Over-Prescribing, Under-Prescribing, And The Fee-For-Service Catch 22

The federal government has granted itself potent new authority to expel physicians from Medicare if they are found to prescribe drugs in abusive ways, following through on a proposal issued earlier this year.

Excellent news! Now fee-for-service doctors can exist like Heller-esque protgaonists, trapped by the possibility of losing funding for over-prescribing, or losing funding by under-prescribing.

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Posted by: AtlasMD

November 26, 2013

Medicare Penalizes Nearly 1,500 Hospitals For Poor Quality Scores

As you know, the health law’s insurance markets are struggling. Oh well, that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from moving ahead with its second year of “meting out bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on the quality of their care,” says NPR.

And this year, it looks like more hospitals lost than won.

So how does this bureaucratic mousetrap work? The government determines if hospitals get more or less Medicare dollars for the work they complete based on patients’ surveys. And what were this year’s results? According to NPR, “Medicare has raised payment rates to 1,231 hospitals based on two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and — for the first time — death rates. Another 1,451 hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.”

NPR says half the hospitals will see negligible changes while others are going to see a noticeable difference.

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