I’ve devoted several posts in this blog to professional integrity and personal ethics. Medical plagiarism is a serious ethical wound in the medical world and all of us must hold our academic colleagues, medical students and practicing physicians accountable.
In September 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report that delivered a bold and unexpected message – our health care system is wasting money! Who knew? I have to assume that this 18-member panel has plagiarized the Whistleblower as so many posts here are devoted to this issue long before their report was published. I’ll leave it to readers to decide if I should seek judicial redress on this unethical appropriation. This is an opportunity for an ordinary reader to become a Whistleblower.
Whistleblower Readers are Watching!
This panel after a year and a half of study concluded that we’re incinerating a ton of money. Lest you accuse me of hyperbole, $750 billion are being vaporized annually, nearly a third of every dollar spent. How would your personal or professional balance sheet appear if you wasted 30 cents of every dollar? No business or home can remain solvent under that scenario, and neither can the health care system.
Why are there no checks on this system? Here are a several reasons why unnecessary care is practiced.
- Fee-for-service medicine where physicians like me are reimbursed in an a la carte manner.
- Defensive medicine where physicians like me order unnecessary tests to reduce legal risk.
- Pressure from patients who desire more testing and treatment believing that more medicine is better medicine.
- Patients who pursue expensive care of questionable value that they don’t have to pay for.
- Physicians who practice non-evidenced based medicine.
- Rising administrative costs.
Feel free to add to the list. Climbing out the hole will be like scaling a glass skyscraper. Every reform measure angers and threatens a powerful player in the medical arena. I support initiatives like comparative effectiveness research and the more recent Choose Wisely program, which represent the first steps of what will be a very long odyssey.
If any blogger has their eye on this post with an aim of posting it as his own, caution. Whistleblower readers will be watching.