For your perusal, I’ve taken a moment to list just one (1) tiny little section of the new HB3962 Healthcare Bill and it’s associated explaination (by me)….
SEC. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS (This doesn’t mean just ATM payments, it means any computer based transaction, record keeping, billing, reporting, etc. Anything a clerk, nurse, doctor or janitor puts on the computer)
(a) Standards for Financial and Administrative Transactions (this just lets you know it’s not just record keeping, but ‘financial’ too, and that doesn’t just mean bills, it also means payment plans, financing, treatment plans, etc.)
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall adopt and regularly update standards consistent with the goals described in paragraph (2). (this isn’t set in stone, it means we’ll change it based on our goals listed below)
(2) GOALS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS- The goals for standards under paragraph (1) are that such standards shall, to the extent practicable– (meaning if it’s at all possible with technology, ie. If we can do it, we’re going to)
(A) be unique with no conflicting or redundant standards; (this won’t be any standard we’ve used before, it means we’re going to make all new standards)
(B) be authoritative, permitting no additions or constraints for electronic transactions, including companion guides; (ie. this will be the final say, we have all the authority, NO CONTRAINTS for electronic transactions means basically we can do whatever we want, ie. no limitations)
(C) be comprehensive, efficient and robust, requiring minimal augmentation by paper transactions or clarification by further communications; (comprehensive and robust means it will cover every facet of everything that is even vaguely related to healthcare. Minimal ‘augmentation’ by paper records means it will be all computer based, no pesky paper records to come back and bite us in the ass, and NO CLAIRIFICATION BY FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS means we don’t have to explain why we do anything)
(D) enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, on a specific date or range of dates, include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card or similar mechanism; (this means we’re going to look at your bank accounts before we give you any healthcare, then, based on what we see in your accounts, we’re going to decide who WE think you need to see, at what hospital or doctor’s office, and on what date, ie. we decide how long you wait. The ‘machine-readable’ health plan is just that; a card that identifies you and will tell anyone and everyone what’s wrong with you, and what the Government thinks your treatment plan should be.)
(E) enable, where feasible, near real-time adjudication of claims; (this means we’re going to bill you RIGHT NOW. It also means that they can draft your account on the day of treatment. This could lead to people no longer being able to pay by cash or check. You might be forced into having your healthcare drafted from your account without your approval)
(F) provide for timely acknowledgment, response, and status reporting applicable to any electronic transaction deemed appropriate by the Secretary; (anything that you find out, we find out, duh, ‘status’ reporting!?! and ‘any transaction’ means health plans and private information and diagnosis too. BTW, have you seen ANY mention of privacy in this section?)
(G) describe all data elements (such as reason and remark codes) in unambiguous terms, not permit optional fields, require that data elements be either required or conditioned upon set values in other fields, and prohibit additional conditions except where required by (or to implement) State or Federal law or to protect against fraud and abuse; and (this means you can’t hide your diagnosis in medical-speak, and it also means that we’re going to tell you in no uncertain terms what we expect from you, which is everything.. also, ignore the ‘protect against fraud and abuse’ portion, who do you think makes State or Federal Law?)
(H) harmonize all common data elements across administrative and clinical transaction standards. (can someone explain to me just what ‘harmonize’ means in legalese? but pay very close attention to the word ‘clinical’ …that’s the ‘see, we told you we’re going to look at your medical records’ part)
This is my own interpretation of this particular Section of the Bill. I’m sure they will expand the definitions to cover even more than the little I’ve explained here. The gov. will come up with interpretations of interpretations until they use this Bill to control absolutely everything in your life (as related to healthcare, but what isn’t?)
If you want to read and interpret the Bill yourself, you can find it here:
You can also choose a different section to analyze, since I counted about 683 Sections (but I might be off by one or two, I didn’t bother to count them twice to verify my count). There’s plenty of good sections left to choose from, like Sec. 2511 School Based Health Clinics (get ‘em while they’re young!) and Sec. 2512 Nurse Managed Health Centers (Doctors! We don’t need no Stinkin’ Doctors!!), and I personally like Sec. 59C Surcharge on High Income Individuals (pay close attention to the part about ‘Nonresident Aliens’..
Anyway, that’s about all I can stand for today, so good luck and have fun in your analysis.
One more thing….here’s a picture of the physical dimensions of the Bill.
Sitting next to it (on top of Stephen King) is a pocket U.S. Constitution…..