“Mystery Shopper” Plan Scrapped

Plans by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to use “mystery shoppers” to call on physician offices have been scrapped. HHS announced in April its plans to gauge availability of primary care physicians (PCPs) accepting new Medicare patients, assess the timeliness of Medicare services provided to beneficiaries by PCPs, and assess the reasons why PCP availability is lacking.

Physicians reacted strongly to the proposal, an HHS official told Fox News.

“After reviewing feedback received during the public comment period, we have determined that now is not the time to move forward with this research project,” the official said. “Instead we will pursue other initiatives that build on our efforts to increase access to health care providers nationwide,” Huffington Post reported. The official said HHS will focus on training new doctors and encouraging them to help patients in underserved areas.

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