This isn’t directly involved with my causes of patient engagement and participatory medicine, unless you believe that a patient engaged in their health wants to know the best way to be healthy (duh) and thus avoid the need for health care. It keeps costs lower and keeps the family out of the hospital – good deal, huh?
The best way to do that, of course, is with prevention and good primary care. So you’d think preventive services would be the most highly valued.
Well, they’re not, and a major reason is that there’s been a secretive rate-setting cabal for twenty years, which decides who’ll be paid how much. And those people vote, year after year, to pay primary physicians less, and pay specialists more. To quote a Wall Street Journal article last fall:
Three times a year, 29 doctors gather around a table in a hotel meeting room. Their job is an unusual one: divvying up billions of Medicare dollars.
The group, convened by the American Medical Association, has no official government standing. Members are mostly selected by medical-specialty trade groups. Anyone who attends its meetings must sign a confidentiality agreement. …