This past Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued statements of denial about the idea that the health department has been implementing policies to incentivize physicians to create and maintain anti-racism plans for their clinics.
When questioned by Republican Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer concerning the various anti-racism policies, which the lawmakers stated just undermines the confidence of doctors, Beverra replied: "We don’t have a policy as you’ve described. Our policy is to try to tackle the disparities that we see in healthcare access."
"Much of this is driven by the mis and disinformation," stated HSS Secretary Becerra. "I would challenge you to show me where in our policies we call anything we are doing anti-racism policies. We are simply trying to make sure everyone has equal access to healthcare."
Apparently, Becerra either intentionally misled the viewpoint of the public on this idea or he is entirely ignorant of the policies of his own department, stated the Do No Harm chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb: well over 1,000 pages into the fiscal planning book for 2022 of the Department of Health and Human Services sits a hidden proposal to "create and implement an anti-racism plan."
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued that particular proposal hidden inside the Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) updated policies back in November 2021, highlighting an update that incentivizes providers "to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially-defined racial groups."
Apparently, this new policy has already passed its wait period and gone into effect as of 2022.
Goldfarb stated in a release that it is "highly alarming" that Becerra would outright lie about the existence of these rules, highlighting the idea that the rule has given "higher compensations for doctors if they promulgate an ‘anti-racism’ plan."
"It would be greatly concerning if Secretary Becerra was unaware of the discriminatory policies being implemented by his own department," stated Goldfarb as of Thursday morning. "More likely, he knows that ‘anti-racism’ is deeply unpopular with the American people."
"Either way, the policy is unethical and promotes the very discrimination that we have worked so hard in this country to eliminate," continued Goldfarb. "Secretary Becerra should immediately move to find and eliminate all race-based policies being advanced by HHS."
Such anti-racism plans would be based upon anti-racism planning tools like the CMS Disparities Impact Statement, as stated by the proposal, which is a tool for "all health care stakeholders to achieve health equity for racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, individuals with limited English proficiency, and rural populations."
This proposal seems to cite a January 20, 2021 "Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government" from Biden and goes on to emphasize that "this activity begins with the premise that it is important to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially defined racial groups."
@USRepGaryPalmer asks @SecBecerra about @HHSGov’s highly controversial “equity” policy adopted last year of providing higher Medicare reimbursements to doctors who embrace woke policies. Becerra responds: “We don’t have a policy as you’ve described.” pic.twitter.com/H836jnYguv
— Do No Harm (@donoharm) April 27, 2022
"We believe this activity has the potential to improve clinical practice or care delivery and is likely to result in improved outcomes … because it supports clinicians in identifying health disparities and implementing processes to reduce racism and provide equitable quality health care," the proposal went on.
"This activity is intended to help clinicians move beyond analyzing data to taking real steps to naming and eliminating the causes of the disparities identified," reads the document. "We also propose making this activity high-weighted because clinicians will need considerable time and resources to develop a thorough anti-racism plan that is informed by data, and to implement it throughout the practice or system."