Saying the Right Thing

The head person (Administrator) of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is saying the right things.  Her name is Seema Verma and here are some of her comments:

  • “I’d like to think of regulatory reform in terms of painting a house.  Typically, repainting needs to occur every few years, and before you do it, you need to strip the layers of paint underneath. Unfortunately, during past administrations CMS has been simply applying new layers of paint without taking this essential step.”
  • Verma announced the launch of a “Patients over Paperwork” initiative, geared towards scrapping or reducing regulations while lowering healthcare costs and enhancing patient care.
  • “Regulations do have their role. They’re very important to assuring patient safety and quality and for program integrity, but there’s a fine line between being helpful and being a hindrance”.
  • Over the last 5 years, the agency has released about 58 rules per year — the equivalent of 11,000 published manuscript pages, Verma continued.
  • She also highlighted providers’ frustration with reporting metrics into the electronic health records (EHR), asserting that currently, “the burden associated with reporting quality measures outweighs their utility.”

I like this.  Now let’s see some action because talk means nothing to me.  For example, in the article I linked above there were quotes/recommendations by the head of the American Hospital Association and the AAFP.  Both of which made me throw up in my mouth a little.

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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] 

  3 comments for “Saying the Right Thing

  1. R Watkins
    October 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Brain dead AAFP President Munger said (reading from a script supplied by Judy Faulkner) that “Because of physicians’ considerable frustration with electronic health records . . . (CMS should) require physicians to use a certified electronic health record.”

    That’s how to attack the problem head on!

  2. Steve O'
    October 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Seema. Verma. Wikipedia:

    Seema Verma is an American health policy consultant and the current Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, serving in the Trump Administration. She is the founder and CEO of SVC Inc., a health policy consulting firm.

    Translation – she is terrific at eight miles above the target at saturation-bombing altitude, releasing a payload, and returning to base, marking up a successful sortie. She probably knows nothing about the ground war. These folks will only accelerate the “disruptive improvement” already seen. What they are good at is constructing an inherently-flawed healthcare “shell” that creates intermediaries to regulate the quality of data produced at kernel level, with absolutely no flippin’ idea what the terrain is like.

    I suggest purchasing Au Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book about Viet Nam, a tale of the Vietnam War on Fred Reed’s website; and of course Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Contrary to the business school Model Of Everything, an embracing understanding of how the hell something works is necessary to fix it. A Tiger Team Meeting with no doctor, nurse or provider at it, is a blind Tiger.

  3. October 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Like you, Doug, I’m encouraged that at least she’s talking the talk. Let’s see if she can walk the talk.

    Involvement of the AHA and AAFP leadership concerns me as well. After all, the bodies they represent have been making hay off the current and past sickcare system.

    Time will tell. I wish her well in her efforts. It will be better for all of us if she is successful.

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