Tags: Medicare | doctors | healthcare

Betsy McCaughey: Medicare Doc Payment Overhaul Means 'Lower Quality' Care

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 01:58 PM

The Obama administration is deploying an "Orwellian vocabulary" to justify an overhaul of Medicare reimbursements to doctors, and the aim is to conflate lower costs with better quality while the truth is just the opposite, says health policy analyst Betsy McCaughey.

McCaughey, a former New York lieutenant governor, told "MidPoint" Host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Tuesday that the new doctor payment formula for Medicare announced on Monday "means lower quality for seniors."

Story continues below video.

Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now

Beginning in 2016, the Health and Human Services Department will tie a percentage of the reimbursement to healthcare providers on measures of patients' health, not the number of procedures performed.

In an effort to slow the growth of the federal government's annual $3 trillion in health spending, HHS also plans to raise the percentage paid to doctors based solely on health outcomes from 30 percent to 50 percent by 2018.

"They've redefined the word quality to mean lower cost," said McCaughey of the London Center for Policy Research. "Here's what they're doing: They're giving doctors in hospitals a fixed, lump sum of money to pay for a group of seniors, and telling doctors whatever money they don't spend, they get to keep part of that to themselves.

"They call it saving, but what it's going to do is encourage doctors and hospitals to skimp on care," said McCaughey, a prominent critic of the Affordable Care Act. "This is the old HMO model, rewrapped."

The government could address the concerns of Medicare users — an estimated 50 million elderly or disabled Americans — by diligently collecting data on quality of care under the new system, she said.

"Infection rates, for example," said McCaughey, "Nobody should contract an infection when they go into the hospital, and I agree that it's right for Medicare to pay doctors and hospitals less, or penalize them, by not paying them at all if the patient gets an infection.

"But that's not what they're doing here," said McCaughey. "They're just saying, 'Spend less, and we'll give you part of the savings.' It's a hatchet, it's not a scalpel, and what it's creating is a conflict of interest between you and the person you need to trust the most: your doctor."

"In the future, when a doctor says, 'You don't need that test. You don't need that treatment,' You're going to wonder why, whether it's because that's the truth or because the doctor is going to reap part of the savings from you going under-treated," said McCaughey.

Turning to the Affordable Care Act, McCaughey discussed a Congressional Budget Office showing that the law will cost taxpayers $50,000 per person insured over the next 10 years.

"The real story in the CBO report is that Obamacare is going to add $1.3 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years," said McCaughey. "Remember when the Democratic Party said you can't repeal Obamacare because repealing will add to the deficit? Now, the shenanigans behind those tricky numbers are becoming apparent. The fact is that repealing Obamacare will set us on the road to fiscal responsibility."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsmax-Tv
The Obama administration is deploying an "Orwellian vocabulary" to justify an overhaul of Medicare reimbursements to doctors, and the aim is to conflate lower costs with better quality while the truth is just the opposite, says health policy analyst Betsy...
Medicare, doctors, healthcare
535
2015-58-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 01:58 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved