Mayo Clinic calls provisions of Obamacare so complex, they are unworkable

An earlier post explained the portion of Obamacare that creates Accountable Care Organizations, or ACO’s.  They are essentially a group of doctors and hospitals and testing services that would form one business entity to take care of all of the medical needs of “assigned beneficiaries”.  In Obamacarespeak, a “beneficiary” is someone on Medicare.  The “assigned” part is still a mystery.

In early April, the Department of Health and Human Services issued it’s draft regulations covering ACO’s.  Although the comment period for proposed regulations is still open, the early results are not encouraging.


…in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration…saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

A little bit of information on this “umbrella group”.  It is the American Medical Group Association.  Other than the Mayo Clinic, it,

represents nearly 400 large medical groups around the country providing care for roughly 1 in 3 Americans. Its members, including the Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, had been seen as the vanguard for accountable care. [emphasis supplied]

And, here is the problem.

The medical groups say they are worried they will be left holding the bag for losses, that the government has designed things so there is no easy way to tell which patients are part of the program [I think this is the “assigned” part], and that there’s no reliable way to adjust for patients who are sicker and require closer follow-up and more expensive treatments.

This is somewhat problematical for the administration which had anticipated some $960 million in savings over the first 3 years from ACO’s.  And, as you may recall,

[m]any in the health care industry were silent partners backing Obama’s overhaul law, but disappointment over the accountable care rules has put a chill into the relationship. During the congressional debate, Obama extolled Mayo and Geisinger, holding them up as a model of what he wanted to achieve for the nation. Industry criticism of his administration’s proposal has been building up for weeks in online forums.

So, another piece of Obamacare (see: waivers) is falling flat on its face.

Bottom line…the government has no earthly idea how to run a business.  This administration wants to regulate how things “should be”, without any understanding of how things “are”.

9 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    We passed it…and now we are finding out what is in it.?? And the worst is yet to come.
    The road to single payer health “coverage” is paved with allegedly good intentions, but incompetence, greed, and a complete lack of understanding of human nature and economics.
    I am sure this group will be pooh-poohed as naysayers and company shills, but the numbers don’t lie.? But politicians do.? You don’t see any of them out explaining how “good” ?bamacare will be for us now that they jammed it down our throats, do you?
    I am sure that the great ?bama can explain this all away.

  2. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    You don’t think they made it too complicated to work for a reason, do you?
    I can’t wait until they fix it……..NOT!

  3. Eric
    Eric says:

    Does anybody still believe that this miscarriage we call Obamacare will ever get off the ground? It was unworkable from the beginning, which is what the Supremes will finalize next year. I just can’t believe all the time and money our 111th Congress wasted on this fiasco during a time of severe recession. The democrats feet should be held to the fire on this one. Last November wasn’t enough of a beating for them… every clown that voted for this bill should be pink-slipped!

  4. essneff
    essneff says:

    the SOS nails it again!! Eric, I agree, but in CT, we seem to have vapor lock on reelecting Democrats…… I have zero faith in this state’s electorate… i.e. they sent?Audie?Murphy, whoops, I?mean Rambo?Blumenthal to the senate

  5. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    The Carter administration gave us the Department of Energy and the Department of Education as cabinet level answers to deficiencies in energy and education performance.? In both fields the US has now achieved optimal results of energy independence and educational excellence.? What could possibly go wrong with Obamacare?

  6. TomL
    TomL says:

    Their pulling the okie doke. If you can’t dazzle them with brillance, baffle them with bullcrap.? They needed to get something out there and they don’t care what it is. Spend, spend, before the next election?

  7. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Each of us will be an “assigned beneficiary”.??Assigned to a group of doctors?at someone’s whim.? Assigned at birth for newcomers.??
    ?And those who are more equal than others will be assigned to medical?groups that graduated in the top half of their class.

  8. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    I agree that the Administration is trying to regulate how things “should be” without knowing how things “are”.
    More proof that Mr. pragmatic Obama is anything but.

  9. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    How many times will central planning, the bread and butter of communism, be tried, and fail miserably?

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