" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "
February 5, 2014
mistake: Becoming a doctor
MoneyWatch) If you are
brilliant, ambitious and gifted in science, you may consider becoming a doctor.
If so, think twice. According to a new survey by personal
finance site NerdWallet, most doctors are dissatisfied with the job,
and less than half would choose a career in medicine if they were able to do it
all over again.
There are many reasons for
the dissatisfaction, said Christina Lamontagne, vice president of health at
NerdWallet. Most doctors enter the field thinking they'll be able to spend most
of their time healing the sick. Yet the paperwork burden on doctors has become
crushing, and could become even more complicated under the Affordable Care
account for nearly one-quarter of a doctor's day," Lamontagne said. "With
additional liability concerns and more layers in health care, we can understand
the drain this takes."
Legislation Could Finally Fix Medicare Reimbursement Formula
WASHINGTON (Feb. 1, 2014)
-- A 17-year-old formula meant to control the increasing costs of Medicare
reimbursements threatens to restrict physician access for Medicare and Medicaid
patients in Maryland.
Since 2002, Congress has avoided implementing the
cuts called for by the formula, protecting Medicare patients from losing access
to doctors who might otherwise refuse the health care program because of the
decrease in reimbursements.
However, the accumulated cuts called for by
the Sustainable Growth Rate formula now add up to 24 percent, with the most
recent Congressional patch implemented in late December and expiring March
Sicker Patients in Clinical Trials
The FDA is taking steps to include more patients with multiple chronic
conditions in clinical trials of new drugs, believing such patients are too
frequently excluded from new drug studies.
routinely exclude the sickest patients from studies, fearing complications they
may suffer from the drug candidates, but, as a result, the studies don't provide
a glimpse of the treatment's "real world" effect.
To counter this, the FDA
recently issued a memo to its new drug reviewers asking them to work with drug
manufacturers to include a broader population in trials more
Practice: Does Too Much Medicare Fraud Go Unpunished?
The Department of Justice said it pursued a record number of Medicare fraud
cases last year, but those numbers may just be the tip of the
In 2013, the department's
Medicare Fraud Strike Force filed a record number of cases
(137) and also reported record numbers of individuals charged (345),
guilty pleas entered (234), and jury trial convictions announced (46), it said
in a press release last week.
"These record results
underscore our determination to hold accountable those who take advantage of
vulnerable populations, commit fraud on federal healthcare programs, and place
the safety of others at risk for illicit financial gain," Attorney General Eric
Holder said in a statement.
Health Law Seen
Leading to Some Loss of Labor
The new health law is
projected to reduce the total number of hours Americans work by the equivalent
of 2.3 million full-time jobs in 2021, a bigger impact on the workforce than
previously expected, according to a nonpartisan congressional report.
The analysis, by the
Congressional Budget Office, says a key factor is people scaling back how much
they work and instead getting health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
The agency had earlier forecast the labor-force impact would be the equivalent
of 800,000 workers in 2021.
Because the CBO estimated
that the changes would be a result of workers' choices, it said the law,
President Barack Obama's signature initiative,
wouldn't lead to a rise in the unemployment rate. But the labor-force impact
could slow growth in future years, though the precise impact is
How-To on 'Grace Period' Patients
Medical groups are telling their physician members to be clear about their
practices' payment policies, fearing what might happen if patients fall behind
on premiums for their health plans or get dropped for nonpayment.
Physicians continue to
express concern around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that allows for
patients who bought their plans through the ACA's health insurance exchanges to fall 3 months behind on their premiums before they are
dropped from health plans. Insurers won't process claims on patients
who are between days 31 and 90 of the so-called "grace period," leaving
providers on the hook to collect payments from patients if they are eventually
dropped from plans.
The catch: Practices may
not be able to find out which patients have fallen behind on their premiums
until after their policies have been cancelled. Insurance companies aren't required to provide information on who has fallen behind
on premiums to providers.
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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394