Govern­ment power grab

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

The HHS in­spec­tor gen­eral’s re­port that 13.5% of Medi­care pa­tients are harmed by med­i­cal care re­ceived in hos­pi­tals (“A heavy toll,” Nov. 22, p. 10) should send a chill up ev­ery­one’s spine, but not for the rea­sons one might as­sume. Rather than lead to an im­prove­ment in pa­tient care, this kind of self-serv­ing sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis can be con­strued only as a mis­guided at­tempt to jus­tify the ever-in­creas­ing cost of an al­ready bloated govern­ment agency. Trans­la­tion: More govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion, more money for bu­reau­cracy and over­head, and less for di­rect pa­tient care. I’m all for hos­pi­tals be­ing as safe as they can be, but let’s face it—if this 13.5% harm rate was le­git­i­mate, trial lawyers would be mak­ing even more hay out of med­i­cal er­rors than they al­ready do, and hos­pi­tals couldn’t get mal­prac­tice in­surance at any price.

Mike Wil­ter­mood Pres­i­dent, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer En­loe Med­i­cal Cen­ter

Chico, Calif.

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