American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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College opposes HMO panel restrictions

From the November 1996 ACP Observer, copyright © 1996 by the American College of Physicians.

Internists who are limited by managed care organizations that want them to practice only general internal medicine or their subspecialty now have a new weapon to help fight those health plans.

Saying it is "inappropriate for patient access to be limited based solely on the specialty designation of the physician," ACP's Board of Regents last month approved a position statement arguing that physicians "should be permitted to practice in areas for which they are appropriately trained and can demonstrate that they are currently knowledgeable and clinically competent."

The College "opposes arbitrary categorizations that restrict internists from providing health care services for which they are appropriately trained and qualified to deliver," the statement says.

The Board was prompted to act after receiving complaints from internists left off primary care panels because they are trained in a subspecialty. The statement may also help generalists blocked from practicing a subspecialty they are trained in.

For a copy of the new position statement, call ACP's Washington, D.C., office at 800-633-9400.

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