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What Will Happen to Provider Reimbursements

Editor’s note: It appears that if President Obama has his way provider reimbursements will come under Executive Branch control. They report that they want to do this to control the cost of services rendered.

So, two things then follow:

1) They intend to reduce or reduce the rate of growth of government reimbursements. This will shift more cost to the commercial (private sector)

2) If the is a public plan, it will have lower reimbursement rates (i.e., overall costs to consumers) and therefore in none too short of a period eliminate private plans.

But, he promised you can keep your plan if you like it. You won’t like the price so you will move into the public plan with its plan provisions. Will you fully understand the implications of those provisions? Do you understand the provisions of your current plan? I suspect not.

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Obama Eyes The Purse Strings for Medicare

Washington Post
Shailagh Murray

July 16, 2009

At the same time President Obama is asking members of Congress to take one of the most politically difficult votes of their careers, he is also pressing lawmakers to give up one of their most valued perks of office: boosting Medicare payments to benefit hometown providers.

Setting reimbursement rates for local hospitals, doctors, home health-care centers and other providers is a legislative ritual that amounts to one of the most effective and lucrative forms of constituent service. Delivering federal money through Medicare, the country’s largest insurance program, can be a powerful tool on the campaign trail, allowing lawmakers to argue that they are creating jobs and improving the quality of health care for voters.

Longtime members of Congress have become masters at dominating the tug of war between keeping providers flush and trying to rein in the entitlement program’s dramatic growth. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) champions New York City’s teaching hospitals. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the Senate Finance Committee’s ranking Republican, makes sure rural health-care services are amply funded. Months before Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) left office, he secured a permanent 35 percent increase in Medicare payments for Alaska physicians.

Obama administration officials say they are determined to stem soaring Medicare spending, arguing that it is a root cause of the broader health-care crisis that they are trying to address with Congress. Behind the scenes, Obama is pushing for a mechanism that would take Medicare payment authority out of the hands of politicians and invest it in a separate entity, possibly under the executive branch.

http://www.ahiphiwire.org/News/Default.aspx?doc_id=351254&utm_source=7/16/2009&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=HiWire_Newsletter&uid=TRACK_USER

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July 16, 2009 - Posted by | Cost, Federal Government, healthcare, Plan design | , , , ,

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