Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Obama Pens Healthcare Reform Essay for JAMA

President Barack Obama, in a JAMA article posted on 7/11/16 and entitled United States Health Care Reform Progress to Date and Next Steps, discusses the significance of the law ("... the most important health care legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965"), recaps the objectives and offers evidence that the law is working.

The president and his aides once shunned the word "Obamacare," at a time when both the law and Obama were struggling politically. Now it is clear he accepts the nickname and realizes the legislation will define his presidency. It may be the first time a sitting president has authored a complete academic article - with an abstract, findings and conclusions - that's been published in a scientific journal, at least in recent history. The president offers some valuable insights on lessons learned and, in his recommendations for building on the current reforms, takes aim at Big Pharma. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Here's What Happens To Your Medical Bills When Your Doctor Joins Forces With A Hospital

Dr. Peter Ubel, writing in Forbes on 6.30.16, reports:

For much of the history of U.S. medical care, hospitals and physicians have existed as separate financial entities. Physicians in the U.S. have typically been self-employed, as solo or group practitioners and not as hospital employees. An internist like me might have admitting privileges to several local hospitals...

The U.S. government is trying to change that. The Medicare program is encouraging healthcare providers to consolidate forces into entities like accountable care organizations, in hopes that such integration will increase healthcare efficiency. These hopes exist because some of the most respected healthcare institutions in the country-places like the Kaiser Permanente system and the Mayo Clinic -have long integrated their physicians with hospitals.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>