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Old January 1st, 2010, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Well Healthcare lefties, now what?

So the government wants to lower Medicare payments to doctors another 20% so everyone can have it, but.......What are they going to do about this?

FORCE doctors???
Bunch of dumb bastards.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...=aHoYSI84VdL0#

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients
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By David Olmos

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday.

“Many physicians have said, ‘I simply cannot afford to keep taking care of Medicare patients,’” said Heim, a family doctor who practices in Laurinburg, North Carolina. “If you truly know your business costs and you are losing money, it doesn’t make sense to do more of it.”

Medicare Loss

The Mayo organization had 3,700 staff physicians and scientists and treated 526,000 patients in 2008. It lost $840 million last year on Medicare, the government’s health program for the disabled and those 65 and older, Mayo spokeswoman Lynn Closway said.

Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

“We firmly believe that Medicare needs to be reformed,” Yardley said in a Dec. 23 e-mail. “It has been true for many years that Medicare payments no longer reflect the increasing cost of providing services for patients.”

Mayo will assess the financial effect of the decision in Glendale to drop Medicare patients “to see if it could have implications beyond Arizona,” he said.

Nationwide, doctors made about 20 percent less for treating Medicare patients than they did caring for privately insured patients in 2007, a payment gap that has remained stable during the last decade, according to a March report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a panel that advises Congress on Medicare issues. Congress last week postponed for two months a 21.5 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

National Participation

Medicare covered an estimated 45 million Americans at the end of 2008, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of the programs. While 92 percent of U.S. family doctors participate in Medicare, only 73 percent of those are accepting new patients under the program, said Heim of the national physicians’ group, citing surveys by the Leawood, Kansas-based organization.

Greater access to primary care is a goal of the broad overhaul supported by Obama that would provide health insurance to about 31 million more Americans. More family doctors are needed to help reduce medical costs by encouraging prevention and early treatment, Obama said in a June 15 speech to the American Medical Association meeting in Chicago.

Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman for health care, declined comment on Mayo’s decision to drop Medicare primary care patients at its Glendale clinic.

Medicare Costs

Mayo’s Medicare losses in Arizona may be worse than typical for doctors across the U.S., Heim said. Physician costs vary depending on business expenses such as office rent and payroll. “It is very common that we hear that Medicare is below costs or barely covering costs,” Heim said.

Mayo will continue to accept Medicare as payment for laboratory services and specialist care such as cardiology and neurology, Yardley said.

Robert Berenson, a fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said physicians’ claims of inadequate reimbursement are overstated. Rather, the program faces a lack of medical providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists and pediatricians who oversee patients’ primary care.

“Some primary care doctors don’t have to see Medicare patients because there is an unlimited demand for their services,” Berenson said. When patients with private insurance can be treated at 50 percent to 100 percent higher fees, “then Medicare does indeed look like a poor payer,” he said.

Annual Costs

A Medicare patient who chooses to stay at Mayo’s Glendale clinic will pay about $1,500 a year for an annual physical and three other doctor visits, according to an October letter from the facility. Each patient also will be assessed a $250 annual administrative fee, according to the letter. Medicare patients at the Glendale clinic won’t be allowed to switch to a primary care doctor at another Mayo facility.

A few hundred of the clinic’s Medicare patients have decided to pay cash to continue seeing their primary care doctors, Yardley said. Mayo is helping other patients find new physicians who will accept Medicare.

“We’ve had many patients call us and express their unhappiness,” he said. “It’s not been a pleasant experience.”

Mayo’s decision may herald similar moves by other Phoenix- area doctors who cite inadequate Medicare fees as a reason to curtail treatment of the elderly, said John Rivers, chief executive of the Phoenix-based Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

“We’ve got doctors who are saying we are not going to deal with Medicare patients in the hospital” because they consider the fees too low, Rivers said. “Or they are saying we are not going to take new ones in our practice.”
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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Sounds like the new plan is working already.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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you will see more of this, The Doc's at the hospital I work at are already talking about the repercussion of this. You will see less and less doc's going through med school since they will no longer make much money. More will be going into Veterinary medicine.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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WTF? Just print more money!
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:48 PM   #5
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you will see more of this, The Doc's at the hospital I work at are already talking about the repercussion of this. You will see less and less doc's going through med school since they will no longer make much money. More will be going into Veterinary medicine.
And with less doctors we are going to put 30 million more people in line to see them for every bump and bruise.

But don't worry, we will have a much more healthy nation.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 07:18 AM   #6
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Dammit Bush! You are the devil! You... oh wait... this is 100% Obamarific. Let the spinning commence... lol
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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And with less doctors we are going to put 30 million more people in line to see them for every bump and bruise.

But don't worry, we will have a much more healthy nation.
I believe that several of us had stated this kind of shit would happen.

Note to PeteC: While I can appreciate your European relatives have fantastic public healthcare, they are not burdened with our chain of legislative idiots. We have managed to start another snowball of shit with this bill.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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PeteC's European relatives (as well as mine) also pay exorbitant taxes to fund that "cradle to grave" socialism. Another quiet fact is that because the U.S. did the bulk of the NATO heavy lifting allowed them to spend more on social services. We won't even talk about the Marshall Plan. They also don't have the tort system we have, which is a major contributor to health care costs.

Doctors in Canada are lining up to work in the U.S. A co-worker's girlfriend made $36K (Canadian) as an emergency room MD in Toronto. Sounds like I'd sign up for $150K in student loan debt for that kind of sweet cash.

Again, health care decisions are all being made based on emotions: Obama needs to deliver something - anything - he promised, Pelosi and Reid's megalomania, and the uninformed do-gooders need to do something "good".

Soon we'll have healthcare with care protocols designed by politicians (overwhelmingly with no medical or science education) provided by the lowest-cost bidder employing the lowest cost per hour professionals.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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You guys a bunch of dumb asses or what....

You have been told over and over again OBAMA is going to overhaul the healthcare system. So students, if we have the best healthcare in the world, which nobody disagrees with how do you change that.....

Simple, you wreck it, so it is NO LONGER the best, but second rate.....

GO OBAMA. to PeteC and everyone else that voted for him or lean left and liberal, this is what the left, liberals, and socialism gets you...second rate.


There is no best with them, so you can't have the best.....
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:37 PM   #10
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Less Doctors leave medical school with a Internal Medicine residency because they are leaving school with on average 250k in student loans and wouldn't be getting a good ROI being a primary care Doctor. They discussed this at the symposium we attended at Wayne State's Medical School. One class had over half of the students trying to get residency matches in Orthopedic Surgery. The demand for Internal Medicine Doctors is growing but the incentive isn't there for the students to try to match. My husband thought about going the Internal Medicine route but why would you do that if you are smart enough to match in dermatology, plastic surgery, or orthopedic surgery?
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:45 PM   #11
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My bro works at a private Pharmacy. Medicare/Medicaid reimburse them less money than many drugs cost them to buy. So on many prescriptions they lose money. Also the $5 prescriptions that Walmart, Meijer, etc... have been doing are obviously being sold at a loss to get new customers. It's a crappy time to be a pharmacist.

My bro has maybe a year left at Ferris in a ridiculously competitive Pharmacy program. On top of working your ass off to just get in, each semester is so crammed with shit that he has no time to have a job. He deserves the 100k+ staring salary for the 6 years of BS and debt alone, not even counting his knowledge.

F'ing bullshit.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 10:45 AM   #12
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As the old saying goes, ya get what ya pay for. Don't want to pay your Doc. crap then you'll get a crappy Doc. What is so hard for liberals to see in that.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #13
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all part of the plan. stan, by doing this and doctors backing out, it will give the liberals a paved road toward 100% government control of healthcare and which civilians live or die. they will claim that this was an unseen problem and say the way to fix it, and quick would be to socialize the care immediately. a worried people will let them pass it.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #14
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all part of the plan. stan, by doing this and doctors backing out, it will give the liberals a paved road toward 100% government control of healthcare and which civilians live or die. they will claim that this was an unseen problem and say the way to fix it, and quick would be to socialize the care immediately. a worried people will let them pass it.
My exact thought when reading the OP. Doctors begin refusing medicare patients and those refused will support a fully government controlled healthcare.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #15
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Who's John Galt.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #16
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all part of the plan. stan, by doing this and doctors backing out, it will give the liberals a paved road toward 100% government control of healthcare and which civilians live or die. they will claim that this was an unseen problem and say the way to fix it, and quick would be to socialize the care immediately. a worried people will let them pass it.
I disagree, I think you may be seeing capitolism standing up and saying, hey government we are not participating in socialism, so take YOUR insurance and what you think you are going to pay and go somewhere else.
We are part of a free market, this is my product and or my service and if you want it here's the price.

Obama Sucks Ass
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Old January 5th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #17
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I disagree, I think you may be seeing capitolism standing up and saying, hey government we are not participating in socialism, so take YOUR insurance and what you think you are going to pay and go somewhere else.
We are part of a free market, this is my product and or my service and if you want it here's the price.

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agreed, but for them, standing capitalism against their proposed socialism the federal government would just as much kick them aside, make them sound like baby killing evil satans' and continue to tell the people how their socialist healthcare will rid our country of said evil. the problem is the liberals feel they have impunity to do whatever they wish despite what the people say. the more people challenge them, the nastier they become.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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I disagree, I think you may be seeing capitolism standing up and saying, hey government we are not participating in socialism, so take YOUR insurance and what you think you are going to pay and go somewhere else.
We are part of a free market, this is my product and or my service and if you want it here's the price.

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agreed, but for them, standing capitalism against their proposed socialism the federal government would just as much kick them aside, make them sound like baby killing evil satans' and continue to tell the people how their socialist healthcare will rid our country of said evil. the problem is the liberals feel they have impunity to do whatever they wish despite what the people say. the more people challenge them, the nastier they become.
You're both right, but there is an easier solution, if you think like a socialist. I predict if this continues, then the gov't will mandate that all doctors must accept their "fair share" of medicare patients. "Fair Share" being decided by the bureaucrats of course.

It is a true life example of Atlas Shrugged.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #19
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You're both right, but there is an easier solution, if you think like a socialist. I predict if this continues, then the gov't will mandate that all doctors must accept their "fair share" of medicare patients. "Fair Share" being decided by the bureaucrats of course.

It is a true life example of Atlas Shrugged.
At that point we should see a full on revolt. Not so much a violent act but a consorted action by American free enterprise. I don't think the government would win that fight, because even though we have enough stupid people to vote in Obama, we still have enough people that have some idea of what the fundamentals of being an American consist of, and can realize they are being stripped of them.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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Five-term Sen. Christopher Dodd, whose standing in his state has been undermined by his role during last year's financial meltdown, is expected to announce that he will not seek re-election, according to a report in the Washington Post.
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The news about Dodd comes on the heels of an announcement by three-term Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who had also been plummeting in the polls, that he would not seek re-election.

Recent polls in Connecticut had shown Dodd slipping below the 40 percent mark in match-ups against three Republicans vying for the chance to challenge him in November.

The Post reported that state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was expected to step in as the Democratic candidate for the seat. Blumenthal, who has served in his job since 1990, is popular in the state and is considered to be a less vulnerable target for Republicans than Dodd.

Dodd had played a key role in legislation to bail out major Wall Street financial firms, pushing through legislation to strengthen consumer protections in the use of credit cards, and stepping in for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy on the health care overhaul. But the Wall Street bailout angered many Americans and Dodd suffered the fallout.

Dodd's retirement was also reported by the Politico and the New York Times.
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