*A bodhi of medical knowledge, incite, and experiences from a future physician.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Health reform and you!

So part of my job as a future doc, is to figure out how decisions made by the government now...when I am incurring thousands in debt...will affect my future practice. The most pressing of course is our newest health care legislation that passed through congress earlier this past year.
The highlights for those of you who might not already know:

- 32 million more Americans to receive health insurance through government organized co-ops/'exchanges'- and as a side note, to make it cost-effective for insurers, a mandatory coverage requirement for everyone by 2014!
- stoppage of preexisting conditions clauses,
- no more lifetime/annual limits on coverage
- kids can remain on parents insurances until they are 26 (Oh yeah baby, one whole year longer!)
- subsidies for insurance for low-income individuals/families to buy health insurance.
- Closing of the 'donut hole' for prescription drug benefits for seniors
- medicaid reimbursement schedule must match the medicare reimbursement schedule
- 0.5% incentive bonus for primary care physicians

The list is actually more extensive, but these are the few salient points worth discussing, which discussion I will include in a future post. For now...I thought you might like to see what was proposed originally by Senate Democrats, that took a lot of lobbying effort and money spent by the AMA (American Medical Association) to prevent their inclusion into this bill:

- Medicare/Medicaid enrollment fees for physicians...AND as if it wasn't already a losing effort to afford caring for patients on government health assistance...
- Mandatory physician participation in medicare and medicaid (That's right, they wanted to force docs to participate and then charge them a fee! Classic Washington politics)
- 0.5% payment cut in all non primary care physician's payments to fund primary care...as you can see from above, they were able to finagle the bonus,without the cuts
- Tax on elective cosmetic surgery and medical procedures...that's right those dental caps, laser hair removals, and boob jobs were going to force major price increases for the patrons of the 'service industry'...how sad!

Well, enough on that. There are some misgivings that I have with this current reform, and that will be tomorrow's blog subject.....a letter to Mr. Obama himself.

-The Medhead

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