Healthcare Law As A Product of the 'Sausage Factory'
Here's another issue that may bubble up in controversy in years to come:
The law creates an independent payment advisory board (IPAB) to develop and submit to Congress a report on matters related to Medicare. In certain circumstances, the IPAB would have the authority, beginning in 2015, to make binding Medicare policy recommendations and non-binding private payer policy recommendations to Congress.
Jessee worries about the future IPAB and what it could portend for physician payments. He likens its potential clout to that of the Base Alignment and Closure Commission in the military, which has enormous power over military bases.
"Empowering an IPAB with authority to make binding Medicare policy recommendations based on expenditure inflicts physicians with additional expenditure constraints," he says. He describes it as "MedPac (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission) on steroids."
Whether Jessee is right on this remains to be scene. But it swirls around physician pay, and so I'll transition right now to the continual "doc fix" problems. This is No. 1 on Jessee's agenda, and a significant reason for his disappointment in the healthcare reform laws. For Jessee, it's the controversy that continues to exist although headlines have died for awhile, at least until the next time around Congress acts.
Here's the latest: a proposed 21 % pay cut was halted through May 31, 2010, and Congress is expected to take up legislation to extend the current payment rate until Oct. 1. The House and Senate have passed separate bills to achieve this extension, and negotiations are continuing about how it will be paid for.
"All the word on Capitol Hill is they intend to do something to repeal the SGR and fix the problem," Jessee says. "Quite frankly, we've heard that story before."
Just another day in the sausage factory.
Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders, a free weekly e-newsletter that features the top physician business headlines of the week from leading news sources.
Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- Consumerism Drives Healthcare Branding, Rebranding Efforts
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- Antibiotic Overuse a 'Huge Threat' to Patient Safety, Says CDC
- CNO on Hospital Redesign: 'You Can't Over-Communicate'
- CFO Exchange: Healthcare Leaders Share 5 Innovative Ideas
- How Digital Strategy Shapes Patient Engagement at Boston Children's Hospital
- CHS Hacked, 4.5M Patient Records Compromised
- Carondelet to Pay $35M to Settle Fraud Allegations