Healthcare Business News

Flawed study, and other letters

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: August 4, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

Re: “Mass. patients face cost barriers to care after reform: study,”, July 27: The article reporting the study of access to care in Massachusetts should point out the obvious bias in the sample. If you select only patients visiting an emergency department, you are much more likely to get those having trouble accessing care than if you draw a random sample. The fact that the sampling technique is seriously flawed makes the results unreliable, a fact that should be noted. Researchers use this sort of approach because it is more convenient than valid sampling.

Thomas Walsh

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Working with foxes

Re: “Feds announce new anti-fraud initiative,”, July 26: “The government is partnering with insurers to find healthcare fraud on real-time basis.” This is a great step forward in eliminating waste in healthcare spending. But isn't it also working with the foxes to see that the chickens stay in the coop? Don't improper claims denials, payment delays, poor billing systems and a sense of profit entitlement among insurers all add to the total cost of healthcare? And there are many other reasons, too. But looking only to the insurers as perhaps “THE” solution is short-sighted.

Douglas Butt
Cedarburg, Wis.

Horrid editorial

Re: “Tune it out,” Editorial: Please don't equate political ads against re-electing (President Barack) Obama as unhealthy for patients to watch or participate in. This article is horrid. You tune out and don't be a part of the republic—vote for whom you support. You should be ashamed of writing this, and Modern Healthcare should be ashamed to put it in print. Patients aren't mindless sheep—don't ask them to be.

Abigail J. Eubank
Nurse practitioner
Hendersonville, Tenn.

Seeking a simple message

Regarding “Medicare ACO participants hit firewall,”, June 7: While I understand the magnitude of looming resource and cash shortfall issues, and the need for a realignment of incentives, I am concerned the industry has come out of the blocks a little too quickly with respect to this program. I am not convinced that our technical infrastructure or our ability to deliver to Medicare recipients is up to the pace that we have set. Certainly the current reform morass is in some part due to our inability to formulate a simple, cogent message so that we can better manage expectations. I am concerned that we will repeat this error with this program as well.

David Contento
Ridgewood, N.J.

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