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Can the AMA label you a "non-compliant" patient?

Could spell loss of insurance for some

At this month's meeting of the American Medical Association the House heard from Committee G with regards to "Resolution 710 - Identifying Abusive, Hostile or Non-Compliant Patients." This resolution was introduced by the Michigan Delegation in early May 2009.

This "identification", or label, is proposed in the form of a CPT code that would identify a patient, to anyone with access to his files, as a "non-compliant" patient.

In a press release from the International Cesarean Awarness Network (ICAN), president Desirre Andrews notes, "This resolution is alarming in its arrogance and its failure to recognize, or even pay lip service to, patient autonomy.

With this type of labeling in place the American healthcare system could easily begin to reject patients for care based on the opinion of a doctor who thought the patient was "ungrateful."  The resolution reads "The stress of dealing with ungrateful patients is adding to the stress of physicians leading to decreased physician satisfaction."

So, if the doctor didn't find his patient particularly grateful that day for his services he could essentially label his patient as "non-compliant?" What does this mean as a red flag to insurance companies? Will insurance providers drop patients based on the proposed CPT codes? Does the patient's care become compromised as other healthcare providers have access to medical files and assume prejudice?

According to the final paragraph this resolution has been resolved as such:

RESOLVED: That our American Medical Association ask its CPT Editorial Panel to investigate
for data collection and report back at Annual 2010 meeting: 1) developing a modifier for the
E&M codes to identify non-compliant patients and/or 2) develop an add-on code to E&M codes
to identify non-compliant patients. (Directive to Take Action)


  • Resolution: 710 Identifying Abusive, Hostile or Non-Compliant Patients, page 102 of Reference Committee G, accessed online June 14, 2009.


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