A Family Physician’s Manifesto

Paul M. Fischer

As a third-year medical student in 1977, I joined the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  In those culturally tumultuous years, it was a way to declare my belief that America needed physicians who cared for the whole person, family and community. It was also a declaration that, in choosing the primary care path in a field ripe with tempting medical specialties, money was not my primary goal.

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Replace the RUC!


A few weeks ago, my writing partner David C. Kibbe and I ran an article on Kaiser Health News called “Quit the RUC!” that has caused some turmoil within the physician community, particularly in DC.

First, it noted that the RUC, the informal specialist-dominated AMA panel, has made recommendations for 20 years about the value of medical procedures within the highly arcane and jiggered Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS). As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, CMS (and its predecessor, HCFA) has accepted some 90 percent of its recommendations, apparently almost without question. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the vast majority of recommendations involve payment increases to specialists that have come at the expense of primary care.

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AAFP Partners With Surescripts On A New, Secure Electronic Messaging Service For Physicians


Here’s an extraordinary development in the ongoing efforts to break down the barriers of a lack of interoperability standards and incompatible technologies!

The American Academy of Family Physicians has partnered with Surescripts, a firm that connects physicians with drug prescribing services, to announce a new collaboration, AAFP Physicians Direct, that will allow the AAFP’s physician members to easily and securely exchange information electronically.

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