Friday, July 30, 2010

Senator Grassley to Mr. Berwick: Show Us the Money

In a letter to Dr. Donald Berwick, the newly appointed Director of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), Senator Charles Grassley asks for clarification of Mr. Berwick's potential conflicts of interest as Director of his Institute of Health Care Improvement:
One of the many significant issues related to your nomination that remains unresolved is the potential for conflicts arising from donors to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the organization you founded and led a Chief Executive Officer. The public has the right to know whether the numerous and significant policy decisions that you make are vulnerable to these potential conflicts of financial interest.
More importantly, Mr. Grassley asks:
In addition, please indicate whether IHI continues to provide benefits to you and your family including health care coverage as indicated in IHI's audited financial statement.
Imagine a cook not eating at his own restaurant.

Imagine an auto mechanic not taking his car to his own shop.

Imagine a hospital administrator not receiving care in his own hospital.

And yet the American people are to receive care in a system where it's own directors, tasked with making literally life and death decisions on their behalf, are exempt from receiving care in the same system.


Reference: IHI's 2009 Federal Tax Form 990.


Anonymous said...

"it's own directors, tasked with making literally life and death decisions on their behalf, are exempt from receiving care in the same system."


Berwick and family will receive care at hospitals and from doctors that are completely inaccessible to other Americans?

You're intentionally confusing health care and paying for health care.

Anonymous said...

Senator Grassley? Ah yes, that would be the same Sen. Grassley who condemned the "death panels" in healthcare reform. I hope ecery physician who is reading this has read Atul Gawande's New Yorker article titled "Letting Go". And isn't Grassley from Iowa whose GOP members are seeking to revoke Obama's citizenship because he accepted a "foreign title" - in other words - the Noble Peace Prize? Yes indeed, he is a fine representative of our illustrious and brilliant Congress.

DrWes said...

Anony 10:01-
At a time when Americans are paying a larger portion of their health care bills, Mr Berwick will enjoy free health care courtesy of payments (in part) from Americas hospitals. Mr Berwick's IHI receives $5K per hospital per year for the priviledge to take part in their safety programs. Further, in 9 short years, Mr Berwick has amassed $1.7 million in retirement benefits from those same fees and other undisclosed grants.

Because of these benefits, Mr Berwick will enjoy a very different level of care, courtesy of America's health care infrastructure that the rest of us pays for.

Anonymous said...

"Mr Berwick will enjoy a very different level of care,"

No, DR. Berwick will receive a very different level of care insurance.

I agree with the point that DR. Berwick has pigged out at the trough, but he will still be receiving care (regardless of how it's paid for) in the same system that other Americans use.