Is There A Media Bias Against Physicians And Hospitals?
There appears to be the beginning of a string of New York Times pieces that target physicians and hospitals as individuals or institutions geared toward heavy or improper billing. But what about articles as to the misconduct in the insurance industry? Do we see any pieces about their tactics?
For example, our last blog pointed out that the New York Times published a piece featuring dermatologists who order expensive tests and workups on individuals who present with apparently small lesions or skin markings. That article failed, however, to inform the reader that 1 in 7 people who have skin cancer die, and that catching it early is a key life saving measure. Instead, the article focused how much money specialists make versus general practitioners.
The next major New York Time piece to run on health care details a disturbing — if true — scheme by a hospital system to encourage and reward staff who admit patients over age 65 and punish those who do not, all part of a plan to increase hospital revenue. While that allegation is certainly very serious and ought to be covered by the media, we still don’t seem to see any balance or counterweight in the media as to what the health insurers are doing to “control” their “costs” and how their tactics are affecting the community of medical providers and the care that they deliver.
Do we see articles in any serious media outlet regarding the bullying tactics used by insurers? Do they cover the audit and recoupment activities of the health insurance industry or have any realization that the vast majority of these activities are heavy handed, unlawful, and geared toward controlling or tamping down medical providers only to increase the insurer’s profits?
Time will tell.