Dr. John W. Rowe, who is not without impressive academic credentials, recently retired as CEO of Aetna recently authored a five page article in the American college of physician's' journal advocating pay for performance. ACP's position on this is fairly well known and readers will not be surprised to see an article advocating its implementation. However, it does seem a bit audacious to have the former CEO of a major health insurer to pontificate on the "moral basis for physicians...to support efforts to control costs,improve quality of care and participate in pay-for-insurance initiatives."
Some internists members of the ACP might be puzzled as to how an insurance company executive
becomes qualified to lecture them on morality particularly when that insurance company- as well as others- was taken to court by numerous medical societies charging it with various illegal practices designed to seriously curtail payments to physicians and limit patients access to care.
There is, of course, no love lost between practicing physicians and insurance companies in general ,but at least in my experience, Aetna 's reputation in dealing with doctors is near the bottom. The editors of the Annals seem out of touch with real life practicing internists when they choose a former CEO of one of the least liked insurance companies to promote pay for performance.