Thursday, December 9, 2010

Two Quotes and Two Tweets on Health Reform

Quote One

“Healing relationships can be handled in many new and wonderful ways. If we suspend the old ways of making sense of care...The health care encounter as a face-to-face visit is a dinosaur.. I think it rarely means reliance on face-to-face meeting between patients, doctors, and nurses...Tackled well, this new framework will gradually reveal that more than half of such encounters – maybe as many as 80 percent of them – are neither wanted by patients or deeply believed in by professionals.”

Donald Berwick, MD, CMS Administrator, from his book, Escape Fire: Five Lessons for The Future of Health Care, written while CEO of Institute of Health Care Improvement

Tweet One

Donald Berwick, MD, CMS Administrator, believes doing away with up to 80% of doctor patient visits will save Medicare a lot of money @rrecemd

Quote Two

“Physicians provide a lot of care for which they are not paid. Phone calls, e-mails and discussions with other doctors take time but are not reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance companies. As a result, many doctors feel as if they are at their limit — working hard but making less. Overhead costs of practicing medicine are so high that even a small tip of the scale can make a doctor's office unprofitable, particularly the small private practices that make up the fabric of medical care in this country."

"It's no surprise then that doctors are up in arms about the latest "doc fix" — the fourth temporary postponement of a 23% cut in their Medicare reimbursement. But patients and taxpayers should also be worried because if a permanent fix doesn't happen in a month, access to health care will be threatened while Medicare's money problems won't be solved."

"Doctors argue that the planned 23% cut would force them to stop seeing Medicare patients. There is certainly truth to this claim. According to a recent survey by the American Medical Association, 60% of physicians are looking at ways to opt out of Medicare because of the potential cuts. “

Tara Bishop, MD, “Medicare Needs Sustainable “Doc Fix.” USA Today, December 8, 2010

Tweet Two

If Medicare doesn’t fix its formula calling for a 23% cut in MD pay in January, access to care will be a crisis in the U.S. @rreecemd

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