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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. David E. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics trade journals and publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital and recruited BOD  member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA, FPA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”.

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Understanding the Domestic Unemployment Numbers

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How Can Unemployment Be Going Down?

By Rick Kahler MS CFP® ChFC CCIM www.KahlerFinancial.com

In an economy that isn’t exactly robust, how can unemployment be going down? The recent drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8% caught almost everyone, including me, by surprise. The GDP grew by only 1.5% in the first quarter, and its growth was under 2% for the last 12 years. To get the economy moving again we will need growth of 3% a year.

It isn’t surprising that many pundits were questioning the timing within minutes after the latest unemployment numbers were announced. After all, unemployment is one of the major issues in the Presidential election. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and several Fox News commentators even suggested the administration was cooking the books.

The BLS

I don’t believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics is manipulating unemployment data. The process of computing the data is straightforward and transparent. Two surveys go into projecting the unemployment rate, one covering 400,000 businesses and the other questioning 60,000 households. The surveys ask about the number of full-time and part-time employees, whether the part-time employees really want full-time employment, and whether those without a job have looked for a job within the last month.

Cooked Books?

But that doesn’t mean the books aren’t cooked. They are.

“The way the government derives the unemployment numbers has changed significantly over the last 30 years,” writes John Mauldin, editor of the economic newsletter Thoughts from the Frontline, in the October 8, 2012, issue. “Whatever administration is involved, the new equations for determining unemployment result in a lower unemployment rate than they would have if the 1980’s methodology were still in place.”

The Changes

One of the more bizarre changes in the unemployment rate calculation is that people are not considered unemployed unless they have looked for a job in the last 30 days, even if they currently receive unemployment benefits. Mauldin says there are probably many people who haven’t looked for a job in the last 30 days and that most, if not all, of them would consider themselves unemployed. “If you’re not disabled and you’re receiving unemployment or welfare benefits I think you should be counted as unemployed,” he says. He estimates our actual unemployment rate is well over 12%, which doesn’t take into account the 50% of college graduates who are underemployed.

Don’t Blame Obama

Before you blame the Obama administration for the dumbing down of the unemployment rate, this is the same way the Bush administration calculated unemployment.

It’s the same story with the Consumer Price Index, which the government has continually tweaked to give the illusion of a lower CPI than if the 1980’s formula was used.

ShadowStats.com, run by John Williams, calculates the current unemployment and inflation rates using the formulas from the 1980’s. According to that methodology, Williams calculates the unemployment rate (U-6) is 15% and the CPI is 9%.

Regaining Jobs?

The economy has currently regained about half of the jobs lost in the Great Recession of 2008-2009. According to the Liscio Report, it will take another 40 months to reach the level of employment we had prior to the recession. That is if we don’t have another recession, which is doubtful. If all the tax increases slated for January 1 go into effect, the Congressional Budget Office says GDP will shrink 2.9%, which guarantees a recession.

Assessment

So, what was behind the fall in the unemployment rate this month? According to Mauldin, the entire drop came from an increase in part-time workers. He says, “That such significant numbers of people can only find part-time work is not a sign of a strong and growing economy.”

When we look a little deeper, maybe the latest unemployment numbers aren’t such a surprise after all.

Conclusion

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CBO Director Elmendorf on Debt and Taxes

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A CBO Political Review

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is responsible for providing Congress with financial estimates for future budget and tax policies. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives on June 6.

Elmendorf started by noting that the public federal debt for the past 40 years has averaged 38% of the economy. At the end of 2008, the public debt was 40% of gross domestic product (GDP). By the end of 2012, the public debt will be 70% of GDP.

Elmendorf pointed out that there are two major trends that will substantially impact the federal budget. First, there are 78 million baby boomers that will be retiring and receiving benefits from Social Security and Medicare. Second, the cost of healthcare for the past decade has been increasing more rapidly than the general inflation rate. He suggests that this increasing cost for healthcare is going to continue for the foreseeable future.

Elmendorf then offered two scenarios for the future. He called these the “baseline scenario” and the “alternative scenario.”

Baseline Scenario

The baseline scenario assumes that the current law will be applicable. On January 1, 2013, the existing tax cuts will expire. In addition to higher tax rates, many individuals will be subject to alternative minimum tax. Finally, the 3.8% tax under the Affordable Care Act will apply starting in 2013.

With the substantial tax increases under the baseline scenario, federal tax revenue increases to 24% of the economy by the year 2037. Elmendorf noted that this would be the highest level of taxation since World War II. Under this scenario, the increasing tax revenue permits debt to be reduced from the current 70% to 53% of GDP by 2037.

The alternative scenario assumes that Congress will follow the pattern of the past four years. The tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 will be extended. The alternative minimum tax exemptions will be indexed. The $5.12 million applicable exclusion amount for gift and estate taxes will continue (with indexed increases in future years). Medicare payment rates for physicians will continue to increase. This last provision has been called the “Doc Fix” in Washington. Finally, federal budgets will continue with the same general provisions that exist today.

Under the alternative scenario, the increasing deficits lead to public debt of 90% of GDP by 2022. With the rising expenditures for the baby boom generation, the public debt increases to 200% of GDP by 2037.

Elmendorf Opines

Elmendorf noted that many economists believe that this large debt may lead to creation of fewer new jobs. He suggested that it will be necessary to increase revenue and decrease spending substantially from projected levels to avoid a large increase in the national debt. He did not specify how this should be accomplished.

Assessment

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke also testified before Congress this week. He pointed out that January 1 is a “fiscal cliff” that could have great impact on the nation. Bernanke believes that the scheduled increase in taxes and reduction in spending should be spaced out over time to avoid a dramatic impact in January. However, he also declined to offer any advice on specific ways to increase taxes or cut spending.

Editor’s Note: These discussions in Congress are preparations for the legislative session that will occur following the November election. Congress is debating the combination of tax increases and budget cuts to pass this year. In addition, preparations are being made for a major tax reform act in 2013.

Conclusion

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Defining Comparative Medical Effectiveness

An Emerging Health Economics Issue

By Staff Reportersdhimc-book8

Comparative Medical Effectiveness [CME] is not a new healthcare term or health economics concept. Federal initiatives specifically promoting CME were authorized under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, but the genesis took root decades before.

Finally … a Hot Topic

Comparative Medical Effectiveness has recently become a hot topic again throughout the arena of health care stakeholders, due to funding and initiatives advanced by the Obama administration, and the positive and negative reactions drawn by different sectors of stakeholders.

Related to Evidence Based Outcomes

For stakeholders including numerous health care policy organizations, the health plan industry, and various health care provider organizations: public and private promotion of Comparative Medical Effectiveness reviews and processes offer the potential for more evidence-based, outcome-benefit or even cost-benefit driven information to improve the health care decision making for all parties. And, for stakeholders concerned about limiting the role of government and third parties in their level of regulation and control over the direct delivery of specific patient care, Comparative Medical Effectiveness may become a lightening rod due to perceived potential as to how the process and information could ultimately be applied.

Definition of the CBO Report

The Congressional Budget Office Report “Comparative Effectiveness: Issues and Options for an Expanded Federal Role” offers the definition that follows:

“As applied in the health care sector, an analysis of comparative medical effectiveness is simply a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy. The analysis may focus only on the relative medical benefits and risks of each option, or it may also weigh both the costs and the benefits of those options. In some cases, a given treatment may prove to be more effective clinically or more cost-effective for a broad range of patients, but frequently a key issue is determining which specific types of patients would benefit most from it. Related terms include cost–benefit analysis, technology assessment, and evidence-based medicine, although the latter concepts do not ordinarily take costs into account.”

Assessment

For related financial, economics, managed-care, insurance, health information technology and security, and health administrative terms and definitions of modernity, visit: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. How do you define this term, and is its’ very definition evolving?

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1/3 of Medical Procedures Fail to Improve Health

A Startling Congressional Budget Office Report!

Staff Writers

Almost one-third of the procedures that doctors perform fail to improve a patient’s health!

Of course, this may come as quite a surprise to most citizens, but not so to readers of the Executive-Post, or the books, white-papers and dictionaries of its sponsor, the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc [www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com]

Congressional Budget Office Report

Congressional Budget Office [CBO] Director Peter Orszag opined thusly to federal lawmakers in a recent special report. Mr. Orszag noted that the collective cost for these services top more than $700 billion each year, or roughly five percent of the nation’s total economy.

Misaligned payment, disparate health care costs and an overabundance of untested procedures have placed health care on a fiscally unsound path, which was likened to “running up credit card debt,” according to Modern Healthcare on June 18, 2008.

Assessment

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called on the CBO and Government Accountability Office [GAO] to study the potential development of an independent health reform board, possibly like the Federal Reserve Board [FRB] that would set health policy absent of political pressure.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated. Do you believe the Orszag CBO report is more factually, or heuristically true; why or why not? Is it a startling report at all; or just medical de-rigueur?

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