Meaningful Money

How much does bureaucracy cost?  Well, it turns out that it costs a lot:

  • A new study by the American Hospital Association (AHA) found regulatory burden imposed by federal programs including meaningful use costs health systems and post-acute care (PAC) providers nearly $39 billion a year.
  • Researchers determined the average-sized hospital spends $760,000 annually to comply with meaningful use administrative requirements. Total, hospitals spend an average of $7.6 million to meet all federal regulations — $1,200 per admitted patient.
  • Furthermore, hospitals devote the equivalent of 59 full-time staff members to administrative tasks related to federal regulations. More than one-quarter of these staff members are healthcare providers who would otherwise be caring for patients.

I just LOVE when these articles come out.  The same associations who agreed to ALL this crap are now crying like babies.  Let’s go back in time, shall we?

  • The American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) have their fingerprints all over Obamacare.
  • The American Hospital Association was among the first to take the deal.
  • What the AHA wanted most was to preserve the flow of government money to its member hospitals, especially through Medicare and Medicaid. In exchange, the AHA agreed to the $155 billion in payment cuts, spent incredible sums of money on lobbying, and steered most of its campaign donations toward Democrats.
  • Despite supporting the White House through the legislative process, the AHA never issued an official endorsement of the final Obamacare legislation, but two weeks after President Obama signed the bill, it unrolled an unusual million-dollar ad campaign in the districts of 16 Democratic House members, most of them in vulnerable seats in red states, thanking them for their “yes” votes.

Don’t you just love the internet?

I do not believe that this is easily fixable.  Even if the bureaucratic burdens were removed, I also don’t see hospitals putting any money back into patients or staffs’ pockets.   I just see that money going into their coffers or CEO’s bonuses.  Maybe I am too cynical but I have seen this story before.

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