AMA to Insurers: Get Well Already

Provisions relating to the use of health IT are included in a new health insurer code of conduct released this week by the American Medical Association. The set of principles seeks to "bring transparency and accountability" to the multibillion-dollar health insurance industry, AMA said in <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/insurers-code-of-conduct.shtml">a news release</a>.

Provisions related to the use of health IT are included in a new health insurer code of conduct released this week by the American Medical Association. The set of principles seeks to "bring transparency and accountability" to the multi-billion dollar health insurance industry, AMA said in a news release.

The Health Insurer Code of Conduct Principles has 10 sections, several of which relate to the use of information technology, reports Health Data Management.

The code states that "provider directories must be easily accessible in paper and electronic formats and clearly and accurately provide consumers with all information relevant to fulfilling the medical needs of themselves and their families."

A section on administrative simplification demands that "health insurers must comply with all laws governing the use of electronic transactions and should participate in efforts to improve these transactions."

A total of 68 states and specialty medical societies have endorsed the principles. The AMA is asking the country's eight largest health insurers to abide by the principles.

The physicans' group plans to track and report on insurers' compliance "in time for the launch of health exchanges enabled by health reform legislation," according to Health Leaders Media.

Dr. J. James Rohack, AMA's president, suggested that compliance with the code would help the health insurance industry to move beyond its "crisis of credibility."

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