Pointed up in the original article was that the Medicare Nazis don't examine all cases; they sample, and then extrapolate. It's Aaron Swartz all over again -- they "make an example" at best, and do "extortion under color of office" at worst.
It's already having an effect. Almost all of the medical practitioners on my appointments list have sent letters or posted notices that they no long accept new Medicare patients. So now, instead of private-sector lawyers looming over a practicing doctor, you now have the "doc cops".
And the worst of it is that the docs don't get their day in court, because of the inflation of the charges.
Personally, I'd like to see a class-action lawsuit against the "cop docs" that exposes, for the public record, all the problems. Subpoena the doctors who have been victims of the extortion, with guarantees of immunity. Then the facts will get out in the open, in the sunshine.
The ultimate solution is for the medical profession to use the Standard Process (via ANSI) to codify the Best Medical Practices, and to have Congress add the force of law to those Standards. Anyone bringing a cause for action must demonstrate how the doctor in question violated the published Best Practices. No violation, no case, period. This can be extended to the "doc cops" in that coding can be associated with the Best Medical Practices so that when a doctor has to "make up" a code, he or she is protected against harrassment or worse.
Such a system would remove the "deep pockets syndrome" in both medical malpractice actions and in Medicare "enforcement".
I'm all for saving money in medicine. When I had my heart attack and subsequent hospitalization, I was overcharged $30K (not covered by insurance) because the procedures were not done for my benefit, but for the benefit of potential malpractice actions if I took a turn for the worst. I just paid off that excess over the past five years, money which I no longer have toward my retirement. So this activity has a real cost to patients.
Want to see medical insurance premiums go down? Advocate for a standards-based medical practice system, one with teeth to stop lawyers from fishing. Let's decide what's Best Medical Practice before the doctor sees the patent, let alone the correct course for treatment. Every single doctor I've seen for the past fifty years has demonstrated he or she wants to do the best thing for the patient, not necessarily the best thing for the malpractice insurance carrier.
No. The ultimate solution is to get teh federal government as far away from anything even resembling medical care in the first place. There is no constitutional authority for them to be messing in this.
Most Doctors are doing the next best thing, refusing medicare.
I'm all for saving money in medicine. When I had my heart attack and subsequent hospitalization, I was overcharged $30K (not covered by insurance) because the procedures were not done for my benefit, but for the benefit of potential malpractice actions if I took a turn for the worst.
So you suffered medical malpractice by the doctor running unneccessary procedures just to line his pockets.