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Medicine Strangled by 'Regulopathy,' States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- "In the 'Age of Regulopathy,' morning rounds focus on items on the quality checklist, such as Foley Catheter Days, rather than patient well-being," notes the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in the September issue of AAPS News. Catheters need to be pulled before the post-op clock strikes 48 hours.

Benefits may be outweighed by adverse effects, AAPS explains. For example, early removal of central intravenous lines may mean fewer central line infections, but more wounds may dehisce (open up) as patients become malnourished.

With ObamaCare, the burden will rise rapidly. AAPS states that 20,000 pages of regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had been issued by Apr 30, and as many as several hundred thousand more are expected.

"Team Obama is now the red-tape record holder," states AAPS News. It posted 78,961 pages in the Federal Register in 2012, and the all-time record number of 81,405 in 2010. "For increases in red tape, the U.S. is in a class with Zimbabwe, Burundi, and Yemen."

Counting both compliance costs and opportunity costs, "we are 75% poorer than we might have been under the 1949 regulatory regime," states AAPS.

The ACA makes the imposition of more regulations much easier. AAPS points to the fact that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is exempted from the administrative rule-making requirements that apply to all other federal agencies. This even goes beyond "fast-track" authority.

A major burden being imposed on physicians, under the pretext of improving quality and efficiency, is the electronic health record, AAPS states. After adopting EHRs out of fear of federal penalties, "one in five physicians may be filing for divorce from their [EHR]."

The EHR introduces new kinds of errors. One physician, commenting on AAPS News, writes that errors are easy to introduce and hard to remove: "I have cared for a female patient with prostatic hypertrophy and a 70-year-old male cataract patient being treated for post-partum depression."

The ACA will drive many independent physicians out of practice, states AAPS. Its malign effects are not restricted to doctors. Michael Riesberg, M.D., writes: "The destruction of private medicine and the overburdening of small businesses by ObamaCare will further the cause of destroying the middle class."

The AAPS case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA, AAPS v. Sebelius, is pending in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

CONTACT: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.comSource:Association of American Physicians & Surgeons