Friday, September 27, 2013

The Medicare "Doc Fix" Will Never Get Fixed Like This

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the cost of a Republican-led bill to permanently “fix” the Medicare fee schedule for physicians. The cost to taxpayers? $175 billion over ten years. To put that in perspective, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s bishopx-largeMay 2013 budget outlook, the ObamaCare’s effect on health spending is that it will cost $1.8 trillion over ten years. So, this so-called permanent doc fix would cost almost one tenth the entire cost of ObamaCare.

How can anyone possibly call that a “fix?

Read and comment on the rest of this article at John Goodman's Health Policy Blog.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Obamacare's Medical-Device Excise Tax: Early Evidence Suggests Significant Harm

The medical-device industry’s primary lobbying goal this year is to repeal Obamacare’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. Device makers have been collecting and remitting this new tax since the beginning of 2013.

Now that we are in the second half of 2013, we can inquire whether the early evidence confirms these predictions. Preliminary research on the financial results for the first half of the year suggests that the excise tax is causing significant harm.

Read this entire article at Forbes.com's The Apothecary here.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Health Technology Forum Launches a Branch in Washington, DC: Kick Off September 19

Before moving to DC in August 2012, I was involved in the Health Technology Forum. The Forum started about three years ago, meeting about once a month in either San Francisco or Silicon Valley.

According to the vision statement, "Health Technology Forum promotes the intersection of health care and technology by connecting people worldwide who have common interest in making health care better, more accessible and affordable for everyone." What it looks like in practice is networking events after work, attended by about one hundred people, where three or so entrepreneurs present their businesses. Sometimes, government officials (from, e.g. FDA or ONC HIT) will present.

For example, one of the San Francisco events I attended featured a presentation by PillJogger, a software solution for medication adherence, which was founded by an MD trained at Johns Hopkins and Stanford. I (and everyone else) was able to engage the entrepreneurs close up. It's a rare and great experience.

In the last couple of years, chapters have been founded in many North American cities. The community has decided to found a chapter in the DC area, and the kick off event will be on September 19 at Troutman Sanders, 401 9th St, NW, Washington, DC.

So far we have two speakers confirmed:
  • Damon Sanders, Director of the Health Data Initiative at the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Nancy Hall, Chief Information Officer of MedAmerica, a leading medical-practice management service provider.
For more information and registration, please see this Meet Up page. The more the merrier, so please forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested in the Health Technology Forum. I hope to see you there.