Joan Sumkin, MD
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Sumkin J. The Coding Audit. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:755. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-9-199811010-00040
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(9):755.
Along with limiting the time available for the patient encounter, Dr. Lai outlines the difficulty that the coding system presents in training the next generation of physicians. Indeed, the punitive nature of the False Claims Act incites physician paranoia with far-reaching implications. Dr. Pippen's well-put plea to “pick our battles” is a cry for action to protect our pledge to Hippocrates. Individual efforts as well as organized lobbying of physicians must continue this national dialogue if we are to prevent a generation of Americans from experiencing the continual disintegration of health care.
As physicians, many of us remain outside the political arena. Unfortunately, this void is now being filled with administrative bureaucrats who are never alone in a room with a patient. Individually, we can support reforming legislation by contacting our senators and representatives. As a group, we look to our physician leadership, such as the newly merged American College of Physicians and American Society of Internal Medicine, as our bigger voice. Let us pick our battle and regain control of the patient encounter.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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