Published 8/12/13 in Medscape Business of Medicine
“One of the biggest mistakes we made…is that we took the RUC…back in 1992 and gave it to the AMA…It’s incredibly political, and it’s just human nature…the specialists that spend more money and have more time have a bigger impact.”
This quote was from Tom Scully, former Administrator, under President George W. Bush, of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), previously the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Scully was a panelist in a May 2012 Senate Finance Committee roundtable discussion by former HCFA/CMS Administrators and has become one of the RUC’s most outspoken critics.
He was explaining how the American Medical Association (AMA) Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), a group that sought to help the government by overseeing a valuation process for medical services, came to dominate and distort the pricing used in Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans.