The Commonwealth Fund found that small business is not doing as much health coverage as they used to. In the past ten years the amount of people covered by employer insurance in small business has dropped from 68% t0 57%. It must be noted that the Commonwealth Fund supported Obamacare. Top
The Colorado low cost physicians have been asked to join a new Blue Cross and Shield low cost plan, Blue Priority. Again the plan is based on cost and not quality. These physicians were hand picked by the insurer to man their medical home concept.
The Washington Post has a story that all physicians are not happy with EMR. Disgraceful and un-American. They want to stay with paper which will not be stolen as EMRs are, are easier to use and will not be used only for government payments. Those 45% of physicians who have not yet converted may quit prior to losing money on Medicare patients.
Information Week states that EMRs will push private practice physicians out of business. They can not afford the devices and so are joining hospitals or other ventures. Of those who remain in practice about 1/2 are going concierge. Top
The newspapers are finally catching on to the scam of hospitals charging facility fees therefore double charging patients. The latest article is in the Seattle Times and discusses the scam perpetrated by the University of Washington at the clinics they own. Starting January 1 all hospitals will have to notify the patients of all the facility fees they charge. This gives the patient the opportunity to leave the practice and see another physician who does not have these fees. These fees will add an additional $2 Billion per year to Medicare but they don't care since I notified them of the scam at Eisenhower Hospital in Palm Desert several years ago and got a so what response. Washington's Group Health Cooperative finally had enough and has told all its hospitals that it will no longer pay the fees and will not allow the hospitals to charge the patients either. Are physicians fungible? No! but the fees should make patients think twice before going to a physician who is tied to a hospital that is charging for nothing.
Many hospitals are charging fees for people who use the ED for non emergent reasons. The usual fee is between $150-$180. The patient is charged and given the choice between being seen and potentially forfeiting the money if the condition is non emergent or being sent to a physician's office. The law only requires EDs to see and treat all emergency patients. These charges can not be levied against Medicare or Medicaid patients. What this really is is a tax on the uninsured.
St. Alphonsus Hospital of Southern Idaho has sued competitor hospital St. Luke's Health System over their contemplated purchase of Saltzer Medical. The other plaintiff is a surgical center. This suit states that St. Luke's, after it buys a practice, cuts off all referrals to other hospitals. St. Luke's is also being investigated by the state and feds for antitrust for their actions and to date has not been cooperative with the investigations. 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