Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"Sweeping" changes to Medicare

I am puzzled by this and trying to track down more information. Apparently the feds are changing their payment system for Medicare, getting ready to adopt a new software system (from [what a shock] a no-bid contract with 3M). There's a lot of squealing going on. I was around during the transition to DRG's (diagnosis related groups) and their threat to the Free World, and this is all sounding somewhat similar.

From the squealing, it's clear that some things will be reimbursed at lower rates, e.g., hip transplants. There's not information that I can see about where increased reimbursement is going to happen--and that is the part of the story that is missing so far. The feds are apparently going to shift things around, pay more for some things, less for others, not save any money, just make things a little more in line with current thinking about health care priorities.

Now I don't know what those priorities are and where the money is going. I'd save the squealing until we see the whole picture here.

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