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Federal Policies Hurt Doctors Who Treat ‘The Poor’

From the New York Times:

Health Law’s Pay Policy Is Skewed, Panel Finds

By ROBERT PEAR | April 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — Federal policies to reward high-quality health care are unfairly penalizing doctors and hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people, according to a new report commissioned by the Obama administration that recommends sweeping changes in payment policy.

So here we go. This is a push for even more income/healthcare redistribution. A way must be found to make sure that people on Medicaid get exactly the same medical treatment as people who are paying $2,000 a month for their insurance.

Which will now be even easier, since Obama-Care has given the government so much control.

Medicare and private insurers are increasingly paying health care providers according to their performance as measured by the quality of the care they provide. But, the draft report by an expert panel says, the measures of quality are fundamentally flawed because they do not recognize that it is often harder to achieve success when treating people who do not have much income or education.

Low-income people may be unable to afford needed medications or transportation to doctor’s offices and clinics, the panel said. If they have low levels of formal education or literacy, they may have difficulty understanding or following written instructions for home care and the use of medications. In addition, the clinics and hospitals they use may lack the resources and high tech equipment needed to diagnose and treat illnesses.

The panel found that existing payment policies unintentionally worsen disparities between rich and poor by shifting money away from doctors and hospitals that care for “disadvantaged patients.”

You see? The rich are taking the money away from the treatment of the poor. That must be reversed in the name of social justice!

Measures of health care quality and performance — widely used by Medicare and private insurers in calculating financial rewards and penalties — should be adjusted for various “sociodemographic factors,” the expert panel said. The panel was created by the National Quality Forum, an influential nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that endorses health care standards…

“Factors far outside the control of a doctor or hospital — patients’ income, housing, education, even race — can significantly affect patient health, health care and providers’ performance scores,” said Dr. Christine K. Cassel, the president of the organization…

Absolutely. Diseases are very racist. We need more affirmative action in medicine. Quotas

The Obama administration commissioned the study, but is not entirely comfortable with the recommendations, officials acknowledged. The existing policies of the National Quality Forum and the government say performance scores should generally not be adjusted or corrected to reflect differences in the income, race or socioeconomic status of patients.

Steven H. Lipstein, the president of BJC HealthCare in St. Louis and a member of the panel, said: “The administration’s current policy on adjustments for socioeconomic status are quite inadvertently exacerbating disparities in access to medical care for poor people who live in isolated neighborhoods. I’m sure that’s not what President Obama intended with the Affordable Care Act.”

You wanna bet? We suspect Mr. Obama and the Democrats wanted to make the problem worse, so it can be fixed — their way.

The 26-member panel said policy makers who devise or use performance measures should “assess the potential impact on disadvantaged patient populations and the providers serving them,” to avoid hurting “safety net providers.” …

Which means more money needs to be thrown at the problem. Stat.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 28th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Federal Policies Hurt Doctors Who Treat ‘The Poor’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    The best friend of Big Business is Big Government

    All the rest of you can take a hike ..

  2. captstubby says:

    “Diseases are very racist”

    Democrat Dictionary;



    Anything that walks, crawls, flys or swims

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