Thursday, August 30, 2012
There are 600,000 physicians in America who care for the 48 million seniors on Medicare. Of the $716 billion that the Affordable Care Act cuts from the program over the next ten years, the largest chunk—$415 billion—comes from slashing Medicare’s reimbursement rates to doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes. This significant reduction in fees is driving many doctors to stop accepting new Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to gain access to needed care. Here are a few of their stories.
Monday, August 27, 2012
As physicians face declining third party payments, comply with expensive government mandates such as electronic medical records and attempt to navigate through burdensome government regulations, it is no surprise that more and more physicians are leaving "private practice" and becoming "employees" of large hospital chains. The benefit to doctors is apparent; more predictable hours and no more need to manage a small business in a ever changing healthcare environment. Unfortunately, this consolidation of physicians within powerful hospital chains is actually driving up the cost of healthcare in many communities around the nation.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
"The Real Tragedy Of Obamacare Has Yet To Be Felt By The Poor", Forbes.com
"One of the most tragic failings of ObamaCare is that it will make it harder for many of the most vulnerable citizens – patients with no option but Medicaid – to get care".
"Medicaid is cumbersome, complex, and wasteful – already the worst health care program in the country. But rather than making changes to improve or modernize this program designed to finance care for the poor, the Obama administration is trying to convince states to add at least 16 million more people to Medicaid".
Full article available here.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
D4PC Opinion: Obama healthcare machine set to legislate "better outcomes" by imposing financial penalties on hospitals who they determine are having too many hospital readmissions over a specific time period. Of course, government bureaucrats and number crunchers fail to recognize factors beyond hospital/physician control such as patient non-compliance with medications, diet, follow up and other disease modifying behavior.
"A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals evaluated by Medicare starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News".
"Starting in October, Medicare will reduce reimbursements to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates -- which refers to patients who return within a month -- by as much as 1 percent. The maximum penalty increases to 2 percent the following year and 3 percent in 2014".
"Among patients with heart failure, hospitals that have higher readmission rates actually have lower mortality rates," said Sunil Kripalani, MD, a professor with Vanderbilt University Medical Center who studies hospital readmissions. "So, which would we rather have -- a hospital readmission or a death?"
Thursday, August 23, 2012
As we've said all along, competition and patient choice will help bring down the cost of healthcare and improve quality, NOT the new Obama healthcare law with its massive regulations and bureacracies. It's not rocket science folks and has been proven in the other 5/6 of the American economy over the past 236 years. Why should healthcare be any different? LASIK corrective eye surgery, which is not covered by third party payers and their price distortions, is a perfect example of how high technology services have provided great patient satisfaction at prices which continue to fall. Watch this video and learn how simple proposals akin to the D4PC "Prescription" will allow healthcare prices to fall and quality to increase.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Welcome to D4PC "Morning Rounds", your daily review of healthcare news and information from Washington, DC and around the nation. These briefings will keep you up to date on recent developments and our effort to replace the PPACA with patient-centered reforms that protect the doctor-patient relationship and preserve individual freedom of choice.
"Romney Care 2.0", The Wall Street Journal
D4PC: Massachusetts has the highest costs of medical care in the nation, despite the passage of Romney Care in 2006. This is largely due to lawmakers' focus on expanding access rather than reducing costs. Sound familiar? Now with a state budget that has 54% of revenues going to healthcare, a desperate governor and state legislature are taking over the practice of medicine in Massachusetts and instituting "price controls" on physicians, healthcare providers and hospitals.
"Under the plan, all Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure—that is, permission to practice".
"As the commission polices the market, it can decide to supervise the behavior of any provider that exceeds some to-be-specified individual benchmark—that is, doctors and hospitals that are spending too much on patient care. These delinquents must submit a "performance improvement plan" that the commission must
"In other words, the commission is empowered to control the practice and organization of medicine".
Thursday, August 16, 2012
As the 2012 election draws near, Obamacare rules regarding how an insurance company uses premiums are now forcing these carriers to issue "refunds" to thousands of voters in the next couple months. The timing seems very suspicious to us, however, these "goodies" will be coming to individuals and corporate/small business human resource officers soon. The problem for recipients is that although receiving "money" in the mail is always a pleasant surprise, the fact is it is "your" money and the additional accounting and reporting requirements makes the refund meaningless and actually more expensive for Americans. Alas another failure and unintended consequence of the president's healthcare takeover.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Are you having trouble finding a doctor who will see you? If not, give it another year and a half. A doctor shortage is on its way.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Obamacare violates American values down to our country’s very DNA.
A majority of Americans continue to oppose the health law because we understand that it is at odds withthe fundamental principles and democratic processes of our country. We were aghast at the way the law was enacted two years ago — ignoring citizens who were marching in the streets and burning up the phone lines on Capitol Hill pleading with legislators to vote “no.”
We oppose its government-centric takeover of our health sector with its mandates on individuals to purchase government-approved health insurance, mandates on businesses to pay for insurance or pay huge fines, and the massive new government bureaucracy to centrally manage one-sixth of our economy.
Friday, August 10, 2012
A year ago, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) changed the rules governing the schedules of medical residents. The new work hours were intended to curb resident fatigue, which the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had previously concluded was contributing to medical errors and accidents. But the new duty hours have actually exacerbated fatigue, jeopardized resident education, and endangered patient care at our nation’s teaching hospitals.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
This headline should be seriously considered by all Americans. First, with the persistent decline of the US economy, an unprecedented number of unemployed Americans are becoming eligible for Medicaid and will therefore be affected by these new policies. Additionallly, as a direct result of legislation within the Obama healthcare law, more Americans again will come under the control of Medicaid for two specific reasons.
First, with the law's significant expansion of Medicad eligibility, 18-24 million Americans are likely to find themselves in this bankrupt program, some of whom may currently have private coverage. Secondly, due to the employer mandate, many businesses will find it less expensive to pay the "tax" for non-compliance and dump their existing medical insurance plan. This financial decision will leave workers on their own to either enter the Medicaid program or try to find coverage in the tax-payer funded state insurance "exchanges" if one even exists in their state.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
States that have refused to implement the Obama health law have already blocked $80 billion of its new deficit spending. If more states follow suit, they can block the other $1.6 trillion and force Congress to repeal the law.
Friday, August 03, 2012
"In truth, prospects are bleak that you will be able to keep your doctor and even bleaker that there will be enough doctors to meet demand under Obamacare. Physicians say they simply won’t practice under Obamacare rules that strip away much of their autonomy, drown them in bureaucracy, and leave them even more exposed to lawsuits".
Thursday, August 02, 2012
D4PC Ophthamologist Dr. Zane Pollard details his career experience with government medical payers and how he believes the new healthcare law will cause a devastating deterioration to an already bad system.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
D4PC: This article gives a great explanation how the Affordable Care Act will hurt all Americans, yet the greatest impact will be on those who are the most vulnerable; low-skilled, entry level workers.