Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Haven't written about medicine in a while.  My quality scores got tabulated.  I looked at everyone's feet if they have diabetes and everyone's blood pressure got taken.  My Too High Hemoglobin A1c measure exceeded goals which doesn't surprise me since people are sent because their diabetes has been poorly controlled despite previous physicians' attempts to control it.  What they could not tell me is whether those numbers reflect my treatment or the treatment of the prior prescriber whose handiwork I inherited.   It makes a difference since my annual bonus is tied in some way to the effectiveness of my work though I may be economically victimized by my own willingness to take on some of the most intractable diabetic circumstances around and have high HbA1c scores assigned to my care before I've made my first medical decision.  The Management could not tell me how this assessment of lab results is assembled.  I did very poorly on smoking cessation measures.  Not because I encourage people to smoke or neglect the reminder that they quit.  There is a box that indicates whether you discussed it?  Absolutely checked YES.  Was it completed?  Of course not, they are still smoking?  However the right answer is also YES because the intent of the question was whether the discussion was completed.  So my scores on that are low, not having figured this out until a few months before Son of NextGen became our Electronic Record that I still do not know how to navigate on this four months after implementation.  And finally there is the requirement that a plan be created for every obese patient on every visit.  Nearly all my diabetics are obese.  They are not sent to lose weight but to reduce their glucoses so they are not both obese and hyperglycemic at the same time.  Insulin makes them heavier.  I have no means of changing how insulin works in storing nutrients.  And if there were effective measures of slimming people down short of having a surgeon reduce the efficiency of their innards, we would have been doing that decades ago.

Yet in the tradition of a Milgram Experiment, Obamacare has a provision for requiring the medically ineffective, and sometimes even the inane, and people in authority follow suit with little question on how this jives with the realities of medicine and even nature.  Now, somebody is willing to pay the hospital and ultimately me a premium for doing stuff like this so if they tell me how and it does not deter effective and justified medical care I'm perfectly willing to shake a few extra shekels from the Medicare Trust Fund too.

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