Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘Medicare’

… Not A Big Surprise [#Vets turning to the American Legion]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,July 19th,2014

.. not a big surprise .

.. considering the condition of the Veterans Administration , especially the mgmt. …

.. [h/t –– wchildblog.com]..
.. [lin] to the blog post …

.. I am the son of a Legion member . Turning to the V.A. for him while his health was declining was not much of an option . I got much better care from the private sector , from the American Legion post members (from various posts) , and from Medicare Advantage ..

.. those folks knew what they were doing , how , and why . The V.A. does not , and needs a complete rethink …

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… In My Time … [Medicaid] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,February 19th,2014

.. I had the choice to apply for the program .

.. Now , people who are not really poor , even the middle class , are being forced onto the program . Forced ….

.. in this clip , this mother [Rachel Benjamin] finds out that she has to enroll 5 of her 6 children on SCHIP , the Clinton-oid era created program for kids . The thing is , now that program has morphed , into a middle class program , where people are forced onto the program , whether they like it or not . Also , SCHIP basically has changed into a poor relation of Medicaid . Yeech ….

.. [h/t — PJMedia.com]..

.. also , WOAI TV (San Antonio , TX)
.. [link] to the news story ..

.. Rachel has reason to be worried . Her health insurance is one thing , but her kids ? She is not sure that doctors will even accept it . Given that SCHIP is now effectively a poor relation of Medicaid , I understand why …

.. My prayers are with you , Rachel …

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… Playing Around with People ‘ s Health Care is …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,February 18th,2014

.. dangerous .

.. You had better know what you are doing . Getting involved with people ‘ s health insurance is dealing with something that is extremely private , intensely private , incredibly intimate . Do not trifle with it , or pay the price if you screw it up .

.. It is clear that the DummyCraps have screwed up colossaly on ObamaCrapCare . They have fundamentally transformered people ‘ s relationship with their own doctor . They have created an overpriced , unneccessary monstrosity in the necessary benefits package , needlessly jacking up people ‘ s health insurance rates , and forcing many millions needlessly onto Medicaid , where none need to be . This has put many millions of people needlessly at risk , and in a position whre they should not be , worrying about their next doctor appontment , something that they never though that they would not have to think about . Many others have been forced away from their primary care doctors , having to establish new relationships , with people and facilities that they may not be confortable with . The DemoCraps will pay a very high political price for this …

.. [h/t — AmericanGlob]..
.. [link] to Dr. Krauthammer ‘ s commentary .

.. I do agree with him . The Dems will pay and pay dearly for what they have done , and will do so in the future for new policy proposals . ObamaCrapCare will cast a stain about them , one that will take many years and new people to shake …

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… Bravo , Guys [yes , Health Care – related]

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,November 20th,2013

.. don’t worry , folks , this time , this one is a good story about health insurance reform .

.. these three guys (young 20-somethings) took it upon themselves to create something working . Well , guess what ? They did it ! They created a really simple website , entitled ” TheHealthSherpa.com  . ” It holds up to a old rule , ie K.I.S.S. , keep it simple , stupid .

.. Incredibly , for over three years , the government managed to blow thru over $600 million . They have created the technology – equivalent of a clusterf**k . And these guys did this . It is far simpler , and is very easy to use .

.. You can scan over the offerings , very quickly , very easily . You can change the entry items , if you need to , and the site will not regurgitate or crash .

.. Though the government engaged outside companies for various aspects of the project, it chose to put bureaucrats within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in charge of overall project management, “despite the fact that CMS has no experience managing large IT projects.” Compounding the likelihood that the train wreck which has occurred would occur, project managers appear to have mostly fiddled for over 2-1/2 years to ensure that most controversial matters would be kept from the public until after the 2012 elections.

The bureaucratic control freaks convinced the obviously incompetent project managers that the government simply had to have a mountain of information about each potential applicant before they could even be allowed to shop for plans. Then things went from merely disgraceful to utterly inexcusable. We now know that Sebelius’s crew opened HealthCare.gov despite being warned [10] just four days before its launch that it would be “a ‘high’ security risk” for users “because of a lack of testing.”

No private firm would launch under these circumstances — and if any did, law enforcement would be frog-marching company executives to jail within days.

LEC again .. I am including a [link] to the site [h/t — pjmedia.com] , and to a fellow ohio blogger , Tom Blumer . He blogs at w^3.bizzyblog.com , and has a column at pjmedia (the one I linked to above) ..

.. how come ? — the CBS news site that I was trying to call up was a little unconventional . So , it is easier to call up Tom ‘ s pjmedia.com column , and launch the news piece from there .

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… See , We told Ya So [on ObamaCrapCare] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,September 21st,2013

Obamacare’s Structure Leading to Hospital Cuts, Experts Say

Indiscriminate payment cuts, Medicaid expansion cutting into hospitals’ bottom line

..The Cleveland Clinic’s announcement this week that it is reducing its payroll to cut costs in response to ObamaCrapCare reveals the squeeze that President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation is putting on doctors and hospitals, health care experts say . The Clinic is ranked as one of the best hospitals in America and has been a model of health care innovation, with both presidential candidates praising it last year in a debate.

.. The Clinic tried to reduce its expenses and improve quality through several measures in anticipation of the full rollout of the

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

… the Cleveland Clinic …(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCrapCare, according to a statement released by the hospital on Wednesday .However, these efforts were not enough to make the projected target of cuts that were required in the Clinic ‘ s proposed budget . Although we have made progress, we need to further reduce costs to the organization by $330 million in 2014,” the hospital said in a statement. “We are carefully evaluating all aspects of our system to accomplish this. Some of the initiatives include offering early retirement to 3,000 eligible employees, reducing operational costs, stricter review of filling vacant positions, and lastly workforce reductions.”

The Cleveland Clinic is not alone. Hospitals across the country are laying off workers and eliminating services because of Obamacare and other budgetary constrictions, as the Washington Free Beacon reported previously.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more reduction in labor force at hospitals because of Obamacare,” said Sally Pipes, a health care expert at the Pacific Research Institute.

.. One major reason is mandatory cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates under Obamacare, said James Capretta, a health care expert at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Medicare, the government’s health insurance program for the elderly, covers over a fifth of health care costs in the United States, meaning it makes up a significant portion of hospital revenue. The government reimburses hospitals for Medicare patients at a fixed rate based on the diagnosis, and the government increases these rates each year to cover the rising costs of health care. The federal government cuts these annual increases by about 1.1 percent under Obamacare, Capretta said.

“This is the main reason why the Cleveland Clinic and others are going to have to tighten their belts,” Capretta said.

.. The costs of Medicare and Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the poor, have continued to rise over the years, making reform of the programs necessary. However, the programs are hard to touch politically because they are so popular. As a result, the federal government simply pays doctors and hospitals less than private insurers for the services they provide. Today, for every dollar a private insurer pays a doctor or hospital, Medicare pays 70 or 80 cents, and Medicaid pays 50 cents or less (with the precise rates varying by the specific area), Roy said.

The quality of medical care could also go down under Obamacare, experts said.

ObamaCrapCare emphasizes Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which are networks of doctors and hospitals that coordinate care in order to reduce costs, said Pipes. The goal of ACOs is for insurers to pay for quality of care, and as a result, the government will only pay a certain amount for services—and penalize doctors and hospitals if they go over that amount.

“Hospitals are going to be rewarded only if they keep costs down, so they’ll be looking for ways to reduce costs,” Pipes said.

The result could be rationed care so doctors and hospitals can keep their costs down, Pipes said. She compared ACOs to Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), which Americans have rejected in the past.

Capretta also noted the shift toward ACOs, although he did not predict that care could be rationed under them. Because of Obamacare’s incentives, hospitals are buying up independent doctors, which is reducing the overall number of independent doctors in America, Capretta noted.

The cut in the annual reimbursement rate could also hurt the quality of care, Capretta said, because they are universal and do not distinguish between good and bad care.

“It’s not really clear that this is going to result in a great efficiency gain across the system,” Capretta said.

LEC again — this is a [link] to the NBC affiliate , WKYC – TV , and a news piece that they did on the Cleveland Clinic story . Originally , Dr. Toby Cosgrove (a cardio – thoracic surgeon , by trade) , the Clinic ‘ s Chairman and CEO , was going to do a battery of interviews on the story . When he realized that a lot of questions were going to tie in the cuts to the Clinic ‘ s original support of ObamaCrapCare , he abruptly canceled them …

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… Now What is the ObamaCrap Administration Thinking ?!?! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,September 14th,2013

.. this bunch of ObamaCraps has been like a bunch of Keystone Kops , in that these days these seem to not be able to do anything right . It cannot get any worse , can it ?

.. Actually , believe it or not , yes , it can . It seems that the Department of Health and InHuman Services is seeking to ask for vast sums of information be gathered , and then be placed in the electronic form of our medical record . One might think , there is a great deal in there , already . No , not this stuff , evidently .

.. Ideally , one would think that the conversion to Electronic Health Records [E.H.R.s] would be voluntary , and market – based . Well , so far , it has not . People evidently want to make the investment in the technology , though , they just want to agree on a standard that everybody can live with .

..This is where the ObamaCraps have snuck their way in , and gotten their nose under the tent . Expecting that what would become ObamaCrapCare would eventually pass , these schucks put provisions into the Stimulus Bill . Supposedly , the conversion is still “voluntary,” but the government is now forcing the action . Providers will have their reimbursements docked 1 percent (or more) a year for those who do not comply . That is bad enough . Now , these idiots want to grab even more personal information from and through their health care providers , whether we like it or not .

… from the Washington Free Beacon

Government Seeking Inclusion of ‘Social and Behavioral’ Data in Health Records

Experts worry about security, use of such information

Kathleen Sebelius / AP

Kathleen Sebelius / AP

BY: Follow @GoliadGal September 13, 2013 3:30 pm

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require health care providers to include “social and behavioral” data in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and to link patient’s records to public health departments, it was announced last week.

Health care experts say the proposal raises additional privacy concerns over Americans’ personal health information, on top of worries that the Obamacare “data hub” could lead to abuse by bureaucrats and identify theft.

The CMS currently covers 100 million people through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Hospital Insurance Program and is tasked with running Obamacare.

According to a solicitation posted by the Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 4, the CMS is commissioning the National Academy of Sciences to study how best to add social and behavioral factors to electronic health record reporting.

The agency said adding social and behavioral data to patients’ online records will improve health care.

“Increasing EHR adoption has the potential to improve health and health care quality,” the contract’s statement of work (SOW) reads. “Parallel advances in analytic tools applied to such records are fueling new approaches to discovering determinants of population health.”

The project sets out to identify “core data standards for behavioral and social determinants of health to be included in EHRs.”

Critics suggested this would create new bureaucracies and negatively impact health care.

“This sounds like an example of the federal government further intruding on the practice of medicine,” said Chris Jacobs, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s including more pay for performance requirements on physicians to collect all sorts of data in order to get government reimbursements,” he said.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave authority to the CMS to pay hospitals and doctors that make the switch to electronic health records, to “encourage widespread EHR adoption.”

Health care professionals who began participating in the program in 2011 or 2012 can receive up to $44,000 for using EHRs for Medicare and $63,750 for Medicaid over 5 and 6 years, respectively.

Though the program is “totally voluntary,” eligible professionals who are not using EHRs by 2015 will see a 1 percent reduction in their Medicare and Medicaid fees each year.

Jacobs says the government’s “pay for conformance” culture in health care is “telling doctors what they have to do and how they have to do it in order to receive government reimbursement.”

The “meaningful use” program already requires doctors and hospitals to report the demographics of a patient and if he smokes to qualify for its first step. The second stage, planned for 2014, will require recording a patient’s family health history.

The National Academy of Sciences will make recommendations for adding social and behavioral data for stage three, which will be unveiled in 2016.

A spokesman for the CMS told the Washington Free Beacon that the agency is in the early stages of crafting the requirements for this stage.

“While we know that they are considering [clinical quality measures], it would allow a greater variety of specialties and procedures to be included,” said Tony Salters, a spokesman for CMS. “This includes items like behavioral health, dental care, drug, and alcohol use, etc.”

The CMS issued a “sole source” contract to the National Academy of Sciences because of “its caliber and expertise in the medical profession,” they said.

A spokeswoman for the National Academy of Sciences told the Free Beacon that the study began on July 15.

Working with the Institute of Medicine, a committee is currently drafting suggestions for collecting social and behavioral data.

The committee will “identify core social and behavioral domains to be included in all EHRs,” the organization said.

Not only will the committee come up with what behavioral data will be collected, they will also suggest how that data can be shared with public health departments.

The contract orders the committee to identify, “Possibilities for linking EHRs to public health departments, social service agencies, or other relevant non-health care organizations and case studies, if possible, of where this has been done and how issues of privacy have been addressed.”

The committee will also look at the “obstacles” to collecting social data for EHRs, and “how these obstacles can be overcome.”

Jacobs said the study is troubling in light of security issues with the Obamacare “data hub,” which will collect Social Security numbers and personal information to verify participation in the health insurance marketplace, beginning on Oct. 1.

“We’ve already seen with the Obamacare data hub and the significant delays that have been associated with it,” he said. “Government auditors have raised concerns about maintaining timelines and implementation and whether the data hub can be implemented in a secure manner that ensures Americans’ medical and financial records aren’t at risk.”

Others have warned that the database is vulnerable to abuse by the numerous government agencies involved, including the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, state Medicaid databases, and the Social Security Administration.

The potential for social and behavioral data to be shared with government agencies is only more worrisome, Jacobs said.

“This study raises additional questions about the privacy and security implications of the federal government sharing personal health data with other organizations and entities,” he said.

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