To the Editor:
Oh how comforting are the words of HCFA Administrator Nancy Ann Min-DeParle in the Medicare Update article (“Changes Proposed for the E/M Documentation Guidelines,” June 1998): “I want to assure you that physicians will not be punished for honest mistakes and we will not make referrals to the Office of the Inspector General for occasional errors.”
It would be helpful if HCFA would define “honest mistakes” and “occasional errors.” I see these as dishonest, politically correct, sidestepping communication techniques. Statements like these translate to grossly dysfunctional policies — unless the new HCFA E/M documentation guidelines turn out to be a health care advancement for all Americans. Hamilton, Jefferson, Franklin and Washington are rolling in their graves with disgust while we remain above ground tolerating these intrusions and losses of liberty.