National Commission on Physician Payment Reform Recommends Fee-for-Service Payment be Phased Out in Five Years

Here’s a huge announcement from the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. They recently issued a report outlining 12 sweeping recommendations designed to rein in rampant health spending and improve our nation’s quality of care.

How will they accomplish this? By fundamentally restructuring the way doctors are paid.

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Shopping For HealthCare Services Not Easy Due To Lack Of Publicly Available Information On Quality And Value

Shopping For HealthCare Services Not Easy Due To Lack Of Publicly Available Information On Quality And Value

After reviewing the findings from a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dark Daily reports that “most state websites aimed at transparency in healthcare pricing [are] inaccurate and basically useless in helping consumers shop for services.” This coming from a respectable publication, we’re left to assume the data was abysmal.

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A Tragicomic Irony: Pretending To Be Uninsured Might Save Patients Money

Dark Daily, our favorite watchdog publication, posted price comparisons between insured and uninsured patients. The numbers vary state to state, but the overall trend is that insured/Medicare patients are on average being charged a third of what uninsured patients are. This is a polar shift from the 1950s, when the poor and uninsured were charged the LOWEST rates of any patient. But there was also an ironic finding, steep cash discounts are being offered to patients who can pay for a service upfront. “[It was] suggested that when hospitals offer such deep discounts for paying cash, patients with high deductibles may be better off withholding their insurance information and paying the cash price.” This reminds us of a great quote by Richard Feynman, who says, “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s most interesting.”

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Hospitals Generally Charge Self-pay Patients Top Price for Care, but Some Providers Now Offer Deep Discounts for Patients Who Pay with Cash” | Dark Daily 

Study Shows That Too Many EHR Notifications Causing Missed Test Results

Hardeep-Singh-M.D.-MPHA new post from Dark Daily says that a study shows too many electronic alerts cause nearly 30% of primary care physicians to overlook essential clinical laboratory test results. This according to researchers, including Hardeep Singh (pictured left), M.D., MPH, who led the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center research team. Unfortunately, it looks like EHR systems are plagued by ‘alert overload.’ Which is what we’d expect, though, in an industry producing lackluster products.

In total, 5,001 VA physicians were invited to participate in the study, and of the 2,590 primary care physicians (PCPs) who did, some 29.8% overlooked test results from an EHR alert system on at least one occasion. Singh and his researchers’ survey findings suggested three factors that could lead to missed results in EHRs:

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New Study Predicts that Majority Of Physician Practices Will Lose Money On Their EHR Systems

Dark Daily writer Patricia Kirk shares Michigan University research that suggests there are opportunities for physicians to make more money using EMR. However, a major factor that would theoretically help them make this proposed “money” includes using ONLY THE NEW EMR, not the new EMR in conjunction with pre-existing methods. Hmmm, so why would someone buy something to replace something, and then keep using the old thing? Oh right, the government paid them to buy it. We almost forgot.

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Patient complains about being overcharged thousands of dollars by a Napa hospital for medical laboratory tests

Dark Daily published an article saying a community hospital charged Kathy Meinhardt inpatient prices for clinical laboratory testing when she was a walk-up customer. As a result, Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa Valley has found itself centered within a media flare-up.

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