Monday, October 18, 2010

ACOs Threaten Quality Medical Care

The PPACA is "nudging" doctors out of independent practice and into working as employees of large practice groups or hospitals. This move is occurring because of the bundled payment structure of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) which favors "vertical integration" of doctors, hospitals and health plans.

The only problem is that bundled payments are simply capitation rewritten, and employee physicians face divided loyalties between the needs of their employers and the desires/needs of their patients.

This arrangement is especially insidious when coupled with the ethics of "social justice" which gives a physician the moral OK to sacrifice his patients to the "greater good" of society. What is good medicine for the masses is often at direct odds with what is good for the individual patient--and thus, quality medical care suffers.

Resources:

For more on the PPACA effects on private practices see "Killing Marcus Welby: How ObamaCare stifles private practices" by Scott Gottlieb, MD, NY Post 10/18/100

For more on problems with the underlying assumptions for ACO's see "On Being Politically Incorrect and Realistically Correct about ACOs" by Richard Reece, MD at Medinnovation, 10/7/10

For more on the destructive effects of the concept of "Social Justice" on the availability of quality medical care, see Dr. Rich Fogoros at The Covert Rationing Blog.(multiple posts)

See also:'"Deconstructing ACOs" by John Goodman at John Goodman's Health Policy Blog, 8/18/10

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