Multiple Coal Fossil Fuel Power Plant Smokestacks Emit Carbon Dioxide Pollution
Multiple Coal Fossil Fuel Power Plant Smokestacks Emit Carbon Dioxide Pollution
Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Now, It’s Carbon ‘Net-Zero Healthcare’ to Fight Global Warming

Wesley J. Smith
arroba Email

I always say that if you want to see what is going to go very wrong in the near future, read the professional journals. The New England Journal of Medicine just published an advocacy article urging that mandatory regulations be imposed on all health-care facilities — including warehouses — to eliminate carbon emissions in health care. And, the editors thought the column was so important that they allow it to be read for free. (Readers may recall one of the authors, Donald Berwick, a proponent of NHS-style health-care rationing who was appointed by President Obama to head Medicare.)

From, “Mandatory Reporting of Emissions to Achieve Net Zero Healthcare” (my emphasis):

We recommend that greenhouse-gas–related measurement and reporting should be a requirement for all health care delivery organizations (HCOs), broadly defined to include inpatient, outpatient, and residential care and their supporting services (e.g., offices, laboratories, and warehouses). Although HCOs currently face competing priorities and are already reporting many quality measures and new green house gas–related reporting requirements are likely to feel onerous, the urgency of the climate crisis and its implications for public health and health system preparedness demand such action.

If you are like me, you are sensing that our health-care system is growing less responsive and efficient by the day. Imagine how much worse it could become if these technocrats get their way and all health-care related facilities and providers are required to report their emissions to Health Net-Zero Central!

It won’t be easy:

We propose the following actions to implement greenhouse-gas–related measurement activities in HCOs to accelerate decarbonization efforts: implementing mandatory adoption of a standard set of reporting metrics across U.S. health care; securing organizational governance and infrastructure for measurement and action; and supporting measurement, benchmarking, and transparency through policy innovations.

Of course, none of these onerous requirements would heal one malfunctioning heart or cure one case of cancer.

Let the imposed bureaucratic responsibilities multiply! Try not to let the bureaucratese cause your eyes to spin in their sockets:

We recommend that HCOs designate a leader or unit responsible for decarbonization who is committed to implementing measurement activities (e.g., data capture, auditing, and reporting) and improving health care infrastructure, the supply chain, and delivery processes to reduce pollution while maintaining or improving care quality. Systematic collection of actionable performance data, analysis of variation, identification of low value care (inclusive of clinical outcomes, costs, resource consumption, and environmental performance) within the system, and continuous feedback are integral to guiding evidence-based improvement and for developing a decarbonization-focused learning health system approach.

Good grief. Remember when practicing medicine was about the patient? No more. Now, it’s bureaucracy, regulation, and increased government control.

Creation of a national measurement system that uses a centralized national reporting database and accounting framework is now essential. This system could be developed through an interagency federal partnership under the auspices of HHS and funded by Congress. Payment mechanisms through value-based purchasing, quality-measure reporting programs, and Conditions of Participation (standards that HCOs should meet to participate in CMS programs) should create incentives for HCOs to report their scope and emissions through this common platform. Incentives for reporting of scope emissions could be added subsequently.

Decarbonization efforts should be integrated with existing public reporting initiatives on accountability for quality, such as the CMS Hospital Care Compare program. Because measurement alone is insufficient, additional policy changes and funding mechanisms must support decarbonization action and interventions.

With all of the wokeness and technocratic impositions the medical establishment is eager to impose on health care these days, why would anyone go to medical school or become a hospital administrator?