Published on August 17, 2013 at 6:28 AM
JAMA Internal Medicine: Using Science To Shape Medicare Physician Payment
In the 1980s, Congress decided that the long-standing method of setting payments for physician services, which was in use in Medicare, many Medicaid programs, and much of commercial insurance, was systematically undervaluing cognitive services in favor of procedures. Concerns were expressed about disincentives to enter or remain in primary care, especially at a time when the role of primary care should have been increasing. These concerns are eerily similar to those expressed today (Paul B. Ginsburg, 8/12).
The New York Times' Opinionator: The Cure For The $1000 Toothbrush
Here is a basic fact of health care in the United States: Doctors and hospitals know what they charge, but patients don't know what they pay. As in any market, when one side has no information, that side loses: price secrecy is a major reason medical bills are so high (Tina Rosenberg, 8/13).
Los Angeles Times: Raise The Cap On Malpractice Awards
For decades, advocates of tort reform have pushed to limit the amount that courts can award for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. ... This summer, however, nearly 40 years after California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act first limited noneconomic damages in malpractice cases to $250,000, trial lawyers and consumer groups have unveiled a ballot initiative that would relax the cap considerably. If the measure qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters next year, the allowable amount for noneconomic damage payouts for victims of medical malpractice would be quadrupled. Relaxing the $250,000 cap, which has never been adjusted for inflation, is a wise move. As a reform idea, noneconomic damage caps have never made much sense (Nora Freeman Engstrom and Robert L. Rabin, 8/13).
Los Angeles Times: Assisted Reproduction: When Does A Father Become One?
When does a man become a father -- the legally recognized parent of a child, responsible for support and eligible for custody? Historically, parenthood has involved something more than simply a biological connection. In some eras that meant the law recognized only fathers who married the mothers. Today, recognition extends to unmarried parents who raise a child together. The new question on the table is whether it extends to a man who donates sperm to a woman and establishes a relationship with the child. Does he become a father if the child calls him "Daddy," or does it require something more? (Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, 8/12).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.