Biden Administration to Overhaul Vertical [Health Systems] Merger Guidelines

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By Health Capital Consultants, LLC

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Biden Administration to Overhaul Vertical Merger Guidelines

The U.S. healthcare industry has seen a rise in vertical integration transactions since the passage of the ACA, especially among physician groups integrating with health systems or insurers, as providers seek to fill gaps in their continuum of care. In response to these trends and resulting market imbalances, the Biden Administration is aggressively pursuing antitrust enforcement by updating and revising U.S. antitrust law guidance.

This Health Capital Topics article will discuss the vertical integration movement and the proposed changes to antitrust laws that may affect the future of healthcare. (Read more…) 

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Can Doctors Afford to Retire Early – TODAY?

By Staff Reporters

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You’ve got a sense of your ideal retirement age. And you’ve probably made certain plans based on that timeline. But what if you’re forced to retire sooner than you expect? Aging baby-boomers, corporate medicine, the medical practice great resignation and/or the pandemic, etc?

RESIGNATION: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/12/12/healthcare-industry-hit-with-the-great-resignation-retirement/

Early retirement is nothing new, but it’s clear how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected an aging workforce. Whether due to downsizing, objections to vaccine mandates, concerns about exposure risks, other health issues, or the desire for more leisure time, the retired general population grew by 3.5 million over the past two years—compared to an annual average of 1 million between 2008 and 2019—according to the Pew Research Center.1 At the same time, a survey conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security revealed that more than half of Americans are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to achieve a secure retirement.2

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There’s no need to panic, but those numbers make one thing clear, says Rob Williams, managing director of financial planning, retirement income, and wealth management for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Flexible and personalized financial planning that addresses how you’d cope if you had to retire early can help you make the best use of all your resources. 

So – Here are six steps to follow. We’ll use as an example a person who’s seeing if they could retire five years early, but the steps remain the same regardless of your individual time frame.

Step 1: Think strategically about pension and Social Security benefits

For most retirees, Social Security and (to a lesser degree) pensions are the two primary sources of regular income in retirement. You usually can collect these payments early—at age 62 for Social Security and sometimes as early as age 55 with a pension. However, taking benefits early will mean that you get smaller monthly benefits for the rest of your life. That can matter to your bottom line, even if you expect Social Security to be merely the icing on your retirement cake.

On the Social Security website, you can find a projection of what your benefits would be if you were pushed to claim them several years early. But if you’re part of a two-income couple, you may want to make an appointment at a Social Security office or with a financial professional to weigh the potential options.

For example, when you die, your spouse is eligible to receive your monthly benefit if it’s higher than his or her own. But if you claim your benefits early, thus receiving a reduced amount, you’re likewise limiting your spouse’s potential survivor benefit.

If you have a pension, your employer’s pension administrator can help estimate your monthly pension payments at various ages. Once you have these estimates, you’ll have a good idea of how much monthly income you can count on at any given point in time.

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Step 2: Pressure-test your 401(k)

In addition to weighing different strategies to maximize your Social Security and/or pension, evaluate how much income you could potentially derive from your personal retirement savings—and there’s a silver lining here if you’re forced to retire early. 

Rule of 55

Let’s say you leave your job at any time during or after the calendar year you turn 55 (or age 50 if you’re a public safety employee with a government defined-benefit plan). Under a little-known separation-of-service provision, often referred to as the “rule of 55,” you may be able take distributions (though some plans may allow only one lump-sum withdrawal) from your 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified retirement plan free of the usual 10% early-withdrawal penalties. However, be aware that you’ll still owe ordinary income taxes on the amount distributed. 

This exception applies only to the plan (including any consolidated accounts) that you were contributing to when you separated from service. It does not extend to IRAs. 

4% rule

There’s also a simple rule of thumb suggesting that if you spend 4% or less of your savings in your first year of retirement and then adjust for inflation each year following, your savings are likely to last for at least 30 years—given that you make no other changes to your withdrawals, such as a lump sum withdrawal for a one-time expense or a slight reduction in withdrawals during a down market. 

To see how much monthly income you could count on if you retired as expected in five years, multiply your current savings by 4% and divide by 12. For example, $1 million x .04 = $40,000. Divide that by 12 to get $3,333 per month in year one of retirement. (Again, you could increase that amount with inflation each year thereafter.) Then do the same calculation based on your current savings to see how much you’d have to live on if you retired today. Keep in mind that your money will have to last five years longer in this instance.

Knowing the monthly amount your current savings can generate will give you a clearer sense of whether you’ll have a shortfall—and how large or small it might be. Use our retirement savings calculator to test different saving amounts and time frames.

Step 3: Don’t forget about health insurance, doctor!

Nobody wants to spend down a big chunk of their retirement savings on unanticipated healthcare costs in the years between early retirement and Medicare eligibility at age 65. If you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance, you’ll want to find some coverage until you can apply for Medicare. 

Your options may include continuing employer-sponsored coverage through COBRA, insurance enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, or joining your spouse’s health insurance plan. You may also find discounted coverage through organizations you belong to—for example, the AARP. 

Step 4: Create a post-retirement budget

To make sure your retirement savings will cover your expenses, add up the monthly income you could get from pensions, Social Security, and your savings. Then, compare the total to your anticipated monthly expenses (including income taxes) if you were to retire five years early and are eligible, and choose to file, for Social Security and pension benefits earlier. 

Take into account various life events and expenditures you may encounter. You may not pay off your mortgage by the date you’d planned. Your spouse might still be working (which can add income but also prolong certain expenses). Or your children might not be out of college yet. 

You’re probably fine if you anticipate that your monthly expenses will be lower than your income. But if you think your expenses would be higher than your early-retirement income, some suggest that you take one or more of these measures:

  • Retire later; practice longer.
  • Save more now to fill some of the potential gap.
  • Trim your budget so there’s less of a gap down the road.
  • Consider options for medical consulting or part-time work—and begin to explore some of those opportunities now.

To the last point, finding a physician job later in life can be challenging, but certain employment agencies specialize in this area. If you can find work you like that covers a portion of your expenses, you’ll have the option of delaying Social Security and your company pension to get higher payments later—and you can avoid dipping into your retirement savings prematurely. 

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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Step 5: Protect your portfolio

When you retire early, you have to walk a fine line with your portfolio’s asset allocation—investing aggressively enough that your money has the potential to grow over a long retirement, but also conservatively enough to minimize the chance of big losses, particularly at the outset.

“Risk management is especially important during the first few years of retirement or if you retire early,” Rob notes, because it can be difficult to bounce back from a loss when you’re drawing down income from your portfolio and reducing the overall number of shares you own.  

To strike a balance between growth and security, start by making sure you have enough money stashed in relatively liquid, relatively stable investments—such as money market accounts, CDs, or high-quality short-term bonds—to cover at least a year or two of living expenses. Divide the rest of your portfolio among stocks, bonds, and other fixed-income investments. And don’t hesitate to seek professional help to arrive at the right mix. 

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Many people are unaccustomed to thinking about their expenses because they simply spend what they make when working, Rob says. But one of the most valuable decisions you can make about your life in retirement is to reevaluate where your money is going now.

This serves two aims. First, it’s a reality check on the spending plan you’ve envisioned for retirement, which may be idealized (e.g., “I’ll do all the home maintenance and repairs!”). Second, it enables you to adjust your spending habits ahead of schedule—whichever schedule you end up following. This gives you more control and potentially more income. 

Step 6: Reevaluate your current spending

For example, if you’re not averse to downsizing, moving to a less expensive home could reduce your monthly mortgage, property tax, and insurance payments while freeing up equity that could also be invested to provide additional monthly income.

“When you are saving for retirement, time is on your side”. You lose that advantage when you’re forced to retire early, but having a backup plan that anticipates the possibility of an early retirement can make the unknowns you face a lot less daunting.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

References:

1Richard Fry, “Amid the Pandemic, A Rising Share Of Older U.S. Adults Are Now Retired”, Pew Research Center, 11/04/2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/11/04/amid-the-pandemic-a-rising-share-of-older-u-s-adults-are-now-retired/.

2Tyler Bond, Don Doonan and Kelly Kenneally, “Retirement Insecurity 2021: Americans’ Views of Retirement”, Nirsonline.Org, 02/2021, https://www.nirsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-Retirement-Insecurity-2021-.pdf.

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Why 75+ Years of American Finance Should Matter to Physician Investors

A Graphic Presentation [1861-1935] with Commentary from the Publisher

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko FACFAS MBA CPHQ CMP™

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

As our private iMBA Inc clients, ME-P subscribers, textbook and dictionary purchasers, seminar attendees and most ME-P readers know, Ken Arrow is my favorite economist. Why?

About Kenneth J. Arrow, PhD

Well, in 1972, Nobel Laureate Kenneth J. Arrow, PhD shocked Academe’ by identifying health economics as a separate and distinct field. Yet, the seemingly disparate insurance, asset allocation, econometric, statistical and portfolio management principles that he studied have been transparent to most financial professionals and wealth management advisors for years; at least until now.

Nevertheless, to informed cognoscenti, they served as predecessors to the modern healthcare advisory era. In 2004, Arrow was selected as one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Science for his innovative views. And, we envisioned the ME-P at that time to present these increasingly integrated topics to our audience.

Healthcare Economics Today

Today – as 2022 passes – savvy medical professionals, management consultants and financial advisors are realizing that the healthcare industrial complex is in flux; along with the Russian war, domestic inflation and this dynamic may be reflected in the overall flagging economy.

Like many laymen seeking employment, for example, physicians are frantically searching for new ways to improve office revenues and grow personal assets, because of the economic dislocation that is Managed Care, Medi Care and Obama Care [ACA], the depressed business cycle, etc.

Moreover, the largest transfer of wealth in US history is – or was – taking place as our lay elders and mature doctors sell their practices or inherit parents’ estates. Increasingly, the artificial academic boundary between the traditional domestic economy, financial planning and contemporaneous medical practice management is blurring.

I’m Not a Cassandra

Yet, I am no gloom and doom Cassandra like I have been accused, of late. I am not cut from the same cloth as a Jason Zweig, Jeremy Grantham or Nouriel Roubini PhD, for example.

However, I do subscribe to the philosophy of Hope for the Best – Plan for the Worst.

And so dear colleagues, I ask you, “Are the latest swings in the economic, healthcare and financial headlines making you wonder when it will ever stop?”

The short answer is: “It will never stop” because what’s been happening isn’t any “new normal”; it’s just the old normal playing out before a new audience; sans the war.

What audience?

The next-generation of investors, FAs, management consultants and the medical professionals of Health 2.0.

How do I know all this?

History tells me so! Just read this work, and opine otherwise, or reach a different conclusion.

Evidence from the American Financial Scene, circa 1861-1935

The work was created by L. Merle Hostetler in 1936, while he was at Cleveland College of Western Reserve University (now known as Case Western Reserve University). I learned of him while in B-School, back in the day.

At some point after it was printed, he added the years 1936-1938. Mr. Hostetler became a Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in 1943. In 1953 he was made Director of Research. He resigned from the Bank in 1962 to work for Union Commerce Bank in Cleveland. He died in 1990.

The volume appears to be self published and consists of a chart, approximately 85′ long, fan-folded into 40 pages with additional years attached to the last page. It also includes a “topical index” to the chart and some questions of technical interest which can be answered by the chart.

Link: http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/75years

Assessment

And so, as with Sir John Templeton’s [whose son is an MD] four most dangerous words in investing (It’s different this time), Hostetler effectively illustrates that it wasn’t so different in his era, and maybe—just maybe—it isn’t so different today for all these conjoined fields.

Conclusion      

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. While not exactly a “sacred cow,” there is a current theory that investors will experience higher volatility and lower global returns for the foreseeable future.

In fact, it has gained widespread acceptance, from the above noted Cassandra’s and others, as problems in Europe persist and threats of a double-dip recession loom. But, how true is this notion; really?

Is Hostetler correct, or not; and why?

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

DOCTORS:

“Insurance & Risk Management Strategies for Doctors” https://tinyurl.com/ydx9kd93

“Fiduciary Financial Planning for Physicians” https://tinyurl.com/y7f5pnox

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

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“Financial Management Strategies for Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/yagu567d

“Operational Strategies for Clinics and Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/y9avbrq5

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  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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PODCASTS: All You Need to Know About Government Healthcare

By Eric Bricker MD

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1) Traditional Medicare: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older. Medicare Part A is coverage for hospital services. Medicare Part B is coverage for doctor, physical therapist and other provider services and for outpatient services such as labs and imaging.

2) Medicare Advantage: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older administered through a private health insurance company. It is sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C. It can be chosen instead of Traditional Medicare and often includes Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Hearing Aid Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage.

3) Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage: Additional insurance for people on Traditional Medicare to cover their prescription medications as well. Medicare Part D is administered by private insurance companies.

4) Medicare Supplement Plans: Insurance that can be purchased in addition to Traditional Medicare to cover the expenses that Traditional Medicare does not cover, such as hospitalization deductibles and Medicare Part B co-insurance.

5) Medicaid: The health insurance program administered by each state for it’s economically disadvantaged residents. It is funded in part by the Federal Government and in part by each state. It is administered by private health insurance companies.

6) Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Plans: Health insurance for people under 65 who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but do not received health insurance through their employer. ACA Exchange Plans are subsidized by the Federal Government and administered by private insurance companies.

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Recognizing the Differences between Healthcare and Other Industries

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Why Hospitals, Clinics and Medical Offices are Not Hotels, or Manufacturing Plants or Production Assembly Lines, etc.

By Dr. David E. Marcinko FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

The rising cost of health insurance remains a major concern for business; despite the Affordable Care Act [ACA] of March 2010. Local and national news publications have trumpeted that healthcare costs are not just rising but are growing in proportion to the cost of other goods and services.

Many of these publications have expressed the widely held view that because of the “inflation gap,” the cost of medical expenses needs curbing.  Proponents of this viewpoint attribute the growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) devoted to personal medical services (from 5% in 1965 to approximately 14% in 2005 and 17% in 2012) to increases in both total national medical expenditures as well as prices for specific services, and then conclude that there is a need to rein in the growing costs of healthcare services for the average American, even if it be through a legislative mandate.

Healthcare Is the Economy

According to colleague Robert James Cimasi MHA, AVA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants LLC in St. Louis, MO, healthcare cannot be separated from the economy at large. Although economists have cited the aging population as the reason for the increase in healthcare’s share of the GDP, other voices assert that financial greed among HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and medical providers like doctors and nurses is responsible.  In reality, the rise in healthcare expenditures is, at least in large part, the result of a much deeper economic force.

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

As economist William J. Baumol of New York University explained in a November 1993 New Republic article: “the relative increase in healthcare costs compared with the rest of the economy is inevitable and an ineradicable part of a developed economy. The attempt [to control relative costs] may be as foolhardy as it is impossible”.

Baumol’s observation is based on documented and significant differences in productivity growth between the healthcare sector of the economy and the economy as a whole.

Low Productivity Growth

Healthcare services have experienced significantly lower productivity growth rates than other industry sectors for three reasons, according to Cimasi:

1) Healthcare services are inherently resistant to automation. Innovation in the form of technological advancement has not made the same impact on healthcare productivity as it has in other industry sectors of the economy.  The manufacturing process can be carried out on an assembly line where thousands of identical (or very similar) items can be produced under the supervision of a few humans utilizing robots and statistical sampling techniques (e.g., defects per 1,000 units). The robot increases assembly line productivity by accelerating the process and reducing labor input. In medicine, most technology is still applied in a patient-by-patient manner — a labor-intensive process. Patients are cared for one at a time. Hospitals and physician offices cannot (and, most would agree, should not) try to operate as factories because patients are each unique and disease is widely variable.

2) Healthcare is local. Unlike other labor-intensive industries (e.g., shoe making), healthcare services are essentially local in nature. They cannot regularly be delivered from Mexico, India or Malaysia.  They must be provided locally by local labor.  Healthcare organizations must compete within a local community with low or no unemployment among skilled workers for high quality and higher cost labor.

3) Healthcare quality is — or is believed to be — correlated with the amount of labor expended. For example, a 30-minute office visit with a physician is perceived to be of higher quality than a 10-minute office visit. In mass production, the number of work-hours per unit is not as important a predictor of product quality as the skills and talents of a small engineering team, which may quickly produce a single design element for thousands of products (e.g., a common car chassis).

Assessment

Healthcare suffers a number of serious consequences when its productivity grows at a slower rate than other industries, the most serious being higher relative costs for healthcare services. The situation is an inevitable and ineradicable part of a developed economy.

For example, as technological advancements increase productivity in the computer, and eHR, manufacturing industry, wages for computer industry labor likewise increase. However, the total cost per computer produced actually declines.  But in healthcare (where technological advancements do not currently have the same impact on productivity), wage increases that would be consistent with other sectors of the economy yield a problem: the cost per unit of healthcare produced increases.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors

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What is a SKINNY Health Insurance Network?

NARROW NETWORKS

By Staff Reporters

An increasing number of insurers now promote “narrow network” plans that can be less expensive than more traditional offerings. However, that added affordability comes with a tradeoff that could leave you with fewer options for covered medical services.  

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Understanding Narrow Networks: Narrow network plans are similar to the health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Like standard HMOs, these plans limit coverage to a select group of physicians, specialists and hospitals. However, narrow network plans can be even more restrictive in the number of providers they include. Those providers generally have been proven to have higher measured quality and better outcomes for patients. They also typically agree to lower reimbursements from insurers, which can mean lower premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for consumers.   You’re more likely to see narrow networks — which include narrow pharmacy networks — if you shop for your own health insurance on HealthCare.gov or your state’s insurance exchange. They’re less common in the plan options provided by private employers.  

Advantages Beyond the Savings The fact that narrow network plans include fewer providers doesn’t mean you’ll be getting lower quality care. In fact, many insurers require providers to have a proven track record that’s focused on their patients’ health outcomes. And they can offer a number of additional advantages, beyond just lower costs:

  • Coordinated care. Working within a single health system can mean better communication between your doctors. You might also have easier access to all your medical records through a dedicated online portal.
  • No referrals. Traditional HMO plans generally require a referral from your primary care physician for any consultations with a specialist. Many narrow network plans eliminate this requirement.
  • Added benefits. Many narrow network plans offer benefits designed to keep high-risk patients healthier. These can include options like free health coaching and live video services that enable remote, online medical consultations.  
Narrow Provider Networks in New Health Plans - RWJF

CONS: The biggest disadvantage to narrow network plans is less choice. Insurers keep these plans more affordable by negotiating lower reimbursements with health care providers. In return, those providers could see patient rosters grow, because smaller networks also mean less competition for those within the network. Smaller networks also can mean:

  • A need to change physicians. Your current primary care physician and specialists might not be included in the plan. This can mean starting over with new doctors who aren’t familiar with your particular health concerns.
  • Longer drives. With fewer choices, you may be forced into a longer commute to see an in-network physician. This could become a hardship for those in rural locations.
  • Lack of specialty options. A smaller network might not include the broad range of specialists large networks typically include.

WHITE PAPER: https://ldi.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/archive/pdf/the-skinny-on-narrow-networks.pdf

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PODCAST: Medicare Re-Admission Penalty Explained

As part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010

CMS changed its hospital readmission penalty methodology

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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CMS Innovation Center Launches “Bold New” Strategy

BY HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

CMS Innovation Center Launches “Bold New” Strategy


When President Joe Biden was elected in 2020, there was much anticipation and speculation regarding what his election would mean for the U.S. healthcare industry in the coming years.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Thriving in a value-based health care model - Biotricity

As an ardent supporter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) who campaigned on offering a public insurance option similar to Medicare, many in the healthcare industry assumed that the Biden Administration would be a strong proponent of continuing the shift to value-based care, which shift was largely spurred by his predecessor and former boss, Barack Obama, with the passage of the ACA. (Read more…)

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PODCAST: Centene the Giant Medicaid HMO

MEDICAID AND A.C.A. GIANT

By Eric Bricker MD

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PODCAST: The ACA “FAMILY GLITCH?

Health Insurance GLITCH-OR-NOT!

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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MEDICAL RISK MANAGEMENT: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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PODCAST: How Health Care Can Win by Adapting to Changes in Consumer Behavior

LESSONS FROM THE RETAIL SECTOR

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Discover how ProMedica uses customer feedback and a digital-first approach to consumers to achieve stellar results across more than 400 facilities in 28 states.

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=861em_pJfVM&t=3070s

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PODCAST: Why Insurance Carriers Want MEDICARE-FOR-ALL

WHY M-4-A?

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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PODCAST: About Professor Uwe Reinhardt

HEALTHCARE ECONOMIST

By Eric Bricker MD

Uwe Reinhardt PhD was a Princeton Healthcare Economist Who Passed Away in 2017. He Was Possibly the Most Well Known Healthcare Economist in America and Even the World.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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RIP: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2017/11/16/r-i-p-uwe-reinhardt-phd/

Obituary: https://theincidentaleconomist.com/WORDPRESS/UWE-REINHARDT-GIANT-MENSCH-KNIFE-TWISTER/

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PODCAST: Traditional Medicare Hospital Value Based Payments Explained

THREE CATEGORIES OF VBC

By Eric Bricker MD

Medicare Value-Based Payments (also Called Alternative Payment Models) to Hospitals Fall Into 3 Main Categories:

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEqtpCNwzSg

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The Next-Generation of “Anti-Millionaire” Doctors

“$1 Million Mistake: Becoming a Doctor”

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BY DR. DAVID E. MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

CBS Moneywatch published an article entitled “$1 Million Mistake: Becoming a Doctor” Aside from the possibility that devoting one’s life to helping others might be considered a mistake, medical student Dan Coleman was struck by the “$1 million” figure.

Before medical school, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry and even turned down a hefty promotion to his education as soon as possible, rather than defer for a year or two. But, his financial calculations made it fairly obvious that, including benefits, bonuses, and potential promotions, his medical decision was not a $1 million mistake, but was more like a $1.3 million dollar disaster. Still; he opined:

Yet, even today, as we stare down the barrel of the Affordable Care Act, being a doctor is a very desirable job. We may not be famous, but we will be well-respected. We may not be rich, but we will certainly live comfortably. We may work a lot, but we will never be out of work. To future doctors, the young and impecunious, the anti-millionaires, tuition is a mere afterthought. All that matters is the MD.

Source: http://in-training.org/medical-students-the-anti-millionaires-4361

Millionaire Interview 81 - ESI Money

OVER HEARD IN THE MEDICAL STUDENT’S LOUNGE

“We are medical students.
We are young, proud, and righteous.
We have made the hard choice (medicine), but we have cleared the high hurdle (getting into school).


We know healthcare is a difficult, imperfect art, but we are devoted.
We arm ourselves with the weapons of knowledge and compassion, prepared to defend against the onslaught of trauma, disease, and time.
We are here to the bitter end, for our patients and ourselves.
And above all, we know the cost of our choice.

And if we’re lucky, it will stay under 6% interest through graduation”.

Daniel Coleman

[Georgetown University School of Medicine]

First-year Student

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***

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER Textbook: https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-Advisors/dp/1482240289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418580820&sr=8-1&keywords=david+marcinko

ODER TEXTBOOK: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-

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NEWS ALERT: SCOTUS Rules to Leave ACA in Place

BREAKING NEWS!

On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released its long-awaited ruling on the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a 7-2 ruling, the majority (written by Justice Stephen Breyer) found that the two individual and 18 state plaintiffs did not have standing, stating

the plaintiffs…failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional. They have failed to show that they have standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.” 

By ruling on the question of standing, the Court did not have to proceed to, and rule on, the issue of the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate.

The Court reversed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling with respect the standing issue, vacated the ruling, and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss.

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A more robust discussion of the majority’s opinion and the procedural history of this case will be included in the June 2021 issue of Health Capital Topics.
(Read the ruling here)

ASSESSMENT: Your comments are appreciated.

THANK YOU

***

PODCAST: The Future of Healthcare Looks to Medicare’s Past?

See the Future of Healthcare By Looking to Medicare’s Past

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Texas CEO Magazine 2016 Economic Forecast: Dallas - Texas ...

BY DR. ERIC BRICKER MD

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Desire for a Healthcare ‘Safety Net’ Goes Back Almost 100 years to President F.D.R. and His “New Deal

FDR Was Able to Pass Social Security, but He Also Wanted a Healthcare Safety Net Too.

Presidents Truman and Kennedy Also Wanted a Federally-Funded Healthcare Safety Net.

LBJ Carried the Torch of the Healthcare Safety Net. He Was Able to Have Medicare Legislation Passed in 1965 by Combining 3 Separate Proposals and Acts:

1) Hospital Insurance

2) Doctor Insurance That Was Voluntary

3) the State-Administered Kerr-Mills Act 

Hospital Insurance Became Medicare Part A. Doctor Insurance Became Medicare Part B. The Kerr-Mills Act Became Medicaid.

Presidents Carter and Clinton Also Wanted to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net. President Obama Expanded the Healthcare Safety Net with Passage of Obamacare. President Biden is Seeking to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net Too.

The Arc of Government-Funded Healthcare Stretches Back Almost 100 Years and Will Inevitably Result in the Full Government Payment for Healthcare in America.

It’s Not a Question of If, But When.

Implication: United Health Group is Making Many Acquisitions to Become a Vertically Integrated Healthcare Company to Position Itself as a Major Government Contractor for the Eventual Federal Takeover.

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAh7Rl7w1wM

Your thoughts are appreciated.

THANK YOU

***

NHICs = Prepaid Preventative and Maintenance Health Care Networks

Emerging New MEDICAL BUSINESS Models 2.0

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

CMP logo

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Many folks feels that private preventative medical contracts may be one possible solution for those Americans going without healthcare; especially the young and healthy. Generally, and generically, they have a moniker like the “No Health Insurance Club”; or similar

Why?

Some pundits are leaning toward universal healthcare, or Medicare-4-All, which seems too socialized for others. Yet, private insurers continue to increase premiums, which prices healthcare out of reach for the average American. Employers can no longer float the cost of insurance so they pass it on to their employees. Patients aren’t the only ones being affected by the current state of healthcare. More and more doctors are going out of business and hospitals are cutting back due to escalating costs and payment defaults.

So, current remedies to this dilemma include major medical insurance policies for catastrophic events with high-deductibles to keep monthly premiums down, Medicaid, mini retail-clinics at grocery stores/pharmacies, and emergency room visits for common illnesses; as well as the PP-ACA.

Medical Maintenance

But, preventative healthcare and medical maintenance is not typically addressed. More than 90 percent of health related issues can be taken care of with preventative care and maintenance but only a small percentage of Americans currently enjoy the benefit of preventative healthcare. Healthcare economists are rethinking healthcare by offering an affordable alternative to traditional insurance options. NHICs, connect patients with participating board certified physicians that will treat and care for preventative healthcare needs for a one-time prepaid annual membership fee.

In this NHIC model:

  • Patients make a one-time annual payment that is typically less than a one-month premium with traditional insurance.
  • Patients receive up to 12 office visits per year that also include immunizations, $10 or less in-office prescriptions, and additional services including blood tests.
  • No deductible, no co-pays, no premiums.
  • No surprise bills to patients.
  • Viable alternative to COBRA for employees disengaged from work.
  • Low cost option for the self-employed.
Yakima DentiFlex Membership Club | Your Dentist in Yakima, WA

The Doctors

What’s in it for the doctors? How about no insurance clerks, no need to snail mail medical insurance claims or use expensive electronic claims submission clearinghouse services, no bad debts or bad expense write-offs, no ARs; and fast cash.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are comments are appreciated.

Product Details

ORDER TEXTBOOK: https://www.amazon.com/Business-Medical-Practice-Transformational-Doctors/dp/0826105750/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1448163039&sr=8-9&keywords=david+marcinko

SECOND OPINIONS: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/schedule-a-consultation/

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/

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***

PODCAST: Medicare Advantage Plans [Insurance Company Goldmine]

Medicare Advantage PART C

Insurance Carriers Want Medicare-For-All to Happen?

https://roundstoneinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Eric-Bricker-Headshot_500x500-480x480.png

By Eric Bricker MD

A Commonwealth Fund Study Found Insurance Carrier Revenue from Medicare Advantage Plans Increase 5X More Than Revenue from Employer Sponsored Health Plans.

In Fact, Government Sources (Medicare Advantage, Medicaid Managed Care, ACA/Obamacare Plans) Make Up More Revenue ($213B) for the 5 Largest Insurance Carriers Than Revenue from Employers ($148B).

Government Payers Are the New Cash Cow for Health Insurance Companies.  
And so, Medicare-Advantage-for-All May Happen … Because Insurance Carriers WANT It to Happen.

PODCAST: A Commonwealth Fund Study Found Insurance Carrier Revenue from Medicare Advantage Plans Increased 5X More Than Revenue from Employer Sponsored Health Plans.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

THANK YOU
***

PP-ACA Silver Plan Premiums

CIRCA – 2020

By http://www.MCOL.com

***

THANK YOU

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Is the PP-ACA Un-Constitutional?

A Texas court has declared the entire ACA unconstitutional

Austin Frakt PhD

By Austin Frakt PhD

And I’ve got an op-ed in the Washington Post about why the court is wrong. Here’s a taste:

Who cares if a zero-dollar mandate is constitutional or not? Why does it matter in the slightest? And what on earth does it have to do with the rest of ACA?

You might have thought that the right remedy would be to invalidate the penalty-free mandate. Doing so would align with Congress’s evident view that an ACA without an individual mandate was preferable to an ACA with it. That’s what I argued in an amicus brief with a bipartisan group of law professors.

Instead, the court held that the entire ACA was “inseverable” from the purportedly unconstitutional mandate. To reach that conclusion, the judge leaned heavily on Congress’s findings from 2010, where it said that the individual mandate was “essential” to the law.

But the mandate that the 2010 Congress said was essential had a penalty attached to it. The finding is irrelevant to a mandate that lacks any such penalty.

In any event, it doesn’t matter what Congress meant to do in 2010. It matters what Congress meant to do in 2017, when a different Congress made a different call about whether the mandate was essential. We know what Congress wanted to do in 2017: repeal the mandate and leave the rest of the act intact. Its judgment could not have been plainer. (I know. I was there! So were you. It wasn’t that long ago.)

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You can read the whole thing here. My co-amici, Jonathan Adler and Abbe Gluck, have a New York Times op-ed sounding similar themes.

I’ll probably write them up more extensively in the coming days, but I’ve also got tentative thoughts about the immediate consequences of the decision (short answer: nothing right now) and the potential difficulties with getting a quick appeal of the decision.

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Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements.

Book Marcinko: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/

Subscribe: MEDICAL EXECUTIVE POST for curated news, essays, opinions and analysis from the public health, economics, finance, marketing, IT, business and policy management ecosystem.

Product DetailsProduct Details

“Fiduciary Financial Planning for Physicians” https://tinyurl.com/y7f5pnox

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

HOSPITALS:

“Financial Management Strategies for Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/yagu567d

“Operational Strategies for Clinics and Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/y9avbrq5

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Election Impacts ACA, Medicaid Expansion and Marijuana

Healthcare Triage News: Election Results Impact the ACA, Medicaid Expansion, and Marijuana

via Aaron Carroll

The recent election results of last week have a lot of impact on health care in the United States.

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Pot House

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The new Democratic House of Representatives and the ACA, expansion of Medicaid in red states, and medical and recreational marijuana are all affected by recent returns.

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MORE: What The Midterm Election Results Mean for Health Care?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-tuesdays-midterm-election-results-mean-for-health-care/ar-BBPsC1G?li=BBnb4R7

Assessment

Your thoughts are appreciated.

MORE FOR DOCTORS:

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

“Financial Management Strategies for Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/yagu567d

“Operational Strategies for Clinics and Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/y9avbrq5

***

Product DetailsProduct Details

 

Doctor Shortage Under Obamacare?

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 Fears Put to Rest

By AUSTIN FRAKT PhD

The demand for primary care doctors has gone up as more people have gotten health care coverage …. But so has appointment availability.

Doctor Shortage Under Obamacare? Fears Are Put to Rest

 Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, urls and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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States with the Greatest Declines in Uninsured Children in Rural Areas

In 2008-2009 and 2014-2015

http://www.MCIOL.com

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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PP-ACA Silver Plan Premium Costs

Changes for 2017

By http://www.MCOL.com

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Impact of Repeal/Replace Uncertainty on Stakeholder Budgets and Business Plans

An Electronic Voting Poll

By http://www.MCOL.com

We encourage you to participate in the this brief e-Poll on the impact of the uncertainties surrounding repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on your organization’s budgets and business plans.

Participants will receive a free report of the findings from the survey results. In order to participate, your responses are due by Friday April 21st, 2017.  

The e-poll asks the following questions:

  • Are you a purchaser, provider or vendor/other?
  • Has the uncertainty during the last five months regarding repeal and replacement of the ACA affected your organization’s business plan, budget and hiring plans?
  • Overall, how do you feel the uncertainty during regarding repeal and replacement of the ACA will impact your organization for the 2017 calendar year?
  • Ultimately, how do you feel the current environment will lead to challenges vs. opportunities?

Assessment

To take the e-poll now, go VOTE: http://register.healthwebsummit.com/mcolepoll0417

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POLL: Should the Government Pay for Health Care?

A VOTING POLL

Most young people say gov’t should pay for health care
[By Staff reporters]

Most young Americans want any health care overhaul under President Donald Trump to look a lot like the Affordable Care Act signed into law by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

But there’s one big exception: A majority of young Americans dislike the “Obamacare” requirement that all Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.

In fact, a GenForward poll says a majority of people ages 18 to 30 think the federal government should be responsible for making sure Americans have health insurance. It suggests most young Americans won’t be content with a law offering “access” to coverage, as Trump and Republicans in Congress proposed in doomed legislation they dropped on March 24. The Trump administration is talking this week of somehow reviving the legislation.

NOTE: Conducted Feb. 16 through March 6, before the collapse of the GOP bill, the poll shows that 63 percent of young Americans approve of the Obama-era health care law. It did not measure reactions to the Republican proposal.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/poll-most-young-people-say-govt-should-pay-for-health-care/ar-BBzmVny?li=BBnbcA1

Do you agree?

VOTE NOW!

Product DetailsProduct Details

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PP-ACA Change or Repeal for 2017?

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Potential Component Changes

By http://www.MCOL.com

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infographic

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MORE: Podcast: Third Quarter Health Plan Financial Reports

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Racial Disparities in UnInsured Rates

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On Health Insurance [PP- ACA]

By http://www.MCOL.com

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graphoid111616

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Are Soaring Health-Care Costs Hurting the U.S. Economy?

Are Soaring Health-Care Costs Hurting the U.S. Economy?

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dan

By Dan Timotic CFA

About 8% of U.S. household spending went toward health care in 2015, up from 5.8% in 2007. Even though the growth of nationwide health-care spending has slowed, the cost burden is falling more heavily on consumers.1

More than 118 million people qualify for coverage through government programs such as Medicare, which serves individuals age 65 and older and the disabled, or Medicaid, which provides care for the poor. Still, more than 55% of the U.S. population rely on health insurance provided by an employer.2

The health-care landscape has changed over the last decade, but some economists believe uncontained costs still pose a threat to broader economic growth. Here’s a closer look at recent trends, and why it’s more important than ever to be an informed health-care consumer.

Public Spending

Growth in U.S. health-care spending has outpaced total economic growth over the past five decades. In 2014, health-care expenditures accounted for about 17.5% of GDP, up from 5.6% in 1965.3 Though major advances in medical technology have contributed to spending growth, they have also led to better health and well-being overall.4

Public-sector spending has grown more quickly than private spending, largely due to an aging population, rising Medicare enrollment, and the expansion of Medicaid. The share of total spending by Medicare and Medicaid increased from 6.8% in 1966 to 36.8% in 2014.5

ACA Under Way

The Affordable Care Act created state-based exchanges where self-employed individuals, part-time workers, and others without access to group coverage can buy private health insurance. Consumers can compare plans online, and families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for tax credits that reduce premiums. As income rises, subsidies decrease. In 2016, about 85% of the 12.7 million individuals who purchased coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace received a subsidy.6

Since 2014, all citizens and legal residents have been required to have “minimum essential” health coverage or pay a penalty. The health insurance mandate was intended to add healthy individuals to the insurance pool and counterbalance a provision that prohibits insurers from excluding people with pre-existing conditions. As a result, the uninsured rate has decreased from 13.3% in 2013 to 9.1% in 2015.7

division-of-population-health-logo_crop

Workplace Plans

Employers have been paying around 80% of individual health insurance premiums, but plan changes, including higher deductibles and coinsurance rates, have shifted costs to workers who use health-care services.8

For example, the average deductible for individual coverage in an employer-provided health plan was $1,318 in 2015, up from $917 in 2010. A deductible is the amount the patient must pay before the insurance payments kick in. Health insurance deductibles grew 67% between 2010 and 2015, almost three times as fast as premiums and about seven times as fast as wages and inflation.9

If health insurance premiums continue to rise, it is conceivable that employers could pass more of the costs on to workers by raising premiums and coinsurance or limiting wage increases.

Accounting for Costs

It’s estimated that total U.S. health- care spending increased 5.5% to reach $3.2 trillion in 2015, and growth is projected to average 5.8% annually through 2025. Cost increases have moderated after averaging nearly 8% annually over the previous two decades, but they are still increasing much more than overall inflation.10 Prescription drug prices have been rising at a faster pace. According to one drug-benefits manager, the average price of brand-name drugs rose 16.2% in 2015, surging 98.2% since 2011.11

The research and development of breakthrough medical technologies is undoubtedly a valuable endeavor. Even so, experts say newer and more expensive treatments are not always more effective than existing lower-cost options. It has also been suggested that the fee-for-service payment model — in which insurers reimburse providers based on the number and type of treatments — may drive inefficiency and unnecessary spending by rewarding the quantity rather than the quality of care.12

Economic Impact

Even with insurance coverage, an illness or injury can cause financial pain for a middle-class family with limited disposable income. The prospect of medical bills may cause some families to skip or postpone necessary care, and those who do seek treatment have less money available to spend on other basic needs. A Brookings Institution analysis found that middle-income household spending on health care increased nearly 25% between 2007 and 2014, while spending on restaurant meals and clothing dropped significantly (–13.4% and –18.8%, respectively).13

Health spending across the economy is expected to accelerate and reach 20% of GDP by 2025, which could put additional strain on consumers, employers, and the federal budget.14

Obama Care

Open Enrollment

This is the time of year when employers introduce changes to their benefit offerings, so choosing — and then using — your health plan carefully could help you save money. Before you sign up for a specific plan, consider the extent to which your prescription drugs are covered, estimate your potential out-of-pocket costs based on last year’s usage, and check to see whether your doctors are in the insurer’s network.

Citations:

1, 8, 11, 13) The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2016 2, 7) U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 3, 5, 10, 14) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2016 4, 12) The Brookings Institution, 2015 6) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016 9) Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015. 

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Sherlock Health Administration Expense Benchmarks Invitation

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Sherlock Benchmarks – Participation and Licensing

By Douglas B. Sherlock CFA

sherlock@sherlockco.com

thoughtSherlockHello All ME-P Readers and Subscribers:

This email invites your participation and/or licensing of the Sherlock Benchmarks.

A central effect of the Affordable Care Act is to sharply increase the incentive for health plans to minimize their administrative expenses. The Sherlock Benchmarks can be a catalyst to respond to these incentives since they identify and prioritize cost variances.

Use of the Sherlock Benchmarks reflects this:

• At least 40 health plans serving at least 40 million people with health insurance are so far committed as participants in this year’s Sherlock Benchmarking study.

• Of the 36 U.S. – based Blue Cross Blue Shield primary licensees, one-half are participating in this year’s Sherlock Benchmarking Study, either as an enterprise or through a subsidiary.

• Of the 13 members of the Alliance of Community Health Plans that are not focused on public programs or are staff-model plans, 11 are participating in this year’s Sherlock Benchmarking Study for Independent / Provider – Sponsored Health Plans.

• Most of the largest members of the Health Plan Alliance that are not focused on public programs are participating in this year’s Sherlock Benchmarking Study for Independent / Provider – Sponsored Health Plans.

• Health plans serving at least one-half of all insured Americans are licensed users of Sherlock Benchmarks since January 1, 2015.

Licensing and participation is available to all health plans

We have recently launched the Independent / Provider – Sponsored and Blue Cross Blue Shield surveys. There is still time, but the financial metrics survey form must be returned to us by the end of April.

So please contact me immediately if you wish to join these robust panels.

Our universes of Medicaid and Medicare plans will launch in a few months to avoid conflict with your Medicare bid process. If a plurality of your members are in either Medicare or Medicaid, please contact us about participation. Note that all costs are segmented by product as well as by function to assure an apples-to-apples comparison between the plans.

Licensing is available without participation. Licensing costs more but it entails less effort.  The 2016 Sherlock Benchmarks for Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans and Independent / Provider – Sponsored plans will be available beginning in July. The 2016 Sherlock Benchmarks for Medicare plans and Medicaid plans will be available beginning in September. 

Assessment

We look forward to working with you.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

[HEALTH INSURANCE, MANAGED CARE, ECONOMICS, FINANCE AND HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANION DICTIONARY SET]

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The PP-ACA’s Impact on Medical Liability Insurance?

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A SPECIAL ME-P REPORT

robert-cimasi

BY ROBERT JAMES CIMASI; MHA, ASA, FRICS, MCBA, AVA, CM&AA, CMP

HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

www.HealthCapital.com

Aside from differences in insurer behavior, malpractice lawsuit rates, and political responses at the state level, the ACA may also have an impact on the medical liability insurance market. Following several months of partisan controversy and political debate during President Obama’s first term, Congress passed the ACA in March 2010.[1] While not achieving a universal coverage insurance program or a single payor system, the 2010 healthcare reform legislation marked the beginning of a new era in healthcare reform, resulting in a paradigm change in the way healthcare services are delivered and paid for in the U.S.

Some of the ACA’s initiatives have already had significant impact upon many aspects of the healthcare delivery system, including: (1) increased regulatory scrutiny aimed at combating fraud and abuse and antitrust violations; (2) health plan regulation; (3) addressing physician shortages; (4) access to and quality of care initiatives; and, (5) increased attention to public health and wellness activities, among others.[2]

In contrast, the ACA’s impact on the medical liability insurance market, and the medical malpractice system, is relatively unknown. The Medical Liability Monitor’s 2010 annual rate survey noted that 41% of medical liability insurers did not believe that the ACA would impact medical liability insurance markets;[3] however, by 2011, as stated above, this attitude had changed to reflect increasing concerns about provider consolidation and self-insurance for professional liability by providers.[4] These concerns continue to reflect the thinking of medical liability insurers, in part, because there have been few, if any, answers to alleviate their concerns and measure the ACA’s impact on the incidence and cost of medical malpractice.

Some of the medical liability insurer concerns regarding the ACA’s impact stems from the reality that the only one of two sections of the ACA directly relating to medical liability insurance and the current medical malpractice system have been implemented. Section 6801 of the ACA simply provides a policy statement regarding medical malpractice, stating that the U.S. Senate believes that “health care reform presents an opportunity to address issues related to medical malpractice and medical liability insurance,” and encourages Congress, as a whole, to develop demonstration programs with the goal of discovering alternatives to the current civil litigation system for medical malpractice.[5] Additionally, Section 10607 of the ACA authorizes HHS to award grants to states “for the development, implementation, and evaluation of alternatives to current tort litigation” for medical malpractice claims.[6] This section allows HHS to make $50 million available for these demonstration projects subject to Congressional approval.[7] To date, neither Congress nor the President has requested funding for these projects.[8]

Even without these direct impacts, the medical malpractice system may still face changes as a result of the ACA. First, as providers consolidate with larger health systems, medical liability insurers fear the medical liability insurance market “will shrink as their former customers become their competitors.”[9] From 2011 to 2014, medical liability insurers consistently noted to the Medical Liability Monitor that hospital or ACO acquisitions of physician practices act as “the biggest threat to their market share” because of the entity’s ability to better absorb the risk related to malpractice liability.[10] In theory, this ability to absorb medical professional liability risk will allow higher rates of self-insurance, which can affect the rates of straight indemnity insurers.  Second, the number of malpractice claims is expected to increase as more individuals gain health insurance coverage as a result of ACA enactments.

Obama Care

A 2007 Journal of the American Medical Association study concluded that insured persons who suffer a chronic condition receive higher quality and increased care compared to non-insured persons; reinforcing earlier studies suggesting insured persons receive more care than uninsured persons.[11] Building on this premise, a RAND report on the ACA and liability insurance relationships estimated that with the expected influx of newly-insured individuals, particularly in states expanding Medicaid, more physician-patient encounters will increase the volume of overall medical errors, leading to an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits.[12] Consequently, the RAND report estimates that the number of liability payments in medical malpractice actions will increase by 3.4% between pre-ACA insurance plan enrollment and enrollment post-ACA implementation.[13]

Additionally, the RAND report argues that, due to an increase in insurance plan enrollment, medical malpractice payments per claim will actually decrease in states adopting limitations to the collateral source rule. Under the collateral source rule, the damage awards for injured parties do not take into account payments previously received from other sources; consequently, the damage award includes the value of funds collected by another source (e.g., insurance) while allowing the injured party to keep the benefits of that previous value received.[14] In the medical malpractice context, plaintiffs in states adopting the collateral source rule can collect from the physician (or his medical liability insurer) as well as keep the benefits of healthcare reimbursed by their own health insurer. However, some states limit the application of the collateral source rule in medical malpractice cases where the plaintiff’s health insurance already paid for care resulting from the negligent actions of the physician, thereby preventing the plaintiff from receiving this double windfall. As insurance rates rise, RAND estimates that payouts per claim will decrease by 0.6% nationally.[15] Considering the three effects together, RAND projects that total liability claim costs will increase by 2.8% nationally by 2016 as a result of the ACA.[16]

Conversely, other healthcare industry commentators argue that the ACA’s expansion of coverage to previously uninsured individuals, as well as quality of care initiatives, will actually decrease malpractice costs by reducing the number of adverse events suffered by patients.[17] In a 2010 editorial in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Mark A. Rothstein, the Director of Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, & Law at the University of Louisville – Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, argued that quality and infrastructure initiatives such as increased EHR usage, expansion of outcomes research and use of evidence-based medical standards, and better care coordination, will limit the number of adverse events that provide the basis for a medical malpractice claim.[18] Further, Rothstein posited that, by simply being insured, “significant numbers of injured patients are likely to forego medical malpractice claims.”[19]

Although President Obama signed the ACA in 2010, the effects of this landmark law on the medical malpractice market remain hazy. The current trend toward healthcare consolidation, accountable care, and self-insurance mirrors similar consolidation practices in the mid-1990s, which increased competition in the medical liability insurance market and eroded proper underwriting practices. Nevertheless, other critical ACA effects remain unknown. The impact of the expansion of health insurance coverage will likely remain unclear for the near future because new enrollees began receiving coverage through health insurance exchanges in 2014, limiting the amount of exposure to healthcare interactions that could give rise to an adverse event and result in a medical malpractice suit. Additionally, the average length of litigation surrounding preventable adverse events lasts 43.1 months from the date of the incident to the date of resolution,[20] which limits medical liability insurers from realizing the full costs of a claim and the aggregate of claims in its risk pool.

RISK

Assessment

Now, assuming that increased enrollment does not affect the average length of medical malpractice litigation,[21] the average newly insured person who suffered a preventable adverse event in July 2014 will not resolve his or her claim until March 2018. With this lag time of almost four years between adverse events and claims, it is likely that the full impact of the ACA on the medical malpractice market and medical liability insurance premiums will not be fully known until the next decade.

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References 

[1]      “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (March 23, 2010); “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act” Public Law 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (March 25, 2010).

[2]       “Restructuring, Consolidation in Health Care Make Reform Top Health Law Issue for 2010,” By Susan Carhart et al., BNA Health Law Reporter, Vol. 19, No. 5 (January 8, 2010).

[3]       “Now Hard & Crunchy on the Outside: Could Strong Financials be Hiding a Market That’s Growing Soft Within?” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 35, No. 10, October 2010, p. 4.

[4]       “From Crunchy Candy to Simmering Frogs: Waiting and Hoping for a Hardening Market as the Market Trends Slowly, Steadily Softer,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 36, No. 10 (October 2011), p. 5.

[5]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 804 (March 23, 2010).

[6]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 1009 (March 23, 2010).

[7]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 1014 (March 23, 2010).

[8]       “Medical Liability Reform – Demonstration Grants,” American College of Physicians, 2013, http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/where_we_stand/assets/iii12-medical-liability-reform-demo.pdf (Accessed 12/23/14).

[9]       “From Crunchy Candy to Simmering Frogs: Waiting and Hoping for a Hardening Market as the Market Trends Slowly, Steadily Softer,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 36, No. 10 (October 2011), p. 5.

[10]     “The Slinky Effect: With Medical Professional Liability Insurance Rates Continuing to – Slowly and Steadily – Decline During the Most Recent Soft Market, It Appears It will Take Several More Years Before the Market Hardens and Rates Accelerate Upward,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 39, No. 10 (October 2014), p. 6; “Casualty Actuarial Society Session Debates Potential Medical Professional Liability Implications of PPACA,” Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 39, No. 7 (July 2014), p. 4.

[11]     “Insurance Coverage, Medical Care Use, and Short-Term Health Changes Following an Unintentional Injury or the Onset of a Chronic Condition,” By Jack Hadley, Ph.D., Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 297, No. 10 (March 14, 2007), p. 1080.

[12]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 30.

[13]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 30.

[14]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 18.

[15]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 18.

[16]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 37.

[17]  “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 40-41

[18]     “Currents in Contemporary Bioethics: Health Care Reform and Medical Malpractice Claims,” By Mark A. Rothstein, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Winter 2010, p. 871.

[19]     “Currents in Contemporary Bioethics: Health Care Reform and Medical Malpractice Claims,” By Mark A. Rothstein, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Winter 2010, p. 872.

[20]     “On Average, Physicians Spend Nearly 11 Percent of their 40-Year Careers with an Open, Unresolved Malpractice Claim,” By Seth A. Seabury et al., Health Affairs, Vol. 32, No. 1 (January 2013), p. 114.

[21]     This assumption is faulty, as it is unknown at this point whether or not claims will increase, whether insurers will or will not enter the market, and whether malpractice caseloads will increase due to the ACA.

Risk Management, Liability Insurance and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors

[Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™]

   Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

 Harvard Medical School

Boston Children’s Hospital – Psychiatrist

Yale University

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Health Insurance Costs [circa 2016]

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The most devious tax increases in modern history? 

Rick Kahler MS CFP

By Rick Kahler MS CFP®

http://www.KahlerFinancuial.com  

A few months ago I scoffed when my wife told me about a report from CNN that the average individual, unsubsidized health insurance premium was going up over 60%.

After receiving my 2016 premium notice from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, I’m no longer scoffing. My monthly premium for family coverage went from $1,400 to $2,140, an increase of $740, or 53%. According to healthcare.gov, the average Wellmark increase in South Dakota is 43%.

I immediately started looking for ways to decrease my premiums. This has become an annual ritual ever since Obamacare was pushed through Congress in 2010. Back then, my family health insurance policy (now considered a Platinum plan) had a low deductible with a maximum out-of-pocket of $3,500 and cost $660 a month.

Despite the President’s promise that “If you like your plan you can keep your plan,” I can’t even purchase that same plan today. If I could, I estimate it would cost over $3,500 a month. In order to keep health insurance affordable, each year I’ve reduced my coverage, increased my deductibles, and paid a higher premium than the year before.

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kidney

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I set out to analyze my options for 2016. After spending six hours crunching numbers and pouring over online calculators, I admitted defeat. There is no simple way to analyze plans to determine whether, based on your personal health care expenditures, you are better served to go with a copay or a deductible plan, a Bronze or a Silver plan, or if a Health Savings Account is preferable to a plan with coinsurance. All the online calculators I found were limited in scope and woefully generic. My health insurance agent didn’t know of any better ones, either.

Adding to my angst, while Wellmark makes policyholders’ year-to-date healthcare expenses available on its website, it doesn’t provide any breakdown of costs. You must figure out for yourself how many drug or doctor co-pays you had, the average cost of a copay visit, the average total costs of those visits, and any other information you need for any type of analysis.

This task was daunting for me, a financial planner and numbers guy. How are average consumers supposed to navigate it? The need for this information is so obvious, one wonders what the insurance companies are hiding by not providing it.

Ultimately, I selected a Bronze plan with no copays and an out-of-pocket cap of $11,900 on in-network providers and $18,500 on out-of-network providers. Based on my family’s average health care costs for the last three years, my out-of-pocket spending for premiums, covered drugs, and approved in-network medical providers will be $2,612 per month, or $31,344, in 2016. It was $11,420 in 2010. That’s an increase of 273%, or 18.3% a year.

By comparison, during the same time period medical costs only increased 16.0%, or 2.7% a year. The increase in premiums is clearly not about increasing health costs.

The $1,660 extra per month I had available to spend on consumer goods and services in 2010 is now going to insurance companies to subsidize the health care of others. This is a clear-cut example of a massive transfer of wealth.

Based on my family’s needs, if I earned $97,000 a year I would qualify for a subsidy of $912 a month. But since I earn over $98,000, I pay the full premium.

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incontinence

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Assessment

Clearly, the only people who find the Affordable Care Act affordable are those who receive a subsidy or who have preexisting conditions. For them, Obamacare was a godsend. For the rest of us, it turned out to be one of the most devious tax increases in modern history. 

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On Criminal Penalties for Acts Involving Federal Healthcare Programs

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“Knowingly and Willfully”

Carol S. Miller

[By Carol S. Miller RN MBA]

Individuals and entities are prohibited from “knowingly and willfully” making false statements or presentations in applying for benefits or payments under all federal and state healthcare programs. Individuals also are prohibited from fraudulently concealing or failing to disclose knowledge of an event relating to an initial or continued right to payments.

There is also prohibition against knowingly and willingly soliciting or receiving any remuneration (including any kickbacks, bribes, or rebates) directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, in exchange for referrals. Violations may result in felony convictions with penalties including imprisonment and fines.

Individuals or entities can be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid and more than 200 other federal healthcare programs for a minimum of five years if there is one prior fraud or abuse conviction. Thee exclusions last for ten years and if there are two prior convictions, the exclusion can become permanent. The minimum period of discretionary exclusion is three years, unless DHHS determines that a different period is appropriate.

It is just as important to communicate to the employees when laws or regulations do not impact your organization, such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or continuation of health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). These benefits apply only to organization with a specific number of employees, so smaller organizations are not necessarily required to offer these benefits.

***

business-valuation

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However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides a slightly different situation for the provider’s practice. PP-ACA mandated coverage, penalizing employers who failed to provide it, and creating mechanisms for people to pool risk and buy insurance collectively.

Further the Act stated: 1) all individuals not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicare or Medicaid or other public insurance programs such as Tricare to secure an approved private-insurance policy or pay a penalty, unless the individual has a financial hardship or is a member of a recognized religious sect exempted by the Internal Revenue Service and 2) businesses, including larger medical practices which employ 50 or more people but do not offer health insurance to their full-time employees will pay a tax penalty if the government has subsidized a full-time employee’s healthcare through tax deductions or other means.

This is known as the employer mandate. What this means for the provider’s practice is that if the provider is offering healthcare benefits to their staff, the coverage needs to be comparable with the requirements stated in the PP-ACA and if the practice is not offering healthcare benefits, then the practice must direct the individual to one of the Health Insurance Exchanges that are offering individual coverage plans.

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[PHYSICIAN FOCUSED FINANCIAL PLANNING AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMPANION TEXTBOOK SET]

 Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™  Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Three common misunderstandings and reality checks about the ACA’s Cadillac tax

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Beginning in 2018

[By Grant Thornton]

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3-misconceptions-about-the-affordable-care-acts-cadillac-tax-1-638

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A primer to tonight’s GOP debate

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Health Entitlements & the Deficit

By Nancy Chockley PhD

NIHCM.org

Congress is poised to pass a budget plan that will raise funding levels for the next two years. While these changes are paid for, the plan does not include structural changes to the health entitlement programs that are a leading driver of our budget deficits and mounting debt.

The GOP presidential candidates are likely to discuss a variety of proposals for structural reforms to these programs during tonight’s debate.

As a primer to this important conversation, this chart story presents essential facts about spending for Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and the impact of these programs on the deficit.

http://www.nihcm.org/health-entitlement-spending-a-growing-threat#one

business-valuation1

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Finally – Why the Healthcare.gov Site Failed?

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No … Really!

By Robert E.H. Khoo MD FRCS(C) FACS

http://www.colondoc.com

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Why the Healthcare.gov Site Failed

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ME-P News Stories Wrap-Up for August 2015

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Latest News

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Daily Round-Up of Headlines for August 2015

BREAKING-EVENTS AND AGGREGATED STORIES 

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Daily Round-Up of Headlines for July 2015

BREAKING-EVENTS AND AGGREGATED STORIES 

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Daily Round-Up of Headlines for May 2015

BREAKING-EVENTS AND AGGREGATED STORIES 

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)  

Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for April 2015

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)  

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Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for March 2015

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

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Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for February 2015

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)* 8

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Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for January 2015

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)* 8

Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for December 2014

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

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Editor’s Pick: 

Daily Round-Up of Headlines for November 2014

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Blue Cross Blue Shield, Independent / Provider – Sponsored Plans

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Transcripts and Slides

DougBy Douglas B. Sherlock, CFA sherlock@sherlockco.com

The Affordable Care Act is intended to create strong incentives to reduce the administrative costs of health insurers. The medical loss ratio rules and the new ACA-related taxes are manifestations of this policy, and the recent announced business combinations between leading national health insurers are adaptations to these incentives.

It follows that the most recent rate of increase in health plan administrative expenses, excluding the new taxes, is dramatically lower than in recent years. Sherlock Company materials summarizing the results of our surveys are found below.

Independent / Provider – Sponsored Plans

Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans

Assessment

The contents above are a very small portion of the 1,000 page Sherlock Benchmarks for each of these universes. The Sherlock Benchmarks are essential tools to manage administrative costs for your health plan.

budget

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On Health Plan Member Portals

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By http://www.MCOL.com

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Will you receive a tax credit to help you purchase health insurance?

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An Infographic

By Healthinsurance.org

This infographic helps Americans determine whether they will be eligible for a health insurance premium subsidy under the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.

The infographic accompanies a story by blogger Maggie Mahar, who explains not only how eligibility for health insurance tax credits is determined, but also how much recipients should expect to receive.

The article also includes a chart with federal poverty level (FPL) numbers and links to a Kaiser Family Foundation premium subsidy calculator

Link: Healthinsurance.org

The graphic was created by Mahar, HIO editor Steve Anderson, and designer Barb Etzkorn. It was posted on the Blog of the Health Insurance Resource Center, one of the longest running sources of consumer health insurance information on the Web.

***

obamacare-and-premium-subsidies-590x371

[Click to Enlarge]

Assessment

All healthcare and medical professionals should be aware of the information in this info-graphic; all FAs, too!

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Un-Insured Adults in the USA

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Fall 2014

http://www.MCOL.com

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On Medicare ACOs

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Percent of Regionally Covered Populations

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2015 Health Plan Premium Increases

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Projections

By http://www.MCOL.com

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Some Financial Health Insurance Hardships and Concerns of Adults

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Privately Insured

By http://www.MCOL.com

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Assessment

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The “ObamaCare Opportunity” for Financial Advisors

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Why Physicians Need Financial Advisors Now!

[By Vicki Rackner MD]

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

VR MDI recently attended a surgical meeting. Most conversations with my physician colleagues turned to the same singular topic: physicians’ new financial reality.

And the message is, “It hurts!”

Physicians’ Financial Plans

Financially savvy physicians execute thoughtful retirement plans. Yet, today about half of surveyed physicians are behind where they would like to be in retirement preparedness. Further, today only about half of physicians work with professional financial planners.

As a physician myself, I understand why smart physicians fail to take smart financial action. We physicians dedicate ourselves to the alleviation of pain and suffering of others. Retirement is a distant personal concern that does not cause immediate financial pain today. We put it off.

Lesson from My Dentist

Years ago my dentist recommended that I undergo a procedure to replace a filling. He explained that the filling material put in my mouth about 40 years ago tends to pull from the tooth over time and allow new cavities to form.

As much as I like my dentist, I actively avoid spending time in his dental chair. I put off the recommended filling replacement year after year. That is, of course, until I experienced vague throbbing from that tooth. I rearranged my schedule so I could tend to this small problem before it became a much bigger problem. Who wants a root canal!

For physicians retirement planning is like that proactive filling replacement. We understand that without action there will be problems down the road. However, the threat of a problem in the distant future does not propel many like myself to action today.

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The ObamaCare [PP-ACA] Opportunity for Financial Advisors

ObamaCare is the source of acute financial pain for physicians. It’s the financial toothache. Practicing physicians are looking at:

  • Higher taxes. Doctors represent 9 of the 10 highest earners in the US.
  • Rising costs of goods and services as businesses address their own higher tax bills.
  • The costs of building the infrastructure that will lead to greater healthcare efficiencies, like converting to electronic medical records, hiring new staff to address new administrative demands and aligning with new compliance requirements.
  • Lower professional fees. The 24% Medicare fee reduction that was averted this year will become reality soon. As Medicare goes, so, too, go the rest of the insurance fee schedules.
  • Decreasing patient referrals as primary care doctors sell their practices.
  • Physicians know they need to act now to avoid the financial root canal. Each physician is in the process of creating a personal ObamaCare plan.

Physicians’ Wants and Needs

As a financial advisor, you know that physicians NEED a retirement plan. Kids need to eat their broccoli, too. It’s good for them.

Physicians WANT a plan to help them achieve the personal, professional and financial goals that drew them to a career in medicine. Engaging physicians by address their ObamaCare plan is about as hard as getting kids to eat ice cream.

What This Means for You

Today physicians actively seek experts to help them create their ObamaCare plans.

Financial advisor are winning new physician clients. As Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson asks, “Why not you?”

If you want to work with more physician clients, this is your moment! Seize it. You have a chance to join the high-performing financial advisors mining the treasures in the medical market.

Assessment

Should wish to learn more here’s a video that addresses 4 questions:

  • Why do physicians need you now?
  • What do you need to know about physicians now?
  • How do you engage physicians now?
  • How do you conduct yourself so physicians want to conduct business with you now?

About the Author

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients.

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeCyidc4JP8&feature=player_embedded

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Update on US Health Insurance Coverage

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PP-ACA Premium Percent Changes from 2014-2015-2017

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For the Silver Plan 

[By Kaiser Family Foundation]

Premiums for the silver insurance premium plan that is used to benchmark tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will fall by an average .8% in 2015, according to a new study.

Meanwhile, premiums for the lowest-cost bronze option available through the ACA’s healthcare exchanges will increase by an average of 3.3%.

Silver plans were chosen by 65% of exchange enrollees in 2014, and bronze plans were chosen by about 20% of enrollees, according a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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kaiser_chartfinal

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Reference: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/aca-exchanges-silver-premiums-decrease-average-8-2015

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State Uninsured Patient Rate Reductions

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Five State with Highest Percentage Change for 2013-14

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State Requirements for Individual Market Benefit Design and Cost-Sharing

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