Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Six years after its passage of a statewide healthcare reform law, Massachusetts' physician shortage in 2012 has hit critical and severe levels for seven specialties. It's a slight improvement from last year's shortage but may be a condition suggestive of what the country may face under national healthcare reform.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Help Dr. Beth Haynes, Executive Director of the Benjamin Rush Society and D4PC executive Board member, find students interested in starting chapters at their school. There is a time sensitive need t o locate students in the NYC area.
Sally Pipes, writing on Investors Business Daily, has an excellent article about the need to give medical students more information about Obamacare.
Recently on "Meet the Press," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised eyebrows when he promised to keep portions of President Obama's health care law in place if elected. The two candidates will no doubt spar over how they'll deal with health reform in the debates, which kick off this month.
One group that will be anxiously watching is medical students — who have identified themselves as ObamaCare's top cheerleaders. Roughly 80% of medical students support ObamaCare, according to a survey of 1,032 at 10 medical schools across the country published in the science journal PLOS ONE.
Monday, October 01, 2012
One of the key provisions of the ObamaCarelaw that could result in drastic cuts to hospitals for treating the elderly and the poor will kick in today. In an attempt to rein in the costs of medical care which many critics say will hurt the elderly and the poor the most, the ObamaCare law will now mandate as of Oct. 1, 2012 that patients who need to return to the hospital for follow-up admissions within 30 days of discharge may not get the level of care they have come to expect.
The new provision will place fines on hospitals for treating returning patients who are readmitted within 30 days after discharge. Critics say that this will lead to serious declines in both the level and quality of care rendered to patients.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Many of “the 47%” Mitt Romney says “believe the government has a responsibility to care for” will find that ObamaCare’s first and deepest impact will be on those who need health security the most – those who are poorer, sicker, and older.
This may come as a surprise since Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed at the Democratic convention that “no matter who you are, what stage of life you're in, this law is a good thing.”
The evidence shows that the most vulnerable citizens will be harmed first in this massive expansion and restructuring of our health sector. Many of the 47% will find they will be worse off after ObamaCare offers its helping hand.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
D4PC: A two time supporter of the Obama healthcare law, former Democrat Senator Evan Bayh gives his new opinion of the unintended consequence of the ACA's tax on the medical device indusry.
The Supreme Court decision in June upholding the Affordable Care Act leaves in place a tax on medical devices that threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness. It will also stifle critical medical innovation in the industry that gave us defibrillators, pacemakers, artificial joints, stents, chemotherapy delivery systems and almost every device we depend on to save lives.
The 2.3% tax will be charged to manufacturers on each sale and takes effect in January. Many U.S. device companies, in response, have already announced layoffs, canceled plans for domestic expansion and slashed research-and-development budgets.
Given the fragile state of the U.S. economy, Congress must move quickly to redress the harm from this tax before it becomes irreversible.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
.........fact that doctors are no longer the agents of patients but instead company employees working on volume and loss prevention. Americans have thus lost advocates for their care and no one takes ownership of the patient. This will be painfully obvious to Americans seeking care in 2014.
Americans need to protect themselves. If we cannot reverse course on this legislation, we will need leverage to protect our self-interests. That leverage comes from controlling where our health care dollars go. Americans should demand Health Savings Accounts (like an IRA for health care), or, at minimum, vouchers or "premium support" for care that will give us some control and ensure that the industry responds to our individual needs.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The headlines shouted “Ryan Booed!” after Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan dared to enter the lion’s den of the AARP on Friday to talk about Medicare.
But that was near the beginning of his talk. What wasn’t widely reported is that the boos subsided and the applause increased as he explained how Obamacare harms Medicare and how the Romney/Ryan plan would save it.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Officials in California want prime-time TV shows to help promote President Obama's healthcare law.
Outreach to television producers is part of the marketing plan adopted by California's insurance exchange — a new marketplace, created by the Affordable Care Act, where individuals and small businesses will be able to buy private insurance.
The exchange's public-relations plan says "individuals from California’s robust entertainment industry will be approached at the most senior levels" to promote the new marketplace and get people enrolled.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.
The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.
The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.
Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
"A Simple Plan," National Center for Policy Analysis
Whatever you think of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) there are two propositions that are hard to argue with: (1) seniors have been singled out and forced to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of a new entitlement for young people and (2) the states are administratively just not ready to implement the new program in time for its January 1, 2014, start date.
So here’s a simple proposal that is also revenue neutral: Delay the scheduled cuts in Medicare spending by five years and pay for that expense by delaying the 2014 start date of ObamaCare by two years.
The delays contemplated here will give Congress time to replace ObamaCare’s command-and-control approach to health care with reforms that will empower patients, free doctors and allow competition in the marketplace.
In the meantime, delaying the start of these two major provisions will protect seniors, save taxpayers money and allow lawmakers time to enact health reforms that actually work.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
........the final version of the Massachusetts law diverged significantly from Romney’s vision for reform. He vetoed eight provisions, all of which were overridden by the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. And Romney’s successor, Governor Deval Patrick, has taken a much more liberal approach to implementing the law.
Romney could calm conservatives worried about Romneycare “if he were to more fully explain the difference between his vision for reform and the law that ultimately was enacted in Massachusetts.”
The Manhattan Institute’s Avik Roy (a Romney health-care adviser) takes an evendeeper dive into the differences between the two laws. Highly recommended.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The medical malpractice tort system in the United States is not adequately accomplishing its three main goals: deterrence of unsafe practices, compensation for injured persons and corrective justice.
However, the Charlotte County Medical Society sees hope within reach thanks to a nonprofit organization — Patients for Fair Compensation.
PFC is proposing a "Patients' Compensation System" that will increase patient safety, as well as provide fair compensation and real access to justice for injured patients. By replacing the current medical liability system with one legally modeled after the workers' compensation system, not only will all three objectives be met, but it will help temper skyrocketing health care costs.
This is a unique solution. This is not tort reform or malpractice caps. This is truly a pioneering, equitable and efficient model for handling medical liability,; one that will work for patients, physicians and our economy.
Monday, September 17, 2012
First the Supreme Court rewrote President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law to save it from the Constitution. Now the Internal Revenue Service claims its new rule can interpret the law in a way that violates its text and history.
The latest outrage against common sense is an IRS rule finalized on May 23. The rule makes tax credits available to participants in federally run health insurance exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). But while Section 1311 of ObamaCare allows tax credits to certain people in state-run exchanges, Section 1321 – the section regulating federally run exchanges – does not.
Nevertheless, the new IRS rule specifies that tax credits will be available through exchanges “established under section 1311 or 1321” of ObamaCare.
By rewriting ObamaCare without statutory authorization, the IRS is engaging in an illegal power grab that will cost taxpayers billions.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Long time readers of this blog will know that I am a strong proponent of direct-pay practitioners, of doctors who “drop out” of the system to establish medical practices in which they are paid directly by their patients. This kind of arrangement is the only way today for physicians and patients to enjoy the classic doctor-patient relationship; you know, the relationship where the patient agrees to confide completely in the physician, and the physician agrees to work solely for the benefit of the patient.
In the modern healthcare system, especially under Obamacare, this classic form of the doctor-patient relationship is not only frowned upon, but is considered unethical. It is unethical because doctors have formally adopted a “new ethics” which obligates them to work for “social justice,” which is a pleasant-sounding euphemism for covert bedside healthcare rationing. The direct-pay model allows physicians to avoid this odious new responsibility.
The entire healthcare system today is disposed to hate the direct-pay model. The reason typically given is that this model of practice will establish unfair “two-tiered” healthcare, the new, undesired tier, of course, being the one in which patients would enjoy the benefits of a professional advocate who is looking out for their individual needs.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Democrats came on strong in celebrating what they also now call “ObamaCare” during speeches at the beginning of their national convention in Charlotte, but enthusiasm waned as the week went on, with President Obama not even mentioning his signature legislative achievement during his acceptance speech on the final day.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Obama is “the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying.” Not true – either on universality or affordability – but he tried.
But the law remains unpopular, and party leaders were urging the president to go all in during his convention address. They wanted the president to lend his political capital to defending, repackaging, and selling the law in Charlotte to make it easier for down-ballot Democrats to face continuing hostility toward the law back home.
Friday, September 07, 2012
I fondly remember going deer hunting with my father and grandfather in Pennsylvania where I grew up. We hardly ever actually killed anything. One deer hunting technique we never used was called “putting on a drive.” You start with a group of hunters at each end of the woods. The first group does the “driving” by walking through the woods making lots of noise. The other group lies hidden at the other end. The first group scares the deer towards the second group for an easy blindside kill. Even if you like hunting it’s not very sportsmanlike. The deer don’t stand a chance.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Want real health reform that is in the interest of you and your family? Don't make the same mistake that Washington did. In formulating ObamaCare, the politicians listened to lobbyists, policy wonks, academics, health theorists, regulators, and occasionally to each other. But they failed to listen to the people who actually care for patients: Doctors.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
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.