March 1, 2014 Recent News




Who says medicine doesn't pay well. The San Francisco Business Timses jus announced that Kaiser reported a whopping $2.7 Billion in 2013.  That is 4% higher than the previous year.  Operating income (revenue) jumped 6% year over year.  This means the partner physicians got good bonuses.

On the other end of the scale is Lower Oconee Community Hospital in Georgia.  It is the fourth hospital in the state to close due to Obamacare and decreased revenues.  Obamacare cut payments to hospitals for taking care of the uninsured in their EDs.

McComb Mississippi's Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center has cut five physicians from their employed physician ranks.  They are losing money due to lowered insurance payments.  The physicians will still be on the staff but as private physicians.

Highmark insurance has stated that it will cease paying hospitals higher rates when they buy out physician offices and chare as a hospital outpatient place of service.  This will start April 1 in oncology offices.  If hospitals continue on this ridiculous charge what will happen to the out of pocket costs to the patient?  Will they have to pick up the difference?  Hopefully all insurers in the country will follow suit.  The only real legal question is does Highmark have the right to change the payment structure before the end of the current contract?        Top


The bumbling White House at first states they hav no idea how many enrollees have paid their premiums and are therefore insured.  The New York Times reported that about 20% did not pay and are therefore not insured.  Then the following week the head bumbler announced that close to 4 million had enrolled.  He again forgot conveniently to add this is not how many are actually insured.  Remember why the law was passed.  We had 30 million uninsured.  Then about 6 million lost their health insurance due to Obamacare bringing the uninsured to 36 million.  The head bumbler says that 4 million have enrolled (not paid) therefore we now have 32 million uninsured.  This loss of 2 million insured is at a huge monetary cost.

Bloomberg writes that employers are having their employee go on the exchanges instead of providing their own health insurance.  They predict that about 1/3 of employees will get their care this was in the next few years.  

The public Sector, not wanting to be left out, is cutting their part time shifts so they will not have to pay for Obamacare for their workers. This from the NY Times.  This is in spite of the Obama unilateral announcement that employers would again get a reprieve from the onerous Obamacare requirements. 

McClatchy asked the question that no one is asking, Are the changes made by Obama to Obamacare legal?   Is this executive power run amok?  Is this legal making sensible adjustments to the complicated law under the "take care" clause of the Constitution?  Probably the latter in this case.

CMS has estimated that Obamacare will raise premiums for about 11 million small business workers.  Isn't that just swell?  About 68% of small business will get premiums increases.  The other 35% will see a premium decrease.  It depends on whether your business is made of younger or older individuals.  The Democrats counter by saying that even though the premiums may be larger the subsidies (our money) will make the premiums smaller.  They are trying to equate apples with oranges.

The National Association of Manufacturers has stated that the Obamacare law will cost about 6-7 million people employer based health insurance over the next decade.           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 information presented.