December15 , 2009 Recent News





The California Medical Association has joined other state medical associations in opposing the Senate healthcare bill.  They believe it would increase costs of services and restrict access.  They are against the proposed independent Medicare commission which would take decision making away from Congress.  They believe that Medicare payments will be reduced by about 40% giving much less access for patients.  The AMA, for what they are worth, has taken a soft and then a con position on the Senate bill but did support the House bill.  The CMA has not taken a position on the House bill.  Not only have state medical associations opposed the Senate but also the American College of Surgeons and the Society Cataract and Refractive Surgery have turns thumbs down on the bill.

The CMS has granted The JC deeming authority.  This last through July 15, 2014.  To get this the JC had to do an update to come into line with the CMS Conditions of Participation. 

The Executive Branch has released $600 million to fund the country's health centers rebuild and hire.  They also added stupidly to make medical records easier to find.  This is more of a social statement than a jobs statement.  

Blue Cross has come up with its own assessment of the Senate's healthcare bill.  The CBO assessment is mostly neutral but will raise premiums of individually insured people dramatically.  The insurer's assessment allegedly based on market data versus CBO's modeling assumptions. Blue Cross says that the bill will raise individual premiums not 13% but over 50%.  The other problem pointed out is that individuals do not have to buy insurance until they become ill and then the insurers must take them.  After they are well they can continue to be scofflaws.  

The Senate bill will raise national health spending sayeth the CMS.  They state the spending would increase 0.7% or $234 Billion above what it would be if there were no "reform" passed. This would be paid by fees on health insurance and that would be passed to consumers.  This would raise spending by $11 Billion a year. The report also said the Senate bill would extend the life of Medicare a whole extra nine years.  Then it would all collapse.  

The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that some employers would be better off dropping health coverage for employees and pay the fines.  The hospitals taking care of alot of Medicare patients would be penalized and get less money.  These statements also come from the CMS report.  

The CEO of John Hopkins Medicine has an article in the Wall Street Journal warning of the problems that healthcare "reform" will have on Medicaid.  It give facts and figures on what happened at the hospital when the state Medicaid level was raised to only 116 % of the federal poverty level.  The hospital lost $15 million in nine months.  God help the states when the new level is several hundred times the poverty level.    

The Guardian had an article on the 10,000 preventable cancer deaths per year in Great Britain.  This is due to catching the cancer in later stages and lack of surgical intervention.  It is blamed on the patient for not telling their GP about their symptoms not the lack of screening in the NIH system.

I have a different view of life than those in Jolly Olde.  They were not happy that the use of PSA reduced prostate cancer death by only 20%.  I thought that was great.  The new study by the European Radnomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer increased this figure to 31% which makes the Brits happy and me ecstatic.  The Brits have 31,000 new cases of prostate cancer per year and 10,000 die annually from the disease. 

The latest report on cancer in the US shows not only a decrease in people getting cancer due to healthier lifestyles but a significant drop in cancer deaths due to aggressive treatment and early detection.  The countries with socialized medicine can not match the US.    

CMS has announced that it will now cover HIV testing for Medicare pregnant women and for all Medicare patients that voluntarily request it.  It's about time. 

In a true act of daring in Washington DC 13 patients had 26 surgeries to swap kidneys.  The physician at Georgetown told two women that if their requested kidneys were not a perfect match he would filter their blood to remove the antibodies to allow the new kidneys to survive.  This led to six days of surgery and the multiple transplants including some altruistic donors.           Top


The Connecticut AG has announced a second theft of a Health Net computer.  This one was done six months ago and never announced by the company.  This also had mucho people's info on the drive.  I never remember theft being a major problem with paper records.        Top


In the People's Republic of Massachusetts, the crooked old boys network is alive and well.  The insurers have refused to answer questions by regulators as to why they pay the major Boston hospitals more for the same service than they pay others.  They stood behind confidentiality contracts that had been signed.  One executive actually said the spread may be up to 300% more for some providers than others for the same service.  The insurance commissioner stated that the department will send confidential questionnaires to the insurers to get the information and then issue a general report.


  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 information presented.