Obamacare Increases Unnecessary Medical Tests, Wastes Doctors’ Time, Drives Up Billings And Costs

President Obama claimed Obamacare would cut healthcare costs, but it actually increased them in many ways, some of which are chronicled here. Here are yet more Obamacare fees and cost increases. Another example is given by Mickey Kaus, a staunch supporter of universal health care (he once thanked Obama and Nancy Pelosi for passage of Obamacare), who points out that Obamacare’s $19 billion in taxpayer subsidies for electronic recordkeeping appear to have backfired and increased healthcare costs. It subsidized hasty, premature installment of electronic recordkeeping systems that waste physicians’ time (reducing interaction with patients), and result in the performance of more, rather than fewer unnecessary tests and medical procedures, as well as increased billings for trivial activities.

As one of Kaus’s readers put it,

My wife is a staff physician [at] a major East Coast hospital.
Her employer was one of the first to sign up for federal money to implement a system which hospital management freely acknowledges is “terrible” but there was so much money on offer that they couldn’t say no.
Probably the biggest problem with electronic records is simply that it requires the physician to input all notes and orders, rather than dictate them.
As a result, as my bride puts it, “they’ve taken the highest-paid person in the department and turned him/her into a data entry clerk”.
On average, she and her colleagues spend more time per patient wading through drop-down menus, clicking boxes and filling in required but utterly irrelevant information than they do at the bedside, actually treating the patient.
In short, it’s her experience that they see fewer patients per shift than they did previously, and spend less time with each one, now that they are required to sit down at a computer after seeing each patient and jumping through hoops to place orders instead of, as previously, simply telling the nurse what is needed and then moving on to the next patient.

As another Kaus reader notes,

it is even worse than this.

i am a “youngish” man who, though outwardly healthy as a horse, was recently diagnosed with a serious heart condition. . .

One of the commenters above mentions the healthcare providers receiving federal money to implement electronic records software. One of the more problematic aspects of that is that there was a mandated date to have the software up and running of they would lose out on that taxpayer money. In the rush to cash in, they neglected to implement proper training procedures.

The result, at least from my experiences, is that no one was properly trained on the software and literally potentially fatal mistakes are being made.

I found out that there mistakenly were two electronic charts created for me, with neither offering my complete profile per my diagnosed condition. A caregiver would look at what they thought was my only chart and decide on procedures and therapies that might actually kill me because necessary additional info was on my other chart. I actually caught them trying to do things to me that I knew would be extremely harmful. I had to spend several days in the hospital and I made sure there was someone there with me at all times to make sure that if were not lucid there would be someone to have a watchful eye.

Obamacare has also had other negative effects, such as causing layoffs in the medical device industry. Even liberal Democrats in the Senate, such as Al Franken, are admitting the medical-device tax contained in Obamacare will wipe out many jobs. In a statement in December, “Sen. Al Franken called it a ‘job-killing tax’” that will “impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.” Employers are now cutting full-time workers and replacing them with part-time workers (which helps conceal high unemployment) to avoid Obamacare mandates that apply to full-time employees, a phenomenon chronicled at the Huffington Post and on Fox News. Obamacare will reduce employment by an additional 800,000 because of work disincentives and bizarre income-cliffs. The Dean of Harvard Medical School, Jeffrey Flier, noted that Obamacare will reduce life-saving medical innovation. The Associated Press and others have noted that it breaks a number of Obama campaign promises.