KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Debate Heats Up Over Physicians’ Skill Reviews

In other news regarding medical practice, the federal database detailing payments to doctors from the drug and device industries is plagued by error messages.   

The Wall Street Journal: Doctors Upset Over Skill Reviews
The medical community is embroiled in a bitter debate about what board-certified physicians should be required to do to prove that their knowledge and skills are up-to-date. Besides holding a state medical license, about 75% of U.S. doctors are certified by 24 privately run boards, signifying that they have mastered their area of specialty, in fields ranging from internal medicine to orthopedics. The specialty boards require their physicians to pass rigorous exams, generally every 10 years, to stay certified. In recent years, those boards also have begun requiring doctors to enroll in official Maintenance of Certification programs in between exams to show they are committed to lifelong learning and quality improvement (Beck, 7/21).

Related KHN coverage: Docs Slam Recertification Rules They Call A Waste Of Time (Rabin, 7/21).  

The Hill: Error Messages Rife On Site Showing Doc, Industry Ties
A long-awaited federal database designed to reveal doctor payments from the drug and medical device industries is plagued with confusing error messages, according to a report. Physicians told ProPublica that they are seeing long waits and error messages when trying to look up their entries on a preliminary version of the Open Payments website (Viebeck, 7/21).

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