Junkfood Science: How bureaucrats think

June 23, 2007

How bureaucrats think

Dr. Westby G. Fisher, M.D., FACC, a board certified internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, IL wrote a great article today questioning another expensive healthcare initiative. He asks if all of that time, energy and effort could have been better used to improve health care facilities, providing programs for the poor and taking care of patients?

Proving Our Worth

I just don’t get it. Here’s how we attempt to control the costs of healthcare in America.

First, we must prove to the medical consumer that we have good healthcare in the US and that Medicare is getting their money’s worth, so we assemble TONS of people in the form of associations including: the American Hospital Association (AHA), Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Organizations, American Association of Retired People, American Federation of Labor and Council of Industrial Organizations, the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Quality Forum, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the National Business Coalition on Health, General Electric, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Next, we give them a nice marketing name like the “Hospital Quality Alliance.”

Then, they then make sure the hospitals and care providers know the “74 answers” to the tests that they’ll be tested on.

Next, they collect scads of information on every patient admitted to nearly 5000 hospitals across the country.

They spend countless hours of personnel time, intellectual energy, and human resources.

Then they crunch the data.....

You won’t believe what they learned.

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