Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stupid hospital tricks

Marty Makary, MD, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of "Unaccountable: What Hospitals Don't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care," says  hospitals are gaming the system, among other problems with our health care system.

How? They make their readmission numbers look good by putting patients who return with problems after a procedure in a special observation area instead of showing them as readmissions. A report from the Agency for Healtcare Research and Quality shows a reduction in complications--but it is because of the way hospitals "code" those ailments.

Sure, there have been improvements in health care--but this is not really tracked. Patients get a new heart, but this isn't followed once they go home--that sort of thing. Or we try to determine the success of knee surgery by readmission rates--not how the patient is walking in three months.

Only about 1% of medical care is tracked, according to Makary.

He also decries the medical culture--it's see something, DON'T say something.

He recommends doctor groups and others deciding on ways to measure outcomes.

Who would benefit? Maybe you!

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