The Office of Personnel Management admitted to Congress that for years they have neglected security. This allowed the large hack of millions of federal employee records and the disclosure of many who did not want to be know as working for the government. The nation's hospitals can therefore be excused for not doing anything to to protect health information as they were just following the government's example. The OPM was advised to shut down its system a year ago but declined. They knew the hackers were already there. This will cost several their jobs but that would not happen at hospitals since there is no oversight.
The large healthcare trove of information at healthcare.gov is also ripe for the picking. At this time there is no thought of purging the information contained at the site. The repository MIDAS may or may not be secure. Do you trust the fed??? Top
As I write this the Supreme Court has not released their ruling on the Obamacare subsidies but the Democrats see this as the final showdown to the legality of the law. They may be right, but then again..... The recent rhetoric about the subject by the Supreme Leader and his henchpeople are only setting the stage for post ruling blame either to the Supremes or to say how good they are. It has nothing to do with law.
The Court has now done its due diligence and allowed the federal marketplace to continue with the subsidies. It was a very wise political solution. The best quote to come out of the decision wa as usual from Justice Scalia. He said the law should be re-named SCOTUSCARE.
The House GOP has said they will continue the subsidy program if the Supreme Court rules against the feds. The subsidies will be for the remainder of this year. Next year, according to the plan, states could opt out of the Obamacare and get federal block grants to take care of their citizens as they wish. Those that do not opt out will continue with subsidies and be able to buy plans both on and off the exchange. This would all come to a close in 2017 making a new president to have a different plan for healthcare. This is now moot.
The WSJ has an article about the Obamacare holdouts. These are the people who would rather pay a fine than get this expensive insurance. They are the majority of the uninsured and work out deals with physicians and hospitals for payments prior to use. They also use the barter system. Currently about 15 million have gotten insurance via Obamacare but that leaves about 35 million who do not have coverage. It is expected that the number will fall to about 26 million in the next five years.
So far this year 27 ACOs have quietly left the system. This is at the same time that major health systems are moving to value based arrangements. Most left due to inertia. They could not meet the 5000 member quota and merged. Six of 19 just dropped out. Some of those continue to look to value based and others look to alternative options.
The VA is over one year post scandal and has not fixed the problem. The vets are still being put on long wait lists due to a lack of physicians. The VA is still chronically short of money to hire, about $3 billion. The workloads for the physicians is intolerable and the glut of new vets getting care is huge. The big driver of costs are the hepatitis drug, the program that allows vets to see private physicians and new prosthesis.
California has developed a study on the Obamacare exchange patients to determine the health risks for patients that used EDs and acute care services in 2012. They used this information that showed the people were healthier to negotiate lower rates with the insurance companies for 2015. Smart move.
A small vocal group of women have attempted and succeeded in getting the media attention to their idiotic cause of not wanting their children vaccinated. Where did they go for their protest? Why Bezerkley, of course. They are going to present a petition to the gov to veto the bill. That petition has a whopping 9645 signatures. The California legislature has now passed the bill and sent it to the governor.
California has a prescription drug monitoring database that physicians are supposed to query prior to prescribing drugs, especially controlled ones. As usual the law of unintended consequences as come up. The data base is not compatible with many physician's computer systems. They are trying to patch the program to make it compatible. The state also wants the physicians to update their browsers to make them compatible. Top
A audit of Wisconsin physicians showed that about 8% were not keeping up on their required CME. The state only requires 30 hours every two years, a ridiculously low amount.
An article in medicalpracticeinsider.com tells about physicians who do a major portion of their work at surgery centers are being forced into hospitals. This is especially true of gastroenterologists. The problem is that they can not attest to meaningful use and get a bonus due to the lack of standards for the surgical centers. There is a bill already passed by the House and now in the Senate that would fix the problem. We know how that goes. Top
The San Francisco Business Times reports that the Alameda County, California, grand jury has blasted the Alameda Health System for their lack and shoddy oversight of the health system. This led to a $220 million budget crisis due to over reliance on the CEO's staff and not doing due diligence. The grand jury went on to say the Board did not do due diligence in how the money for the system was spent. The report also listed the political interference of the county supervisors in the running of the healthcare organization. All in all it is a terribly run organization. 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