For the past 60 years, the American Medical Association has made the AMA Physician Masterfile available for sale to corporations and other medical entities. Currently, purchasers of the AMA Physician Masterfile database include pharmaceutical companies, consultants, market research firms, insurance companies, hospitals, medical schools, medical equipment and supply companies, health data brokers, and commercial organizations.

AS A PATIENT, information about your medical care is included in the American Medical Association’s collection of physicians’ practice-level data. All doctors are automatically enrolled to have their practice-level information recorded, UNLESS the doctor affirmatively acts to opt-out. It is NOT the choice of the patient, but the choice of the doctor as to whether the patient’s information will be sold.

The American Medical Association does not grant any doctor or patient the opportunity to prevent information about their medical care from being collected in the Physician Masterfile Database. However, the AMA has been willing to give doctors the choice to opt-out of mailing solicitations and sales calls from pharmaceutical representatives. Specifically, the American Medical Association has two options for doctors wishing to “opt-out” of the sale of their patients’ medical information: (1) the Do Not Contact (DNC) restriction and (2) the Do Not Release (DNR) restriction.

(1) DO NOT CONTACT—To add a “Do Not Contact” (DNC) restriction to a Physician Masterfile record, a physician must complete the No Contact Form and submit it to the AMA. Due to the advance purchase of AMA Physician Masterfile information for mailing purposes, it may take 90 days or more for all end-users to implement a No Contact request. As a result, you may continue to receive AMA mailings for 6-8 weeks. (Forms may be completed online, by mail or fax, or by calling 1-800-621-8335.)

  • A Do Not Contact restriction means the physician will no longer receive medically related information from medical publishers, continuing medical education providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers using the AMA Physician Masterfile as a list source.

(2) DO NOT RELEASE—To add a “Do Not Release” (DNR) restriction to a Physician Masterfile record, a physician must complete and sign the DNR Authorization Letter and submit it to the AMA via mail or fax. Due to the advance purchase of AMA Physician Masterfile information for mailing purposes, it may take 90 days or more for all end-users to implement a Do Not Release request. As a result, you may continue to receive AMA mailings for 6-8 weeks.

  • A Do Not Release restriction means the physician’s profile will no longer be available to credentialing verification organizations, hospitals or managed care organizations requesting credentials unless the physician provides written permission. In addition, the physician will no longer receive medically related information from medical publishers, continuing medical education providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers using the AMA Physician Masterfile.

All consumers should be aware that the AMA does NOT offer a “Do Not Collect” option. Importantly, the “Do Not Contact” and “Do Not Release” restrictions only limit the DISSEMINATION of patients’ medical care information by the AMA, and not the actual COLLECTION of this information. Even if your doctor elects both opt-out options, the AMA Physican Masterfile database will still be recording the practice-level activities of your doctor and the care you’ve revieved.

Read more about the American Medical Association and the AMA Physician Masterfile database it sells to corporations.

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