As someone who has Googled AMGA in search of the American Medical Group Association only to find the American Meat Goat Association's website instead, Outliers is aware that acronyms used in healthcare are not unique to the world of medicine.
Outliers: Hashtag roulette
This is especially true on Twitter where, by putting a # in front of name, subject or comedic cliche (#amIright?)—you can cut through the clutter and find out what people are saying about subjects that interest you—usually.
Unfortunately, for the American Medical Association—which has adopted the rather unwieldy Twitter handle of @AmerMedicalAssn—many others use #AMA to denote the American Music Awards, American Motorcycle Association and something in Spanish that Outliers couldn't quite decipher. The AMGA has the same problem, as it seems there are more #AMGA tweets in Spanish than English.
The American Medical Association's Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee serves as a pay advisory panel to the CMS and is better known as the “RUC.” But if you search for #RUC, you'll also find protests over plans to close the Rutgers university Camden campus.
Speaking of Medicare payment, the sustainable growth-rate formula—or SGR—used to calculate Medicare reimbursement for physicians is a commonly tweeted topic, and doing a Twitter search of #SGR will turn up plenty of tweets from doctors urging congressional action to repeal the spending formula, which calls for slashing physician pay by 27% on March 1.
There also appears to be some other meaning for SGR in other languages. For most young English-speaking tweeters, however, #SGR appears to stand for (ahem) “S%*t getting real.” Outliers is stumped on the exact intent of this phrase, but—if Congress doesn't act on stopping the threatened physician pay cut—we have a feeling its meaning will be apparent Feb. 29.
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