Contents tagged with health care costs
Trading Volume for Value
Can we solve the country’s health care cost crisis by aligning payment incentives with desired outcomes in a new era of austerity?
As worry builds over the … more
By W. Mike McCrady, M.D., and Anne McCrady
While politicians debate health care reform in Washington, here in Texas change is already affecting the practice of family medicine. In hospital board rooms and medical staff meetings, local doctors are hearing about the transformation of primary care, payments based on quality and value, and the expectation of providers to capture a larger and larger market share. There is a confounding list of issues behind these pressures: some legislative, some economic, and others technological. In response, around the state, not just doctors, but administrators, legislators, and consultants are weighing in on the critical role of primary care to manage cost, ensure continuity, and meet patients’ needs.
With so much at stake, Texas family physicians face a daunting future. How should we respond to these changes? As with so many things, the answer seems to be to work together. For a rapidly growing proportion of us, that means joining forces with other providers, often as part of a hospital system. A report from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows a drop in the percentage of physicians who identified themselves as being in partnerships from 50 percent to 30.2 percent in the past 10 years. This decreasing number of small medical groups is also documented in national statistics. In fact, a recent New England Journal of Medicine article predicts that by 2012, 40 percent of active primary care physicians will be employed by hospital systems.more
TAFP urges Legislature to support Texas family medicine residency programs
The latest TAFP issue brief, “Family Medicine Residency Programs Are Critical in Training Texas’ … more
Now comes the hard part
By Tom Banning
TAFP Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President
If one accepts the premise that politics drives health care policy, then it would follow that flawed politics produces flawed policy. Those hoping for a vigorous and thoughtful debate on health care reform—what works and how to pay for it—are instead forced to settle for media theatrics and hyperbole that come dangerously close to the level of UFO conspiracies.
The town hall debacles and orchestrated lunacy during the August recess have dispelled any lingering hope that Congress can move away from the partisan bickering and sniping that has increasingly characterized what passes for debate in one of the world’s greatest deliberative bodies. Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, with the blessing and encouragement of their caucus’ political consultants, talk not in terms of medical economics and policy options for improving our health care system, but rather in calculated polling and focus-group-generated strategies designed to fire up their respective political base and confuse and scare the public to meet their own political objectives.more
Report: Uninsured account for one-fifth of ER visits
Uninsured persons accounted for nearly one-fifth of the 120 million hospital-based emergency department visits in 2006, while low-income … more
Payment expert links medical home to reducing hospital readmissions
Physician pay should reflect savings gained by avoiding excessive procedures
By James Arvantes, AAFP News Now
Patient-centered … more
Medical care: Cash on delivery, please
By Jonathan Nelson
The advent of high-deductible health plans leaves patients confused about their coverage and their financial responsibility and physician … more
Is prevention always better than cure?
After publication of the JUPITER Trial, physicians have to consider whether asymptomatic patients need CRP tests.
By Richard Young, M.D.
One of my … more
Many small businesses pressured to cut health benefits to stay afloat
More than one in three small business owners said that rising health care costs may cause them to cut portions of health … more
By Roland A. Goertz, M.D., M.B.A.
What is it that makes American health care so expensive compared to every other developed country? I am often asked that question, and giving an accurate or simple answer is difficult. Instead of a long list of items that underlie the problem, I will describe four well-intended processes that I believe have created an inherently inflationary model of care. We have all benefited from the creation of the four processes, but we now pay a huge price for maintaining them.