Fear and Physicians

“They are really after us, the physicians,” said the chief medical officer, also a physician, about diagnosis related groups or the DRG prospective payment system for healthcare. A confusing array of acronyms and events was triggered by federal legislation calling for this change in healthcare payment that put prices on medical procedures related to categories of disease diagnosis called prospective payment. “Now,” the chief medical officer said, “a little old lady can decide if she can afford to buy groceries or have her pacemaker adjusted.”

There are lots of numbers flashing on the healthcare dashboard. The numbers relate to the amount, type, number and duration of healthcare services provided during the treatment of a specific disease process and prospective healthcare use category. Categories range from healthy to very ill. That is why personalized health programs are recommended. What did the “little old lady” decide I wonder?

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