The arrogance and shortsightedness of regulators and central planners is often astonishing and sometimes worthy of disgust. Here is a case of the latter, and it is one of the most damning things I have read about Obamacare, and that takes some doing.
Dr. Kristin Held is a physician who gained some notoriety last year when she live-tweeted a professional conference as ophthalmologists walked-out on a presentation about implementing and complying with Obamacare. More recently, she has written about the health care law’s perverse incentives for physicians. It is an excellent piece about a sickening effort at medical central planning by the government. Please read it!
What good can be said of a law that discourages physicians from performing procedures that would be of great benefit to most patients with a particular health issue; discourages physicians from tackling the more complex cases; encourages them to prolong an operation, having made the decision to operate. The standards by which outcomes are judged successful under Obamacare, and other rules governing remuneration to providers (Relative Value Units), represent crippling impediments to effective care and innovation in many areas of specialization. Here is part of Dr. Held’s summary:
“Consider again the perverse incentives created by government medicine. If I take a really long time operating — even though it subjects the patient to greater risk — and if I pick and choose who I will operate on, refusing the sickest, neediest patients, I am rated more highly by the government’s published “physician feedback” reports and hospital “performance scores” — and paid commensurately. If, on the other hand, I am skilled and quick and tackle the sickest, most challenging cases, subjecting me and my family to great risk, I am paid less or nothing and potentially punished. ”
HT: Dr. John Probst