The number of patients with acute care problems visiting the emergency rooms is steadily climbing. According to the article Hospitals Work to Reduce ER Wait Times posted on the ASQ website the rate is increasing at a 3% annual rate.  This leads to several problems, including longer waiting time.  An analysis of the growth reveals several trends in the demographics ...

Read more...

Surgery is expensive, there are no doubts about that. However, there are a few things a patient without insurance who desires surgery can do to minimize the costs as much as possible. Before going into cost-cutting measures, you first need to understand where the costs come from. In rank order, the costs of surgery come from (highest to lowest):

by J. Walden Retan MD Begin with what everyone knows.  Healthcare costs and health insurance costs are climbing more than twice as fast as the cost of living, and have been for years. There is no need for numbers to prove the point. Just ask anyone who buys health insurance on their own, any employer trying to take care of his employees, any employee whose wages ...

Read more...

With the expected cutbacks in healthcare funding and the increasingly dismal outlook for "new" money in the healthcare pot, "value" has quickly become a key watchword. In the past decade, we've seen many public and private payers implement value-based, pay-for-performance (P4P) programs as a means of spurring healthcare providers to improve the quality of services they provide and, tangentially, reduce the ...

Read more...

Have you noticed the recent trend against specialty physicians? Policy experts have determined that primary care needs incentives to attract medical students away from those "highly lucrative" specialties such as plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, interventional cardiology, and neurosurgery. Our federal government believes in equal opportunity -- if you wish to become a family doctor. There are incentives sponsored ...

Read more...

8,000 patients will no longer be able to receive care from UNC Hospitals and their affiliated physician practices because of a dispute between UNC and the insurance company Aetna. The bottom line is that Aetna does not want to pay as much for care provided by UNC as UNC wants to be paid for providing this care. No surprise there, as the interests of the two parties (health care ...

Read more...

My first exposure to KevinMD.com is reading Healthcare costs can be reduced with emerging business models by Joe Flower. While I am not informed about the medical business models to which he refers, I am experienced in business. I hail from a family of doctors and hospital owners. While I did lose touch with the industry for several years, I have noted several changes which do not make sense. ...

Read more...

The cost curve of American medicine continues to bend up. That is unsustainable. It must begin to bend downward. Two recent headlines focus the problem: New York Times, May 14, 2011: Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Postpone Care And, CNN Money, May 11, 2011 reports "Your family's healthcare costs $19,393." That is for a family of four, which has a median income of $75,700  -- before taxes. Opportunity ...

Read more...

Doctors who do not successfully e-prescribe 10 times for Medicare patients in the first six months of 2011 using claims-based reporting may be hit with a 1% penalty on their Medicare Part B payments for covered professional services in 2012. The penalty will increase to 1.5% in 2013 for those who don't e-prescribe for 25 Medicare patients during 2011. Not yet e-prescribing? Maybe your Read more...

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. by John Tooker, MD, MBA, MACP ACP: How accountable care is a team sportOn March 31, 2011, CMS issued a proposed rule to implement a section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires the HHS Secretary to establish a Medicare Shared Savings Program. Under the proposed rule, eligible providers and hospitals ...

Read more...

Most Popular