Thursday, January 20, 2011

Criminalizing Independent Physician Practices

Physician-blogger "Dr. Rich" talks about how government rules are "Criminalizing Independent Physician Practices".

In particular, the Federal Trade Commission is using antitrust rules to punish physician groups that negotiate better prices with insurance companies in what the government considers a too aggressive fashion. This trend will accelerate under ObamaCare, as the Justice Department starts getting involved in such cases (not just the FTC.)

The end result:
...[U]nder Obamacare all doctors are to be driven into federally-sanctioned organizations that will operate strictly under government directives. The current parlance for such an organization is the "Accountable Care Organization."

The ACOs will be run by administrators who (theoretically) will become expert at navigating the morass of rules and regulations now being conjured up under Obamacare. These administrators will interpret the rules and regulations in such a way as to determine The Way It Must Be Done, and then will pass The Way It Must Be Done down to the ACOs' clinical chiefs (doctors who perhaps used to practice medicine, and maybe still do, a little, but who are now mainly brevet administrators), and the clinical chiefs will finally pass the restrictive rules of engagement down to the doctors who will actually take care of the patients.

These doctors, struggling in the trenches, will attempt assiduously to follow those rules without exception, if they would like to keep their jobs as well as avoid a federal fraud rap. The patients, of course, will get whatever they get, but always with official assurances that whatever it is they get, it will be of the highest quality.
(Read the full text of "Criminalizing Independent Physician Practices".)

When independent private practices are driven out of business by ObamaCare, all that will be left will be "Accountable Care Organizations" which will be accountable to the government -- not the patient.

ObamaCare must be repealed.