Some housekeeping chores I didn’t get to last week. First, thanks to Richard Eisenberg, who did an interview with me about Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians, that appeared at both Forbes and PBS’s Next Avenue. Here’s a bit from the interview:
And you also say a lack of coordination of care leads to undertreatment for Medicare patients, especially regarding pharmaceutical use and cancer. Tell me about this.
It can get very confusing with medications, doctors appointments and treatments. It helps to have a coordinator. Medicare doesn’t pay for care coordination, so there’s no incentive to coordinate care, except with the Medicare Advantage program. Without coordination of care, there’s a higher rate of hospital readmission.
When Medicare was established, if you were 65 or older, there wasn’t much you could do for some of these medical conditions. No one anticipated you could keep people alive for decades. Medicine has evolved, but Medicare hasn’t adapted.
Next, thanks to Allan Wallace and the Pittsburgh Tribune. Wallace gave Medicare’s Victims a nice little review on the Tribune’s Review page. A few days later the Tribune ran an editorial entitled “Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker,” that included these paragraphs:
David Hogberg, an analyst for the National Center for Public Policy Research, has documented how Medicare rules and regulations harm patients and doctors in his new book, “Medicare’s Victims.” That betrays the original Medicare legislation’s prohibition against federal interference in doctor-patient relationships, he reminds.
Mr. Hogberg calls Medicare “a sick program … that needs to be seriously revamped.” And the longer that unjustified optimism about this big-government mess delays reform, the longer that taxpayers, hospitals, doctors and patients will suffer.
Cool! And thanks!