Friday, April 1, 2011

“Obamacare” Finds a Need to Create Yet Another Bureaucratic Department: Welcome to the new “ACO”!

Upon opening my Email this morning I found a link to this article and I wish this were an April fools joke.

Only a fool would follow this Administration down such a destructive path for their well being and health care needs.

Yours In Truth  Winking smile  Shelly

ObamaCare: Bureauwonks to the Rescue!

Peter Suderman | March 31, 2011

Another day, another trendy bureaucratic health system “fix” from the authors of ObamaCare. The technocratic buzz this week centers on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which are intended to reduce waste and increase the quality of care by encouraging systematic coordination between teams of doctors and specialists. Many of the problems ACOs are intended to address are real. But it’s unlikely that ACOs are the solution; the end result may be to exacerbate many of the difficulties they’re supposed to solve.

Just about everyone agrees that there are serious issues with the way the American health system administers care: Earlier this month, for example, the Government Accountability Office reported that Medicare spends an estimated $48 billion each year on “improper payments” to doctors and other health care providers. To put that in context: Medicare wastes almost four times what private health insurers make in profit each year. That’s the astounding cost of fraud, carelessness, and mismanagement in Medicare today.

More generally, fee-for-service medicine—which pays doctors based on how much they do—encourages doctors to do more, and thus spend more, without performing much in the way of cost-benefit analysis. The fact that roughly 90 percent of all medical care is paid for by a third party—either a private insurer or a government program—only exacerbates the problems associated with the fee-for-service model.

Unfortunately, ObamaCare’s ACOs don’t do much to address these problems. Instead of freeing medical providers from the constraints of government regulations and payment systems, they add more requirements. Earlier today, the Obama administration released 427 pages of proposed new rules regarding the implementation of ACOs. These rules, according to Donald Berwick, the health policy superwonk now running the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “will define how physicians, hospitals, and other key constituents can adopt this new organizational form.” In other words, the new rules constitute a detailed attempt by the federal government to tell primary care doctors, specialists, and other providers exactly how they should work together. Rather than encourage private, market-driven experimentation, ObamaCare’s ACOs create yet another model of care built around satisfying government rules and regulations

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