Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mayo Clinic Opposes ACOs

The 6/10/2011 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that, "Mayo opposes key health reform provision". In summary, the Mayo Clinic "says it already is accountable to patients without the government's proposed oversight system."

Here's an excerpt:
The Mayo Clinic says it will not be part of a critical piece of national health care reform under the government's proposed rules.

The prestigious Rochester clinic is raising questions about accountable care organizations, or ACOs, which are supposed to be updated -- and better -- versions of health maintenance organizations. Approved as part of the 2010 health care law, they are designed to improve care and cuts costs by over half a billion dollars a year.

But Mayo says the proposed regulations from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conflict with the way it runs its Medicare operations, which treat about 400,000 patients a year...

Among the clinic's biggest concerns is the government's demand that patients be included on oversight boards that judge performance. Mayo doesn't do that now and is not eager to change.

"You don't have to have a [patient] on the board to make [treatment] patient-centered," Wood said.
(Read the full text of "Mayo opposes key health reform provision".)

Government ACO rules presume that bureaucrats know better how to run their operations better than doctors and hospital administrators whose own reputations are profitability are at stake. This is just another example of the central planner fallacy applied to health care. (Link via D4PC.)

Michael Cannon argues a similar point in his 6/3/2011 piece in Kaiser Health News, "ACO Debacle Exposes Obamacare's Fatal Conceit". (Via PatientPower.)