The Quality Inquisition Continues

Who needs proof? Not the “quality enforcers”. Forget the fact that NO ONE can truly define what quality is. Now “Massachusetts is seeking the opinions of thousands of Medicaid recipients about their experiences in the doctor’s office“. This will be fun…and expensive:

Beginning this month, nearly 250,000 low-income and disabled patients will be asked questions such as whether they or their children were able to get appointments when they needed them, whether doctors and office staff communicated respectfully, and whether their mental health treatment actually improved their ability to work or attend school.

I have shown how this has worked for the VA (hint: it didn’t). You could also hit the search bar on this page and type in “quality” for tons of articles DISPROVING this concept. Even the items in the paragraph above can be shredded. Is getting appointments when you need one important? I would think so but what about time spent with a patient? That’s important, too. Well, some docs over so overwhelmed that they can’t see everyone without rushing. Do you see the dilemma?

And here is what they will do with this information:

And the information will allow the state to direct higher payments to better performers. Eventually, officials plan to publicly release some results, allowing Medicaid recipients to compare the quality of provider networks.

It’s the same old story again. The results by this “survey” could be so skewed just by asking the wrong questions. And what if a doctor truly is trying to treat these people in an underserved area but she is the only one? And she has long lines and waits because no one else will help her? The answer is she will be paid less and be publicly embarrassed.

I am all for making the system better for patients. Getting rid of the metrics, which leads to less clicking, is one of my recommendations. This article doesn’t mention ANY of that. It also doesn’t mention that most doctors don’t take Medicaid patients because the payment is so pathetic. All that is ignored as the state government of Massachusetts spends massively for a survey that just cost the taxpayers more money.

Who puts these people in charge of these initiatives, anyway?

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