Tag: Medicare
Don’t Be Fooled by Misleading Rhetoric on Medicare Payment Reform

A few weeks ago, Medicare proposed a pilot program to test a new way to pay doctors who inject drugs. Cancer is the big kahuna, cost-wise, when it comes to injected drugs. Medicare payment policy leads to certain industry practices to profit from the status quo. When the status quo is threatened, the “preservatives”…
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Medicare Pays for Prevention – For the First Time

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services has announced that Medicare (that is, taxpayers) will pay for lifestyle-intervention program that prevents type 2 diabetes: In 2011, through funding provided by the Affordable Care Act, CMS awarded the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America (Y-USA) more than $11.8…
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Obamacare’s Death Panel: Deferred, but Not Dismissed

Soon after Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13, Senate Republicans felt the need to declare that they would not even entertain the thought of holding confirmation hearings for any candidate President Obama might nominate to the Supreme Court in the last eleven months of his second term. Given the high drama…
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Traditional Medicare Is Disappearing Faster than Expected: Does It Matter?

Republican and Democratic politicians accuse each other of plotting to destroy “Medicare as we know it” when campaigning against each other, but they collaborate enthusiastically to do exactly that when they get to work on Capitol Hill. For better or worse, Exhibit A is last week’s announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid…
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Ten Percent of Cancer Drug Spending Is Wasted

A remarkable study published in the BMJ concludes that $1.8 billion of the $18 billion spent on the 20 most expensive cancer drugs in the United States is wasted due to cunning marketing by drug-makers. Chemotherapeutic doses are often adjusted by body weight. However, the drugs are shipped in vials containing doses appropriate to…
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Third-Party Bureaucracies Can’t Discipline Healthcare Prices

One of the least substantiated notions behind the modern American doctrine that people should allow insurers or governments to control our health spending is that these third parties can negotiate fees with hospitals and physicians that are better than those which would prevail if patients controlled these dollars ourselves. Years of evidence show that…
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French Doctors Lose Strike Against “Free” Health Care

After a long and arduous fight, French politicians have approved a law abolishing patients’ upfront payments to physicians, which was a promise of President François Hollande’s Socialist Party. Currently, patients usually pay about £23 ($25) when they see a general practitioner. However, some of this fee is reimbursed by the national health scheme or…
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Why Are Prescription Prices Higher in the United States?

Jeanne Whalen of the Wall Street Journal has written a feature article comparing U.S. prescription drug prices to those overseas. Unsurprisingly, she find prices in other developed countries lower, and credits government price controls in other countries with (pretty much) all the difference. A vial of the cancer drug Rituxan cost Norway’s taxpayer-funded health…
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One in Five Primary-Care Doctors Not Taking New Medicare Patients

If you learned that 93 percent of non-pediatric primary care physicians took Medicare patients and 94 percent took patients with private insurance, you would likely conclude that Medicare is doing just fine. Unfortunately, such data do not describe physicians’ behavior at the margin, which is what will determine future access to Medicare. The Kaiser…
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Rock Star Physician Rebels Against Medicare Bureaucracy

Rebekah Bernard, MD, who wrote a book titled How to Be a Rock Star Doctor: The Complete Guide to Taking Back Control of Your Life and Your Profession, has written an open letter to her Medicare patients. Here are the choice bits: For every office visit that we spend together, I spend at least…
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