A long-standing obsession with waste and overutilization is slowly giving way to a greater appreciation for how entrenched poverty, a tattered safety net and exorbitant prices may explain why we spend so much more than other countries.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission wants Congress to scrap the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System for physicians, better known as MIPS, and replace it with a voluntary program. They want to ditch one before it's even been tried.
Put the patient at the center of care. It's a mantra that's voiced as often as the Triple Aim. But most providers and payers admit that, until recently, they mostly dictated what the patient wanted and needed. But now, the era of consumerism is upon us.
The hospital systems buying physician practices say vertical integration will facilitate care coordination and lower costs. Where's the evidence?
One political party is touting skimpy health plans and Medicaid work requirements. In their view, affordable health insurance is a gift to the poor, not a right. My experience suggests it is a gift—to employers that offer substandard wages and no benefits.
It's too early to say the era of cost control, which stretched roughly from 2010 to 2016, is over. But as the latest CMS cost projections suggest, the U.S. appears headed into another period when healthcare spending routinely exceeds the economy's overall rate of growth.
Until we build a bipartisan consensus that access means everyone in our society has the right to obtain high-quality healthcare at an affordable price, we will never move beyond the sterile "repeal and replace" debate.
Cancer is the better comparison for the healthcare system's unsustainable costs. The system is growing too quickly, like a tumor. To restore health, you have to eliminate the cancer, not the vital organ on which the tumor grows.
Hospitals have long been bedeviled by shortages and price spikes for the generic drugs that are essential to their day-to-day operations.
The individual mandate to buy health insurance is out. Unpaid community service for unemployed workers who sign up for Medicaid is in.
Healthcare has a cost problem. No one disputes that. But what many would dispute is the assertion that rapidly rising drug prices are the root cause of the problem. They are, as the latest data from the CMS and major hospital systems clearly show.
Now that a U.S. District Court has postponed the hospital industry's legal challenge to cutbacks in the 340B drug discount program, it falls to Congress to reverse the Trump administration's egregious new rules.