Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bipartisan bill to repeal death panels?

Going through my old email: Jan23
                                  Bipartisan bill to repeal IPAB introduced in House of RepresentativesA bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) before it has a chance to order cuts to Medicare physician payments.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.), is supported by 83 co-sponsors from both political parties, including Democratic lead co-sponsor Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.). Current law requires the creation of the 15-member IPAB and invests it with the authority to impose across-the-board cuts to Medicare payments to physicians and other health care professionals.
"IPAB is a panel that would have too little accountability and the power to make indiscriminate cuts that adversely affect access to health care for patients," AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said in a statement. "We must move away from these broken systems and focus on new payment and delivery models that give physicians the ability to improve patient care and reduce costs to stabilize Medicare for seniors now and in the future."

don't hold your breath: The AMA and AAFP helped to write the present health care bill over the objections of their members.

then they have this: Trying to be a semi trained office worker to let your patient get treated takes lots of doctor's time and costs a lot of money (That we can't bill for).

How much money?

Prior authorization cost the health system $728 million in 2012.

But the estimate might not be accurate because the docs in the study were too damn busy taking care of patients (and arguing with insurers) to watch the clock and document how long they spent on hold, arguing, or giving facts to the bureaucrat who made the decision.

Of course, sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct. For example, one lady not getting better with asthmatic bronchitis was admitted only after I said something was wrong, but I wasn't sure what. Turned out that she had a rare cancer, but at least we got her into the university hospital an hour or two before she ended up on a respirator.

It's hard to put "gut instinct" on the forms...

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