Tag: healthcare spending
Health Spending and Prices to Rise, 2018 through 2025
Before the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, President Obama repeatedly promised that the typical family’s health premiums would go down by $2,500 after implementing the expansion of health insurance we label Obamacare. Nothing of the sort has happened, of course. For the past few years, prices and spending have appeared moderate by...
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Over a Decade Later, Tax Hikes Still Proposed to Pay for Romneycare
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has proposed a tax of $2,000 per worker on businesses that do not offer health coverage to employees who become dependent on Medicaid. This makes him the second Republican governor of Massachusetts to buy into the notion that imposing taxes (or fines or penalties or fees) on individuals and...
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Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Health Spending One-Eighth
The Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, comparing consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs, which HCCI defines as High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Arrangements). HCCI examines a database of claims submitted by Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare for...
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Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations Still Underwhelm
Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which launched in 2012, were supposed to introduce a significant shift away from paying for “volume” to paying for “value.” Critics of Fee-For-Service medicine claim this system causes physicians to do more to patients so they get paid more, notwithstanding benefits to patients. Those critics seldom identify the moral...
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Chemotherapy Payment Reform: Medicare Is Missing the Elephant in the Room
Last May I wrote about the uproar over Medicare’s proposed changes to how it will pay doctors who inject drugs at their offices. This largely concerns chemotherapy. Currently, physicians buy the drugs and Medicare reimburses them the Average Sales Price (ASP) plus 6 percent. The proposed reform would cut the mark-up to 2.5 percent...
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Obamacare’s Death Panel: Deferred, but Not Dismissed
Soon after Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13, Senate Republicans felt the need to declare that they would not even entertain the thought of holding confirmation hearings for any candidate President Obama might nominate to the Supreme Court in the last eleven months of his second term. Given the high drama...
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Paying for Drugs: Long-Term Benefits vs. Short-Term Costs
PwC has published its predictive Top Health Industry Trends for 2016. It is enthusiastic about the uptake of mobile and telehealth technologies, and consumerism in health care. Overall, the report is both interesting and uncontroversial. However, there is one datum, from a consumer survey, which is hard to figure out. PwC asked consumers about...
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The Reconciliation Distraction
Just three weeks after voting $40 billion of deficit financing for Obamacare, which was cheerfully signed by President Obama, Republican Congressional leaders are returning to the reconciliation distraction. Instead of actually proposing an alternative to Obamacare, Republican Congressional leaders believe they can continue to convince us they are committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare...
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Third-Party Bureaucracies Can’t Discipline Healthcare Prices
One of the least substantiated notions behind the modern American doctrine that people should allow insurers or governments to control our health spending is that these third parties can negotiate fees with hospitals and physicians that are better than those which would prevail if patients controlled these dollars ourselves. Years of evidence show that...
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Hospital Ownership of Physicians Drives Up Costs
New research published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal supports, with rigorous data analysis, the notion that hospital ownership of medical practices drives up costs: Among the 240 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, physician-hospital integration increased from 2008 to 2012 by a mean of 3.3 percentage points, with considerable variation in increases across MSAs. For our study sample...
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