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When Cardiologists Sue The Government

It’s sad that cardiologists have had to sue as their last resort to save their practices:

“Heart specialists on Monday filed suit against Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in an effort to stave off steep Medicare fee cuts for routine office-based procedures such as nuclear stress tests and echocardiograms.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges that the government’s planned cutbacks will deal a major blow to medical care in the USA, forcing thousands of cardiologists to shutter their offices, sell diagnostic equipment and work for hospitals, which charge more for the same procedures.

Perhaps other professional organizations will be forthcoming with similar suits as private doctors and their patients pay dearly for the reform efforts underway. Meanwhile hospitals continue to build. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies stocks rise. But did we really think the government’s promise to find nearly $500 billion in “wasteful spending” from Medicare and Medicaid to resolve the fiscal realities of the ridiculously expensive legislative reform efforts could happen any other way?

No doubt the suit will bring this issue to the forefront for patients. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Perhaps a compromise. Perhaps a further delay.

But make no mistake. specialists are first in the sights of the health care reformers. They and their technology are the bad guys. They are expensive. Innovation is evil. And while the American College of Cardiology may have significant resources to fight this fight and have a legitimate gripe, the government’s legal purse is infinite. Eventually, the ACC’s finances will be worn thin.

And so all the great reform efforts underway, America will have “primary care” for most of its citizens lucky enough to find a primary care doctor and specialist care only for those living close enough to a hospital to receive it.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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3 Responses to “When Cardiologists Sue The Government”

  1. mike hensgen says:

    Well, it’s really sad that, in the main, doctors have sat on their hands (or other parts of their anatomy), while the healthcare “reform” railroad has rocketed down the rails. Abdicating their voice to the AMA’s lobbyists has put them in this position and now they have to hope for some legal redress. It’s going to be interesting.

  2. The “Innovation is evil” comment is just hyperbole. The fact that the US has the highest costs per capita on health care spending and limited resources like every other country means that costs must be cut. Efficiencies must be found and if other countries can provide excellent care for less, then the US can do so as well. Innovation can also be applied to cutting costs with just a little imagination.

  3. Mike says:

    Correct me if I am wring, but aren’t Cardiologists the biggest abusers of healthcare. The pill you, stress you, and do all these crazy studies on you when you are perfectly normal. They buy these devices an have everybody run through it to pay for cost and to attain profit. They manipulate the system with the stark law. maybe its a good thing.

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