By Dr. Jaan Sidorov
First Posted at Disease Management Care Blog on 5/14/2013
Dr. Jaan Sidorov, host of Disease Management Care Blog
Kudos to JAMA for tackling what the Disease Management Care Blog has been saying for years: now that the Washington DC’s camel nose is under the tent, there is no way health insurance coverage – and the care it pays for – isn’t going to become politicized.
That’s the bigger issue in this just-published article by Steven Wolf and Doug Campos-Outcalt. They’re focusing on the political pressure that is being brought to bear on US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). As readers may recall, the Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to fully cover screening services that are deemed effective by the USPSTF. Drs. Wolf and Campos-Outcalt point out that politics rudely intruded on the USPSTF’s determination that the evidence supporting mammography for women under age 50 years was lacking. The resulting firestorm not only prompted Congress to not only waive the USPHSTF recommendation, but led some of its members to question the Task Force’s integrity. [click to continue…]
By David Harlow
First Posted at HealthBlawg on 5/19/2013
David Harlow, host of HealthBlawg
When CMS recently released hospital chargemaster and payment data for the 100 hospital codes most frequently billed to Medicare, there was much written and said about the significance of the data release.
Some found this to be significant; others (including your humble HealthBlawger), not so much.
Leonard Kish summed up and addressed the critiques of the value of the CMS open data, and others whose judgment I also respect found that the release was overall a good thing. Gilles Frydman, for one, in a listserv exchange, opined that the release was a net positive because it thrust the irrationality of hospital pricing into the public eye, and that “[i]f enough people get angry, a public push for more transparency will follow.”
I can accept the proposition that data will be valued differently by different parties. However, I want to throw something else into the mix: We are collectively trying to move away from fee-for-service medicine. As the saying goes: the future is already here; it just isn’t evenly distributed. Some are further down the path than others. I think that our time and effort is better spent on ensuring that value-based purchasing systems are up and running, rather than on improving the pricing transparency of FFS medicine. [click to continue…]