The Cost of Medicare Cuts

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Deacon, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Set to Cut Medicare Physician Fees for Cardiovascular Imaging
    November 3, 2009 | Reed Miller


    [snip]
    While most of the CMS's [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] cuts will be phased in over four years, it is planning to cut the fee for myocardial perfusion single-photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging by 36% in 2010, as it "bundles" add-on codes into the primary procedure over one year. [SPECT imaging is the nuclear portion of a typical stress test]

    As proposed in the draft rule in July, the new physician fee schedule also eliminates payment for consultation codes, which will reduce payments for cardiology consultation services.

    SCCT president Dr Jack Ziffer (Baptist Hospital of Miami, FL) told heartwire that "because [the cuts] are so broad-based, my first concern is for patients and access—will institutions be able to provide these services?" For example, under the new fee schedule, CT imaging of the pulmonary veins, often performed to augment an electrophysiology exam, are assigned a global payment of $179. "I'd be hard-pressed to imagine [anyone] can do that study for that [fee]."

    ASE advocacy committee chair Dr Ben Byrd (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN) told heartwire that because the physician fee schedule determines payments to outpatient physician practices but not hospital-based doctors, its ultimate effect will be to drive many cardiologists to close their practices and go to work for hospitals.

    Dr Jack Lewin, CEO of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), agrees that that impact of the cuts could be devastating for private practices. "This is truly a black day for cardiology. There has never been an assault of this magnitude on cardiology, ever." Lewin fears "private-practice cardiology will cease to exist as viable, and cardiologists will shift to hospitals or integrated systems."

    Read the comments following the article:

    For years, cardiologists have lost money talking with patients and making it up with profitable imaging tests. To take away the profits and make cardiologists lose the value of their investments without compensation is incredibly unfair. In addition, to not significantly increase reimbursement for cognitive services makes the practice of quality medicine impossible.

    As we are discussing a federal option as the best hope for improvement in healthcare delivery, our current federal option is in the process of destroying the healthcare that we currently can provide.


    *****************************

    Healthcare professionals have been hit multiple times by congress in recent years,
    increased regulation, decreased reimbursement and a failure to restrain the legal system.

    Rob
     
  2. NiteShift

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    Uncle Sam is providing assistance to the elderly (Medicare), the disabled (Medicaid), children from low-income families (CHIP). A system that works pretty well. Now the administration and Congress are about to kick the legs out from under these programs in order to fund their new whiz-bang entitlement. Malarkey.
     
  3. KenH

    KenH
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    The federal government needs to get totally out of the health care business entirely. The more the federal government has gotten involved the higher health care costs have risen over the past several decades.
     
  4. NiteShift

    NiteShift
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    Cut seniors loose? Most people want to be sure their parents are cared for when they retire, and I believe a majority would not like to see Obama wreck their parent's Medicare.
     
  5. KenH

    KenH
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    The federal government's involvement and thus its wrecking of health care did not happen overnight, and its involvment in health care and going to a free market health care system won't happen overnight.
     
  6. donnA

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    If we just kill off all the seniors they won't cost anything for medical care.
     
  7. NiteShift

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    Idealogical/economic purity are wonderful goals. In the real world Americans like having Medicare available for their parents and grandparents. Obamacare shreds a program that people depend on in favor of some new monstrosity that fewer and fewer people actually want.
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron
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    In the real world, people would rather eat the garlics, onions and leeks as slaves in Egypt than drink wine from the Grapes of Eshcol as free people. The cost, availability and quality of healthcare would be optimal if the government bowed out.
     
  9. KenH

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    Yeah, that's the problem with getting rid of big, intrusive government. People may not like a lot of it but they sure want to keep the portion(s) of it that they like. So we end up keeping the whole cotton pickin' thing because all of the parts of big, intrusive government are liked by some people - never minding the harm doing so does to liberty overall in this once free nation.
     
  10. KenH

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    Right on! :thumbs:
     

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