New Study May Ease Physicians' Worries About Performance Measures

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<p>While interest in measuring the quality of physicians' care is on the rise, many health care providers are concerned that clinical performance data could be used as evidence in malpractice claims. But a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=22162&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D373055%26%23doc373055">recent study</a> supported by The Commonwealth Fund finds that such fears are likely unfounded.<br><br>Writing in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association,</em> Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., Timothy G. Ferris, M.D., and David M. Studdert, Sc.D., say there is only a remote chance that physician clinical performance assessment data could be admissible as evidence. The reason: information in malpractice claims must be deemed relevant to the case to be admissible.<br><br>"Generally, information about a person's prior behaviors, or 'other acts,' fails this balancing test," say the authors. Most performance data, they found, fall within this category.</p>