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Wendell Potter: Dangers of 'captured' regulators

Center for Public Integrity, September 25, 2012

The months-long Center for Public Integrity investigation into the Medicare program has uncovered a textbook example of the expensive consequences of what's known as "regulatory capture." Doctors and hospitals are likely being overpaid billions of dollars, which is hastening the depletion of the Medicare trust fund, because lawmakers and regulators put lobbying and professional groups representing healthcare providers in charge of writing the rules that determine reimbursement. And to make matters worse, to maximize revenue and profits, some doctors and hospitals have figured out how to game the system to their financial advantage by abusing what has been held out as a means to improve care and reduce administrative costs—electronic health records.