Federal Government Institutes The Harbingers Of Death Panels: Accountable Care Organizations
They’re called “Accountable Care Organizations,” and they’re coming soon to a hospital near you:
(CNSNews.com) – The new year will bring a new phase of Obamacare to an estimated 860,000 Medicare patients.
Under the new system, individual medical claims filed with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be shared with doctors and hospitals unless Medicare patients opt out of the data-sharing.
Starting on Jan. 1, 32 health care organizations from across the country will take part in a “Pioneer Accountable Care” initiative, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Monday.
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) — made possible under the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act — are supposed to provide “coordinated care” by having a patient’s multiple doctors communicate with one another — and with the hospital — about the best course of treatment.
The goal is to achieve better health care for patients at a lower cost, Sebelius said.
To help doctors provide “better care,” CMS says it “will share with participating ACOs some types of Medicare data” — including a “history of medical claims that can provide ACOs with a more complete view of the beneficiary’s complete medical needs.”
Medicare patients may opt out of having their “identifiable data” shared with ACOs, CMS said. Medicare patients will receive written notification from the ACO regarding their right to opt-out, as well as information on how to do so. They will have 30 days to respond before CMS starts sharing their medical claims with an ACO, although “beneficiaries maintain the ability to opt out at any time.”
The whole premise here, even the name of the organizations, is that somehow health care services should be accountable to someone other than the patient.
In the past, health care was all about the patient. You went to the doctor, and the doctor made you well. Or, at least, eased your suffering. The doctor was accountable to you, the patient, for doing a good job. Now, in addition to and perhaps in replacement of the patient, the doctor must be accountable to a government Accountable Care Organization to whom most patients will be automatically opted in.
This is scary stuff. During the Obamacare debates I wrote that the idea of government acting to make health care more efficient ought to send a chill down our spines. Because no matter how pure the motivations for the policy, it’s still going to be government applying a one-size-fits-all solution to our health care.
In a free market, those who supply the goods/services should only be accountable to those who consume the goods/services. In health care, the government is slowly weaseling its way into that relationship, and it won’t end well for Americans.Tags: accountable care organizations, death panels, obamacare