The “Experts” and Biased Articles


We are all aware of throwaway journals. We, as doctors, get them sent to us all the time.  And to be honest, I do read some of them but mostly because I need fodder for this blog. I really didn’t know how bad they were until I read this article in the Family Practice News entitled New ACO model positive for physicians, experts say.

If you are like me then you would have assumed from the title that this was a study showing the benefits of ACOs to doctors. Nope.  That is where the piss poor reporting comes into play.  Here are the experts:

  • “It’s a really good sign generally that CMS is willing and able to adapt to some of the major structural problems with the Medicare ACO model,” said Julian D. “Bo” Bobbitt Jr., a health law attorney in Raleigh, N.C. “Changing incentives to reward higher quality at lower cost and to align those is extraordinarily promising.”
  • Beneficiary incentives are a key contributor to successful care management, said Larry Kocot, a health law attorney in Washington. “It’s really hard for a provider to be able to deliver coordinated care to a beneficiary if the beneficiary is not a full participant,” Mr. Kocot said in an interview. “In order for the beneficiary to be a full participant, [he or she] should for instance, be able to select [his or her] provider. This model will allow for that.”
  • Dr. Patrick Conway, chief medical officer at CMS, said the next generation ACO is a response to physicians’ feedback and requests. “The ACO model responds to stakeholder requests for … greater engagement of beneficiaries; a more predictable, prospective financial model; and the flexibility to utilize additional tools to coordinate care for beneficiaries,” he said in a statement.
  • The new ACO model is a likely reflection of how other accountable care organizations will be structured in the future, notes Dr. Farzad Mostashari, cofounder and CEO of Aledade, an ACO consultancy. Dr. Mostashari is the former national coordinator for health information technology. “It is a glimpse of what the whole program is going to look like in a few years’ time,” Dr. Mostashari said in an interview. “This is directionally, absolutely where the Medicare Shared Savings Program is headed.”

To summarize, two health law attorneys, a chief medical officer at CMS, and a doctor at an ACO consultancy company are the experts they are using.  No biases there.  Do you think they would say anything negative?  Pathetic.  Speaking of ACOs, where is the accountability of the magazine or the author, Alicia Gallegos?  She needs to talk to doctors like me who can call out these bogus incentives and trojan horses for what they are. Crap.