Saturday, December 12, 2009

Senate-driven Medicare cuts could drive away hospitals, providers from Medicare

Back in 1989 I worked for the ancestor of today’s company Lewin, and even then it focused on hospital operating margins for Medicare, as could broken down into tables and all kinds of categories (DRG, case-mix, rural/urban, etc). I even worked on the “model”. No, I won’t give away any “secrets” – just say that companies around the Beltway get paid to watch this sort of thing. The issues certainly must be alive today after, on Dec. 11, Rick Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, warned that Medicare cuts proposed by the Senate to help pay for health care reform could drive many providers from Medicare or make them unprofitable. That’s a little odd; the CMS home page (here) links to reports or others sites obviously supported by the Obama administration regarding health reform.
Lori Montgomery has the main story on p A3 of the Saturday Dec 12 Washington Post, “Medicare cuts could hurt hospitals, expert warns,” link here.

This is all ironic given that the Senate also proposes letting pre-seniors at 55 buy in to Medicare.

Here is the current link for Lewin’s published studies on Medicare.

Picture: Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington in winter (recently completed, late 2004).

1 comment:

ZDENNY said...

A man named Finite awoke and found himself in a sinkhole full of quick sand. He was sinking very slowly and knew that he would meet certain death.

A man came along who had holes in his hands. The man threw Finite a rope and told him to grab it and he would pull him to safety.

Finite looked at the holes in the man's hands and said, “Your not real.” “It is not scientifically possible for a man to live who has holes in his hands.

The man with the holes in his hands looked at the guy a little puzzled and said, “You are in a sinkhole and about to die. Your response to my help is to say I’m not real?”

Finite said, “Well, I like how warm the sand is and I really don’t want to get out. Second, I know I am having an illusion because it is not possible for a man to have holes in his hands and still help me out.” Therefore, morally I like my plight and scientifically, you don’t exist being a mere projection of my mind.

The man with the holes in his hands said, “Listen, I was sent here by my father to help people out so please let me help you! I will take you to my father’s mansion where you can enjoy life for eternity. Obviously, death was not able to hold me in the grave because the holes in my hands are proof that I overcame death. I now have the power to save you so grab the rope!”

Finite put his fingers in the ears and said, “Now I know I am hearing things because there is no such thing as eternal life…Everyone dies so I am going to take my turn and just enjoy this warm sand until the end.”

The man with the holes in his hand said, “If you won’t grab the rope, then I won’t be able to help you…please, please take the rope and I can pull you out. Have faith my friend.”

A few moments later Finite sunk into the quick sand and out of sight. Finite was surprised that he did not die as expected. He just sat there surrounded by sand, unable to move, unable to breathe, unable to talk with his fingers in his ears. Finite tried to comfort himself by thinking, “I would rather stay here for eternity than believe that the man with the holes in His hand could help me. Faith in that mirage is irrational!!

So Finite sat in the quicksand for eternity. Day in and day out for eternity Finite was always thinking about the man with the holes in his hands. He would comfort himself thinking, “It was better to not have faith than to believe something that didn’t make sense.”

The man with the holes in His hands continued to call him for the rest of eternity; however, Finite could not hear his voice because he had plugged his ears.

The Lesson

If you are not with Christ, you will be thinking about Christ for eternity anyway... so have faith.