Thank God for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). While the AMA has been busy selling its name to the Sunbeam Corporation and giving its seal of approval to HCFA in return for profits from the sale of coding books, the AAPS has shown yet again it's unwavering commitment to the patient-doctor relationship and professional ethics. While the AMA is busy collaborating with the enemy (HCFA) to bring us increased government bureaucracy, the AAPS is fighting back by filing a lawsuit against HCFA.
On April 27th, the AMA hosted a self-described "Flyin" for physicians to express their comments and outrage about the new E&M Documentation Guidelines (the "Guidelines") due to go into effect on July 1st. As Dr. Nino Camardese discovered when he flew to this event, however, the AMA denied entrance even to its own longstanding members, unless handpicked beforehand. In fact, the AMA limited attendance and discussion to a predetermined set of physicians and administrators.
All you skeptical physicians thought the only thing HCFA wants to recoup from you is money. An article in American Medical News tells us that "The E&M flap is the perfect opportunity for HCFA to recoup some of the physician trust it has lost over the years."(1) Of course the same article tells how a Medicare carrier, Connecticut General Life Insurance, demanded close to a million dollars in refunds from doctors in North Carolina because of a mistake made by the Medicare carrier. Sound familiar?(2)