Cost of Quality Reporting: $15.4 billion

Medicare aims to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement and towards value-based payment mechanisms based on quality of care.  Although the goal is laudable, there are a number of practical challenges.  First, most care is still provided via fee for service.  In 2013, 95% of all physician office visits were reimbursed using fee-for-service.  Second, collecting quality of…

AHIP claims health reform will increase premiums. Will it really?

The lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is touting a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers showing that health reform would increase premiums significantly.  The findings claim that insurance premiums would rise between “26 percent between 2009 and 2013 under the current system and by 40 percent during this same period” if these four health reform provisions…

Why is Medical Care so expensive?

Why does Medicare spend $7,500 for patients in El Paso, Texas but spends $15,000 for patients in McAllen, Texas?  It McAllen richer? Does McAllen receive better care?  Are patients sicker in McAllen?   “Come on” the general surgeon finally said. “We all know these arguments are bullshit.  There is overutilization here pure and simple.”  Doctors, he said,…