Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Morning News Round-Up

Lots of news today. Get reading:

With Congress back in session, you're going to hear a lot about a couple of issues, one of which being Medicare physician reimbursement rates. Some time going back at least a year -- long before health reform -- Congress decided to cut Medicare reimbursement rates by 23%. The new rates never took effect because doctors threatened to walk out of Medicare. But Congress has never permanently undone the rate cuts; they just keep putting it off for a few months at a time. Well, the cuts go into effect on December 1 unless Congress acts before then. Can a lame duck Congress deal with this issue? Will they find a way to at least delay it again? The Wall St. Journal tells us what happens if they don't.

Donald Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, makes his first trip up to Capitol Hill this week. Dr. Berwick was recess appointed, so Congress has never had a chance to grill him. I hope he's expecting an assault. It's not going to be pretty.

And here's a story about two states that already have insurance exchanges and how they work. They're popular, but not simple.

The Catholic Bishops maintain that health reform will allow federal funding for abortion -- but they can't come up with a single example or even a scenario in which this could happen, leading many Catholics to break with the church on this issue.

What's it like for a doctor to care for the President of the United States? Well, here's a little insight for you. Sounds pretty cool to me.

Jane Brody says it's important to check in on the quality of life of patients with chronic illnesses. When was the last time your doctor asked you how your illness affects your social life?

Do you get the wintertime blues? Doctors say it's real, and you need light in the morning. Worth a try?

Did you know most insurance doesn't cover maternity care? Or at least individual plans ( as opposed to group plans)? I didn't, but that's because I live in a state that requires maternity care.

And here's an interesting one. Defibrillators don't help much in hospitals, but they do in other settings.

In related news, a study shows that hospital care is fatal for as many as 15,000 Medicare patients per month!!!

The Chamber of Commerce (no, not your little local Chamber of Commerce, but THE CoC) is continuing its lobbying against health reform.

And here's a web-based registry of adverse events. Do you think doctors want to make it easier to report their mistakes? Will they do so?

I don't know about you, but I just have to laugh at things like this. A GOP House freshman wants to know why his health insurance takes a month to kick in. He just so happens to be against health reform. I think we should hold up his insurance longer than a month. What do you think?

And that's this morning's news! Jennifer

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