effective treatment for those with addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers.
Using tools that help physicians decide whether to use expensive imaging studies such as MRI scans can help reduce the ordering of unnecessary tests, but implementation of the tools in real-world settings has many challenges.
The authors developed an updated and expanded set of buprenorphine treatment guidelines; this additional guidance may increase credentialed physicians' comfort with prescribing buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorders.
Given new payment models and the changing relationship between physicians and hospitals, including physician costs in Medicare's Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRG) payments to hospitals could lead to better physician engagement in quality improvement efforts.
A substantial proportion of advanced imaging studies ordered by emergency physicians may be medically unnecessary. According to a broad survey of emergency medicine professionals, fear of missing a low-probability diagnosis and fear of litigation are perceived as two key contributing factors.
Psychiatrists exposed to strict conflict of interest policies prescribed heavily promoted antipsychotics at rates similar to academic psychiatrists and nonacademic psychiatrists exposed to less strict or no policies.
This report seeks to inform the further development of medical education and training for primary care in Germany. It concludes with a presentation of policy options that arise from comparison with experiences in England, France and the Netherlands.