Minggu, 14 Maret 2010

Improper Payments the Focus of Obama's Speech

President Obama, in his Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 speech in St. Louis, Missouri, unfortunately chose to focus on Medicare inefficiencies and the estimated $100 billion dollars in 2009 improper payments as the main means to cost control and a way to pay for his proposed reform efforts.




Worse, he chose to laud the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) as potential saviors of healthcare and a major source of cost savings in his healthcare reform proposals.

The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (originally introduced in 2009) is designed to introduce RAC-style auditors to other, high-cost areas of government spending, like military defense and education.

When, in fact, the problem is not mainly inefficiencies in payment but the system itself: fee-for-service creates incentives to overutilize, overspend and overtreat.

Obama's health care reform has been appropriately criticized as health care financing reform.

An outcomes-based system for medical payments is years away and the transition is likely to be gradual and phased-in.

America has the highest health care 'unit prices' in the world but a middling rank in total outcomes (#34).

Rather than cast auditors as heroes (which, by contrast, paints doctors, hospitals and physical therapists as villains) let's put our efforts into accelerating the transition to real health care reform - outcomes.

Improper Payments the Focus of Obama's Speech Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Elvina dara

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