We all keep hearing of how the costs of healthcare have skyrocketed and that the government has to “do something” about it. Obama keeps claiming, despite the evidence put out by the Congressional Budget Office, that his plan will lower costs. Still, the cost issue is central to this debate so in that vein the House healthcare bill has a few interesting ways to address costs.
One of those cost saving measures seems to be a patient dumping plan that will move the elderly away from more expensive medical procedures and place them in an institutionalized “home” setting reminiscent of some bad horror movie mad-house scene.
CNSNews has learned that the House bill proposes to lower hospital visits by older patients by referring them to what is being called a “medical home pilot program.” This will be a new sort of institution set up to accept the elderly that isn’t staffed with doctors and high cost medical equipment but is instead staffed by nurse practitioners and other less trained personnel.
Critics of the idea, though, worry that this program will amount to patient dumping.
But physicians’ groups say the legislation could lead to restrictions on which treatments may be used for certain conditions, despite the fact that some patients might require a unique or unconventional approach. It also may lead to dumping Medicare/Medicaid patients in facilities that are not required to have physicians on staff.
Worse, this idea might result in a one-size-fits-all style of medical assessment for patients that aren’t as rich as others. It will likely result in policies and procedures that ignore the individual needs of patients shoving them into a situation where their needs are not taken into account. Additionally, this sort of policy would eliminate the recommendation of doctors for a rote policy.
Sadly, these policies may not even contain costs.
“Evidence-based medicine may provide transitory savings in the short term, but the same patient who takes the cheapest available statin today may very well be the patient costing you — the taxpayer, the policymaker, the thought-leader, the sister, the spouse — big bucks when that patient ends up in the hospital because of improperly treated cardiovascular disease,” .
“The repercussions of choosing short-term thinking over long-term results and cost-based medicine over patient-based are pernicious to both the public purse and the public health,” the CMPI report said.
And, once again, it is easy to see that the freedom and liberty, not to mention the physical safety and medical condition, of the public is in second place where it concerns a government take over of healthcare.
(Cross psted at HealthcareHorseRace.com.)