White House Announces New Value-Based Care Network and GAO Says Medicare Overpaying Top Cancer Hospitals
This week in health care news, President Obama announces a value-based care network and a study finds that Medicare overpaid top cancer hospitals to the tune of half a billion dollars.
Last week President Obama announced a new collaborative network called the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. In his remarks, President Obama said “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel… What we have to do is share these best practices, these new ideas, including new ways to pay for care so that we’re rewarding quality. And that’s what this network is all about.”
A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report states that “Medicare overpays the 11 Medicare prospective fee schedule exempt cancer hospitals — including Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, and Dana-Farber — by almost $.5 billion annually.”
This NPR piece shares cancer patients’ experiences with finding ways to pay for their cancer treatment. According to one survivor NPR interviewed, “I think I could deal with the actual cancer far better than having to deal with the medical system and the cost of treatment.”
This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would “permanently repeal and replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement.” The bill now travels to the U.S. Senate, where it will wait to be voted on until mid-April.
A recent study found that “43% of [senior oncology patients] were taking more than 10 medications at once” and “51% of study participants were taking potentially inappropriate medications.” Who’s to blame for this? Experts suggest, “the failures of available medication management tools.”
This article argues that the rapid increase in high-deductible employer insurance plans is forcing the average American to become more educated and more choosy about health insurance and health care decisions. “When managing our own health care, we have traditionally been the patient. The patient has now become the consumer who expects the health care provider to treat them as such.”
A recent survey of health care users found some intriguing trends among the millennial group (defined here as between ages 21-32), including investigating insurance online before making a decision, a tendency to delay care because of cost, and a preference for pricing information upfront.
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