Monday, August 29, 2011

Physician Alignment

Want to hear a new bullsh#t term?  How about "Physician Alignment"?  In an article entitled Physician alignment biggest obstacle to ACOs in the American Medical News, it is explained why one bogus term (ACO or Accountable Care Organization) is being trumped by another bogus term (physician alignment).  Huh? Supposedly, "accountable care organizations are confederations of doctors, specialists and hospitals working to coordinate care, administer payments, determine quality and safety benchmarks, and measure performance. All parties would receive shared savings."  Kind of rolls of the tongue.  Not.  Anyway, the article also says that "alignment is often defined as all parties agreeing to shared goals and the means to achieve them." So this is about money and control, eh?  Why didn't they just say so?  Something tells me I know which group is going to cave in and get screwed.


Pat said... if doctors join a 'confederation' of non-doctors that determines the 'shared savings' i.e. da' cash, then that is perfectly alright in the eyes of the government. However, if those same doctors create their own group to determine their respective payments, that amounts to price fixing and is a Stark violation??

Yeah, docs will once again receive the abuse for which they begged. Suckers.

Glen said...

The group that is most accountable is the patients. Until we measure care outcomes, availability, and out-of-pocket cost from the patients' perspectives, "accountable care" is merely palliative care.

With the mass entry of Boomers into the Medicare population, expect a concurrent growth of patient activism. Then we might get real solutions to real problems.

Christopher said...

All this will simple lead to further physician malignment, or was that malalignment or maligamentous dysunification?

Should probably not post at the end of the work day.

Anonymous said...

I think physician alignment is great. We worked really hard to meet the ACO's benchmarks for adolescent immunizations and steroid inhalers for asthmatics, and in return we got a big shiny trophy filled with candy! (I wish I was making this up.)