California Punishing Hospitals That Provide Too Much Health Care: ObamaCare Rationing Setting In

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Rationing is for wartime, and for communism. And it’s also for patients under Obamacare.

Big changes are coming to the Obamacare marketplace for California, as hospitals are being punished for providing the ‘wrong’ kind of care.

According to Dr. Lance Lang of Covered California, the stat’s health insurance marketplace under Obamacare,

“We’re saying ‘time’s up.’ We’ve told health plans that by the end of 2019, we want networks to only include hospitals that have achieved this target.”

According to WBUR news,

“Here’s how hospitals will be measured: They must perform fewer unnecessary cesarean sections, prescribe fewer opioids, and cut back on the use of imaging (X-rays, MRIs and CT scans) to diagnose and treat back pain.”

I can already hear the uproar from women over the definition of an “unnecessary c-section.”

Essentially, hospitals will now we judged by a few key targets.

Let’s take c-sections for example. The target for hospitals is now to deliver more babies vaginally while ignoring the reason for c-sections. With fewer c-sections, women are less in control of their own health outcomes, unless they work with their doctor to lie on their paperwork to change the need for a c-section to one that’s approved by the marketplace.

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According to Lang, California hospitals are using c-sections for 40% of births in the state. One hospital in particular delivers by c-section in 78% of cases.

“That means that when a woman goes to a hospital, it’s the culture of the hospital that really determines whether or not she gets a cesarean section, not so much her own health.”

I get the feeling that Lang has never spoken to a pregnant lady before.

So why focus on c-sections? It’s because payments for hospitals are higher for c-sections than for vaginal deliveries. According to Health Care Journalism,

“You’ve got to align payment incentives with the quality goal that you’re seeking… if you’re paying more to just have episodic c-sections, then all the money is going there instead of where it needs to be.”

That is, c-sections are raking in too much money, and they must be stopped. Sorry ladies, your own preferences don’t matter.

And with opioids. Instead of tracking usage, and using the data to figure out if the use of opioids is causing harm by feeding addiction, or if opioid usage is related to patients not getting treatment for their pain, the only goal is less opioids.

It’s similar to the 1990s craze of low fat. Nutrition guidelines pushed for lower fat content, in foods, which instead drove up the amount of sugar and the number of calories, making people fatter than before. In other words, it’s impossible to control one factor without seeing change elsewhere.

Other Goals: Fewer Scans For Back Pain

From the perspective of patients, back pain is notoriously hard to diagnose, and we all know several people who spent years struggling to have their pain recognized and treated.

By limiting the number of x-rays, MRIs and CT scans to find the source of back pain, Dr. Lang says that it’s actually a “quality improvement project” because it has a “deadline.”

According to The Spectator,

“Much of the “research” upon which the initiative is based was provided by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF)… a think tank that does a lot of… well… thinking for bureaucrats like Dr. Lang. It is the primary source for his talking points on C-sections as well as the cutbacks on diagnostic tests for back pain. The latter has long been the goal of CHCF, which deems such tests unnecessary.”

Here’s a snippet from a report published by the CHCF specifically on addressing the ‘overuse’ of MRIs:

“Focusing on reducing wasteful spending, most supported stricter rules for coverage of MRIs for the first few weeks of acute low back pain. Since other treatments (e.g., physical therapy) can help patients, these stricter rules seemed reasonable.”

Maybe they’re making sure there’s enough money to deal with the onslaught of STDs including HIV that have been hitting the state of late, after Moonbeam Jerry Brown decriminalized forgetting to tell a sexual partner that you have AIDS.

Recently, we highlighted some of the bonkers new laws that were rolling out on the left coast, including bans on plastic bags and banning state visits to neighbors who aren’t cool with tranny bathrooms.

“Before we get started: California’s government is currently $1.3 trillion in debt. Instead of working on their economy or even the ridiculous traffic snarls, they’re prioritizing these insane laws.”

What a nice state.

Sources: WBUR, Spectator, Health Care Journalism

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