For Immediate Release
Date: Nov 6th, 2009
Contact: By Barry Schumer, MD
Don’t Balance Health Care Books by Shortchanging Physicians
All primary care providers support improving our health care delivery system. In a recent op-ed piece on reform (August 19th NY Times), president Obama points out that he has the AMA \"on board\", but fails to recognize that most practicing physicians believe his reform plan falls short of providing the beneficial change he promises.
Increasing access to care will require that reform measures address the critical shortage of primary care providers. Studies confirm that thoughtfully managed primary care services result in reduced costs of care and increased patient satisfaction. No reform plan has yet created the incentives that will facilitate increased numbers of young physicians choosing careers in primary care and slow the loss of providers to premature retirement.
Failure to increase provider numbers will create bottlenecks in the care delivery system that will be more than an inconvenience for patients. A system that is unable to respond in a timely fashion to patient needs is one which potentially damages patients, delays care, increases risk of complication, increases inappropriate use of emergency room services and therefore adds to expense.
Obama promises that health care reform will \"bring skyrocketing health care costs under control\" and cut \"billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency.\"
Physicians have been down this road before and know that such claims mean only one thing for them - further cuts in reimbursements that have already been under a stranglehold by Medicare and private insurance for the past 20 years.
Inflation adjusted incomes for physicians have been unchanged during a twenty year period of unprecedented increase in costs of care delivery for providers. During that time, the same legislators who have failed to respond to provider pleas for more equitable reimbursements have voted themselves a 300% increase in salary.
But President Obama has suggested that increases in reimbursements for primary care will need to be put on hold while more pressing elements of health care reform are addressed.
Reform will mandate physicians purchase expensive electronic medical record technology, spend billions more to comply with quality review and fraud and abuse prevention programs, and absorb the patient care responsibilities necessitated by the addition of previously uninsured patients into the health care system.
Rather than asking providers to further tighten their belts as President Obama has suggested, government needs to examine alternative ways of achieving savings that could be used by our country to fund health care access.
Mention of serious tort reform is conspicuously absent from health proposals made by President Obama and Congress. Fear of litigation contributes untold billions of wasteful spending on care annually. Physicians order costly imaging studies such as MRIs and hospitalize patients for precautionary observation all in the interest of protecting themselves from frivolous and potentially career-ending litigation that could result should their choice of a conservative and less costly treatment become a target of litigation.
In America, we are bombarded with television solicitations from lawyers recruiting patients who may have been the victim of unintended medical error or failure to diagnose. No other country tolerates this sort of un-professional conduct while simultaneously blaming their health care system for the costs generated to prevent or defend the accusations that result.
The pharmaceutical industry has contributed mightily to cost increases over the past decade with expensive direct-to-consumer solicitations for non-generic medications. This practice puts physicians in the middle between patient expectation and societys desire to control spending.
Billions of dollars are spent by pharmaceutical companies to develop and market so called me-too drugs that represent unnecessary additions to classes of agents with more than enough existing options for patient use. These medications provide market share for pharma without any measurable care benefit for patients or physicians who frankly, have no real use for them.
Would it not be logical to look for easily achievable savings from tort and pharmacy reform rather than continue to ask providers to work for 1985 wage scale in 2009 to finance health care?
Regarding care affordability, physicians know that increases in costs over the past 20 years have been associated with technological advances that have resulted in dramatic improvements in the early detection and treatment of a long list of serious health problems.
As an example, the aggressive treatment of patients suffering heart attacks with angiography and stents provide significant improvement in survival and reduction in heart damage. This returns patients to work and reduces future medical expenditures. Thus, increased spending brings dollars back to society in savings politicians fail to acknowledge.
Politicians express outrage over health care costs while they and many of their constituents routinely invest in fifty inch plasma screen TVs, SUVs, iPhones, and expensive entertainment and sporting events - none of which provide any benefit to our nation\'s health but are considered to be a right of citizenship.
As technology continues to advance, promising \"affordability\" may be a difficult guarantee unless we decide as a society to either delegate the needed funds to pay for care or choose to forgo future technology advances and their benefits in the interest of preserving our current lifestyle choices.
Government reform promises \"quality\" care and plans to measure and mandate it by utilizing the Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). This costly program reviews physician records and measures performance based on government generated standards for \"prevention, chronic and acute-care management, surgical care, resource utilization, and care coordination.\"
Historically, patients have never had difficulty identifying quality nor making decisions regarding where, when, and from whom they wish to receive their care. Government attempts to measure, mandate, and reward quality will cost billions to accomplish what doctors and their patients work out daily in the privacy of the examination suite at no cost to either.
To deliver quality care, physicians require a well-trained staff, an appropriately equipped office space, updated medical education, a compassionate heart, and more than anything else, the time to listen, the time to examine, the time to explain, and the time to connect with their patients. Sadly, current reform addresses none of these aspects of quality care.
Reducing fraud and abuse in the Medicare program is a frequently mentioned concept that could free up dollars for care delivery. True fraud is easy to identify and appropriately prosecuted.
But legislators eager to look for ways to finance reform overestimate the problem as they lump together those who cheat the system with legitimate providers merely attempting to receive fair and equitable reimbursement for their time and efforts spent on behalf of patient care.
On August 1, a new program to identify Medicare fraud was launched in an effort to identify physicians suspected of inappropriate billing for services. Medicare has hired independent contractors who will receive a flat percentage of every dollar they can retrieve from physicians. These \"bounty hunters\" will extract as many dollars as possible from providers assumed to be guilty until proven innocent with the dollars collected used to justify the politician\'s claims of abuse that prompted their hire.
Most \"fraud\" claims turn out to be differences of interpretation of the contents of an indecipherable 200 page coding manual provided by Medicare that requires \"coding specialists\" to interpret but will be used to bolster the accusations of physicians misconduct. Medicare has knowingly created a conflict of interest with auditing firms that will inappropriately put doctors in the middle and force them to spend time and money to fight claims of impropriety.
Can our government afford to run off qualified practitioners from a health care system described as being in crisis mode and reduce patient access in the process? The harassment of ethical and honest physicians by Medicare and insurance companies does nothing to aid efficiency, quality, access, or the affordability of health care.
As they rush to judgment, and prompted by a president who has described health care as \"a ticking time bomb,\" politicians have drafted legislation while failing to consult either the 80% of Americans who are happy with their care or the practicing physicians upon whom the success or failure of reform will ultimately depend. It is not surprising, then, that politicians may create legislation that misses the mark on so many fronts that it is hard to believe anyone will truly consider it \"reform.
Click on any title below to read the press release. The release will open up in a new browser window with no menus or images, so that you may print or copy the press release without extraneous graphics.
|Aug 18th, 2017||Did You Know You Are Already Practicing Teledentistry?|
|Aug 18th, 2017||New Regulations on Amalgam Waste Removal|
|Aug 18th, 2017||Will the Future of Health Care Be More Closely Related to the Fertility Rate than the Actions of Congress?|
|Aug 18th, 2017||What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been!|
|Aug 18th, 2017||Our Associations Future depends on the Engagement of Every Member|
|Aug 11th, 2017||Check Out our FREE Friday 2-fer Special!!!|
|Jun 26th, 2017||An Amazing Year at the KDA!|
|Jun 26th, 2017||We Need a New Sheriff in Town |
|Jun 26th, 2017||The Road to French Lick|
|Jun 1st, 2017||Are you interested in serving as a KDA Delegate or Alternate Delegate?|
|Jun 1st, 2017||KDA Board Selects Bowman Insurance Agency to Service Association Health Insurance Plan|
|Apr 24th, 2017||And The Winner Is|
|Apr 24th, 2017||A Memorable Legislative Day|
|Apr 24th, 2017||The Daunting Task of Changing Someone Elses Bad Habits|
|Apr 24th, 2017||Reflections on our 2017 KDA Legislative Day|
|Apr 3rd, 2017||Take advantage of great Q2 price reductions!|
|Feb 16th, 2017||Still Much to Do and Many Changes on the Horizon|
|Feb 16th, 2017||Celebrate the Best in Everyone!|
|Feb 16th, 2017||A Look Ahead|
|Feb 16th, 2017||KDA Editor Wins Prestigious William J Gies Award Editorial Award|
|Feb 16th, 2017||Trends in Dentistrythe More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same|
|Feb 2nd, 2017||Association Glove Program: 2017 First Quarter Specials|
|Dec 20th, 2016||I Used To Be a Libra |
|Dec 20th, 2016||Membership is the Key to Our Future and the Responsibility of All: Our Own Members are Our Best Recruitment Tool|
|Dec 20th, 2016||Political Slogans and Other Words to Live By|
|Dec 20th, 2016||Whats in Your Water?! |
|Oct 24th, 2016||Kentucky Dental Foundation Board Members Work to Establish Goals and Priorities to Ensure a Bright Future|
|Oct 24th, 2016||Happy Trails from the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky|
|Oct 24th, 2016||Our KDA Foundation is Small, but We CAN Make a Difference|
|Oct 24th, 2016||You Cant Always Get What You Want|
|Oct 10th, 2016||October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Simple Steps Women Can Take to Reduce the Odds of Developing Breast Cancer|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Does Frankfort Need a Better Understanding of our Medicaid Population?|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Lets Move!|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Bonus Points May Not Be Enough|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Understanding the Aging Phenomenon/The Aging Tsunami: Demographic Imperative|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Aging and Frailty Basics|
|Sep 12th, 2016||Polypharmacy: A Geriatric Syndrome with Serious Implications for Oral Health|
|Jun 14th, 2016||Half Way through 2016 and Still a year to Go...|
|Jun 14th, 2016||Pigs in Space|
|Jun 14th, 2016||What Can I Tell You?|
|Jun 14th, 2016||Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers|
|Apr 15th, 2016||Survivor Stories: How to Endure the Rank of New Dentist and Live to tell about it|
|Apr 15th, 2016||Love Never Fails|
|Apr 15th, 2016||A Grateful Heart|
|Apr 15th, 2016||Dentistry is Our Life's Work - Be passionate!|
|Feb 12th, 2016||My New Years Resolution|
|Feb 12th, 2016||# the future is not what it used to be|
|Feb 12th, 2016||NOW is the time to belong to the KDA!|
|Feb 12th, 2016||Be PROACTIVE and Rededicate Yourself to Membership in our Tripartite Organization|
|Dec 28th, 2015||Highlights of the 2015 ADA House of Delegates|
|Dec 28th, 2015||Downtown Fun. If You Dont Believe Us, Come See!|
|Dec 28th, 2015||Measuring the Burdon of Ethics |
|Dec 28th, 2015||Meet the Bevins|
|Dec 28th, 2015||You Can Keep Our Momentum Moving Forward|
|Nov 23rd, 2015||Delta Dental of Kentucky Hints at a Large Statewide Project in the Works for 2016 at the Kentucky Oral Health Summit|
|Oct 27th, 2015||Scary Good Web Design Tips From Officite|
|Oct 15th, 2015||Womens Forum Enjoys Perfect Weather, Perfect Setting and Engaging Dialogue!|
|Oct 15th, 2015||Medicaid Work Group Update|
|Oct 15th, 2015||Just the Facts: Kentucky Meeting Changes Create Confusion|
|Oct 15th, 2015||Our New Mission will require the Efforts of All|
|Oct 15th, 2015||Oral Health Literacy as a Primary Goal and Not an Afterthought |
|Oct 15th, 2015||Still Crazy after Just One Year|
|Aug 14th, 2015||A Plan for Our Future, and a New Mission StatementHelping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve|
|Aug 14th, 2015||First, Do No Harm?|
|Aug 14th, 2015||Can You Hear Me, Now?|
|Aug 14th, 2015||Calling ALL Members and Non-Members: We Need Organized Dentistry!|
|Jun 23rd, 2015||Our new KDA Mission: Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve|
|Jun 23rd, 2015||Weve got a Plan!|
|Jun 23rd, 2015||Irrelevance|
|Jun 23rd, 2015||My Introduction: A Smidge of Trepidation, Overwhelmingly Full of Pride and Anticipation|
|Jun 23rd, 2015||Part II: The KDAs Dental Access Summit A Report|
|Jun 18th, 2015||Medicare Part D: Q&A - American Dental Association - May 29, 2015|
|Apr 28th, 2015||KDAS Dental Access Summit Saturday, January 31, 2015 Report to KDA Part I|
|Apr 28th, 2015||The View from No Mans Land|
|Apr 28th, 2015||Ask not What Your KDA Can Do for you|
|Apr 28th, 2015||Thank You for the Opportunity|
|Feb 20th, 2015||Think Big!|
|Feb 20th, 2015||Its all about the membership in 2015!|
|Feb 20th, 2015||For the Record|
|Feb 20th, 2015||Into the Belly of the Beast|
|Dec 29th, 2014||When Is the Right Time?|
|Dec 29th, 2014||Who Wouldnt Want to Be a Part of This?|
|Dec 29th, 2014||Things are Moving Faster than Fast!|
|Oct 24th, 2014||Dental Insurance Direct Deposit Through A Virtual Credit Card; What Does It Cost Me?|
|Oct 21st, 2014||Who Can I Hire for $100 a Month?|
|Oct 21st, 2014||Last Call|
|Oct 21st, 2014||Im here to Help|
|Oct 21st, 2014||Get passionate! This is Our Profession!|
|Oct 21st, 2014||Postscript for an Editors Passing|
|Oct 21st, 2014||and he did what?!: Giving a Professional Second Opinion|
|Aug 21st, 2014||Your KDA is Working Hard for You!|
|Aug 21st, 2014||Nobody Goes Into Dentistry Because They Love Molars!|
|Aug 21st, 2014||Synergy|
|Aug 21st, 2014||KENTUCKY HEALTH NOW: The GOALS of our GOVERNOR|
|Jun 16th, 2014||New Friendships and Lasting Connections Creating a Stronger Interest in Organized Dentistry|
|Jun 16th, 2014||New Friendships and Lasting Connections Creating a Stronger Interest in Organized Dentistry|
|Jun 16th, 2014||YOU HAD TO BE THERE!|
|Jun 16th, 2014||Denigration|
|Jun 16th, 2014||Think Big. Think Positively. Think Proactively.|
|Apr 24th, 2014||The Dentists Guide to Social Media Marketing|
|Apr 24th, 2014||I am the KDA! You are the KDA! WE are the KDA!|
|Apr 24th, 2014||Dare to Dream!|
|Apr 24th, 2014||I Only Have A Loose Screw!|
|Feb 20th, 2014||Where Do We Go From Here?|
|Feb 20th, 2014||Medicaid: An Example of Missing the Goals for Oral Health in Kentucky|
|Feb 20th, 2014||UKCDs First Regional Dental Program: The First Ten Years|
|Feb 20th, 2014||UofL Brightening the Smiles of Children|
|Feb 20th, 2014||Go Tell It on the Mountains|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||Letting the Secret Out|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||It Is What They Left Behind|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||Dr. John Thompson Awarded Distinguished Editor Award|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||Teamwork Creates Champions: the Kentucky Meeting: March 13-16, 2014|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||Listen to Interviews with our Speakers!|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||Welcome Dental Students and New Dentists!|
|Dec 23rd, 2013||2014 Kentucky Meeting Details|
|Oct 17th, 2013||I Still Like Maps!|
|Oct 17th, 2013||Ground Game|
|Oct 17th, 2013||Kentucky Department of Insurance, HB 497 and Non-covered Services|
|Oct 17th, 2013||Dr. Janet Faraci Lees Legacy|
|Oct 17th, 2013||Dr. Janet Faraci Lee Leadership Development Award|
|Aug 12th, 2013||The Affordable Care Act: What does it mean for Our Members?|
|Aug 12th, 2013||All Membership Is Local|
|Aug 12th, 2013||White Crosses|
|Aug 12th, 2013||KDA MembershipWhere Do We Go from Here?|
|Aug 12th, 2013||Thoughts from a New Dentist: the Top Three Reasons that I am Involved with Organized Dentistry|
|Aug 12th, 2013||How can KDAIS Benefit You, as a KDA member?|
|Aug 12th, 2013||Beyond the Website: Marketing on the Modern Web|
|Aug 12th, 2013||Delinquent Accounts.Collections..YUCK! |
|Aug 12th, 2013||Every Patient Matters. So Does Every Transaction.|
|Jun 13th, 2013||The Foundation of the Kentucky Dental Association: Positioned to Make a Powerful Statement|
|Jun 13th, 2013||Something I Wish I Didn't Know!|
|Jun 13th, 2013||Preaching to the Choir|
|Apr 15th, 2013||Participate in Your KDPAC! Contribute and Deliver|
|Apr 15th, 2013||The Pediatric Dental Benefit: Must Offer, May Purchase|
|Apr 15th, 2013||Exchange What?|
|Apr 15th, 2013||So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu|
|Apr 15th, 2013||United We Stand, Divided We Fall|
|Feb 12th, 2013||Its a Dentist Thing|
|Feb 12th, 2013||A Profession in Flux|
|Feb 12th, 2013||Living Is What You Do When Life Gets In the Way|
|Feb 12th, 2013||The Tip of the Iceberg: Actions by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services Which May Sink KMAP|
|Oct 19th, 2012||Self-Regulation|
|Oct 19th, 2012||House Bill 1 and What It Means to You|
|Oct 19th, 2012||Membership Matters|
|Aug 21st, 2012||The Perception of Dentistry|
|Aug 21st, 2012||Sarrell Dental: Beyond the Operatory|
|Jun 18th, 2012||I Had an Uncle…|
|Jun 18th, 2012||What Part of the “Affordable Care Act” Has Been Affordable?|
|Jun 18th, 2012||Leadership or Politics?|
|Apr 6th, 2012||What a Year, so far!|
|Apr 6th, 2012||Many Thanks for a Great and Memorable Year|
|Apr 6th, 2012||The "New Old" Still have Teeth|
|Feb 21st, 2012||All for One and One for All!|
|Feb 21st, 2012||Happy New Normal|
|Dec 19th, 2011||The Wide World of Sports|
|Dec 19th, 2011||Access to Care?|
|Oct 28th, 2011||To the KDA Executive Board and the entire KDA|
|Oct 28th, 2011||Report of the Sixth District Trustee|
|Oct 18th, 2011||Word-of-Mouth on Steroids!|
|Oct 18th, 2011||Managed Care and Dentistry in Kentucky: a Dentist’s Dilemma|
|Oct 18th, 2011||Why We Shouldn't Lose Sight of Our Purpose...|
|Aug 4th, 2011||CAPWIZ: Legislative Advocacy Made Easy|
|Aug 4th, 2011||OMG, what is EBD?|
|Aug 4th, 2011||Mentor a Young Dentist and Change a Life|
|Jun 13th, 2011||Outside Our Line|
|Jun 13th, 2011||I Might Soon Be Coming to a Town Near You...|
|Apr 18th, 2011||Let Me Ask For a Minute of Your Time|
|Apr 18th, 2011||I Pledge to Be your Humble Servant…|
|Apr 18th, 2011||Blindsided|
|Apr 18th, 2011||On Your Side, Not Your List|
|Feb 17th, 2011||Dr. Andy Elliott for President-elect of the American Dental Association|
|Feb 4th, 2011||Adjusting Attitudes|
|Feb 4th, 2011||A Little Planning Really Helps|
|Jan 4th, 2011||Dental Management of Patients Taking Antiplatelet Medications|
|Nov 30th, 2010||Holiday Greetings to All|
|Nov 30th, 2010||Delegates Report from the 2010 American Dental Association House of Delegates, Orlando, Florida|
|Nov 30th, 2010||Dental Education Found Worthy|
|Oct 25th, 2010||Delegates Report from the 2010 American Dental Association House of Delegates, Orlando, Florida|
|Oct 7th, 2010||Who Will Speak for Me?|
|Oct 7th, 2010||I’m in a Hurry!|
|Oct 7th, 2010||What If …?|
|Oct 7th, 2010||We Need To Do a Better Job of Communicating|
|Oct 7th, 2010||What Happens in Alaska, doesn’t Stay in Alaska|
|Aug 6th, 2010||The Times They Are Changing|
|Aug 6th, 2010||Kentucky's Dental Practice Act: The Passing of an Old Friend|
|Jun 10th, 2010||How a Star was Born|
|Jun 10th, 2010||I Need Your Help…|
|Apr 20th, 2010||President's Message MA 2010|
|Apr 20th, 2010||KDA and Louisville Water Company Share 150th Birthday and Public Health Vision|
|Apr 20th, 2010||Getting It Right!|
|Feb 25th, 2010||What is a Legacy?|
|Feb 25th, 2010||Please Join Us for an Exciting, Event-Filled Year Ahead!|
|Dec 14th, 2009||Challenging the Myth of the Suicide-Prone Dentist|
|Dec 14th, 2009||There is Hope: Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Kentucky|
|Dec 14th, 2009||Holiday Reflections…|
|Nov 6th, 2009||Break your Right Arm and Suddenly You have Time to Study Economics.|
|Nov 6th, 2009||Don’t Balance Health Care Books by Shortchanging Physicians|
|Jun 26th, 2009||Making the World a Better Place, One Village at a Time!|
|Apr 13th, 2009||Breaking Glass|
|Feb 20th, 2009||At the Heart of any Worthy Project is a Committed Volunteer|