NYT: Administration Halts Survey of Making Doctor Visits
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had shelved plans for a survey in which “mystery shoppers” posing as patients would call doctors’ offices ….
“We have determined that now is not the time to move forward with this research project,” the Department of Health and Human Services said late Tuesday.
The decision, after criticism from doctors and politicians, represents an abrupt turnabout. On Sunday night, officials at the health department and the White House staunchly defended the survey ….
Doctors and many Republican lawmakers criticized the project, after a New York Times article about it on Monday.
“The cost and proposed clandestine method of collecting information from physician offices are questionable,” said a letter to the administration drafted Monday by Senator Mark Steven Kirk, Republican of Illinois. Mr. Kirk demanded answers to 12 questions about the survey.
Mr. Kirk asked why the survey was needed, since, he said, “there have been a number of reputable studies that confirmed many patients on Medicaid and Medicare cannot find a doctor to see them.”
A spokesman for the health department said the survey was “on indefinite hold.”’
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