Here's an article discussing the implementation of two new Obamacare-associated policies.http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/02/hooray-for-two-new-reforms...As expected, these two "reforms" are more central planning. They penalize hospitals for readmissions within one month and reward hospitals for meeting certain quality metrics.From my point of view as an experienced emergency physician, this is just more "red tape" which will complicate care and drive up costs. The penalties for readmissions will be difficult to enforce appropriately and will provide perverse incentives for the way care is delivered. The incentives to promote "quality of care," will focus on metrics rather than the overall care of the patient. Certain metrics will improve but most likely to the detriment of overall patient care. Focusing on certain metrics fails to account for how other variables are affected. It assumes that there is some fantasy world where health care providers have unlimited time and resources. It fails to acknowledge that time spent trying to meet certain metrics and documenting these efforts is time that could be spent on other more important tasks.Predictably, these reforms will fail, as all other similar efforts have failed, due to one basic flaw. They are centered around pleasing a third party (government) rather than the most interested party - the customer/patient.When will they learn? Probably never. In the meantime, my job gets harder and more costly - and patients suffer.dave
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