Last week, Speaker Boehner announced that the House and Senate have agreed on a two month extension of current Medicare payment rates, the payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits.
My understanding is that the agreement has the House accepting the Senate’s proposal to extend the payroll tax break, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare payment rates through the end of February, along with an agreement with the Senate to appoint a House-Senate conference committee to begin negotiations on a longer-term extension. It remains unclear exactly when the votes in the House and Senate will take place, and at least in the Senate, it will require unanimous consent by all Senators. If it passes both the House and Senate, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
The 2011 Annual Summer Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society that was held in Snowmass, Colorado was excellent and provided terrific education for all in attendance. In a series of posts, I’ll highlight some of what we learned.
Brad Bennett gave a wonderful lecture on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) for the Wilderness Provider. Military medicine and wilderness medicine share certain common elements: extreme and remote environments, a practice of medicine where definitive care can be hours or days away, difficult patient access, limited medical personnel and equipment, prompt decision making, creative thinking, and improvisation. Medical injuries may overwhelm resources and evacuation may be delayed due to environment conditions and the features of the terrain.
In military situations, Read more »
This post, Treating Combat Injuries And Its Similarities To Wilderness Medicine, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
The primary stakeholders in the healthcare system are patients and physicians. Without patients or physicians there would not be a healthcare system.
Patients should be the drivers of the healthcare system. They are not. The primary drivers are the government and the healthcare insurance companies.
Hospital systems play the next largest role in driving up the costs of the healthcare system. Large hospital systems are constantly playing a game of chicken with the government and the healthcare care insurance industry.
Somehow, large hospital systems have been able to stay under the radar. They have been able to avoid the responsibility of the rising costs of healthcare.
Large hospital systems and large hospital chains know that insurers need them to service their network of patients. The healthcare insurance companies know that the hospital systems can hold them hostage to increased reimbursement.
When a large hospital system demands an increase in reimbursement the healthcare insurance industry simply increases premiums.
An example is the Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
On my way to the annual two-day blowout health law seminar put on by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on Monday — I was second in the lineup, speaking about post-acute care and some of the innovations in that arena for dual eligibles, among other things — I heard a fascinating piece on NPR on one of the ideas floating around the supercommittee charged with cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. The idea: increase the minimum age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67, and save a bundle for Medicare in the process.
The problem with this deceptively simple idea (Social Security eligibility is migrating from 65 to 67, too, so it seems to be a sensible idea on its face), is that while it would save the federales about $6 billion, net, in 2014, it would cost purchasers of non-Medicare coverage (employers and individuals) about $8 billion, net. Why? The 65 and 66 year olds are the spring chickens of Medicare — they actually Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*
Contagion is a thriller about a virus that rapidly spreads to become a global epidemic. There aren’t enough coffins. Gangs roam neighborhoods like ours because police have abandoned their posts, fearful of exposure. Garbage fills the streets because sanitation workers are dying. As scientists work feverishly to understand the virus and develop a vaccine, public panic unravels the fabric of civil society, fueled by terror and rattled by false claims of a homeopathic cure promoted by a charismatic charlatan.
The movie has grossed $76 million worldwide since it opened on September 9th. It has all the elements a successful movie needs: a just-believable dystopian vision of the future, flawed good guys, an evil schemer, suspense, heroic action…the works.
And while it’s an action-thriller first and foremost, you don’t have to concentrate hard to notice that it also shows:
- Why the Federal government is necessary: its authority to communicate, negotiate and work with other nations to solve a global problem; its ability to exert authority across state lines and to marshal resources immediately to protect its citizens from peril with no expectation of profit.
- How scientific research is iterative and complicated, not bumbling or malicious. Research is conducted by scientists—normal people with normal lives—who are Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*