Congress Poised To Permanently Fix Its Medicare Payment Glitch

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Doctors would be paid according to their results, rather than the number of services they provide.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Let me see if I have this right. The concern here is that doctors aren’t paid enough for providing services to the poor.

The changes presumably needed include new measurements – outcomes vs procedures – which sounds reasonable to me. Pay for performance – a good capitalist ideal! – and potentially reduce the overall cost of health care by ending the “reward” system for endless (and useless) tests and procedures. (Insert argument for tort reform here.)

But, we’re told, what’s also needed are higher reimbursements; otherwise, more and more doctors will refuse to accept and care for Medicare patients. Let me ask this question. Is this the “free market” theory we really want in this country for something as basic and critical to life as health care?

Meanwhile, 15% of the American populace lives at or below the poverty level, the federal minimum wage is a sub-poverty $7.25 an hour, the wealth gap is bigger than it’s been since the original Gilded Age, the Defense Department’s budget is bigger than the next 15 countries combined (all of whom are allies since we’re not at war – at least not today – with any of them), and fixing how doctors are paid for Medicare patients is the issue Congress is supposedly finding near-unanimous support on?

Do you think organizations like the American Medical Association and some Big Money interests might be influencing the work on this one?

What am I missing?

See on www.npr.org

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