MASSDEVICE ON CALL — House GOP-ers are looking to rewrite the so-called "doc fix," replacing Medicare’s sustainable growth rate fomula with a physician performance incentive program.
The 70-page proposal claims to improve quality and efficiency in the healthcare system with a physician reimbursement system that would start with 5 years of consistent Medicare payments.
Reimbursement would then be based on performance measures and set at a stable 0.5% increase per year until 2018. Physicians would be allowed to opt out of the system if they participate in alternative payment methods.
Medicare’s current sustainable growth rate formula would cut physician reimbursements by 25% in 2014, according to MedPage Today.
Computer firm locks hospital out of 40,000 patient records over billing beef
A computer firm in Milwaukee is under fire for locking a hospital out of 40,000 patient records because of a payment dispute, a move that critics say could endanger lives. Milwaukee Health Services sued
the company, Business Computer Applications, in federal court this week for possibly harming patients. This Wisconsin hospital had trouble paying its $285,000 bill because it treats underserved populations, "regardless of income or 3rd party coverage," according to the complaint.
HC providers flee Premier’s Accountable Care program
Group purchasing organization Premier healthcare alliance acknowledged that its Pioneer Accountable Care program is "extremely ambitious," even as swaths of healthcare providers drop from the program. The organization said it’s facing reality and readjusting benchmarks after many providers shift to the less risky Medicare Shared Savings Program or ditch the ACO investment all together.
Study questions which cardiac patients fare better with surgery
For patients eligible for prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) – a replacement of inflamed heart valves – an analysis of 1025 patients with PVE
found that patients treated with surgery versus other medical therapy did not have better outcomes.
Lead author Dr. Tahaniyat Lalani and her team are re-opening the question of surgery recommendations with their results, which control for "survivor bias" by taking into account patients who are slated for surgery but who die before going under the knife.
Healthcare workers subject to "unsafe" conditions, says public interest group
Non-profit interest group Public Citizen is pushing doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, to demand safer conditions at work. The healthcare field is an unsafe working environment, the group’s report said, with employees suffering more bone, muscle and back injuries than in any other industry. The report also said that OSHA – the government workplace safety agency – fails to run enough inspections and doesn’t have enough regulations in healthcare.