If you’re an evidence-based thinker or an advocate of transparency you’ll practically be moved to tears by Brian Klepper’s account of the latest chapter in the life of a relatively obscure committee. It and our near-slavish deference to it explain much of what is wrong with the U.S. health system.
Thus ends the latest attempt to dislodge what is perhaps the most blatantly corrosive mechanism of US health care finance, a star-chamber of powerful interests that, complicit with federal regulators, spins Medicare reimbursement to the industry’s advantage and facilitates payment levels that are followed by much of health care’s commercial sector. Most important, this new legal opinion affirms that the health industry’s grip on US health care policy and practice is all but unshakable and unaccountable, and it appears to have co-opted the reach of law.
Too few know how much power the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) has and what it’s done with it. Though I’ve known about it for ages, I am guilty of rarely posting about it. Brian Klepper has been beating the drum for years. Give him and this issue a little time. His latest is on the Health Affairs blog and he blogs regularly at Care and Cost.