Washington, DC--The Department of Health and Human Services, acting on instructions from the Bush Administration, today dissolved the JCAHO and the NCQA and instead instituted a faith-based system of accreditation for hospitals and healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists.
"Let's face facts," said one high-ranking HHS official. "The hospital-medical complex has done diddlyxx#$@#@^%&%$# in the past century or so. Let alone not finding a cure for cancer, it hasn't even found a cure for the common cold. We believe that science is highly overrated and that faith-based medical care is the way to go."
Criteria for faith-based accreditation are still being hammered out, but unnamed sources say that judicious use of leeches, the laying-on of hands, group prayer sessions, ouija boards, seances, and crossing one's fingers and toes while performing or undergoing certain medical procedures are possibilities.
Hospitals and healthcare professionals will thus no longer be required to adhere to the many annoying standards and scientific facts previously required for accreditation. In fact, certain medical standards, such as the concept of antisepsis, will no longer be required, meaning that surgeons will now have the choice whether to wash their hands or pray before operating."
"Has washing hands before surgery really solved anything?" snapped a conservative radio talk show host. "The deficit keeps getting bigger, and Medicare is still an albatross. What, exactly, has the washing of hands in hospitals accomplished?"
"People spend too much time talking about science, science, science," said a television commentator who has been paid to promote the administration's faith-based healing initiative. "We know that many randomized clinical trials are run by people like Hillary Clinton who just want to sneak in national healthcare coverage for the entire world. These trials don't really prove anything! Maybe drug A worked better than drug B because the patients who took drug A prayed a lot. did anyone ever stop to think about that?"
Hospitals and long-term care facilties responded by firing their Quality Assurance departments and using that portion of their budgets to expand their chapels and cafeterias.
"It's hard to initiate faith-based healing on typical cafeteria food," said one administrator. "People will be more prone to give thanks if they can sit down to a meal of filet mignon, garlic smashed potatoes, and tender asparagus braised in lemon juice, olive oil, and butter, followed by a high-fat, high-calorie chocolate dessert, instead of eating gray meatloaf and stale crackers."
"Every time someone spontaneously gives thanks, we rack up more points toward accreditation," the administrator continued. "If that's the way the administration wants to play it, we're just going to have to follow suit in order to keep our federal funding."