Obamacare and Stimulus fund extortion of hospitals for personal medical data
The implementation of Obamacare has spawned a whole slew of new medical terms. Ever heard of “patient centered outcomes research”? How about “meaningful use”, “de-identification”, “propensity scoring”, “selection bias”, or “EHR” (electronic health records)?
Another you will be hearing over and over will be “quality, efficiency, and patient safety”, which is not a new lingo but rather a marketing slogan for the portion of Obamacare this article will address.
“Comparative Effectiveness Research”, or CER, describes the process of gathering mass patient data, analyzing it, and making recommendations for care based on which treatments produce the best statistical outcomes. “Personalized Medicine”, or PM, is defined as “ensur[ing] that health care delivers ‘the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.’ Both are intended to support high-quality, evidence-based decisions for optimal patient care.”
Evidence-based…not much room for the personal care my family physician used to give.
To take one step back, remember that the stated goal of Obamacare is to provide health care insurance for everyone in America. As warned, the providing of millions of Americans and its uninvited permanent visitors who do not all currently have coverage will necessarily require health care rationing. The laws of nature will not allow for more care provided to more people by less providers in the same 24-hour day without rationing.
This brings us back to CER. CER is the first step towards what will in later years develop into the socialist health care system we all fear. As with everything liberal, they can’t just spring it on the public without first disguising it as something warm and fuzzy. Remember “quality, efficiency, and patient safety”.
A new pseudo-governmental agency under the guise of a non-profit has been created to administer CER. It’s called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI. PCORI has been using focus groups to determine the best way to market themselves to the public.
CER cannot be realized until the government gains access to mass amounts of patients’ personal health records and data, including such data as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, genetic characteristics, etc. This data could later be used to effect reimbursement policies and recommended testing procedures, hence creating rationing.
But since most providers still use pen and paper to record patient data, what’s a socialist to do? Dr. Blumenthal of Health & Human Services said this: “‘Provider organizations and payers in competitive environments may not be naturally inclined to share data.’ However, Dr. Blumenthal expressed confidence that these barriers can be overcome, in particular through partnerships the ONC is developing with professional medical societies and other major stakeholder groups.”
Isn’t it reassuring to know your medical treatment has stakeholders?
Here’s the gem: they use taxpayer dollars funded by the stimulus bill ($1.1 billion) and Obamacare to buy private patient information by paying off hospitals and providers to go digital on an approved reporting system. When I say “incentive”, I mean a beginning base payment for hospitals of $2 million each, and $64,000 to individual providers.
But that’s not all. Just like the stimulus money offered to the states and banks, there are strings attached. Providers must qualify for the money by meeting a large set of requirements defined for 2011 and 2012. They have to prove “meaningful use” of the data, as defined by Health & Human Services. The specific objectives were not readily available, but mentioned in the literature was an emphasis on “priority populations”.
You can bet that the requirements for 2013 and beyond will be more and more over-reaching. So, what of providers who do not wish to participate? Not to worry, Obamacare’s addressed that too: “For 2015 and later, Medicare eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will have a payment adjustment in their Medicare reimbursement.”
Looks like rogue providers will be penalized for non-compliance.