Will patients be unwelcome in doctor’s offices? On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it’s moving away from fee-for-service Medicare payments – the way you pay your plumber, your hairstylist, your photographer – and planning to tie 30% of Medicare payments to “quality” by 2016 and 50% by the end of 2018. For doctors still getting reimbursed for actual services provided, HHS wants to link 90 percent of their payment to “quality metrics” by 2018. (PoliticoPro, 1/26/15)
This means your physician may not get fully paid. If doctors don’t meet government standards – if they don’t practice standardized medicine; if they don’t electronically collect and report your private data; if they don’t convince you to take the flu shot – they may not get paid.
You may become a threat to your doctor’s and hospital’s bottom line, especially if your condition is expensive, chronic, or complex — or if you don’t stay healthy.
Doctors may abandon critical thinking – and with it, their patients. They may do whatever the computer screen tells them to do. Hospitals may limit treatment choices on the computer. And the best doctors may retire rather than violate their conscience.
How did this happen?
It began when Congress offered “free” health care. All sorts of Medicare price controls have been tried, including managed care in 1998 (now Medicare Advantage), and a “pay for performance” scheme in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, forcing doctors to be paid for their “performance” rather than actual care given.
Then Obamacare established Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to meld doctors and hospitals together and force them to manage patient care, or face financial consequences. The ACO, sometimes called “HMO on steroids,” will be paid a lump sumfor all care given to a defined group of Medicare recipients enrolled in the ACO without their consent. Thus, doctors and hospitals become insurers. By law they will split savings (and losses) with the federal government.
Doctors will face extraordinary pressure to cut care. Under Obamacare’s “value-based payments,” they’ll be paid according to the “value” they provide. Big Government, Big Health, Big Data, and Big Business are in support of this unethical bureaucratic method to cut costs by cutting care. To drive VBP, a new “Transformation” task forcelaunched today.
Patients should be alarmed. These controls are enabled by electronic health records (EHRs). The “tell all, see all” EHR is being pushed by both Republicans and Democrats. On January 27, Republicans issued a “21st Century Cures” document including a plan to advance a “national interoperable health information infrastructure.” And Obama’s team views Health IT (nationwide linkable EHRs) as “the foundation for a truly 21st century health system where we pay for the right care, not just more care.”
These words are chilling. Who will decide “right care”? Not you.
The loss of your physician as your advocate in your most vulnerable hours is another reason why Obamacare must be repealed. Your generous donation of $25, $75, $150 or more to CCH Freedom today will be used to stop Obamacare by every means possible until repeal.