Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Morning's Papers

The wonderful Dr. Pauline Chen today writes about pay-for-performance. Right now, doctors are paid on a fee-for-service basis -- you give me a flu shot, my insurance company gives you $3. Many reformers would like to change to pay-for-performance -- you keep me healthy and avoid diabetes and get me to stop smoking, and my insurance company gives you a reward. Dr. Chen points out several problems with this approach -- starting with why should a doctor be penalized if a patient doesn't follow doctor's orders?

In other news, during the recession, the ranks of Medicaid enrollees swelled.

WaPo reports that scientists have figured out how to make an alternative to embryonic stem cells, which would avoid the whole moral/legal argument and allow this important research to continue. Great news.

And if you were following the news yesterday, there was a lot of talk of whether McDonald's will be dropping health insurance. No, it says. And HHS made it clear yesterday that it will work with so-called limited benefit plans to provide waivers from some of the law's new provisions. Personally, I don't much like these plans and think they should have to be improved rather than being given waivers, although I understand the argument to the contrary (some insurance is better than no insurance, but is this true since some insurance disqualifies you from charity care, and free meds?).

California's Gov. Schwarzenegger signed landmark legislation yesterday, making it the first State to take big steps towards implementing reform.

Finally, USA Today lays out the ways in which health reform will change your employer-sponsored insurance in 2011.


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