Last June the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) threatened to leave the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) due to many issues but pay disparity was probably the key provision. They ask for six key changes to occur:
- add four additional “true” primary care seats to the committee, including one each for the AAFP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association;
- create three new seats to represent outside entities, such as consumers, employers, health systems and health plans;
- include a seat for a representative of the specialty of geriatrics;
- eliminate the three current rotating subspecialty seats when the current representatives’ terms expire; and
- implement voting transparency among the RUC representatives.
They gave until March for this to occur. In response, the RUC added a rotating seat for primary care instead of the four additional primary care seats for which the Academy had asked. In addition, the committee added a seat for the American Geriatrics Society and promised more transparency. The AAFP members looked at each other and said, “Looks good to me. Who wants some more coffee?” and gave up. All threats of leaving the RUC are now gone and it is rumored that some of these AAFP representatives will be working with the government to solve the Iran nuclear crisis.