I’m usually not a fan of the stuff in the Huffington Post since it’s–let’s just say–a bit past center politically, but in my ongoing research on HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), I came across a first-person account of how HIPAA and other medical regulations affect the delivery of health care in America.
This was a real eye-opener.
The author, Deane Waldman, is a pediatric cardiologist. In his article, he recounts some regulatory horror stories that help explain why health care delivery is such a mess in the U.S.
Let me just cite a couple of incidents:
Because of mandates by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCOAH), Dr. Waldman must ask each patient if he or she smokes (and plans to quit) and whether he or she has suicidal thoughts. The irony here is that many of his patients are in diapers.
Another fine example involves a letter he received mandating that he attend a training session on Part D of Medicare even though, again, his patients have nothing to do with Part D or even Medicare. At stake, should be not complete the training, was the accreditation of the entire hospital, or at the very least potential fines and/or sanctions.
Read “The Bane of My Existence: Come With Me to Work” for further horror stories.
Now, Dr. Waldman is one guy who can truly subscribe to my motto, “Get off my back.”