Blog | Wednesday, January 13, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Medicare pay rises, cost to practice rises more

ACP Internist's wrap-up of current events looks at how primary care providers are faring in today's economic climate. (Cue the stormy background sounds.)

Primary care shortage
Primary care doctors could see a 1.1% Medicare pay increase this year, instead of a 21% cut. The bad news is the cost of practicing medicine will rise 2.5%. (American Medical News)

Thomas Bledsoe, FACP, talks to NPR in an audio report about frustrations in his practice that led him to kick a trash can across the room. Rhode Island is hoping to ease the tension by requiring insurers to invest more than a $100 million more into primary care, to fund the patient-centered medical home and electronic health records, among other goals. But frustrated physicians aren't waiting for government involvement or health care reform. Like Stephen Glasser, ACP Member, they are fleeing to concierge care. (WRNI/NPR, Washington Post)

Health care reform
Sen. Olympia Snowe, the one Republican to show any approval at all for health care reform legislation, defended her vote weeks ago to move the legislation forward (although she'd cautioned her vote was only to do that, not to approve the legislation as written.) Her constituents, including small business leaders, let her know how they felt about the impact of the bills underway in Congress. They may be comforted to know that employer insurance mandates may be dropped from the negotiations underway between the White House and both chambers of Congress. (Bangor Daily News, Boston Globe)

In the face of strong controversy about mammography screening guidelines, Lawrence E. Feinberg, FACP, President of ACP's Colorado chapter, discusses the benefits of following U.S. Preventive Service Task Force recommendations. (Denver Post)