In reviewing Ezekiel Emanuel’s New York Times article I thought of an interesting question. In Dr. Emanuel’s view it is not worth having tort reform or healthcare care insurance reform. He claims these reforms are an insignificant burden to the cost of the healthcare system.
I have demonstrated that the evidence for tort reform and reform of the healthcare insurance industry proves him wrong.
The question then is where is the $2.5 trillion dollars the U.S. healthcare system spends going?
President Obama and Dr. Emanuel think it is going to physicians. President Obama’s idea to control healthcare costs is to reduce physician reimbursement.
Physicians have the weakest expression of its vested interests among all the stakeholders because of lack of effective leadership.
Simple arithmetic reveals that reducing physician reimbursement will yield an insignificant reduction in healthcare costs.
Never the less on January 1st Medicare is going to decrease physicians’ reimbursement by 27%. This decrease is the result of the application of the government’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).
The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is a complicated and defective formula intended to contain the overall growth of Medicare spending for physicians’ services. The intent was to keep physicians’ reimbursement in line with the nation’s ability to pay for that medical care. The SGR formula uses the gross domestic product per capita in a complicated and inaccurate way. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
In an economic downturn, two classic cost-reducing solutions come to mind in the healthcare services industry: reduce offerings (give fewer services) or control demand (limit access to healthcare or increase copayments). There are many more but these two are the most frequently used. Actually, budget cuts in the Spanish region of Catalonia fit in the first type: they will need fewer resources (both human and material) because their services offered will shrink.
It’s always controversial to cut healthcare services in Spain. Even talking about it leads to accusations of promoting total privatization, attacking the Welfare State and so on. But there is another way to cut services, drugs or technologies. It’s what Dr. Iñaki Gutierrez-Ibarluzea called ‘Evidenced-based disinvestment’ in an op-ed for Spain’s ‘Primary Care Journal’ (‘Revista de Atención Primaria’). It’s easy: just find out which services, technological means or drugs offer little or no benefit for patients’ health. In other words, stop financial support for anything inefficient. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Diario Medico*