Poppy Tweets: “Watch out for those other tectonic plates … the out-of-your-control occurrences in today’s American Healthcare System.”
In the American Healthcare “system”, these are the tectonic plates with caprice ebbing and flowing (the ground moving under our feet) which lead to earthquakes.
Here is my list of these “tectonic plates” issues that you may — or more importantly — may NOT know about … making your health care at risk:
ADMISSION or OBSERVATION: Decided by the “Two-Midnight” Rule. This refers to the likelihood that without a higher level of care, the patient’s health and safety would be compromised.
“ALL-CAUSE” HOSPITAL READMISSION REDUCTION PROGRAM: Any readmission from any previous hospitalization within 30 days will not be covered.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE: This has been the neglected step child of the health care system. The ACA mandated that mental health care be brought up to a par with other medical coverage.
There is a significant OPIOID EPIDEMIC in the United States: Deaths are increasing for two years in a row, life expectancy dropped. Accidental death has now replaced death due to pulmonary disease as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.
UNINSURED: The number of persons under age 65 is 28.2 million. This can lead to Americans dying for lack of health care insurance. DEFICIT REDUCTION is once again masquerading as health care reform — leading to loss of healthcare coverage.
And what causes people to be UNDERINSURED? Health insurance moving toward greater patient cost sharing. Twenty-three percent of 19-to-64-year-old adults (39.8 million people). Health care cost will once again become the leading cause of bankruptcy much as it was prior to the passage of the ACA.
In spite of the best credentialing processes, evidence-based guidelines, and Quality Management, DEATHS FROM MEDICAL ERRORS do occur. Physicians get sued under TORT LAW. Please remember that medical errors do not equate with medical malpractice. Even in the best of hands, there will be untoward events.
Medical error is defined as a preventable adverse effect of medical care whether or not evident or harmful to the patient. Think of it as human error factor in healthcare. It is highly complex and related to many factors from unavoidable to incompetency and lack of education or experience. It is also important to remember that medical errors are also associated with extremes of age, new procedures, urgency, and the severity of the medical condition being treated.
Remember that malpractice should be measured against the skill of the provider.