Sunday, August 26, 2007

Food for Thought

I recently ate dinner and paid my tab at a local restaurant.

I looked at the amount: $53.61

Tell me, was it a good meal?

What, you’re having trouble telling what the quality of the meal was from how much I paid? What's that you asked? Oh, you want to know how many people were dining? Why that's not important! Just tell me: was it a quality meal?

Impossible to tell, right?

Now imagine your "Checkbook" just won the jackpot and got its hands on a database of 4 billion or so Medicare payment amounts and the names of the doctors that received them.

Tell me, which of these doctors are the good, er, quality, doctors?

Come on, people. You have the DATA! What the heck's wrong with you? There it is, black and white. Surely you'd send your wife or child to the doctor with the most receivables from Medicare, right?

Oh, no? What's the matter? Having trouble making the connection between Medicare payments received and the quality of a physician?

Me, too.



rlbates said...

Really nice post, Dr Wes. Sure wish the folks who thought up this new "quality" measurements would read it.

RoseAG said...

I recommend "Freakonomics."