An effort to protect hospitalized patients

An effort to protect hospitalized patients

An effort to protect hospitalized patients

Legislators have introduced a first-ever "trusted doctor" bill in Minnesota, and one advocate of health freedom hopes the idea catches on.

Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), favors the legislation (SF 2388 and HF 2735), which establishes the "right of hospitalized patients to receive treatment from their own doctors," who are not required to have hospital privileges.

Brase, Twila (CCHF) Brase

"The patients would not be left under the care of individuals who don't know them,"
 explains Brase. "They would not be left at the hands of people that don't know them -- who might only be following the hospital protocols for care and who do not care about them as much as their trusted physician does."

But she expects a hard fight over this in the Minnesota Legislature. The measure in the Senate is bipartisan, and the House version is from Republicans.

"Given the way the legislative session is now, we don't expect it to actually get a hearing," Brase tells AFN. "However, there is the possibility that it could come onto the floor as an amendment to one of the healthcare bills, and so that is really our next step in the Senate."

The CCHF president would like to see this tried in other states.

"We can keep what happened to COVID patients from happening again," says Brase. "They don't have to be stranded. They don't have to be isolated. They don't have to be abandoned to people who may not have their best interest in mind in the hospital."

Though the movement away from care directed by the patient's own physician became more visible to the public during the pandemic, Brase says it actually began "in earnest" with the Affordable Care Act's "shared savings program" and its Accountable Care Organizations. Hospitals soon began employing their own physicians (hospitalists) who are responsible to the hospitals, not the patients.