The Corner

Centralized Medicine Erodes Individualized Care

The socialized NHS is infamous for having doctors practice to the bureaucrats’ memos.

It’s now happening here. Federal law requires hospitals to have patients fill out satisfaction surveys to determine payment rewards and punishments from on high.

This has led to an allegation that hospitals seek to gain patient customer favor by over treating pain. From the Wall Street Journal story:

In a sign of growing alarm about painkiller addiction, a group of U.S. state health officials, doctors and consumer advocates is calling for a stricter approach to treating pain in hospitals and clinics.

The group of 60, including senior health officials from Pennsylvania, Vermont, Alaska and Rhode Island, is recommending new guidelines for pain treatment, saying current standards are too aggressive and contribute to overuse of addictive painkillers.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the group urges the agency to stop surveying patients about how well their pain was controlled while in the hospital, a set of questions the agency uses to help judge hospital performance and determine payment.

The group argued that the pain questions “have had the unintended consequence of encouraging aggressive opioid use” because hospitals aim for high scores on the surveys.

Get it? What matters in centralized-control medicine isn’t so much the actual condition of patients, but rather, complying with bureaucratic guidelines from on high. 

But here’s the thing: If the requested bureaucratic shift is accepted, the new guidelines will inevitably lead to some patients remaining in unnecessary pain.

Complaints will ensue, which in turn, will lead to yet another bureaucratic “fix.” And another, and another, ad infinitum

Why? Because the underlying cause of the chaos–centralized control–is never challenged.

Most Popular

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More
U.S.

Baby Please Come Back, Says Andrew Cuomo

Then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg famously described New York City in 2003 as a “luxury product,” and therefore priced accordingly. The price hasn’t changed, except to go up slightly — taxes, rents, everything. But few would argue that the product New York offers remains first-rate. The theaters are closed. The ... Read More
U.S.

Baby Please Come Back, Says Andrew Cuomo

Then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg famously described New York City in 2003 as a “luxury product,” and therefore priced accordingly. The price hasn’t changed, except to go up slightly — taxes, rents, everything. But few would argue that the product New York offers remains first-rate. The theaters are closed. The ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More