• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obamacare and the Medicare Bureaucracy: A Dangerous Duo

    While Medicare held the spotlight for much of the debate over health care reform last year, the changes to the health care program for seniors and the disabled that were most widely acknowledged were the $575 billion in cuts to the program.  These cuts threaten to result in reduced benefits or access to health care providers.  But this isn’t the only way in which the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect seniors.  In recent Heritage research, Clete DiGiovanni, MD, and Robert Moffit, Ph.D., lay out some of the other important changes to Medicare which could, depending on the direction taken in pending regulation, challenge the doctor-patient relationship and undercut physician autonomy:

    Standardization of Care. The PPACA creates a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which will be charged with setting research priorities and advance studies of comparative effectiveness research.  Though there is no problem with advancing evidence-based research to influence medical decision-making, DiGiovanni and Moffit write that, “The key issue, to be resolved through regulation, is the precise relationship between providers’ reimbursement and plan coverage and the findings of comparative effectiveness research.. statutory conditions are not to be construed as “preventing” the Secretary from using such evidence in determining coverage or reimbursement.” 

    Changing Physician Practice. The new law also creates the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which will propose alternatives to Medicare’s current fee-for-service model. DiGiovanni and Moffit write that, “While there is obviously nothing wrong with experimenting with new models of physician payment, it should take place in an economic environment where patients control the flow of dollars in the system. It appears that the law’s replacement of traditional Medicare fee-for-service payment is to be coupled with a form of managed care, meaning that Medicare patients’ choice of physicians and treatment options is limited by those doing the managing.”

    The new health care law threatens to disrupt the relationship between doctors and patients by altering payment methods and employing excessive regulation through a heightened role for bureaucracy in Medicare. To read more about the changes seniors face, click here.

    This post was co-authored by Derek Pyburn.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Obamacare and the Medicare Bureaucracy: A Dangerous Duo

    1. Stan W., Washington, says:

      This will be a little long. When HCR was passed for 30+ million uninsured, I kind of wondered how many of those were black. I figured the majority was but you dare not say it. You'd be called a bigot and a racist very quickly. Glenn Beck just showed 3 snipets of politicians, Pelosi was one, claiming that HCR was a Civil Rights Act??? My belief is that BO helped his race and low income white people just got pulled in with it to avoid being called a Civil Rights Act?? I realize this is a touchy comment. I'm not a racist—-lust looking at intent. Personally, I was opposed to the 500 billion being pulled out of Medicare. I hope the seniors realize that in Nov. Someone behind me may have more info?

    2. Billie says:

      and what about the manipulation of diagnosis for labeling purposes for further government power? They take advantage of the elderly condition: My great aunt, 90yrs old has what I refer to as old age. For some suspicious reason she was given tests that resulted in the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer. Short term memory loss is a natural process of the aging of the brain. She remembers to eat and everything else. I'd feel different if she were in her forties with the short term memory loss she suffers and she couldn't do anything else for herself.

      It's been 2 years since her diagnosis. She fell two months ago and is now in a home. The transitional care facility kicked her out as she was non-compliant as thoughts of her independence being taken away started to be voiced…

      Transitional care administration is another corruption of health-care in my opinion.

      If you treat people according to the diagnosis, even though it's a mis, the potential will be the person becoming the diagnosis.

    3. Billie says:

      "mental" diagnosis in particular.

    4. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      As a nurse I loved my profession, then came all this paper work and DRG's(diagnosis related goal) if a pt. is admitted with a hot appendix the DRG says a stay of x no. dys, if complications arrise too bad. If the admitting diagnosis is found to be wrong or there are other factors not found until after admission then you need to fill out dozens of forms etc to get the Ins. Co to Ok change. It's not about patient care it's about how NOT to spend money. Insurance companies are making big bucks, they don't care about the patient only the cost. I went in to Private care. With this Obamacare it's going to get worse, someone needs to stand up and correct this where it needs correcting, Torts, malpractice and Fraud. Ins. cos. need to show that a certain % of premiums ges toward care not their big conventions, golden parachutes etc.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×