The AMA keeps a Masterfile on virtually every physician in the US, even those who are not AMA members. It contains information on your education and training, your state licenses, your NPI number, and your ECFMG number (if any). It releases this information to credentialing services. More information is here:
Normally, the AMA will release this information indiscriminately to anyone who requests it. If you want your Masterfile to be released only with your permission, you can fill out a Do Not Release or a Do Not Contact order with the AMA.
More info here:
You can also restrict pharmaceutical reps from accessing your prescribing information by registering with the Physician Data Restriction Program.
More info here:
More information on the PDRP and how the Masterfile is used to obtain prescribing data: https://assets.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/dbl-public/x-pub/pdrp_brochure.pdf
The Do Not Release order adds one extra step to getting credentialed, but it is not difficult. A lot of credentialing services, accustomed to being able to access physician profiles freely, were baffled by my Do Not Release order – indicating to me that shockingly few people have taken the time to enact these important privacy restrictions.
I encourage all physicians to learn more about these restrictions. My personal opinion is that everyone should have orders like this in place. Our personal information as physicians should not be as freely available as it currently is. At the very least, the AMA should advertise the options more openly and be more transparent about how it uses the data of all physicians – even those who are not AMA members.
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