Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hospitals Battle with Physician Offices For Medicare Funds

You would certainly notice a difference if you go to a physicians office versus when you go to hospital.   More patients, a different waiting area, different equipment, more staff, different types of doctors.   

But Medicare does not see the same difference you do.  Or so it appears...

Last month, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) the group that advises the Federal Government on medical payments addressed payment differences across settings.  According to MedPac, the federal government is paying too much for hospital servcies which can be performed as well at a physicians office.  

But hospitals note, we are not the same.  

As Fierce Healthcare notes.

"Hospitals are not physician offices and play a very different role in the communities they serve …," AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack wrote in a letter Friday. AHA pointed out that hospitals offer 24/7 access to care, safety nets for those who can't pay, as well as disaster response. "These critical roles, which [are] often taken for granted, represent an essential component of our nation's health and public safety infrastructure," Pollack said.

As part of Healthcare reform, increased cuts to providers will be likely.   The question then, is who takes the larger hit.   Our White Paper on Healthcare Reform, available for free at Kalorama talks about some of the recent changes and which industry sectors benefit.