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.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “The “Experts” and Biased Articles

  1. Steve O'
    April 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    And now we try to build an exciting, tech-driven version of the HMO. We pretend that Tech has overthrown the world of economics. Weee!
    In truth, the ACO is now a retread of the failed HMO in which the operators strive to control costs by withholding services, occasionally subject to dire punishment from the Overseers for providing substandard care. The rules for “good care” and “bad care” are dense and vague – they essentially depend on the mood of the High Judge on that particular day. It will provide medicine MORE mystical and uninterpretable intrusion of faceless petty potentates driven by the universal principles of contempt – for the physician, for the patient, for the community.
    The whole thing hinges upon our creation of a technological Wonder-Machine more appropriate in a children’s movie than in a discussion of reality. I’m reminded of…
    Jeremy: What a funny noise it’s making!

    Caractacus: It’s talking to us–all engines talk!

    Jemima:What’s it saying?
    It’s saying Chitty Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
    Oh you pretty Chitty Bang Bang,
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    We love you.
    Yes, the Flying Green EMR will overwhelm physics, economics and common sense, to make the HMO experiment work again. The Flying Green EMR will produce Something out of Nothing – we expect it! It is merely one small example of our century’s Ship of Fools, medical style.
    Near, far, in our motor car
    Oh what a happy time we’ll spend.
    Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Our fine four fendered friend.

  2. Perry
    April 24, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Typical adminspeak with all the right buzzwords.
    Interpreted as:

    “We are going to hold doctor’s feet to the fire to make sure they’re not overordering tests and making our “shared savings” go down.”

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