Dubious comfort from Medicare


Fam Pract Manag. 1999 Jan;6(1):13.

To the Editor:

Oh how comforting are the words of HCFA Administrator Nancy Ann Min-DeParle in the Medicare Update article (“Changes Proposed for the E/M Documentation Guidelines,” June 1998): “I want to assure you that physicians will not be punished for honest mistakes and we will not make referrals to the Office of the Inspector General for occasional errors.”

It would be helpful if HCFA would define “honest mistakes” and “occasional errors.” I see these as dishonest, politically correct, sidestepping communication techniques. Statements like these translate to grossly dysfunctional policies — unless the new HCFA E/M documentation guidelines turn out to be a health care advancement for all Americans. Hamilton, Jefferson, Franklin and Washington are rolling in their graves with disgust while we remain above ground tolerating these intrusions and losses of liberty.


Copyright © 1999 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Nov-Dec 2018

Access the latest issue
of FPM journal

Read the Issue

FPM E-Newsletter

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights."

Sign Up Now


Making Sense of MACRA: Options for Meeting the 2018 MIPS Requirements

To avoid a negative payment adjustment from Medicare in 2020, practices must achieve a MIPS final score of at least 15 points for the 2018 performance period. Here's how to meet this performance threshold.