Tag: "doctors"

The Medieval Guild Lives On

LawiStock_000005825665XSmalls concerning nurse practitioners (NPs) vary across states, but the three biggest regulations that affect NPs are those that limit their ability to write prescriptions, to practice independently and to receive direct reimbursement from insurers:

  • When doctors are required to supervise NPs when prescribing controlled substances, physician wages increase by 7 percent while nurse practitioner wages decrease by 14 percent.
  • Those restrictions also increased the number of physician hours worked by 6 percent to 9 percent while decreasing the number of hours worked by nurse practitioners by 6 percent to 14 percent.
  • The price of a well-child medical exam rises by 3 percent to 16 percent due to these laws.

However, none of these regulations appeared to reduce infant mortality rates or malpractice premiums

Source: NBER Working Paper.

Hits and Misses

family-circleA child can have three genetic parents (and two potential paternity suits?).

Cuban doctors get a raise — to $67 a month

Smokers’ lungs are ok for transplantation.

Federal government spending on electronic health records now at $24 billion. (And doctors hate them).

Hits and Misses

obese_tobyotter-cropped-proto-custom_1More evidence: The larger your waist, the higher your risk of dying.

Could robots replace optometrists in giving eye exams?

More lies about ObamaCare?

Up to 70 percent of doctor visits can actually be handled over the phone.

Take The Money And Run? Some Hospitals, Physicians Dropping Out of Government Electronic Health Records Program

hospital money 300The 2009 HITECH Act authorized billions of taxpayers’ dollars be spent to pay hospitals and physicians “incentives” to adopt EHRs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total tab will be $30 billion from 2011 through 2019. The Government Accountability Office has just reported on the results so far.

Not surprisingly, with so much money being spent, there was a lot of uptake: 45 percent of eligible hospitals had EHRs in 2011, versus 64 percent in 2012. For physicians and allied professionals, the share went up from 21 percent to 48 percent. However, the high net adoption rate disguises significant drop outs:

Specifically, within the 36 states that had completed their determinations of which providers would receive incentive payments for the 2012 Medicaid EHR program year, 61 percent of professionals and 36 percent of hospitals that participated in the Medicaid EHR program in 2011 did not continue in 2012. Sixteen percent of professionals and 10 percent of hospitals participating in the Medicare EHR program in 2011 did not continue to participate in 2012. (p. 23)

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

18kqd35hi04oqjpgOne in five doctors may not be able to afford to continue vaccinating children on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program.

American Hospital Association wants Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to let hospitals use strong-arm debt-collection on patients with debts.

Florida Medicare Advantage Plan to pay for members’ fitness trackers (which means the plan seeks to enroll healthy, not chronically ill, seniors).

Huge privacy invasion: A management consultant uploaded England’s entire National Health Service patient database to Google servers outside the U.K.

Hits and Misses

Doc Fix imageA doc fix that’s not a fix.

The Left’s new story: Nobody is hurt by ObamaCare.

Does the Administration have the legal authority to fund ObamaCare’s bailout of insurers? (Likely not – h/t The 2017 Project)

The conservative case for universal coverage.

Hits and Misses

divorcesDoes a rise in the number of divorces signal an improving economy?

One in four patients consult online ratings when picking a primary care doctor.

Can robotic pills replace injections?

The White House defends the Stimulus program; Scott Sumner calls it “voodoo economics.”

A poll’s silver lining for PHRMA: People don’t like drug companies, but they like insurance companies even less.

Jonathan Alter explains why the Obama administration bungled the roll out of ObamaCare.

Doctors by Phone

blog-images-hand-phone-homeCompared to patients who visited a physician’s office for a similar condition, adult Teladoc users were younger and less likely to have used health care before the introduction of Teladoc. Patients who used Teladoc were less likely to have a follow-up visit to any setting, compared to those patients who visited a physician’s office or emergency department. Teladoc appears to be expanding access to patients who are not connected to other providers. (Health Affairs)

Update on Doctor Pay Fix

  • CBO says a fix will cost $153 billion over the next ten years.
  • Rs and Ds have agreed on a fix, but they haven’t found a way to pay for it.
  • But if they don’t do something doctors are about to get a double digit pay cut under Medicare.
  • Under the deal, 9% of doctor fees will be based on conformance to quality indicators by 2021. But since we know that P4P doesn’t work, it’s not clear why they are going through the motions.

The plan. Sarah Kliff commentary.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

White House: It’s a good thing that ObamaCare will drive 2.5 million Americans out of the workforce.

Less than 10 percent of doctor practices are ready for the transition to ICD-10 coding; the deadline to switch to is Oct. 1.

AOL chief cuts 401(k) benefits, blames ObamaCare.