Avoid 'greased pig' strategy

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When I was a boy, just for fun at afternoon picnics, we participated in an amusing energy-consuming contest. A young piglet of a few months’ age was lathered up with Crisco and about 10 naïve, pre-adolescent boys would chase and try to corner that little pig on a church softball field. Several times, we would actually briefly catch the squirming, slippery, frightened fugitive, but before we could carry him back to the gate, he would wriggle free from our tenuous grasp, and the whole squealing escapade would start afresh.

As a physician, I can tell you that doctors are very much like that greased pig – or at least, the federal government views us that way. They find it very hard to control and manage such a wily creature.

So, at the end of our little event, how did the farmer get his pig back? I watched as he would pull a crate out of his truck and put it onto the field of play. What he did next has stuck with me ever since. He unwrapped and started eating a chocolate bar. The remainder he waved under the pig’s nose, then tossed it into the crate. The little pig happily followed until he dropped the door behind the temporarily satiated swine.

For the past two years, Medicare has been offering to pay doctors $44,000 to participate in their electronic health record (EHR) data collection scheme under the auspices of better information-sharing, time savings or improved record-keeping. They also will pay the doctors in terms of a percent of Medicare billings a bonus as long as the doctor meets “meaningful-use” criteria.

After 2015, this will turn into a penalty for any doctors who don’t electronically comply. The criteria, of course, of necessity demand that the EHR be immediately shared with the Department of Health and Human Services via the Internet.

That forty-four grand is just like the chocolate bar, and after what we have seen the Internal Revenue Service do to target political enemies of the current administration, are you comfortable in having them in control of your medical decision-making as laid out in Obamacare? A few doctors, myself included, have declined to participate, choosing rather to opt out of Medicare altogether, or at least not to be complicit in the data collection scheme.

You should demand that your Medicare benefits be paid directly to you instead of the provider, if you even choose to continue to play along. If you confront your doctors about the privacy of your EHR – and in my opinion the record is yours – they likely will relate to you that they cannot get paid without it.

Look into House Resolution 1700, the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act.

James Oakman, M.D.


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carcraft 05/23/13 - 05:30 am
The IRS has all ready

The IRS has all ready illegally seized millions of patient's medical records from California and those records include all the federal judges health information! Welcome to the world of government excess!

ymnbde 05/23/13 - 07:40 am
we get upset when they won't open another checkout line

at wal-mart, but not when they add millions to the government health care system, and don't add a single doctor
this is going to be very bad...

deestafford 05/23/13 - 07:40 am
Am I not wrong

when I say that the American Medical Association (AMA) has been carrying the water for the obama administration on everything medical related?

RMSHEFF 05/23/13 - 08:55 am
We are witnessing the

We are witnessing the destruction of the best medical system in the world.
This is part of the "fundamental change" we were told we needed. Both patients and doctors are "invited" to take advantage of all of the goodies that come with the changes however the end goal has nothing to do with healthcare. Complete federal control is just around the corner and there will be no more need for the "carrot" only the "stick".

soapy_725 05/23/13 - 09:13 am
We have Medicare Insurance....

that we paid for our entire working careers. Not a single day goes by that we do not receive a phone call wanting to know how we are feeling and wishing to take a short survey of our current health. Not that this isn't annoying enough, but the phone numbers in IL, OR, OK, CA, etc. cannot be accessed by return phone. One in particular is not even a valid phone number. _ _ _ 059 _ _ _ _. So says the operator.

And these are not robotic calls.

rebellious 05/24/13 - 12:04 am
Sleeping America

The majority of Americans are lazily lifting eyelids as they hear of or read articles such as this. The real awakening will happen when they realize the penalties (Supreme Court said they are Taxes) which will kick in if they have no insurance. And the impact to businesses....I met a local restaurant owner with 65 employees (if I named it, you would recognize it instantly), who is contemplating closing if the Obamacare kicks in as scheduled. Sad, just sad. And Pelosi said "You have to pass the bill so you can see what is in it". Absolute Insanity.

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