Can the doctor taking care of you in the hospital be trusted? In this episode of “Health Care News,” Twila Brase, R.N., a leading voice on patient advocacy and privacy, explains how hospitals are employing “hospitalists” who are more accountable to the hospital corporation than to patients. While physicians cannot mistreat patients or neglect their care due to liability and licensing concerns, those employed by hospitals may have to follow standardized treatment protocols that may not be tailored to individual patients.
Minnesota is considering a bipartisan “Trusted Doctor” bill, the first of its kind in the country, that allows patients to choose a trusted physician to treat them, regardless of whether the physician has hospital privileges. This issue arose during the pandemic when family physicians were prevented from treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients with drugs like Ivermectin, as hospitals followed other protocols. Outside physicians were even banned from treating their patients in hospitals from New York to Florida.
Brase discusses when the trend that led to hospitalists really took off, which was during the introduction of the Accountable Care Organizations under Obamacare. Hospitals could receive revenue based on the ACA’s “shared savings programs,” and so physicians were pressured to be more accountable to their hospital employers.
Additionally, Brase highlights the continued work on HIPAA, the often-misunderstood privacy protection provision in healthcare.