By tying doctor pay to patient satisfaction scores, Obamacare’s ‘pay for performance’ system is going to disproportionately hurt minority doctors. Here’s why.
Imagine that you’re an optimistic third-year medical student walking into the ER. Your first patient says to you, “I don’t want any black doctors touching me.” There you are in your brand new white coat—the apotheosis of your and your parents’ hopes and dreams—but still, to this patient, you’re a black doctor. You try to ignore the sting in your eyes—the shame of it. You suck it up, say nothing, and move on.
But it turns out that to a lot of people, I’m still a black doctor.
Yet, the influence of race was completely ignored when the government tied patient satisfaction scores to doctor’s pay. We have to ask: In what way will a doctor’s race be financially rewarded or penalized by our government?