STATES CHRONICLE – With CMS’s now annual event of releasing Medicare news, plan changes, and payment costs, we didn’t have to wait long for the new Medicare policy and 2014 bill results to come in.
The roundup is a Medicare bill totaling $91 billion and the agency modifying their data gathering plan, discouraging doctors from administering the most promising treatments for chronic health problems and excluding wages adjustments.
The $91 billion bill representing payments per individual physician, diagnostic laboratories, and ambulance services is distributed mostly amongst internists, ophthalmologists and the palliative and hospice sector.
Florida doctors, having the largest pool of senior citizens, collected the most Medicare Plan B payments in the nation: 27 physicians out of 100.
Internists collected $9.2 billion, but mainly because they outnumber doctors with other specialties.
Radiologists serving the largest number of Medicare beneficiaries pulled in $3.7 billion. Oncology radiologists got $352,000 per provider, excluding drug payments.
Second place Medicare collectors were ophthalmologists, receiving $6.3 billion. Ophthalmic drugs are among the most expensive drug treatments administered.
Compared to 2013’s expenses, another $1.9 billion has been added to the reimbursements covered by Medicare in 2014. That’s an 8.6% increase from one year to the other.
Speaking of increases, 28% increase in 2014 went to the hospice and palliative sector and the drug expenditures gathered a big 30% increase – a $5.6 million more from 2013.
We’re actually glad to see nurse practitioners payments went up to 19% more – they have always been putting up with both patient and doctor heat.
So, the 2014’s total bill saw just a 1% increase compared to 2013.
The interpretation of Niall Brennan’s – Chief Data officer of CMS press release, stating that the agency plans for greater transparency in the health industry to promote a “vibrant” economy, seems somehow, as always, a distractor or cover up.
Shouldn’t the government encourage the prevention of chronic disease than the curing and treatment of it through the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service? Is CMS really influencing the policy makers through the release of these “trends”? Aren’t they, the policy makers and CMS working for the same “boss”?
What do you think about this 2014 Medicare bill and CMS’s new plans? Will they improve the services our most fragile require? Why would transparency even be a matter to bring up? What do you think?
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