February 09, 2009

So much for choice in medical treatment

Get ready to have your medical records combed through to confirm you're receiving only the treatment your government deems appropriate.

One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446).

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
Can someone please explain to me WTF this is doing in a bill that is supposed to help stimulate the economy? If my doctor and I agree that the most efficacious way of treating my narcolepsy is to pour used condom residue in my ears and then dance around like Milli Vanilli, where does it lie in any of the powers granted to the federal government to even think about penalizing my doctor?  I can understand my insurance company refusing to cover it, as used condoms might be a medical device not specifically detailed in my coverage, but if I'm shelling out the dollars for the treatment then where does the federal government fit in to any of this?

Posted by: Alice H at 03:22 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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