Obamacare premiums will increase about 10% on all types of marketplace plans according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All three tiers will go up about the same. The largest increase was the silver plan in Alaska with a 35% increase. Some plans actually dropped as in Mississippi and Indiana. The Dems who passed this high cost spread never said it would lower healthcare costs and it hasn't.
UnitedHealth is expanding its way of bundling cancer care. When the put it in they found that costs dropped by a huge 34%. No one else has come close to duplicating this and now United wants to try to find out how this happened. ACOs have only managed a meager 2-4% drop in costs. United will now attempt to find out if the end results have changed for the patient.
Wow. By 2030 Medicare costs will run to about 1.2 Trillion. This is due to the baby boomers reaching senior citizen status and their unhealthy lifestyles. Also cost per beneficiary should grow by about 50% due to longer life spans.
The VA in Phoenix is still in the news as it has been stated that the nurses are not adequately trained and the people who screwed up before still have not been penalized.
The demoted execs of the VA are eligible for RELO benefits to their new facilities so they can continue to bilk the vets. The two senior execs who bilked the system are entitled to get what they want. The VA is the shame of the nation.
An op-ed in the NYT talks about when hospital paperwork crowds out hospital care. This is by a nurse who talks about the lack of patient care versus charting on the computer. She says that the powers only rate the nurses on charting and not performance. She now works in hospice care and feels this is even worse due to the fed regulations. She says the worst of all is the Medicare Advantage programs that upcode to capture the highest possible payments. She states that the record should be changed to serve only one master, the patient, a novel concept.
Healthleaders writes that hospitals that employ physicians make more revenue but have less profit. Docs are expensive and the hospitals in order to lure the physicians offer better benefit packages than they already had.
Obamacare is costing many over 10% of their incomes annually. The world's most expensive insurance is devastating to those who earn between two and five time the federal poverty level as about 10% of them pay 21% of their income in Obamacare premiums. The Affordable Care Act certainly isn't.
Finally, health insurers will have to pay fines for their screwed up physician directories. New regs allow CMS to fine insurers up to $25,000 per beneficiary for errors in Medicare Advantage plan directories and $100 per beneficiary for error s in plans sold on the federally run exchanges. Some states are also getting into the act. California in November fined Anthem $250,000 and Blue Shield $350,000 for their provider listing screw ups.
The Illinois law relating to medical marijuana is in trouble. There are not many physicians willing to sign the needed cards to allow patients to get the drug. So far only about 3,600 in the state have the cards. The law needs to be extended by the legislature and they will not do it if there aren't enough people. Illinois also has very stringent laws as to who may access the program as either a buyer or seller. Top
The ABIM has suspended the dreaded and stupid MOC through 2018. This is an additional two years where the busywork is not needed. This will not stop the growth of the rival National Board of Physicians and Surgeons.
Medscape named their best and worst physicians of 2015. The best were the usual suspects, those who wrote articles or had the temerity to die during the year. The bottom feeders were those who were convicted of scamming the system in some way. Top
Kaiser Permanente is going to open its own medical school in Southern California. The first class of 48 will be in 2019. The graduates will not be obligated to work at the Kaiser facilities. This will be an avant garde type school. I hope they teach anatomy. The school will be led by Dr. Christine Cassel who is stepping down from her role as CEO of the National Quality Forum. Top
A hearty congratulations to the HIPAA law. For the first time ever over 100 million medical records were hacked in 2015. A record the IT people should be very proud of as it over 100 times larger than any other year. I am sure they are looking to break the record in 2016. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this
article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the
time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers
should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the