The Biden administration will offer bonuses to doctors who “create and implement an anti-racism plan” under new rules from the Department of Health and Human Services, a move meant to update Medicare payments to “reflect changes in medical practice.”
Effective Jan. 1, Medicare doctors can boost their reimbursement rates by conducting “a clinic-wide review” of their practice’s “commitment to anti-racism.” The plan should cover “value statements” and “clinical practice guidelines,” according to HHS, and define race as “a political and social construct, not a physiological one”—a dichotomy many doctors say will discourage genetic testing and worsen racial health disparities.
The “rationale” for the bonus, the new rules read, is that “it is important to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially-defined racial groups.”
Such premises have found a receptive ear in the Oval Office, which has taken steps to institutionalize them throughout the federal bureaucracy. Hours after his inauguration, President Joe Biden signed an executive order launching a “whole-of-government equity agenda,” one plank of which was the “equitable delivery of government benefits.” Read more…